Justin Spitzer Previews Ben Feldman's SUPERSTORE Reunion on AMERICAN AUTO - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Justin Spitzer Previews Ben Feldman’s SUPERSTORE Reunion on AMERICAN AUTO

February 21, 2023 by  

Superstore reunion Ben Feldman American Auto

SUPERSTORE — “Carol’s Back” Episode 519 — Pictured: Ben Feldman as Jonah — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

AMERICAN AUTO stages a mini-SUPERSTORE reunion on the Tuesday, February 21 episode, “Going Green,” as Ben Feldman guest stars. (AMERICAN AUTO was created by Justin Spitzer, who also created SUPERSTORE; the NBC comedy also co-stars SUPERSTORE’s Jon Barinholtz.)

“I always wanted to bring him in for some part,” Spitzer tells Give Me My Remote of Feldman’s Chase, who is “a very different character” than SUPERSTORE’s Jonah.

Originally, “I always had a secret dream [that] if we ever did an episode dealing with unions or something, bring him in as the asshole strike breaker,” Spitzer says. “Like as, as opposite from Jonah as possible. And then this part came up.”

Jay Hunter, who was the cinematographer on SUPERSTORE and AMERICAN AUTO, directed “Going Green” and suggested Feldman might be the right fit. “It just seemed like, yes, this is a perfect role for him; I can’t save him forever, because what if that part never comes?” Spitzer recalls. “It just worked perfectly. Like, Ben is truly just an actor’s actor. He has incredible range. He could play pretty much anything. I knew he would do great at this.”

Superstore reunion Ben Feldman American Auto

AMERICAN AUTO — “Going Green” Episode 204 — Pictured: (l-r) Harriet Dyer as Sadie, Tye White as Jack, Ana Gasteyer as Katherine, Jon Barinholtz as Wesley, Michael Benjamin Washington as Cyrus — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

In the episode, Katherine (Ana Gasteyer) and the Payne Motors team attempt to invest in eco-friendly technology. Wesley (Barinholtz) suggests his friend Chase might have the perfect, uh, sand-centric company for them to take a look at.

“We wanted to do an episode about people talking themselves into believing, like, Theranos could be true,” Spitzer previews. “Getting hoodwinked, but understanding how you could get hoodwinked when you think something is the hot new thing. And so [Feldman] just seemed like the kind of charismatic Fyre Festival-type guy that could make that happen.”

Feldman’s appearance in AMERICAN AUTO does highlight one of the differences between the comedy and SUPERSTORE: the use of guest stars.

“There were a lot of conversations this season with the network about bringing in some more celebrities and getting some more viewers,” Spitzer shares. “And that is something I’m always pretty cautious [of]…I want to make sure that we’re not bringing in [known] people just to bring in people.”

Superstore reunion Ben Feldman American Auto

AMERICAN AUTO — “Celebrity” Episode 203 — Pictured: (l-r) Jon Barinholtz as Wesley, Andy Richter as himself — (Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC)

The first season of AMERICAN AUTO had several notable guest stars (including Joshua Malina, Tom Bergeron, Ike Barinholtz, and Jim O’Heir), but the first few episodes of season 2 have already boasted Ryan Reynolds (who was suggested by AMERICAN AUTO star Humphrey Ker, who works with Reynolds at Wrexham AFC), Eric Stonestreet, Seth Meyers, and Andy Richter.

The writers’ debate about how to incorporate famous people actually led to an episode of AMERICAN AUTO. “‘Celebrity’ was sort of in response to that,” Spitzer shares. “The same way we were trying to think, ‘What actors would work [and] in what capabilities?’ that episode came out of that [as the Payne execs tried to find a new spokesperson].”

“I do think in this show, it just feels a little easier [to have celebrities in the world],” Spitzer continues. “We have celebrities playing themselves in that episode. We have Jim Cramer play himself [in ‘Going Green’]. In episode three, we had Andy Richter and Ryan Reynolds [as themselves]. And that makes a lot more sense in this show than on SUPERSTORE, where we had Howie Mandel play himself, and there’s a reason, but I would never have wanted to do the episode where, ‘Hey, is that Arnold Schwarzenegger walking through the aisles?’ There’s just something about this world, because it is big and corporate, and that’s so much about image. I have less of a problem bringing in celebrities to play other parts, too. It just feels part and parcel with [the world].”

AMERICAN AUTO, Tuesdays, 8:30/7:30c, NBC


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