'Ghosts' Showrunner Joe Wiseman on How CBS Sitcom Works Around Trevor's Double Entendres

After earning a massive win across broadcast with its debut season, the multi-award-nominated Ghosts is proving to be the ultimate feel-good sitcom of the 2021-2022 season. Thanks to a cast of playfully talented performers and witty writers providing fantastical laugh-out-loud humor, the Joe Port and Joe Wiseman series is a unicorn across the television landscape. With heart and comedy that sticks with you well beyond its 22-minute offering, the show also manages to crack some very, very cheeky jokes care of the charming Trevor Lefkowitz — played most spiritedly by Asher Grodman

With the series referring to ghosts that are blessed to leave this earthly plane as being "sucked off," the show frequently pushes the line of double entendres as Trevor gets playful for his own amusement with the spirits who have no idea of an expression's real meaning. While chatting about the phrase "sucked off" during the show's first Canadian panel at the Just for Laughs ComedyPro last month as part of the world-famous event's 40th-anniversary festival on July 30, co-showrunner Joe Wiseman said the writers are all quite careful with how they use the naughty wordplay.

"We figured out that as long as you say 'sucked off' and it is a bow to a ghost ascending to heaven, you can use it. If it's interpreted in any other way..." Wiseman told Canadian media and event-goers as his voice trailed off. "It's a wonderful joke that we hope — we want to bend it, not break it. There have been drafts where we go too far. When Hetty's husband was sent down to Hell, Alberta says 'Oh my God, he went down on us,' and we were very proud of ourselves. But in the first draft of that script, there was a page of 'going down' jokes and we were just sort of like, 'We're breaking it, we're not bending it.' So we showed some self-restraint and we pulled back on that."

Elsewhere in the one-hour conversation at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Montreal, Wiseman answered the question audiences have wondered for a while now: If the Woodstone Mansion spirits can walk through walls, how can they sit on couches or be seated at the kitchen table beside Samantha? "If a ghost did a handstand, would they go through the floor? Can they lean on furniture?" Wiseman asked the audience rhetorically. "We want to be able to shoot this. They just have to be able to walk around and not fall through things. We do play with it. The ghosts often times ask questions that we don't have answers for, like 'Why do we sleep?'"

Series star Rose McIver, who plays "Living" Samantha, says filming is all very intricate in terms of production. "Because the ghosts wouldn't leave an indentation on any beds they sit on or anything, there are big wooden planks that are put on things. We had a guest star go sit down on a sofa and nearly broke their tailbone," she said. "It's like rock-solid. It's brutal. But the detail that does into that stuff is amazing."

Most questionably, if the ghosts can walk through walls, why can't they go beyond the property lines? Wiseman said the "short answer" is that there's a "range," especially when it comes to Thorfinn (Devan Chandler Long) and Sasappis (Román Zaragoza) who are the two oldest spirits at Woodstone. "It's not a 'registered-with-the county property line thing.' It's a range and we fudge it a little bit. Since they died where the house is so they have the same typical range as the rest of the ghosts."

Ghosts Season 2 returns on Sept. 29 at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS. For more on Ghosts and everything Season 2, stay tuned to the very latest about the show, news about the cast, and everything in between only on PopCulture. In the meantime, relive the first season of Ghosts on Paramount+ for free from June 3 to Sept. 2, 2022.