ABC Family’s new comedy series YOUNG & HUNGRY offers top-notch comedy surrounding the antics of a young woman who convinces an upcoming billionaire to take her on as his personal chef. It is the makings of a classic rom-com with one big difference, the show leans a bit more towards the comedy side with a strong ensemble made up of veteran comedians, including Jonathan Sadowski, Emily Osment, Rex Lee, Kym Whitley, and Aimee Carrero.
All are relatively young to have such strong comedy chops, but every scene with them in it is just flawlessly funny. The best scenes are with the entire cast, but even when they play off each other in pairs, it still tickles the funny bone and makes your ribs ache from laughing. That is not to say there is not a health dose of romance too. It is just a bit more subtly woven amongst the bigger comedic moments.
Yet this week’s summer finale for YOUNG & HUNGRY will be employing both the rom-com elements to fine form as the clock ticks down on Josh (Jonathan Sadowski) and Caroline’s (Mallory Jansen) wedding and whether Gabi (Emily Osment), Elliot (Rex Lee) or Yolanda (Kim Whitley) can just stand by and watch it happen all knowing that perhaps Josh is over-looking the one person who may really be the one his heart wants.
In a recent press conference call, star Jonathan Sadowski happily shared some insights into the comedic gold that keeps this cast on their toes and teased the upcoming wedding episode.
What was it like auditioning for YOUNG & HUNGRY?
JONATHAN: It was a really pleasant process. Sometimes the process can be grueling and you’re really getting in your head over the whole thing, but this was pain-free. I originally received the scripts, and after reading it I called my reps and I was like, “Yes, this is something I definitely want to do!” I went in and I met with David Holden and Ashley Tisdale and the casting directors, and after my initial audition they paired me up to do a work session with Emily (Osment) to test our on screen chemistry. After that, I did a screen test for the network, and I got a call that night saying that I was the guy! It’s so cool when you get a script like that and it’s something you really want to do and it works out. It was a great feeling.
How would you describe your character? How similar are you to him?
JONATHAN: Josh is a 29-year-old dot-com millionaire, and he’s kind of a geek. He’s a computer geek. I think ultimately for somebody who seemingly has everything together, deep down inside he’s a big kid who has this great parental instinct, he always looks out for the people he’s surrounded by, and especially those who work for him and his friends. I think that’s the one tie that Josh and I have is that we’re both big kids. Josh loves Star Wars and Star Trek, and he geeks out over video games, and I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I do magic, I’m a magician, and I can sit down with my buddies and talk about magic until the sun comes up.
What’s it like working with Emily Osment?
JONATHAN: She’s great! She’s been around in the industry for a while. She’s been acting a long time, and she’s got some chops. Her comedic timing is amazing, she’s very, very quick. Even when we’re not in a scene, you always have to watch what you say around her, because she’ll take whatever you said and flip it and spin it into like four different things and make you regret saying it.
Why do you think Josh keeps putting up with his fiancé Caroline instead of dating Gabi?
JONATHAN: During the episodes you see that she does have some redeeming qualities, and in the pilot episode Josh said that she’s perfect for him. When she gives him a horse, or through terms of endearment, or the way she looks at him, I think there is something there that Josh is completely enamored with, and I think a little more will unfold as the series finale happens. It’s going to be a doozy!
What do fans have to look forward to in next week’s finale?
JONATHAN: There may or may not be a wedding in the finale. As I was reading the script, I was just pulling my hair out of my head it was so good! The writers did a really great job. My hat’s off to David Holden. He really knocked this script out of the park.
Does the amazing and hilarious cast make it easier or harder for you when you’re acting on set?
JONATHAN: It’s so funny. It’s actually a little bit of both. With chemistry it’s great, because everybody on the set is a pro, so in that sense they always give you something to work off of. But it gets a little hard because everybody’s really, really funny and it takes a lot not to break character. And then once somebody starts messing up it’s kind of like the inside joke to give them a little more and see if you can keep making them laugh. You get in this downward spiral sometimes in front of a live audience, but it makes for a great show.
Who’s the real comedian, off set?
JONATHAN: Kym Whitley. I don’t think she has an off switch. She’s wonderful. She’s always joking, she definitely has us in stitches on and off set. It’s Kym giving a play-by-play of her daily life and the life of being a single mom. She always comes to the set with a story. She always walks in sort of frazzled and will be like, “You’ll never guess what happened to me today,” and then she’ll go into some story. Usually the first 15 or 20 minutes of rehearsal is her stand-up comedy hour. She’s wonderful.
What is your go-to comfort food?
JONATHAN: Burritos. I’m a burrito guy. I’m a burrito enthusiast, and I champion the longevity of burritos
Have you been lucky enough to try some of the real life Gabi’s cooking?
JONATHAN: I have, actually! She does a web series for ABC Family as well, and over the course of a few of the episodes I’ve been a guest on, we’ve been able to make some food. Her pantry pasta is phenomenal. It’s just the easiest, most simple thing. She makes a pretty wicked hot sauce, too!
Is Emily Osment good at cooking in real life?
JONATHAN: It wouldn’t surprise me if she was. I haven’t had the luxury of trying any of her food, but she seems like she’d be great in the kitchen.
Do you have any cooking skills?
JONATHAN: I can cook. My mother is very, very Italian, so I grew up cooking with her and we always had big family dinners. I prefer not to clean up, that’s my big thing, so in that sense I tend to go out to restaurants . I love entertaining, though. I love being a host. It’s so conflicting.
Have you ever had any disasters in the kitchen?
JONATHAN: I made a chili one time that I left on a little too long. Chili’s not supposed to have a crust, I’ll just say that.
Do you think you could survive a zombie apocalypse?
JONATHAN: Absolutely! I think I’ve watched enough zombie movies, and when me and my friends sit around and talk these are some of the questions, “All right, dude, you’ve got a paper clip and a piece of string, what do you do?” So I think we’ve been through about every scenario that could possibly happen.
Are you interested in any other aspects of the entertainment industry?
JONATHAN: Absolutely! I’m a screenwriter. I’ve been writing for years. In college, I studied directing and playwriting. I was in the Acting Conservatory for a couple of years and I transferred out into directing and playwriting. I’ve written screenplays and TV shows, and currently trying to produce one of the films that I wrote that I’ll be directing as well. It’s kind of a dark thriller. You’ve got to make them laugh and you’ve got to make them scared!
What’s your favorite part about filming the show?
JONATHAN: The live audience. You can’t describe it. We get to make people laugh for a living. When you’re there on the set and you have 300 people who are completely invested in the show with you, and when you do something funny they laugh, and when it’s dramatic you can hear a pin drop. You just feel like you’re all on a ride together. It’s really cool.
To see if Josh gets his fairytale wedding or if there are few hiccups on the way, be sure to tune in for the summer finale of YOUNG & HUNGRY on Wednesday, August 27th at 8:00 p.m. on ABC Family Channel.