Attention, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans: You've seen Fat Mac. Now get ready for Ripped Mac. At the panel for the show's 13th season at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Rob McElhenney unveiled his character's new, extremely muscular body in a clip from an upcoming episode.
So why did McElhenney take his abs to Chris Hemsworth level? For a joke, of course. McElhenney told the audience of reporters that the decision came out of his personal bafflement at the state of the male form in pop culture these days. "I don't understand why guys that are playing teachers and engineers and food delivery guys all of a sudden they take their shirt off and they're just fucking ripped," he said. "I thought, man, there's something really funny with playing with vanity of that."
He worked for six months for what is ultimately a quick gag. "I just thought it would be funny if an actor put that much time and effort and energy into looking a certain way and then the first episode taking my shirt off and none of the characters are impressed," he said. "They tell me to put it back on." He explained doesn't take it off again until the scene we saw: an intensely dramatic shirtless dance number.
When asked what she thought about the significant changes to McElhenney's physique, his co-star and spouse Kaitlin Olson said: "I love Rob's body." She quickly added, "I liked Fat Mac, too, though."