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February 12, 2018

There's a twisted episode Danny DeVito refused to shoot for 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'

Television Comedy
Danny DeVito Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Danny DeVito at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International.

Is there a fictional television character more loathsome and yet lovable than Frank Reynolds? He has competition (Rick Sanchez, Frank Gallagher, Bojack Horseman, Walter White, etc.) but no one else makes it look so effortless. 

The filthy rich Paddy's Pub owner has gotten on board with a "hobovertising" campaign, opened up a foreign sweatshop, promoted his employees for stealing his own money, frequently paid for the services of prostitutes and taken every mind-altering substance under the sun.

What won't he do? 

When fans of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" finally got to see the world through his eyes, the episode "Being Frank" revealed a consciousness that might not even equal a dog's.

Frank's motto in life is literally this: "I don't know how many years on this Earth I got left. I'm going to get really weird with it."

And yet, there is a line Frank Reynolds won't cross.

In a recent Reddit AMA, "It's Always Sunny" co-creator Glenn Howerton — who also may be a goner from the show — answered questions from fans alongside Patton Oswalt, his co-star in the new NBC sitcom "AP Bio."

"Has Danny DeVito ever refused to do anything that you asked of him?" one fan asked.

This is a great question. You would think the answer has to be no, considering that DeVito almost drowned once for the sake of a scene for the series. Never underestimate the depths of this show's depravity.

Here's Howerton's response:

We sent him a script once for April fools day where we basically just took a spec script that somebody sent us, and just took out Danny's storyline and put in a different storyline where he ends up going to jail.

First thing that happens is he goes to jail and gets raped. Then he joins the white supremacists to protect him, and they do at first and then they rape him. Then he goes to the prison guards and asks for help, and they rape him. And we sent him the script for April Fools Day and made it look all legit. And that was the first time he called us and was like, "I can't do this guys."

This is perhaps the most blatantly offensive television premise anyone has ever constructed, including the "It's Always Sunny" episode in which Frank pretends to have AIDS in order to gain an advantage in public settings.

In a way, this was really the cast of "It's Always Sunny" looking out for Danny DeVito to be sure Frank Reynolds hadn't gotten to his head and wiped out his conscience.

Filming for season 13 of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is expected to begin this spring, with or without Howerton. Nobody will be upset when this episode doesn't make the cut.