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TCA: ‘The Millers’ Panel Talks Fart Jokes, Seniors With STDs

Things take a bawdy turn during discussion of upcoming Will Arnett sitcom

The panel for Greg Garcia's upcoming CBS comedy "The Millers" at the Television Critics Association on Monday took a bawdy turn, with executive producer Greg Garcia and stars Will Arnett, Beau Bridges, Margo Martindale and J.B. Smoove weighing in on everything from the effective use of fart jokes to increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases among senior citizens.

Asked if the pilot episode of the series — which stars Arnett as a newly divorced reporter, and Martindale and Bridges as his parents, who've just split up — might push the boundary with flatulence jokes, Garcia was unapologetic.

"I've watched (the pilot) with people, people laugh at these things," he said. "I think in the next eight or nine scripts that we have there isn't a fart joke that's appeared yet. I'm not saying there won't be one, because fart jokes are funny."

Garcia cited a notorious scene in Mel Brooks' western spoof "Blazing Saddles" as an example.

"I started to think about this a little bit because I was lucky enough to go to the Mel Brooks Lifetime Achievement event. I'm sitting by Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese and Morgan Freeman — just all kinds of people — and they put up the 'Blazing Saddles' farting scene on the screen, and everyone is dying laughing.

"So farts are funny; they're just funny," Garcia continued." We're not going to do them every week, but there's really no arguing that fart and s— jokes are funny they have their place in TV once in a while."

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The breaking of wind isn't the only bodily function that the show will mine for laughs. Asked about one upcoming plot revolving around auto-eroticism in the shower, Bridges opined that there's more in that general area to come.

"I think this is just the tip of the iceberg," Bridges said. "I think these people, they're going to be dealing with a lot."

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Such as?

"We were just talking the other day. Have you guys heard about this wave of sexually transmitted diseases among older people? It's growing rampant, even in the care facilities, because people are losing their mate to death or they decide to go a different way (and) they're not used to safe-sex practices," Bridges said. "So what's happening is, their grown children are having to have conversations with them about contraception and such."

Garcia, Bridges opined, is "a twisted man, and he will probably [find a way to work that into the show]."