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Fox took pains to say that on “Ben and Kate” the siblings’ relationship (portrayed by Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson) more closely mirrors her connection with Ben Fox when they were somewhat younger. She stressed that, in truth, her brother grew up, married, had two children and has become a responsible father, though she added, “I give a ton of credit to his wife, who’s a psychologist.”

But if real-life Ben settled down a bit _ with a successful career in advertising _ he remains a cutup. He still calls his sister “Phlegm-er,” she reports, “which is totally disgusting and super humiliating.” And she says that, while he’s delighted about the show, he’s not surprised he earned such a tribute. Instead, he marvels “that it hasn’t happened before now.”

“The Partners” is a buddy comedy about a gay guy and a straight guy (played by Michael Urie and David Krumholtz) who are best friends. It was created by a gay guy and a straight guy who have been best friends since they were teens.

“I think every gay man should have a straight man in his life,” said Mutchnick, who, on realizing in high school he was gay, had a friend in Kohan he could talk about it with. “I was lucky enough that I was able to create a life and a great career with him, too.”

But how true-to-life are the sitcom versions of these partners? Mutchnick was asked if, for instance, he’s as self-obsessed as the volatile, comical character Louis.

“Absolutely!” Mutchnick fired back, and added instantly, “Do you have any OTHER questions about me?”




EDITOR’S NOTE _ Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at) and at