Josh not ready to grow up quite yet in Please Like Me
FOUR years ago Josh Thomas couldn't imagine his six-episode comedy series would become such a hit.
Please Like Me is now in its fourth season and is a hit overseas including in the US on cable channel Pivot and streaming website Hulu.
The award-winning series, which follows a young gay man and his relationships with friends, family, lovers and his dog, has an improvisational feel even though it's scripted.
"I probably couldn't write dialogue that sounded so tight and scripted like other shows," he tells APN's The Guide.
"I feel like a lot of people want to show off in their scripts, but that's not what we ever wanted to do. We wanted to see the real world as much as possible.
"I also quite like the actors laughing at each other. A lot of comedy is nobody laughing at anybody else and it's weird."
The new season follows his semi-autobiographical character Josh as he and his friends enter a new, more grown-up phase in their lives.
"Our 20s are so dramatic. People are working things out and being very emotional," he says.
"I'm almost 30 and now everyone is so calm."
But being in a stable relationship for more than four years now, Thomas has had to look further afield than his own life to find inspiration.
"We try to keep things realistic, so coming up with story lines that still feel like they're plausible is kind of challenging," he says.
"I spend a lot of time sleeping and watching Survivor, so we've run out of interesting things that happen in my life.
"Being in a good (long-term) relationship can be creatively suffocating. Sometimes I'm so jealous of Taylor Swift and all her heartbreak."
He gets help from his co-writers and co-stars Thomas Ward and Hannah Gadsby.
"Hannah really steps it up this season; she has some really incredible scenes coming up," he says.
"She writes her character and all her dialogue and jokes. It's a great day getting good jokes to put in the script, and it's so much easier to get other people to do it.
"She also has such an interesting point of view. The show has so much mental illness involved and she's lived that. She has such insightful and smart things to say about it."
The stand-up comedian also doubles as the show's co-director alongside Matthew Saville.
"The hardest thing I found about it was when the day was going badly. If we were down on time or if things weren't working then I had to not show that to the actors because they have to go in the scene with me and act with me," he says.
Please Like Me premieres on ABC on Wednesday November 9 at 9.30pm.