“Mad Men’s” James Wolk stars alongside Robin Williams in CBS’ new comedy, “The Crazy Ones,” and the show premiered on Thursday night to huge ratings — 15.6 million.
The pilot episode featured “American Idol” alum Kelly Clarkson in a guest starring role, where she showed off her sexy side, singing a suggestive jingle for McDonald’s, alongside James’ character, Zach.
James admitted that Kelly was nervous about doing one of the saucier scenes (the one in the studio), but found a fun way to break through her nerves.
“We just were laughing as you saw in that scene. Laughter is the best medicine. Everyone’s cracking up together and having a good time,” James told reporters at the CBS portion of the Television Critics Association Summer Tour in Beverly Hills. “So it was really fun.”
In that studio scene, where Kelly laid down the meat/motion song, the singer got very close to James’ Zach. Asked by one reporter what it was like having Kelly Clarkson “grinding” on him, James said there was an off screen element that made it funnier.
“I’ll tell you, it’s good, but what makes it even better is her fiance and my girlfriend were sitting in the room watching,” he said.
The actor had high praise for the superstar singer’s appearance.
“She was incredible,” he said. “She was saying, ‘I’m nervous.’ She’s very open about that because she’s acting opposite Robin Williams, and me of course (laughs), but she was amazing, and was incredible to work with.”
James also praised the way Kelly was able to land the laughs.
“She has great comedic timing and you can’t teach that,” she said.
The actor, who also stars in “Mad Men,” another advertising drama, said he’d be up for having Kelly back on the show.
“If it was up to me of course, I’d love to have her back,” he said.
On “The Crazy Ones,” James’ Zach character works for Simon Roberts’ (Robin Williams) advertising agency, using all of his skills, including his looks and powers with the ladies, to help with business.
“I think he’s in love with being in love,” James explained. “Zach, he loves, as we’ll see… I think he loves himself a little bit and he certainly loves women. I think in life you’re never really like applauded to be that kind of a guy so it’s kind of funny to find the heart in that guy in the show, which we’ll do.”
“The Crazy Ones” airs Thursdays at 9/8c on CBS.
-- Jolie Lash