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The It's Always Sunny Theory That Changes Everything About AP Bio

There has never been a comedy series like "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." The sitcom eschews the common trait of focusing on traditionally likable and moral characters for the type of people we wouldn't want to encounter in real life. The show centers on the selfish and dishonest misadventures of a group of people living in South Philly. Despite its nightmarish origins and extremely low-budget pilot, "It's Always Sunny" has managed to push the envelope of comedy and, at times, artistic storytelling during its run on television. And it's achieved this feat while letting the gang continue to be their genuinely awful selves.

In a contest no one would want to enter, Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howerton) takes the prize for being the worst among the gang. His manipulative and antisocial behavior are among some concerning traits fans shouldn't ignore. And his questionable actions in the series have flooded fans with plenty of theories surrounding the character, even when it concerns an entirely different show. In 2018, NBC premiered "AP Bio," a comedy series that stars Howerton as a high school teacher. It's a far cry from his character on "It's Sunny," serving as shady co-owner of Paddy's Pub. But that hasn't stopped fans on Reddit from coming up with a convincing theory that links "It's Always Sunny" to "AP Bio."

AP Bio is a fever dream of Dennis Reynolds

In "AP Bio," fired Harvard professor Jack Griffin (Glenn Howerton) returns to his hometown of Toledo and teaches AP Biology at his old high school. The character is a narcissistic jerk, which seems familiar to Howerton's "It's Always Sunny" character. In a Fan Theories Reddit post, Jack feels so familiar that some fans theorized he's part of a nightmare for Dennis. The post explains that Dennis went to sleep one night only to be stuck in a dream where Jack represents the success Dennis wanted but failed to achieve. Instead, Jack is stuck teaching honors students in Ohio. We can just feel Dennis waking up in cold sweat after dreaming up this scenario.

It's a solid theory that could potentially link the two shows, but Howerton officially disproved it. In a YouTube clip from "The Late Late Show with James Corden," Howerton praised the fan theory but explained it's not possible, seeing as he had no hand in creating "AP Bio." As he explained in the clip, the show was in production a while before he came aboard and was created by "Saturday Night Live" alum Mike O'Brien (via Deadline). 

Glenn Howerton likes playing arrogant characters

So is the character Glenn Howerton plays in "AP Bio" an example of typecasting for the actor? According to him, no. In an interview with Cinema Blend, Howerton explained that he likes playing arrogant characters that don't have it all together. Honestly, we couldn't think of a better way to describe Jack and Dennis. However, in the same interview, he did note that while Dennis and Jack are similar in their rude mannerisms, Jack isn't a monster. That's more than a fair argument when considering some of the atrocities Dennis has committed throughout the series. Jack might start off in "AP Bio" selfishly teaching his class and plotting his way back to the top, but unlike Dennis on "It's Always Sunny," he doesn't completely ruin their lives.

In fact, in his ridiculous way, we witness Jack warming toward his students and hometown. As a result, we see Howerton strike more of a balance. Mike O'Brien even noted in an interview with Collider that he couldn't get behind completely rotten characters. That fact makes the sudden cancellation of "AP Bio" more tragic, as it would have been intriguing to see the core differences between Jack and Dennis become more pronounced.