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‘Last Man on Earth’s’ Will Forte Reveals Why That ‘Dumb-Looking’ Beard Is Back for Season 2

TheWrap pushes Fox’s Phil Miller to pick a best friend from his small screen sports balls

“Last Man on Earth” is back — and so is Phil Miller’s horrific beard, which in real life is Will Forte‘s horrific beard.

“It seemed like a fun thing to do [to mark] passage of time,” he said on growing the bird’s nest back out. The Season 2 premiere episode is set six months from when we last touched base with Phil (Forte) and Carol (Kristen Schaal), who were hightailing it out of Tucson.

“The character of Phil was set up with the beard,” Forte continued. “Once Phil shaved the beard off, he kind of became a different person. He’s returning to his — he’s kind of normalized a bit this season, trying to do the right thing. And I think this is a way to align Phil with the earliest times that we saw him, where he was this lost, bumbling soul.”

Also, Forte just likes how “dumb-looking” the beard is. And the comedy that “Last Man” mines from the lack of grooming is going to have a big payoff this season, he said

“We have a really fun idea for down the line that involves the beard, so unfortunately, I think I’m stuck with it for a while,” the series star, writer, and executive producer told us.

“But it’s worth it — Oh my God!” Forte teased. “This’ll be something somewhere around Episode 13 or 14. I’m excited.”

If you think that setup is cryptic, then clearly you are not very familiar with the highly secretive “Last Man on Earth.” The 30-minute comedy keeps more spoilers per episode than your average hourlong drama.

Last season, Forte’s Miller believed himself to truly be the last man on Earth, though that claim didn’t hold for very long in the TV world. Still, the media, which gets to see episodes in advance, has been generally mum about potentially ruining plot points. Fox’s marketing department has agreeably worked around ruining any reveals, as well. This pleases Forte.

“I gotta give ‘A’s’ to both Fox and the press on this,” he said when asked to grade the maintained secrecy. “It’s been a very pleasant experience, and I get real nervous about that stuff.”

Of course, before additional humans were discovered, Forte’s friends were mainly sports balls. With many too choose from, Forte isn’t picking favorites — hard as we might have pushed.

“I love Gary (volleyball) because he was there from the beginning, so I’ll always love him,” the ex-“SNL” funnyman said. “But yeah, I think I’ve really strengthened my relationship with Diego (shuttlecock) and Anton (golf ball) and Bryce (soccer ball) … we’re all buds.”

“The Last Man on Earth” returns for its Season 2 premiere Sunday at 9:30 p.m. ET on Fox.