Actor and comedian Jimmy Dunn of "The McCarthys"

Jimmy Dunn of Hampton is a comic well-known for his stand-up act (he was recently on Letterman), but it’s taking him some time to get used to seeing his face up on billboards and bus stops promoting his new CBS sitcom.

In “The McCarthys,” airing Thursday nights at 9:30 p.m., starting October 30, Dunn plays Sean McCarthy, a sibling in a big, boisterous family of Irish Catholic Bostonians. Most of the McCarthy family live for sports, the exception being brother Ronny, who is openly gay and prefers watching “The Good Wife” with his mom. Comedy ensues when father McCarthy, a high school basketball coach, decides to invite brother Ronny to be his coaching assistant.

A role on a sitcom is pretty much the brass ring for a comedian. Feel like you’ve arrived? My mug is on a billboard on Sunset Boulevard! Pretty damn cool!

Sean McCarthy sounds a lot like the guy your fans know as Jimmy Dunn. Did you have to stretch much for the role? My character, Sean McCarthy, is a chubby, dim, ex-athlete. It’s completely different from me in real life. I was never an athlete.

How did you react when you learned you got the part? I celebrated with a double-double at In-N-Out. Actually, that’s not true. I celebrated with two double-doubles. I think that’s a quadruple-quadruple, but I’m not great with math.

How are you dealing with fame? I try to keep a low profile. When I drive around LA in my new ‘Vette, I wear a welding mask.

Are you working on a personal comic catchphrase? No catchphrase, but Sean is always eating sandwiches. They say George Wendt (Norm from “Cheers”) hasn’t paid for a beer in 20 years. I’m hoping for a lot of free hoagies.

What do you miss most about NH now that you are off in TV land? The delicious, oh-so-tender, rare roast beef at Joe’s Meat Shoppe in North Hampton, NH.

Any shout-outs for the folks back home? Just Joe. At Joe’s Meat Shoppe. North Hampton, NH.

How do you think this experience will affect your stand-up act? I’m writing lots of new material about the folks in California. Like my neighbor with his zero-emission, whisper-quiet, electric car. And his gardener with a weed whacker louder than an Apache helicopter.

Categories: Q&A