Paul Reiser jokes that his audiences come in three age groups: Older ones are fans of “Mad About You,” slightly younger ones know him from “The Kominsky Method” and the youngest from “The Boys” and “Stranger Things.” Reiser’s latest sitcom, “Reboot,” bowed Sept. 20 on Hulu.
• How did “Reboot” come about?
It came about because [showrunner] Steve Levitan is very smart and funny. He came up with this show, and they invited me to join, and they sent me the script. I thought it was great. For me, it was really sort of a bonus because it’s a world I am so familiar with — half-hour television, but from another angle.
• Like “The Kominsky Method,” this show deals with behind-the-scenes moments in the TV industry. What is it that makes the topic so popular?
One of the concerns that I know Steve Levitan had is, is it too inside; are people going to get it? I don’t think it’s a problem because, first of all, everybody’s inside — every show is “We’ll take you behind the scenes.” That to me is too much. I’m like, “Can I just be in front of the scenes?” I don’t want too much: Don’t show me everything; don’t show me the magic. Don’t show me how you made that stunt. Let me just enjoy that stunt. Everybody knows show business; even people a thousand miles away from Hollywood know about rehearsals and cameras and reviews and executives, and the reality is it’s not that different than most jobs. There’s a boss; there’s an executive; there’s the grind. But having said that, there are a couple of things that are so specific you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you’ve been in that world.
• Why did you do the “Mad About You” reboot as a limited series?
The only reason Helen [Hunt] and I felt it would be fun to do was that we’re not going to try and pretend we’re 30 years old. We ain’t those people. But as real as the show was when it started — it’s about a new marriage — well, what would they be like now? They’re older; they don’t hear as well; they walk slower; their kids turned out to be a handful; the kids are now leaving.
• Tell us about the movie “The Problem With People.”
It takes place in Ireland, only because I wanted to go to Ireland. I’d been to Ireland 30 years ago and just loved it and always wanted to make a movie there in that beautiful countryside. But no one ever came up with one, so I wrote it. It was really great fun. It has Colm Meaney, who is a great actor, and we played two cousins who’ve never met — never heard of each other. We come from descendants [where] three generations ago there was a feud of two brothers. The American side doesn’t talk to the Irish side, and [Meaney’s character] has decided let’s just bury the hatchet, let’s just get along. So I go to Ireland to make peace, and it doesn’t go well. … It will be released in the spring. It’s still being edited.
•How do you find the time to do all these projects?
I’m getting to work with really creative people. You know Steve Levitan — well, that’s easy; Chuck Lorre [“The Kominsky Method”], sure; the Duffer brothers [“Stranger Things”], OK; and “The Boys,” which was a surprise, because “The Boys” is a show that I would never have watched in a million years. In fact, my young son, when I told him, I asked him, “What’s this show? Have you heard of it?” and he said, “It’s great and you’ll hate it.” When I watched it, I didn’t hate it. It took me a while to get what they were doing, but to go and play in that little sandbox was a lot of fun.