Rob McElhenney

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Rob McElhenney
Rob McElhenney by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
McElhenney at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International.
Born Robert McElhenney
(1977-04-14) April 14, 1977 (age 38)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Residence Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation Actor, director, producer, screenwriter
Years active 1997–present
Spouse(s) Kaitlin Olson (m. 2008)
Children 2

Robert "Rob" McElhenney (/ˈmækl.hɛni/;[1] born April 14, 1977) is an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. He is best known for playing Mac on the FX/FXX comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He is also one of the creators, developers, and executive producers of the show, which has provided him with writing and directing credits on various episodes.

Early life[edit]

McElhenney was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2] As a child, he liked to play tennis and racquetball. He attended Saint Joseph's Preparatory School, and in Spring '13 he established a scholarship fund with his wife and "Sunny" co-star Kaitlin Olson.[3][4]


McElhenney in August 2011.

McElhenney scored his first major role with a small part in The Devil's Own, followed by small parts in A Civil Action, Wonder Boys, and Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, though his roles in The Devil's Own and Wonder Boys were cut out of the final edits.[5] He later had more substantial parts in Latter Days and The Tollbooth, and a small role in the Law & Order episode "Thrill". At the age of 21, a debut script by McElhenney was optioned with writer-director Paul Schrader attached to direct, before the project fell through after one year of edits and rewrites.[6]

Initially based in New York City after his graduation from high school, McElhenney moved to Los Angeles at the age of 22.[7] In 2004, McElhenney was waiting tables between acting jobs when his idea for a sitcom was pitched to many cable networks.[8] After receiving offers from many of stations, McElhenney chose to sign with FX as they allowed him more creative freedom.[9] McElhenney was contracted as It's Always Sunny's showrunner. He met Glenn Howerton through his agent, and Charlie Day in New York while shooting a horror film. Both Howerton and Day were listed as executive producers.[10]

McElhenney claims that 50 weeks of each year are consumed by acting, producing, and writing for the show, but he did find time to appear in the third season of Lost in the episode "Not in Portland". This was a result of McElhenney meeting Lost co-creator and executive producer Damon Lindelof, who is a fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. McElhenney continued the role in Lost, featured again in the sixth season for a single episode. Rob is a fan of Game of Thrones and was thrilled that the series' writers asked to write an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He and his co-producers accepted the offer. [11]

On July 21, 2015, McElhenney was confirmed by Mojang as the director of the upcoming Minecraft movie.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Before the first season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia went into production, McElhenney hired actress Kaitlin Olson to play the role of Dee Reynolds. He became romantically interested in Olson by "around season 2" of the series, believing her to be the funniest woman in show business.[13] They were married in California on September 27, 2008 .[14]

In 2009, McElhenney and Olson announced their purchase of Skinner's Bar at 226 Market Street in Philadelphia (39°57′00″N 75°08′41″W / 39.949895°N 75.144795°W / 39.949895; -75.144795). It was renamed Mac's Tavern.[15] They had their first child, Axel Lee McElhenney, on September 1, 2010. Olson went into labor at a Philadelphia Phillies game.[16] The couple's second son, Leo Grey McElhenney, was born on April 5, 2012.[17]

In preparation for the seventh season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, McElhenney put on 50 lbs of extra weight and let his beard grow out to give extra humor to his character and add a new comedic direction for the season. His co-star Charlie Day described the weight gain as "disgusting" and that the rest of the cast were "a little on the fence about it for his own personal health and safety". McElhenney subsequently lost 23 lbs in a month after the season was finished filming.[18][19] He lost more later in the year to film the next season.



Year Title Role Notes
1997 The Devil's Own Kevin
1998 A Civil Action Teenager on Property
2000 Wonder Boys Student
2001 Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Chris Hammond
2001 Campfire Stories Ricky
2002 Long Story Short Trent
2003 Latter Days Elder Harmon
2004 The Tollbooth Simon Stanton
2012 Living Loaded Television film


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Law & Order Joey Timon Episode: "Thrill"
2004 ER Andy Fesh Episode: "Where There's Smoke"
2005–present It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Ronald "Mac" McDonald 114 episodes
Creator, writer, director, producer
2007–2010 Lost Aldo 3 episodes
2014–2015 The Mindy Project Lou Tookers[20] 3 episodes[21][22]


  1. ^ "The Actors Lounge interviews Charlie Day". Retrieved 2010-10-20. 
  2. ^ "“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s” Rob McElhenney talks about upcoming “gay marriage” episode". Greg in Holywood magazine. Aug 7, 2010. 
  3. ^ ""It's Always Sunny" star Rob McElhenney returns to St. Joe's Prep". Retrieved 2016-01-09. 
  4. ^ "'It's Always Sunny's' Rob McElhenney spoke at St. Joe's Prep today". Retrieved 2016-01-09. 
  5. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 582 - Rob McElhenney". 
  6. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 582 - Rob McElhenney". 
  7. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 582 - Rob McElhenney". 
  8. ^ "McElhenney interview". Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  9. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 582 - Rob McElhenney". 
  10. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 582 - Rob McElhenney". 
  11. ^ Huffington Post, Retrieved January 2, 2015
  12. ^
  13. ^ "WTF with Marc Maron: Episode 582 - Rob McElhenney". 
  14. ^ "OK! Exclusive: Kaitlin Olson & Rob McElhenney Wed". OK!. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  15. ^ "Mac and Dee from "Always Sunny" getting into bar business for real | Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/17/2009". 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  16. ^ "Kaitlin Olson, Rob McElhenney Welcome Son Axel Lee". 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  17. ^ Johnson, Zach. "Meet Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney's Son Leo Grey!". US Weekly. US Magazine. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "Fat Mac: Rob McElhenney Goes Into Graphic Detail About 'Sunny' Weight Gain". Reuters. 2011-08-10. 
  19. ^ Maerz, Melissa (2011-09-16). "Rob McElhenney: How To Get Fat for TV". TV Article (Entertainment Weekly). Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  20. ^
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