There are a couple of “misses” in the “Sunny” catalogue, and when the interview steers towards “The Gang Broke the Liberty Bell,” an episode that many fans hate (and I love), McElhenney shared that the most reviled episode seems to be the season 7 flashback episode, “Frank’s Brother”:
“There was an episode in Season 6 about Frank’s brother, and it went back in time and tracked Frank’s relationship with his brother. That one got a resounding rejection. At least it did at the time. Charlie and Glenn and I, when we talk about that season, that to us is one of our funniest episodes. Some people say they’ve gone back and watched it a second time years later and appreciate it so much more.”
“Frank’s Brother” is actually in season 7, but McElhenney has made enough episodes of “Sunny” now that it’s forgivable for him to forget which season a specific episode is in, especially with those earlier seasons. “Frank’s Brother” follows a love triangle between Frank and his brother Gino (Jon Polito) and Shadynasty (Naturi Nauton), the lounge singer at the club they run together with Reggie (Lance Reddick). Many of the funniest moments in the episode come purely from DeVito playing Frank as a younger man, complete with a full head of hair that’s clearly just a bad wig, but some of the jabs about how bad civil rights were in the 1960s and 70s don’t totally land. It’s not a terrible episode, just not as great as the rest of the season.