John Early Tells Us Why He’s So Excited For ‘Search Party’ Season 2

The main characters of Search Party are falling apart at the seams in the new trailer for season two, which premiered Thursday. Dory’s screaming at puppets, Drew’s despondent, Portia’s lost her pants, and Elliott’s not mad at you HE’S MAD AT THE DIRT.

Check it out below.

Who knew that covering up a murder would shatter a person’s mental health and render them a paranoia-dusted husk of their former self? (Everyone.) But while all that tension was tearing Elliott apart, John Early, the comedian who plays him, was living for all of the paranoia-fueled plot twists that awaited him on every page.

“I find paranoia endlessly funny,” he said over the phone. “It’s kind of my favorite vibe.”

Sounds like he and Search Party are a perfect fit, then.

INTO caught up with Early, who’s currently doing prep work for a pilot he’s filming with best friend Kate Berlant, over the phone on Thursday to talk about the new trailer, Elliott’s moral quandariesif he even has anythe return of Elliott’s on-and-off-again boyfriend played by Jeffrey Self, and of course the most important thing of all

That “NO” suit. What’s her story?

That is a Peggy Noland original. She is a friend of Kate Berlant’s and a friend of Search Party’s costume designer, Matthew Simonelli. He reached out to Peggy and surprised me with this original creation that was made customCUSTOM!for me to wear. That “NO” print is something she made after the election. She’s printed it all over dresses and pajamas, but with Elliott’s suit she actually painted it on the garment itself. Towards the end of the season, the show gets back to its Manhattan murder mystery caper, screwball-y roots, and this is Elliott and Portia’s idea of going undercover. They’re just out on the street trying to be covert. He’s, of course, chosen to wear the most noticeable outfit he could possibly wear. I think he assumes people will take it literally, like, “No! Don’t Speak to me!”

I saw Jeffrey Self’s adorable face in the trailer for like a hot second. Are we gonna get more of Marc and Elliott this season?

Yeah, there’s actually a lot more of him and Elliott. Jeffrey’s so good at playing this wet blanket character who, for some reason, bends to Elliott’s demands. Basically, Elliott channels all of his stress about the murder into his book deal, and Marc bears the brunt of it. Elliott gets increasingly manic and insane, and Marc just thinks that it all has to do with the book deal. You would hope in a loving and open relationship that you could talk about the deepest, darkest thing that has happened to you, but there’s so much dysfunction there already. Elliott is able to hide in the relationship, which is insane and such a sign that they should not be together!!

Aaaaaaat aalllllllll. Anyway, there’s something that stuck out to me when I was watching Elliott freak out while digging the graveor holehole that might be a grave. So much of his arc on season one hinged on him getting outed as a liar and then claiming he was going to try to be better. But in season two, his survival kind of depends on being a huge horrible liar in order to cover up the murder. Does that pose any kinda likemoral quandary for him? Does Elliott even have moral quandaries?

Thankfully, lying is a very fine-tuned skill for him, so he pretty much takes the lead on the whole cover-up element of this season. He’s also the one with the least moral fussiness over such issues. He understands the benefits of lying and doesn’t get hung up on the morality of it.

What I think is so great about this season is that we get to see how each of the characters deals with what happened at the end of season one, without it all getting too treacly or contrived. It’s a way of showing their humanity, and it does kind of deepen and enrich these characters very, very beautifully. They each have to face something about themselves, but it never feels like an after-school special. In season one, he in no way reckoned with his behavior. He felt the rug pulled out from under him for lying–

But then he got a book deal.

But then he got a book deal! I think he’s a strong person. He’s someone who had to develop a lot of inner strength as a result of being a gay child, someone who had to build up extremely strong defense mechanisms and modes of compartmentalizationthings that I certainly don’t have.

Just kidding.


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