‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Finale: Rob McElhenney’s Epic Dance Routine Takes Season 13 to a Profound New Level

IndieWire | 11/7/2018 | Staff
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When asked why he decided to end Season 13 of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” with an unprecedented modern dance sequence, co-creator, star, and dancer Rob McElhenney said a recent experience reframed his perspective on the long-running FX comedy.

“Something sort of extraordinary happened to me when Mac came out [last season],” McElhenney said during a TCA panel earlier this year. “I had a massive response [from] our fans in the LGBTQ community that reached out and told me how moved they were and how important it was to them that they felt represented on a show that they loved. I was not expecting that — I mean, thousands and thousands and thousands of people.”

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McElhenny said he didn’t expect a satiric series like “It’s Always Sunny” to connect on such a personal level. “I just assumed that people were laughing along with us,” he said. “I didn’t think we were that kind of show, and it turned out that we were.”

The ending of Season 13 offers a sincerity that separates it from other episodes, and an execution that elevates it above its peers. In “Mac Finds His Pride,” written by McElhenney and Charlie Day, the gang builds a float for the Pride parade (“to rope in the gays” to Paddy’s Pub) and wants the newly out Mac to be their “prize gay.” But Mac doesn’t want to do that. “I don’t know where I fit in as a gay man, and it’s starting to get to me,” Mac tells Frank (Danny DeVito). “I’m not feeling very proud.”

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Rob McElhenney and Danny DeVito in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”

But Frank doesn’t “get” Mac as a gay man — not that he’s against it, he just doesn’t understand — so the two go out to “find his pride.” After a misguided trip to an...
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