Mike Cabellon On Working With Ted Danson And Holly Hunter On Mr. Mayor - Exclusive

In show business — and everywhere else, for that matter — success is often determined not just by your talent but by who you know. Everyone has seen cases where a mediocre-but-well-connected candidate gets chosen for a plum job over a more skilled candidate with fewer connections.


And, in Hollywood, where competition for roles is brutal, aspiring actors know that getting noticed by the right people can make the difference between a sustainable career in acting or a life of community theater and waiting tables.

Mike Cabellon, co-star of the NBC series "Mr. Mayor," has been laser-focused on an entertainment career from an early age. He got his first experience in filmmaking in high school, and his passion for comedy and production has only deepened since then. 

So, when the opportunity arose to audition for "Mr. Mayor" — an NBC sitcom that counts Tina Fey and Robert Carlock among its executive producers and Ted Danson and Holly Hunter as its stars — Cabellon jumped at the opportunity. He was not only a longtime admirer of their work but knew that being connected to these well-respected stars was exactly the break he needed.


In an exclusive interview with The List, Cabellon shares what it's really like working with Danson and Hunter.

The star power and smart writing on Mr. Mayor drew in Mike Cabellon

Mike Cabellon was initially drawn to audition for "Mr. Mayor" by the A-list talent already on board. 

"You get a script, and on the front page it says, 'Written by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock,' and you're like, 'Well, I'm already in.' And then they're like, 'And with Ted Danson, and Holly Hunter, and Bobby Moynihan.' And it's like, 'I would've agreed to play anything in the show,'" he said. 


"So then to also read the script and see that it's a character that I feel like I could do some justice to. The fact that the character was cool was like the cherry on top of the sundae, but everything else was like, 'Oh, I just want to work with these people.'"

Cabellon was also attracted to the quality of the writing on the show. 

"I enjoy that it's a smart comedy, if that makes sense," he said. "Sometimes, you get a script, and you're like, 'Oh, this is a comedy, but it's not funny.' Or, it's a comedy, but it's low-hanging fruit. And Tina Fey and Robert Carlock obviously have this long resume of wonderful, great, smart comedies."

Cabellon continued: "And it feels like a good challenge. To get a script and be like, 'Okay, there's a hundred jokes on this page. I've got to figure out how to land this plane,' is the kind of professional challenge that I think anyone in any field would relish."


Working with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter was a dream come true

Mike Cabellon recognized that being tapped to co-star with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter was not only an opportunity of a lifetime but an honor. And, knowing their long and prestigious track records in Hollywood, he was surprised and delighted at how easy and pleasant they were to work with. 


"I think it's so easy for people in their position to not have the time of day for lesser people, and they're both so humble and so kind," he said. "Pretty immediately, like when we were shooting Season 1, all of that fear and apprehension I had about acting with them kind of went out the window because they went out of their way to make me feel welcome and comfortable right off the bat because that's who they are as people."

He also recognizes that his time with them is a unique learning opportunity.

"They're both just so generous with their time. And they're great scene partners," he said. "Acting with them is a masterclass. So, it's a bonus they're both so humble. They would cringe if they heard me say that." 


But, even now, as "Mr. Mayor" starts its second season, the role still feels a bit surreal to Cabellon. "I mean, it's a dream," he said. "It's so weird to be like, 'Oh, they are legends, but they're also friends.'"

Watch Season 2 of "Mr. Mayor" Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.