Matt Walsh and Timothy Simons on Rewatching 'Veep' and Why the Series Still Holds Up (Exclusive)
Nearly a decade after Veep first premiered, stars Matt Walsh and Timothy Simons, who played Mike McLintock and Jonah Ryan respectively, are reuniting to rewatch the HBO comedy from beginning to end for the podcast Second in Command. Each week, the audio series will revisit the political journey of Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her fumbling staff as she made her way through the ranks of the White House over the course of seven seasons.
While rewatch podcasts hosted by the cast are admittedly nothing new (“We just saw a hole that needed filling,” Simons jokes), the two co-stars tell ET what will set their series apart and why Veep still holds up. “This gives us an opportunity to go back and remember specific stories about specific episodes,” Simons says, with Walsh adding, “The process of the show was extremely unique.”
The making of Veep wasn’t like any typical sitcom. Storylines were constantly being rewritten, cast members would fly in from Los Angeles just for table reads of the script, there were rehearsals in London, scenes would be workshopped on Saturdays in between filming. And all of those inside stories, memories and experiences will be part of the podcast, the two say.
“I dug up some old emails and some old scenes from the pilot era,” Walsh shares. “So that was fun to see like our itinerary for our first White House trip.” Meanwhile, Simons has been having fun digging through old iPhone photos he snapped on set.
In addition to the anecdotes the two bring up each week, they promise that the series will feature as many guests as possible, including cast members (Tony Hale is the first to appear), creator Armando Iannucci, writers, directors as well as the show’s production designer and more people from behind the scenes. “That is like when you can get into like the real weeds,” Simons says, hoping that those conversations will take listeners “behind the thought process behind of mining jokes out of what a room looks like.”
While diehard fans of the series will no doubt enjoy hearing what it was like to make the show, the big question remains: Does Veep still hold up? Considering it came out in the middle of the Obama era and ended during the Trump one, the context of the show has changed a lot over the years. “Yes, it holds up,” Walsh says without a doubt in his voice, adding that rewatching it now, even amid the start of the Biden era, provides a unique opportunity. “I think there’s great perspective doing it now.”
Of course, what was considered a gaffe during Obama’s administration to what happened during Trump’s resulted in very different things on the show. “Looking back, that was a very different time politically,” Simons says, adding that “there is some distance there that has been created by the more recent political climate.”
That said, both have enjoyed not only rewatching the series, but discovering new things along the way. For Walsh, that’s seeing how Meyer’s politics evolved from the beginning. “It’s refreshing to see what her early agenda was like. It was inner-office politics,” he says, noting that you can “sort of see the development of all the characters in her agenda.”
“It is interesting to go back to some of these initial episodes and see characters who are still hanging on to some of their humanity and knowing where it goes. It’s like having, as my grandmother would say, the light of all eternity on it,” Simons adds.
When it comes to listening, the former co-stars and current co-hosts hope that readers enjoy going on this journey yet again. But this time, with more context. “We’ll have every weird, deep dive about Veep that no other show could do because we were at the center of it,” Walsh promises.
Second in Command, a KAST podcast, is now streaming. Want to catch up on Veep? Watch it all on HBO Max. (We may receive an affiliate commission if you subscribe to a service through our links.)
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