Is Lucky Hank a True Story? Is the TV Show Based on Real Life?

The AMC series “Lucky Hank,” developed by Paul Lieberstein and Aaron Zelman, revolves around William Henry Devereaux, Jr., chair of the English department at Layton College. Although job security was the least of Hank’s concerns as a tenured professor, his students demanded that he leave the university because he described the institution as mediocre. Hank has been through several such tumultuous events in his personal and professional life, but soon faces a midlife crisis. The comedy explores the many facets of middle age and the challenges one faces in overcoming them in reality, making one intrigued by the show’s possible roots in reality. So, is the series based on true events? Let’s reveal the answer!

Is Lucky Hank a true story?

“Lucky Hank” is based in part on a true story. This comedy-drama is based on the novel Straight Men by Richard Russell. Although the main character, William Henry Devereaux Jr., is fictional, his experience as a professor of English is based in part on Russo’s time at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Southern Connecticut State University, Pennsylvania State University Altoona, and Irby College’s experience as a professor of English. The author wanted to write a “serious” campus novel, exploring the midlife crisis in the “no more than superficial” academic world.

Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/AMC

Russo’s experience as an English professor became the basis for his novel. “Heterosexuality is the easiest book I’ve ever written, and it’s also the funniest. Part of the reason it’s funniest is that it’s the easiest. There’s the pain of Hank, trying to get through that rock, and the pain of middle age , he may have lost his wife, something happened to his daughter. It’s not that there’s nothing at stake, it’s just those academic nonsense stories that I’ve been saving for years,” Russo said. interview Courtesy of Willow Springs, Eastern Washington University.

Several of Russo’s characters in the novel are based in part on professors and others who worked with him at these educational institutions. Oscar Nunez’s Dean Rose in the series can be compared to Russo of Penn State Altoona in Logan Township, Pennsylvania )’s Dean. Like Hank and Ross, Russo and Dean used to discuss budgetary constraints and constraints that made the latter’s job difficult. Russo conceived the character of Campbell “Orshee” Wheemer, Shannon DeVido’s Emma Wheemer novel counterpart, based in part on a colleague at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Russo’s colleagues don’t really tolerate the independent use of masculine pronouns in reality.

Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/AMC

While real-life characters did inspire Russo to conceive some of the characters, the authors seem to have made them heavily fictional for dramatic purposes. In addition, the author synthesizes his experiences at four institutions to form Hank’s experience as a professor at the singular Railton College. Russo admits that there isn’t much difference between the departments of the agencies where he works. “Most stuff comes from other campuses [rather than Colby College]other English departments, but they are all the same,” Russo said in a interview Give the Maine Voice live.

Co-producers Paul Lieberstein and Aaron Zelman set their TV adaptation in the modern day rather than the ’90s in which the novel is set. Lieberstein and Zellman made the novel’s characters more “variety” and included “more women and youth” in the narrative. They insisted that the show reflected the present so that their creations would not regress to the “stuffy English department of yesteryear”. Russo, who wrote the source novel, agrees. “Academic madness, needs updating a bit, but it’s still there. It’s still a feature of the English department,” the author added in a live interview with The Maine Voice.

Read more: Where was Lucky Hank filmed?

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