‘Corporate’s Matt Ingebretson on Guest Stars & More in the Final Season
One of Comedy Central’s top rated shows, the workplace satire Corporate is returning with its third and final season on July 22.
After a hilarious two seasons, the employees of the fictional evil corporation Hampton DeVille have six more episodes to show us the crippling nature of office work that humans know and love. And with COVID-19 keeping most people remote and out of the office, Corporate lets us safely go back in.
Here, co-writer, executive producer, and star Matt Ingebretson discusses the emotions that come with creating the final season, some guest stars to expect (like Bob Odenkirk and William Fichtner), and some of the show’s dark yet funny elements that make viewers think as much as laugh.
Where is your head at in regards to saying goodbye to Corporate with the final season?
Matt Ingebretson: I guess it’s always bittersweet, but to be honest we are just happy to have gotten to make this show. Most shows last too long anyway and the creators get bored with it around Season 3 or 4, and you can always see it dip. In many ways, it’s just a blessing. It’s a very challenging show to make, and we love doing it. The thing I’ll miss is getting to work with these people because we will probably never be able to assemble the exact same cast and characters again. But I appreciate that we got to end it on our own terms and go out at a high point versus dragging us all through the mud for another eight seasons.
I did notice it is a shorter season this time with six episodes. Was that due to COVID-19 restraints?
No, that was just what they ordered from us. That has more to do with the mechanisms of Comedy Central. To be honest, I really don’t know what went into that decision. We did luck out, though, with the timing of COVID, because we had finished shooting the entire season and had just started post-production when the pandemic took hold. I have a lot of friends who kind of got screwed and had to stop production partway through and are now sitting on half-edited episodes.
Talk to me a bit about the overall plot and trying to make a good season in just six episodes.
In some ways, we went into this season really considering that it was our last season, and in other ways, we tried to not think about that at all. We just wanted to make six new interesting episodes that would have been exciting to us regardless of if we were going to end the show or not. In figuring out the finale, we looked back to the core questions we were asking ourselves when we created the show, digging into the pilot a little bit and some fundamental things we address in this show to kind of wrap them up.
You guys have had some incredible guest stars in the past like Kyra Sedgwick, Andy Richter, and Kristen Schaal. Were there any guest stars this season that you were trying to get for a while and it just ended up working out?
We had a few roles this season that we knew we wanted to get somebody for. One of them was in the episode “F*** You Money.” There is sort of this weird shady salesman character, and we wanted to cast William Fichtner. We were really excited to get him.
Martha Kelley in that episode is someone we have been a fan of for a long time. She is just one of the most naturally funny people I’ve ever met who is the type of comedian where it’s hard to tell where her personality ends and her comedic persona begins, which always makes someone like that really interesting and dynamic. I know we also have Paul Tompkins and Lauren Lapkus who are also just comedic dynamos and can do absolutely anything.
Can we talk about Bob Odenkirk guest starring?
Oh yeah, Bob Odenkirk! He voices a character, so I literally forgot that we had him for a second. Bob Odenkirk is like a living legend. We happen to have a connection with him because of Pat Bishop, who is one of the co-creators who directed all but two of the episodes in the entire show, used to be an editor, and actually still edits Corporate. He edited some things that Bob either produced or made. Bob’s entire life now is consumed by making Better Call Saul, but we were lucky to catch him in between things he was doing for that and he came in for an afternoon and voiced a character.
Turning to the second episode regarding depression and suicide, what kind of impact did it leave on the cast and the writers?
That largely came out of Jake. The show stems from conversations about what’s happening to us in our real lives and our feelings about our own experiences and living in America. Jake is a clinically depressed person who struggled with a lot of darkness in his life and was recently able to turn and start taking care of himself in a better way. We wanted it to be just a funny, honest discussion about someone who is in that head space and try to position the show from their point of view.
The other side of that too is their friends. Jake and I lived together for three years. Back before we made this show, we were roommates. And during that time, he was in a super dark place and I pestered the hell out of him to try and make moves and get himself out of it. It was definitely cool because throughout it we had a lot of big discussions about depression and people’s individual experiences in the writers room. I’m excited to put that episode out and see what people think of it because it probably represents a very specific dark corner that this show can do and that others wouldn’t tackle.
There is a scene with the employees in a setting similar to a writers room for a show that exists in your show. Did you pull anything from that with your own experiences with TV writing?
That has always been a funny thing that we have throughout the show, is the show-within-a-show called “Society Tomorrow,” which is a psychotic nonsensical version of a cool edgy show that exists from our world that everyone is obsessed with. We have lot of fun throwing out ideas that are completely sociopathic or don’t actually belong in the show but are very funny to imagine doing.
But also with Corporate we get the freedom to do that a lot of times anyway. The way certain episodes end this season can often be bizarre or out of left field, and it mostly is just us wanting to do something random. Like, they gave us a million dollars an episode to shoot this show, let’s not edit in the office, let’s go kill somebody, kind of for no reason.
Lance Reddick’s character Christian DeVille is so intimidating and hilarious at the same time. What kind of energy does he bring to his character?
He’s incredible to work with because he takes his job of acting extremely seriously. It’s funny to have somebody come at it with that much class and bravado, because there are times where, if we have him saying something particularly stupid, we have a discussion with Lance where we would either try to find a real reason why Christian would be saying it, or just admitting to Lance, “We just think this would be funny if you said this and it honestly is stupid and now we feel a little ashamed of ourselves.” But he is the best because he is so good and wants it to be f**king perfect. That is the type of person you want to work with on this show, someone who really gives a s**t about it and he does.
Is there anything you are working on now after Corporate?
Yeah I probably can’t say too much, but we probably sold a couple shows before all of this started that are still in development. God knows if they will ever air. But if all goes according to plan, we will probably be too busy soon. Or this pandemic will just last forever and nobody will ever make television or movies again. But either way, we are probably now working harder than we even should doing all of this, we should probably just chill the f*** out and read a book or something.
Corporate, Season 3 Premiere, Wednesday, July 22, Comedy Central