Anyone who follows the Twitter feed of the NBC comedy Superstore probably caught a clip of Colton Dunn’s character Garrett documenting some of the most telling quotes made by the character Jonah, played by Ben Feldman. Starting with a scene from last week’s episode where Jonah said his objection to working at the store’s gun counter did not mean he was necessarily against weapons since he fenced in college, the compilation demonstrates Jonah’s academic background through his obscure references. He also talks about lunching with a host from NPR, making trail mix, preparing a literary journal and attending a renaissance fair.
— Superstore (@NBCSuperstore) October 7, 2016
In a new blog post for Entertainment Weekly, Feldman takes on the voice of Jonah by offering up a history lesson about birth control and weaponry. The post was ostensibly a recap of the episode “Guns, Pills and Birds,” where the staff deal with a murder of crows while Jonah sparks an NRA protest and the store manager, Mark McKinney’s Glenn, attempts to overcome his own moral objections to the store’s stocking of the morning-after pill. Feldman described how global history came to coalesce with the episode — specifically the creation of the first firearm in the 13th century and early options for family planning. EW did not print a fact-check of those elements, but Feldman tied them into the television plot line.
“The interconnectedness of these monumental events in the timeline of humanity is impossible to ignore.”
While Feldman seems to poke fun at his own character and some of his costars — joking that Australian Josh Lawson, who plays the pharmacist on Superstore, came to the U.S. to steal American jobs, and saying the character of Amy is played by “a brunette actress,” referring to America Ferrera — in his EW post, he’s a bit more amiable in a recent interview in Observer. He had high praise for his co-workers, who will be on-hand for a full season of 22 episodes over 2016-2017.
“The cast is a really, insanely cool group of people. I just get to go to work and be surrounded by at least seven people who are way funnier than I am every single day, so it’s like a dream job.”
— Ben Feldman (@WhosBenFeldman) October 7, 2016
Despite the ease with which he plays Jonah, Feldman revealed he’s never worked retail apart from a stint at Baskin-Robbins at age 14. Jonah, along with Amy, have in large part spearheaded the employee revolt at Cloud 9 over Seasons 1 and 2, leading to a kind of escalating chemistry between the two characters. Feldman told Yahoo that the new season sees a shift for the duo.
“There will be a lot more interesting combinations. I think mine and America’s character Amy, their dynamic changes a little bit.”
But focusing too much on Ferrera and Feldman’s character ignores what makes the show so strong, according to Ben. Superstore is a workplace comedy in the vein of such shows as The Office but also comedies with several stars, such as Cheers, with a number of important characters. That takes the pressure off any one actor or character to lead the show, an element that Feldman appreciates.
“I like ensemble shows. I wanted to be on the kind of show where I could go away for an episode and some other random character could be the only one featured, and the show would be just as watchable and fun.”
Superstore airs Thursday nights on NBC.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]