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HBO's "The Other Two" Is Back

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

"The Other Two" is now in Season 2, the series on HBO Max that follows the two older siblings of a younger brother, Chase, who becomes a teenage sensation. But where does that leave them? The series stars Drew Tarver, Heléne Yorke and Case Walker. And Pat Dubek, the mother of this family who all strive mightily for instant stardom, is played by Molly Shannon. Pat gets her own talk show.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE OTHER TWO")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Sheila) And that's when we found out my husband had cancer.

MOLLY SHANNON: (As Pat Dubek) Oh, no.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Sheila) We all knew we were going to lose him.

SHANNON: (As Pat Dubek) Of course.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Sheila) But then the cancer went away.

SHANNON: (As Pat Dubek) Oh, good.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Sheila) But then he got into a car accident.

SHANNON: (As Pat Dubek) Oh, no.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Sheila) He was fine. Only the bumper was damaged.

SHANNON: (As Pat Dubek) That's good.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Sheila) But then last year, the cancer came back. And he died.

SHANNON: (As Pat Dubek) I'm so sorry to hear that, Sheila (ph). And in the future, that car part can just lift right out.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Sheila) I can see that.

SHANNON: (As Pat Dubek) OK...

SIMON: And Molly Shannon, who was on "Saturday Night Live", of course, joins us from New York. Thank you so much for being with us.

SHANNON: Thank you, Scott. It's so nice to be with you guys.

SIMON: How do Pat's children feel about being, in many ways, still the source of some of her best material on the show? I mean, it gets their name out there, but...

SHANNON: Yeah, they're not so crazy that I'm always talking about them on the show. But they do understand.

SIMON: Not to give too much away, but at the beginning of Season 2, Chase, the teenage sensation, says he wants a normal life and - so he can do some reading - and goes to college. That doesn't last long, does it?

SHANNON: (Laughter) No, he - right. It doesn't last too long. He's way too famous. And so people are, like, filming him in class, and he's just like, oh, my God. And, you know, he misses - just misses the limelight and wants to sing again. So he just does it for a little while.

SIMON: How do you make the mother-daughter, mother-son relationship palpable in this series?

SHANNON: You know, it's a comedy show, but really at the center is her love of her family. That's always at the center. So that comes before everything - her family, wanting to keep them together. As much as she's, like, living her year of yes and taking, you know, kind of center stage, hosting her own talk show, she really just kind of misses her kids and misses her family and wants that kind of closeness again. So I guess I just try to play the love, the truth like, you know, her heart. So even when I'm doing comedy, I think about love, you know?

SIMON: The nicest part in some ways is Pat's feeling for her fans. She seems determined not to be like someone else she saw.

SHANNON: Yes. When Pat goes to the "Rachael Ray" show before she has her own talk show, years before, she's like, oh, such a fan of Rachel Ray. And then she's like disappointed that she just get straight into her car and doesn't talk to her fans. And then you cut to Pat later, and you see that she's brought out by her daughter, who's her, you know, manager, to say hi to her fans. And Pat feels like she's one of them. She doesn't feel any different, so she wants to spend time with them. And I think her fans really relate to her feeling like she is just like them. So I think that's why they like her and they feel a connection to her and they want to hug her and they want to tell her their life story.

And I relate to that. When I did Broadway, I used to always, between shows, go talk to all the fans. And I remember Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes had been doing the show much longer than me. And they were like, you know, be careful. You can - if it takes too long, you're not even going to have a break to go eat a cup of soup between the matinee and the evening show. So I did kind of learn, like, you just can't do that 'cause it's exhausting.

SIMON: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

ANA GASTEYER: (As Margaret Jo McCollen) Hello. I'm Margaret Jo McCollen.

SHANNON: (As Terri Rialto) And I'm Terri Rialto.

GASTEYER: And you're listening to...

MOLLY SHANNON AND ANA GASTEYER: The Delicious Dish on National Public Radio.

SIMON: I've been trying to find, you know, new episodes of "Delicious Dish" and can't find them. Is the show out a production? What happened?

SHANNON: That's so funny. Ana Gasteyer and I had so much fun performing "Delicious Dish" for all those years on "Saturday Night Live", but we haven't done those characters for so long.

SIMON: I know. I'm kidding. All right.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

SHANNON: (As Terri Rialto) Now, did I pronounce your name correctly?

ALEC BALDWIN: (As Pete Schweddy) You sure did - Pete Schweddy.

SIMON: Do you do you ever run into people who think it is for real? I mean, let's put it this way. In the public radio, the greater public radio community, I have run into people that think it's an actual public radio show.

SHANNON: Is that right? Oh, my gosh. That's...

SIMON: Well, it's been a while, but yeah. Absolutely.

SHANNON: Yeah. Oh, my gosh.

SIMON: And, you know, they actually have asked me so like, do they really talk about Schweddy balls and stuff?

SHANNON: Oh, my gosh.

SIMON: And you don't want to be the one to tell them that's a joke, you know? Yeah. Yeah. That's...

SHANNON: Yeah. Exactly.

SIMON: That's a joke. Molly Shannon returns in "The Other Two" on HBO Max. Of course, you can also find her on "The White Lotus." Thank you so much for being with us.

SHANNON: Oh, my God. Thank you so much, Scott. So nice to chat with you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.