‘The Good Place’: 1 Of the Show’s Writers Ended Up Playing a Hilarious Demon
NBC’s hit philosophical comedy The Good Place may have come to an end, but it left behind a dedicated group of fans that are eager to rewatch the infinitely quotable show. The series has an impressive cast of established actors and relative newcomers that had amazing chemistry together. With longtime stars like Ted Danson and Kristen Bell working alongside rising talent like D’Arcy Carden and Manny Jacinto, the series found a winning combination.
One character, however, wound up in his role almost entirely by accident. When a casting snafu left a spot in need of filling, writer Josh Siegal moved from behind the scenes to in front of the cameras with hilarious results.
‘The Good Place’ had writers from many walks of life
While The Good Place is definitely a comedy that packs in a ton of hilarious scenes, it also took its philosophical mission seriously. The series hired actual scholarly philosophers to help with the writing to accurately and thoroughly present the concepts.
This unique blend of comedy writers with scholarly consultations brought a very unusual flavor to the series. It also afforded many leeways because creator Michael Schur had already proven himself to be such a success with works like The Office and Parks and Recreation.
Writers like Andrew Law, who wrote for Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Cord Jefferson, who worked on Master of None, each brought something to the table. The result was a punchy series of one-liners that managed to weave seamlessly around a weighty plot.
Writer Josh Siegal took on an acting role for ‘The Good Place’
One writer got a bit more than he bargained for during his time with The Good Place. Josh Siegal had previously written for comedies like Monk and 30 Rock. He ended up being the writer for four episodes of The Good Place, but that’s not the task fans will most recognize. They’re much more likely to know him as Glenn, a demon who ends up being quite integral to the show’s plot.
Siegal was not supposed to play the role. BuzzFeed reports that the show already had an actor lined up from Canada, but a visa issue kept him from the set. Siegal stepped in to play the seemingly minor role, but Glenn ended up playing a substantial part with many lines in a few episodes as the series went on.
Glenn tells the “Soul Squad,” as the humans are called, about the plot to sabotage their efforts. While he was wrong about the details by falsely accusing Michael of being an imposter, he was right about the effort and was seen as a sign that the changes the humans experienced might be more broadly applied.
Josh Siegal had no acting experience before or after
When Josh Siegal stepped into this part, he was definitely stepping outside of his comfort zone. A quick look at his IMDb profile shows plenty of writing credits, but the only acting credit other than his time as Glenn was a small voice role in 1996.
He did end up playing the part of Glenn in a total of 14 episodes that spanned from 2016 all the way to the show’s conclusion in 2020. Getting in front of the cameras for The Good Place was an unfamiliar experience for Siegal, and it’s not one he’s been repeating in the years since.