On the ChicagoNow message board recently, one of my fellow bloggers asked what people listened to while they worked. I listen to podcasts. And the other day, I got a chance to listen to one of my favorite new actors, Jake Johnson (Nick from New Girl), speak for almost an hour on Grantland's Hollywood Prospectus podcast.
It was an awesome interview. Johnson's a huge Cubs fan – like me – and he talked about being a Cubs fan at length. (He compares it to finding your fiancée in bed with five dudes. Maybe it makes more sense in context.)
In a post on the podcast, c0-host Andy Greenwald had this to say about Johnson and his effect on New Girl.
Now in its second season, the sitcom has evolved into one of the best shows on television largely thanks to the comedic firepower of its emerging ensemble. Much of the credit for this transformation goes to Jake Johnson, who plays Nick, a struggling bartender/zombie novelist whose preternaturally old-man crankiness clicks beautifully with [Zooey] Deschanel's Etsy-fied whimsy. Johnson's role was originally written as the quiet straight guy; New Girl took flight once its producers realized the good things that can happen when Johnson — a Chicago native with a welcome dash of Belushi bile — starts yelling.
I couldn't agree more with that assessment. I put up with Zooey, but the three guys – especially Johnson – are what keeps me coming back to the show. And the interview – while a tad long – was just as worthwhile to listen to. If you'd like to listen to hear Johnson had to say, you can do so by clicking here.
• Going for Gusto is a blog by Joe Grace. Columns, videos, lists and quick thoughts posted throughout the week. Send questions, comments and blog ideas to email@example.com. Subscribe to me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/therealjoegrace.