Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Busy Philipps, Ben Feldman
Screenshot: Busy Tonight

Busy Tonight is the comfy talk show hangout hug-fest alternative for viewers wearied by the current all-politics-and-Marvel superheroes late-night experience. From her E! sofa home base, Cougar Town and Freaks And Geeks actress Busy Philipps welcomes people she’s always wanted to hang out with, along with people she’s hung out with in her long Hollywood career of being professionally delightful, for some boozy chat and the occasional Jimmy Fallon-esque goof around game. (It sort of works for Philipps, since her laid-back chumminess isn’t particularly needy and effortful.) So it’s in that spirit that Philipps welcomed her pal, Superstore’s Ben Feldman on Tuesday.

On the cozy hangout front, the pair talked about how Feldman’s wife Michelle Mulitz might be going into birth with the couple’s second child at that very moment, and reminisced about going to Coachella when they were younger, with Philipps confessing that her continuing annual pilgrimage to the youth-skewing music festival has left her the “Dowager Countess” of the event. Later, the pair made burger milkshakes and Philipps gave Feldman the Bar Mitzvah he never got because, Feldman says, he was such a snotty little jerk when it was his time to become a man that his parents just threw up their hands and quit. Feldman’s Superstore co-star (and another Philipps buddy) Jon Barinholtz came by to toast, give Feldman an era-appropriate Tower Records gift certificate, and promote Feldman from “homeboy for life” to his newly minted “main man.” Philipps also gave Feldman a check for $36.


Speaking of Superstore, Feldman assiduously avoided getting in trouble with his NBC bosses by playing cagey about what’s to come in as the show heads toward the end of its fourth season. And while it’s already been renewed for season five—suggesting that the beleaguered disaster-magnet St. Louis box store Cloud 9 won’t get sucked into a sinkhole or something similarly disheartening—Feldman did knock Philipps and her audience back a bit with some decidedly dark-sounding hints. First, Feldman claimed that the relationship between his professional underachiever Jonah and America Ferrera’s Amy will have “a different dynamic,” which is, honestly, not that big a shock when it comes those two crazy kids. But Feldman did get some gasps when he revealed that the ending of this season will see something “really, really big and really, really dark” happen to the Cloud 9 crew. Promising Philipps that he’s not just blowing smoke (Is it a fire? The store burns down? That’s it, right? You can tell us, Ginsberg.), Feldman doubled down, calling the May 9, two-part finale “super, hardcore dark.” Since the first part of the two-hander is titled “Scanners,” let’s just all assume someone’s head explodes, perhaps after a customer knocks over one goddamned endcap display too many.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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