Michael J. Fox is back on NBC this fall with the comedy “The Michael J. Fox Show,” and he said his recent guest spots across the dial helped him realize he could go back to work full time, despite his battle with Parkinson’s.
“The guest [spots] were great and it really brought me to a place of, ‘This is what I do, this is why I was built and [what I was] programmed to do,’ and so I wanted to do it,” Michael said during NBC’s portion of the Television Critics Association Summer Tour, of returning to full time work after taking a hiatus following his departure from “Spin City” at the end of the show’s fourth season. (He’s since done guest spots on “Boston Legal,” “Rescue Me” and “The Good Wife.”)
“It’s what I love to do and it’s what I enjoyed throughout my life and I just thought, ‘Why can’t I?’” the actor continued of leaving the guest spots behind for a starring role in this new comedy. “There’s no reasons not to do it.”
In the show, Michael plays Mike Henry, a man who suffers from Parkinson’s, and who after five years at home with his family, decides to return to NBC New York, where he is a beloved newsman. The show has comedic bites that spring from Michael’s own experiences.
“[We sat down together] early on and I said, ‘Here’s the kind of stuff I deal with on a day to day basis,’ and that’s my wife. She would say, ‘Ok, enough. Let’s eat.’ And so, it just happened. It just evolved that way,” he said.
When one reporter asked how the show will handle making the comedy funny, and not cross into the territory of making jokes about the medical condition that just shock, Michael explained how he looks at his disease.
“[With] Parkinson’s itself, there’s nothing horrifying about it for me,” he said. “It is what I deal with, it is my reality, my life, but it’s not horrible. I don’t think it’s gothic nastiness. There’s nothing on the surface horrible about someone with a shaky hand and there’s nothing horrible about someone in their life saying, ‘God, I’m really tired of that shaky hand thing,’ and me saying, ‘Me too.’ That’s our reality. We have no control.”
“The Michael J. Fox Show” kicks off with a one-hour premiere starting at 9/8c on Thursday, September 26 on NBC.
-- Jolie Lash