Co-creator Josh Gad insists they never intended to make a political show, but politics are 'always an underlying element in the comedy.'
Despite revolving around the live of the First Family, "1600 Penn" is not a political show, so Josh Gad states. The co-creator, who also takes the role of the president's son on the upcoming NBC series, stresses, "It's absolutely, absolutely not a political show, and I can't emphasize that enough."
Explaining what the show is really about, he claims, "We never set out to make a political show... We wanted to make a show about a family that happens to live in a world where they are surrounded by politics." He adds, "We never wanted to do a goofball comedy about the White House."
"We wanted to make a comedy that happened to take place in the White House. In order to achieve those goals, you really need a believable president and a believable first lady. I don't think we could have found better options."
"This idea of trying to comment on the politics of the time, that's not really something that comes into the equation," Gad further insists, but admits, "It's always an underlying element in the comedy."
Supporting Gad's statement, Jenna Elfman who plays the First Lady chimes in, "It's irrelevant what the politics are because the stories are all family-related." She, however, says that "there will be a drop of a political thing, which is only there to then spark the family story."
Taking the lead role of the President, Bill Pullman also weighs in on the issue. "We're so much in the White House, and it's a domestic story," he says, "so we don't really get to show a lot about Washington, D.C."
Since the show doesn't intend to depict real-life First Family in the U.S., Elfman says she doesn't try to copy current First Lady Michelle Obama for her character. "She's living a real life and we're in a comedy," she explains.
Gad also says it would be irrelevant to portray President Obama's family on his show, gushing, "The Obama family is almost superhuman in that they really are a perfect family. They don't have many flaws and that doesn't lend itself to comedy."
NBC will air the "1600 Penn" pilot on Monday, December 17 at 9:30 P.M. before the show debuts in its regular slot on Thursday, January 10 at 9:30 P.M. ET. It centers on the Gilchrists, an average American family dealing with all the everyday issues, like a grown kid who's forced to move back home, teenagers who are smarter than their teachers and a stepmom desperately trying to win over the kids, except that they live in a very special house: The White House.