10 Things You Didn’t Know About Will & Grace

"You say potato, I say vodka"

We haven’t caught up with the Will & Grace gang since 2006, but with the long-anticipated revival hitting our screens this week, we’ve set you a refresher course. Below, 10 big surprises about about our two favourite TV duos.

1) Will was nearly played by West End star John Barrowman

Apparently, producers thought Barrowman was just “too straight” for the role (maybe they should’ve looked into his personal life a bit more?) and went with McCormack, who is actually straight in real life.

2) Karen Walker was nearly cast as Elaine Benes on Seinfield

“You know who was close was Megan Mullally,” Seinfield told radio host Howard Stern. “We liked her a lot”.

3) Will and Grace were based on the creator’s childhood friends

The friendship of the two protagonists was based on the relationship of Max Mutchnick with voiceover casting director Janet Eisenberg. They dated back in college and he later came out, with close friend and fellow creator David Kohan watching their real-life relationship follow à la W&G.

4) Karen’s voice wasn’t always how we know it

It’s no surprise that Megan Mullally’s real voice is a few octaves lower than that of Karen’s: if you cast your minds back to the pilot episode way back in ’98 you’ll hear her for real. But after she offered up that first shriek, there was no going back! 

5) NBC nearly signed off on a spinoff show all about Karen

And we’re gutted they didn’t. But after Joey (the Friends spinoff) was such a flop, they decided a talk show with Mullally was a safer bet.

6) Cher was barely there

“They flew her in. Like, she was sort of dropped in on a crescent moon, she did the scene, and was like, airlifted back out. And when I met her she was in her full Cher Land drag so I didn’t get to experience her as a person”, Mullally told Entertainment Weekly. 

7) Debra Messing needed some “liquid convincing’ to take the part

Creators Kohan and Mutchnick appeared with a bottle of voddy and their pitch, and the rest is history.

8) Porsche to the rescue

After the first season, the four lead actors were rewarded with a brand new Porsche Boxster Convertible each as a thank you for all their hard work. Ummmm, and where are ours?

9) Quids in

It’s reported that towards the end of the eight season run, both Messing and McCormack were earning a tidy $400,000 each per episode. With Hayes and Mullally earning only a smidge less.

10) Emmy what?

In the history of television, W&G (along with All in the Family and the Golden Girls) are the only shows in which each lead actor won an Emmy. And to top that, over the eight season run, our sassiest sitcom won a grand total of 16 Emmys!

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