The new FX show The Comedians is a fictional documentary about the making of a sketch comedy show, starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad as themselves. Megan Ferguson plays a PA who is wholly unimpressed with the celebrities she tends to, but it’s all a part of her charm.
The show is largely improvised. Working with a legend like Billy in a scenario where he is playing a version of his own celebrity was it challenging to overcome that elephant in the room?
You are on set with Billy Crystal and Larry Charles and there is no handholding. (For the record, I love a little handholding). So my battle was more internal, debating whether it was too late to go to law school or to become a forensic crime scene investigator, and less about where the meta-boundaries of the scene were.
This was your second time working with Josh Gad. Privilege or repeat nightmare?
Repeat privilege! Josh is a wonderful human and can make you laugh from a mile away.
In your early days of stage acting in New York, were you ever an assistant in real life?
I had a job where I had to find any items that Rosie O’Donnell’s personal shopper couldn’t find. For instance, one day I spent 11 hours looking for ostrich egg holders. I think that was my last day. I was also a temp for a very fancy fashion photographer who took his dogs very seriously. I was tasked with carrying 30 pounds of their raw/organic/maybe still breathing lamb to his apartment. I left the lamb in the fridge instead of the freezer and that sent him into a tizzy. But I didn’t leave it on the beach… I think that was also my last day.
While your past roles have been largely dramatic (Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men), you are a Very Funny Person. Has this experience ruined you for drama forever?
No! I think my personal time is split evenly between crying and laughing so there is always room for both.
What are your best memories from set?
My character has an ongoing battle with a copy machine and (spoiler alert) gets to totally take it down in one episode. It felt incredibly cathartic to do some running karate kicks into a copy machine.
What did you learn most?
Stephanie Weir (who plays Kristen, the producer) is a genius comedienne and I watched her every moment I could (sorry if that was weird!). She is totally fearless in her comedy, so I hope that even a morsel of her bravery wore off on me.
You and your husband (actor Nico Evers-Swindell) are expecting your first child soon. If it’s a boy will you name him Billy, a girl, Crystal?
My father says to give a child a name with “roots and wings.” I think we can all agree that Billy Krystal Evers-Swindell achieves both.
Main photograph by Victoria Will