The Mick: The Origins of Kaitlin Olson’s Stunts

The Mick creators on "Dump Children," the Colonel, and Kaitlin Olson's YouTube inspired stunts.

The Mick always knows how to take a tiny inconvenience and make it balloon into a giant epidemic. “The Dump” is one of the better examples of a situation slowly getting out of control. Mickey and Alba accidentally “kidnap” a dump child on Ben’s field trip and before they know it they’re making ransom demands from the child’s parents. 

“The Dump” highlights the strong, enabling bond that Mickey and Alba share and how they’re truly terrible influences on one another. On that note, Sabrina and Chip also bring out the worst in each other in this episode when they both begin to take advantage of the Colonel and his veteran status. This is an episode all about manipulation and extortion and The Mick makes it all hilarious with a dark edge to it all. The series’ creators and the episode’s writer break all of that down here… 

The Mick Season 2 Episode 13 – “The Dump”

Written by Laura Chinn; Directed by Matt Sohn

DEN OF GEEK: This episode finally does something with the Colonel, which is super exciting, and he’s getting exploited, no less! Were you happy to have some new story directions at your disposal once he moved in?

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JOHN CHERNIN: Yeah, sure. I think what was always funny to us is that the Colonel would continually get left behind with them. But we never really thought about it beyond that.

DAVE CHERNIN: So at a certain point we figured that we have this character holed away in the house so we might as well do something with them. Chip and Sabrina’s mindset is to obviously take advantage of him, but what was funny to us was to make him a nuisance for the both of them and then have them realize that he’s kind of like a “key to the city.”

Is it safe to assume that he deeply resents Chip and Sabrina for how they treat him here, or do you think that he’s having fun and enjoying it on some level?

JOHN CHERNIN: I don’t think that the Colonel even knows what year it is. 

DAVE CHERNIN: I like to think that the Colonel’s a good guy underneath everything.

DEN OF GEEK: Mickey as a chaperone for a bus full of children is so, so good. It’s hard to believe that the combination of her and a bunch of little children hasn’t been done before. 

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DAVE CHERNIN: I think it’s one of those stories where we were constantly reminding ourselves that this is the kind of thing that we need to be doing. The episode comes from this very grounded place of Mickey chaperoning a field trip and then it gets so insane. This was an idea that we had early in the season and everyone always got really excited over it. So that slowly evolved into Mickey inadvertently kidnapping a child. These are the sorts of stories that we should be telling as far as I’m concerned.

DEN OF GEEK: Mickey mentions that she spent a summer working in a dump. Can you elaborate on that chapter from her life a little bit?

DAVE CHERNIN: Mickey’s past is obviously not glamorous so that’s how that aside came about.

DEN OF GEEK: There’s more great physical comedy in this one for Kaitlin Olson. How much fun is it to find new bits for her to do?

JOHN CHERNIN: So many of the stunts start from a YouTube video or a cartoon. One of the rules that we’ve had on the show since day one is that Kaitlin’s character is basically Wile E. Coyote. She can withstand any amount of pain and the rules of reality don’t always apply to her. We’re always just looking for something cartoonish or visually funny because she’s such a good physical comedian. Kaitlin’s stunt double, Kim, is also incredible and so in tune with her moves. 

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DAVE CHERNIN: Yeah, we actually just shot an episode last week where Mickey gets hit by a car—yet again—and it’s always fun to give Kim stuff to do. 

JOHN CHERNIN: Kim is arguably the second most important person on this show behind Kaitlin Olson!

DEN OF GEEK: We need to talk a little bit about Alba and Mickey’s ransom voices because they’re both things of beauty. Did they change at all?

JOHN CHERNIN: They started out far more offensive and then we dialed them back. The original version of Kaitlin’s rant–people showed up to that table read who hadn’t been there for WEEKS because they were so anxious to see how she was going to do it. I think it was always a fun joke to us that made us laugh in the writers’ room.

DAVE CHERNIN: Scenes like that can work though because they work off of ignorance. That’s what’s funny there, not the voice. Mickey just can understand the subtleties of what Alba does. It’s a fine line to thread. We were constantly pulling things back a little and the network was definitely nervous there. We got it to a place that seems to work.

JOHN CHERNIN: Carla gets a lot of good material, but episodes like this where she gets to be a big part of the episode are just so much fun. Sometimes she’ll just have a few lines and that’s it. It’s such a treat when you can have her doing incredible things in every single scene and you understand how good of an actress Carla is. 

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DAVE CHERNIN: One of the frustrating things about our show is that you do an episode like this and you’re like, “Why don’t we always pair Mickey and Alba together?” But it’s just everyone in the cast does such a good job. It’s just figuring out the right opportunity for which character to shine.

DEN OF GEEK: Also, on the topic of Alba, are we to assume that at the end of the episode she kills that dog in order to survive?

JOHN CHERNIN: I don’t know if she killed it or not, but she definitely neutralized the threat.

DAVE CHERNIN: We’ve actually never really discussed this! My belief is that yes, she killed the dog! That was actually a pitch from the episode’s director, Matt Sohn, who’s a soft-spoken, nice guy. So when he pitches the idea of Alba killing a pit bull with her bare hands, it was a surprise, but we listened.

Our walkthrough of The Mick’s second season will continue on February 6th.