Sometimes TV couples have on-screen chemistry so palpable, audiences are sure the actors must be dating in real life. And often that is the case, but, sorry to disappoint fans of the defunct NBC comedy Whitney who shipped the show's leads off-screen: Chris D'Elia and Whitney Cummings were not an item, except when it comes to being writing partners.
Chris D'Elia and Whitney Cummings have been friends for over a decade.
The two comedians came up together in the Los Angeles comedy scene and became close, but it seems the relationship has been largely, if not entirely, platonic over the years. In a 2012 Huffington Post interview, Whitney said, "Chris and I have been very close for six or seven years now. We came up together. I wrote the part [on Whitney] for him. So, I think that really helps a lot — we feel very safe with each other when we’re acting and I think that’s a big part of it."
But as for a relationship outside of work, the 37-year-old actress has said they "will never date," despite how much she loves and cares for him. They frequently take shots at each other over Twitter, but are always first to support each other when they have a new project and the first to come to each other's defense when needed.
In 2019, when internet trolls leaked nude photos of Whitney, Chris supported his friend by posting his own embarrassing pics. Now that's friendship!
Chris D'Elia's sobriety may have something to do with their closeness.
On her podcast and other appearances, as well as in her book, I'm Fine and Other Lies, Whitney has talked about growing up with an alcoholic mother and her struggle with eating disorders and codependency. She is a big believer in 12-step programs and spoke on Dax Shepard's podcast about attending Al-Anon meetings and her past patterns of seeking out relationships with alcoholics and addicts.
For those reasons, Chris is probably a very calming and stabilizing presence in Whitney's life because he has pretty much never partaken in alcohol or drugs. While he doesn't have some cautionary tale from his childhood or a history of addiction in his family to speak of, the 40-year-old has just never had any interest or felt he was missing something when it came to altered states.
"I never really 'decided' it so to speak," he said in a reddit AMA asking why he chose to abstain. "I just never have done drugs or drank. Very odd I know. Just never have. Don't really know why haha."
It's a bit ironic since one of Chris's most famous bits is his spot-on impression of how drunk girls sound, but it's probably a lot easier to imitate someone intoxicated when you're used to observing people in that state while stone-cold sober.
While substances and comedy almost seem to go hand in hand, Chris is proof you don't need to use to be funny.
Chris D'Elia's 2020 comedy special, No Pain, is now streaming on Netflix.