Will and Grace, Will & Grace


Will & Grace came back to life and didn't miss a beat, especially with topical jokes. Within just days of current events making headlines, like the allegations of sexual harassment, assault leveled at Harvey Weinstein, the NBC comedy included jokes in reference to them. How is Will & Grace doing this? It's not predicting news with a crystal ball.

In the Thursday, Oct. 19 episode, "Grandpa Jack," Megan Mullally's Karen chucked a paper towel roll at Tony, played by Anthony Ramos, after harassing him.

"Heads up, Puerto Rico! Have a good time," Karen said and threw a roll of paper towels at him, just like Donald Trump did in Puerto Rico. An embarrassed Grace (Debra Messing) said, "Every time she does it I make her send a grand to hurricane relief."

Trump threw paper towels in Puerto Rico on October 3.Shooting took place on September 20. The paper towel scene was added in later, obviously, after Trump's action made headlines.

"The key is to have an actor who has a scheduling conflict so we are forced to shoot the scenes really close to when we have to air it," David Kohan, Will & Grace co-creator, told E! News in a statement. "We do a lot of re-writing on the fly anyway and if we know that we're shooting an episode very close to air time, we take advantage of the opportunity to put in some kind of topical reference."

Will and Grace, Will & Grace


In "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying," the Thursday, Oct. 26 episode, Beverly Leslie (Leslie Jordan) came out as gay to Karen. In response to the (not so) shocking news, Karen said, "That's it? What's your next bombshell? Harvey Weinstein isn't always a perfect gentleman?" This episode was shot weeks ago—Jordan's return and the casting of Max Greenfield was announced in late September. Weinstein news broke October 5 and the episode shot on October 11. Chalk the timeliness up to, well, perfect timing with the news already being out there and the episode taping so close to broadcast.

"In addition to being Will & Grace junkies, we are also news junkies and since we are no longer able to watch other scripted shows without thinking of the one we work on, we watch the news. That goes for pretty much all the writers and the actors on the show. As a result, it's always on the tips of our tongues and backs of our brains as something to talk and write about," co-creator Max Mutchnick told E! News. "Therefore our topical humor has to have a shelf life of at least two months so it plays on the night it airs."

Messing previously told E! News they wanted to come back with the same wit. "We said if we're going to come back, we want it to be quintessential Will & Grace," Messing previously told E! News about tackling issues. "We don't want to hold back from anything, and that's what we're doing."

Will & Grace airs Thursdays, 9 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.