How This Odd ‘Three’s Company’ Reunion Inspired a New Peacock Series

by Samantha Whidden

Days before the premiere of Peacock’s “Would It Kill You to Laugh?” It was revealed that the streaming service’s new show is inspired by an awkward “Three’s Company” reunion between Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt.

The new show’s stars Kate Berlant and John Early spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the “Three’s Company” reunion, which they ended up watching together. “But in terms of making our own work, it was very immediate,” Early explained. “And what’s funny is, one of the first videos we watched together is this video of Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt reuniting after like 30 years not speaking … I think we would’ve found our way there organically because at the end of the day, Kate and I love people who are saying one thing, but there’s a clear, like, hostility underneath it.

Early went on to note that the awkward reunion between the “Three’s Company” stars did send him and Berlant down a “certain path” comedically. In a 2012 interview, which took place on Somers’ then talk show, the “Three’s Company” co-stars opened up about seeing each other for the first time in 30 years. It was revealed that the duo did not see each other after Somers’ pay dispute. 

Somers told her “Three’s Company” co-star, “In a group of serious actors, I probably pissed you all off. And if I did, I’m really sorry. I just needed money at the time.”

“I didn’t have a business head. So I didn’t understand someone who did,” DeWitt replied.

Joyce DeWitt Recalls Seeing ‘Three’s Company’ Co-Star John Ritter Weeks Before His Sudden Passing

Along with discussing Somers’ departure from the show, the “Three’s Company” stars reflected on their late co-star, John Ritter, who passed away in September 2003. DeWitt said she saw Ritter weeks before his sudden death.

“John was staying in another hotel in Central Park south, doing the upfronts for his then-new show, 8 Simple Rules,” DeWitt said. “And here’s this huge mass of paparazzi standing in front of this hotel. As I was leaving, about five or six feet away from them, this voice says, you know John is inside.”

DeWitt decided to reach out to her “Three’s Company” co-star by sending him a message. She was leaving her hotel room when he called. “He goes, ‘Baby. I’ve got three parties and a dinner to do tonight. Pick you up at 7. I go, ‘Wait a minute. What’s the dress code?’ And he goes nice casual. … We did all these things and it was so delicious. And a month later, he passed.”

A month later, John Ritter passed away while rehearsing for “8 Simple Rules” on the Walt Disney Studio lot. He ended up dying from an optic dissection.