Fans of the comedy shows “Fernwood 2 Night,” “Forever Fernwood” and “America2-Night,” get ready. Martin Mull and Fred Willard, who kept audiences laughing with those classic nighttime talk show parodies, are in meetings about launching a new chat fest for public TV. “Fred has agreed and I’ve agreed. That would be in January,” reveals Mull. He also lets us know, “I haven’t talked about this before.”
It’s so new, in fact, the two funny guys haven’t even decided whether they would do the Cleveland-based show as themselves or their Fernwood characters, Barth Gimble and Jerry Hubbard. “It would be a ball,” says Mull. “We’ll see if we get a groundswell of support.”
Mull certainly has a full plate even without the proposed Fernwood redux. He’ll materialize Saturday (10/22) as the title specter on the Hallmark Channel’s “Oliver’s Ghost,” with Rhea Perlman.
“I was telling Teri Garr, first I played her young boyfriend, then her husband, and then she and I were grandparents. What comes after grandparents? Dead. So it’s age-appropriate,” notesMull.
His character is “a fellow whose unresolved issues with his daughter cause him to haunt this house. Then he encounters this 11-year-old boy, and, there’s an idea there — it’s kind of about recognizing someone, with the metaphor of a ghost.” He adds, “It’s my second movie for Hallmark and it was fun, a breeze. You know going in, you’re not going to be doing Ibsen, but it’s nice to do something on television that’s not the Real Housewives of Somewhere. It’s a movie. It’s a good little film.”
MEANWHILE: Mull is also continuing his role as Russell the pharmacist on “Two and a Half Men.” At least, “They haven’t mentioned anything about my not coming back” — as the Ashton Kutcher, post-Charlie Sheen era continues along. “I think they’re still kind of testing the water as to where I fit in….Chuck Lorre and I go way back, to ‘Roseanne,'”Mull reminds. “He’s a very good friend, and it’s such a fun show to work on. I’m also a fan of Ashton’s. We did a movie called ‘Killers’ that came out a couple of years ago and I got to know him and admire him. He’s a terrific actor.” Still, he adds, “I think the bottom line of anything on television is the writing. It’s the writers’ medium.”