David Alan Grier initially deemed too young to star in 'The Cool Kids'

David Alan Grier initially deemed too young to star in 'The Cool Kids'

TORONTO — Actor David Alan Grier has a quippy soundbite to sum up his new sitcom "The Cool Kids," about a raucous group of friends living in a retirement community.

"It's like 'Mean Girls' and 'Breakfast Club' had a baby and made that real old," the veteran comedy star said in an interview.

Debuting Wednesday on City in Canada and Friday on Fox in the U.S., the show stars Grier as the grumpy, outspoken leader of the senior citizen squad.

Martin Mull plays the bumbling wanderer of the greying group alongside Leslie Jordan as the genial hedonist and Vicki Lawrence as the clan's newest member who proves to be a sassy troublemaker.

Grier said he first met Mull in high school and stayed in touch with him over the years, even buying some of his paintings. And he was a huge fan of Lawrence's, having watched her on "The Carol Burnett Show."

He's excited to work with them on a project that represents an older demographic.

"There's an audience that hasn't been served," Grier said.

"Also, I'm at a point in my life where I really love where I'm at, I love my age, I'm comfortable in it. One of the great things about doing this show is that everybody shows up on time. We've all been doing this for 100 billion years, so there's no hassle.

"No one is, like, locked in their dressing room saying, 'I'm not coming out!' or Martin stayed out and partied too long. No, it's very calm, very nice."

The 62-year-old Grier has been playing aging characters since his days on the sketch comedy series "In Living Color" in the 1990s, where his memorable roles included old bluesman Calhoun Tubbs.

But "The Cool Kids" producers initially deemed him too young to be on the show.

"Then I came in and said, 'Listen to me — you want me in this,' and they're like, 'Why?'" recalled the Detroit native, who's been in scores of films and TV series.

"And I said, 'Because I'm like 10, 15 years younger than the characters but I'm going to know my lines, you know what I'm saying? If it's going to run for 10 years, do you really want to work with a 90-year-old actor? No! Hire me!'"

A subsequent makeup test in which he was made to look older proved his point.

"They put a little something under my eyes that makes your skin crinkle up and I didn't shave for like a month, so I posted it on my Instagram and people were like, 'Oh my God, what's happened to you?'" Grier said.

"The Internet has no chill."

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press