On the Road (Again?) – How FX’s “Dave” Keeps the Fun Going on Tour in Season 3

“If you are only making a TV show forever and the show is about your life, then it's, like, what life do you have to draw from if you are just making a TV show all the time?” A deep thought from Dave Burd, aka Lil Dickey, star of the FXX comedy series Dave. After a longer than usual break, the show returns with two episodes on Wednesday, April 5th, at 10/9c. Shortly after wrapping principal photography, Dave and his team from the show made an appearance at the TCA Winter Press Tour to tease what’s coming up this year. But first, why such a long break? “The more time you have to think about anything in life, the more you are going to be thoughtful and have good thoughts. But I'm working on an album. I have a whole music career as well. Sometimes that takes time to achieve certain things. And, I don't know, to me, it flew by. Time flew by. I can't believe we are already back here.”

(Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup for FX Networks)

(Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup for FX Networks)

Dave is certainly “back here,” but where is here? “The tour isn't the story,” explained series co-creator and executive producer Jeff Schaffer, with Season 3 taking Lil Dickey at GaTa on the road. “The stories weave through the tour, whereas last year, Dave was very looking inward, and that pressure, that writing pressure, was very angsty and caused a lot of stress. The nice thing is for Dave, he said when he's on tour, he doesn't write. He doesn't have time to write. So, all of that is free. He's free from any of that stress, so he has time to do other things. I think that created a much looser environment for Dave personally and let him sort of realize he was going to pursue romance in the same insane, wackadoodle, driven way that he pursued success, which doesn't always work for romance. Every place we go, we're being observant of the culture, the location, the people. And I think that's a big difference this year, is that all of our characters learn about themselves through seeing strangers.”


“I'm wiggling at the highest level,” GaTa shared about where we find his character this season. “And I got music coming out in the show, and I'm excited.” Like Dave, GaTa drew on his real touring experience for Season 3. “Tours are real gritty, man. Like, it's definitely an everyday grind. You get to see us struggling on the bus, you know, trying to keep it clean and stuff like that.”

Spoiler Alert: They don’t actually keep the tour bus clean.“Nothing encapsulates the scrappiness of the tour quite like the state of the tour bus,” laughed Vanessa McGee, a writer and executive producer on the series. “Our set deck and art departments did such an amazing job of making that bus so progressively grosser.” Vanessa also praised the art department, who were given a unique challenge this season. “They designed some merch just for this season, and it was very fun… And also, we had some of GaTa's merch. I got a sweatshirt.”

Dave Burd was understandably busy during the lengthy break between seasons, focusing on his music and preparing this upcoming season. But for other stars of the show, it allowed them opportunities to accept other offers. “I really have to thank the show because they've allowed us to do other projects,” said Christine Ko, who plays Emma in Dave but also appeared in The Handmaid’s Tale and Only Murders in the Building between these seasons. “As long as it didn't conflict schedule-wise, I was able to do it. What's also really nice is we shoot our show within four months, which is really fast for a TV show, which is why it's so impressive. I think people think we have a long break, but they forget a lot of the times that Dave also is, in a way, showrunning and creating the music and then performing and then writing. So usually that person is all these different department heads, and we have Dave doing that.” Even though this press conference was in January, Dave Burd has kept busy in post-production to get the season ready for viewing.

“This show came at the right time for me,” comedian Andrew Santino said about his role as Mike on the show. He already had several canceled one-season shows under his belt, so to now be on a successful series that’s entering its third season is a magic moment. “Dave and I oddly met before we did the show, and then it was just an amazing opportunity. And I was like, this could be exactly what I want and need, comedy/TV/film-wise. Because after I'm done up here,I kind of was wanting to just do standup. But my little Jewish prince won my heart, so I had to go back and get back in the TV thing again. Because it's tough. It's anxiety-inducing. Doing standup, it's my thing.”

“We start in Texas, and then we go to Atlanta, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Nevada, and Philly,” Dave Burd concluded about the world Lil Dickey and his associates are rolling through this season. “What I love about the concept of a tour is that all of these places are so different culturally, visually, vibe-wise that every episode kind of becomes this own short film with its own intention, and it's really exciting as a filmmaker to be able to have a fresh start and a fresh approach every episode based on where you are.” And being on tour also allowed for more guest stars than ever before. “Usher, Rick Ross, Don Cheadle, Demi Lovato, Machine Gun Kelly, Megan Fox, Killer Mike, Travis Barker, and that really is a fraction,” Dave teased, adding that there are guest stars being kept as a jaw-dropping surprise when fans watch the show.

Season 3 of Dave will premiere on Wednesday, April 5th, at 10/9c on FXX and stream the next day on Hulu.

Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).