“I would be surprised if it continued,” Hale says in a new interview for The Last Laugh podcast. “I would be very surprised.”
“Just story-wise, I don’t know how it would continue,” he adds of the way the show’s fifth season wrapped up on Netflix this past month. “But maybe. Again, this business is so surprising. There are so many things that have popped up where I’m like, oh, I wasn’t expecting that. So I have no idea what is going to happen.”
Those comments echo what his co-star David Cross said in an interview with Seth Meyers’ Late Night podcast. “I’ve learned to say ‘never say never,’ but I can’t see it happening again, I think for a number of reasons,” Cross said last fall.
Hale stresses that his prediction about the fate of Mitch Hurwitz’s series, which premiered on Fox all the way back in 2003, has everything to do with “the way it ended” and nothing to do with the apparent tensions within the cast that were exposed when they sat down for a group interview with The New York Times’ Sopan Deb last May, something we discuss during the podcast.
When the show first returned for its fourth season on Netflix in 2013—seven years after the original run had ended on Fox—Hale says he “had a lot of hesitancy about doing it” because he didn’t know if he could live up to the massive expectations from fans. “And then I remember hearing Jessica Walter’s voice, who played Lucille, say ‘Buster.’ And it was kind of like a Pavlovian, OK, I’m back,” he says. “My chin went back, my arms went back, it’s like a muscle memory thing kicked in.”
With his two iconic shows both ending this year, Hale, who will be appearing as the new character Forky in Toy Story 4 and is currently developing his children’s book Archibald’s Next Big Thing into an animated Netflix series, says he’s trying not to think too much about his own future.
“You don’t go up to a dentist and say, ‘Oh, what are you doing next?’ It’s not like he’s going to go, ‘Oh, I’m doing this molar.’ Everyone kind of expects he’ll be a dentist,” Hale says. “Whereas freelancers, you always get that question, what’s next? So it’s actually more of a challenge for me to stay present. So I think I’m just going to continue practicing that.”
Subscribe now to ‘The Last Laugh’ on Apple Podcasts, the Himalaya app or wherever you listen to podcasts to hear our full conversation—including Hale’s comments on working with Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Veep, channeling his anxiety into both Buster Bluth and Gary Walsh and a lot more. And look out for new episodes featuring a different comedian guest every Tuesday.