Piper appeared in both “The Gang Wrestles for the Troops” and “Mac and Dennis Buy a Timeshare,” playing a local Philly wrestler who goes by “Da Maniac” and is pretty much always down on his luck. He seems like he’s probably taken a few too many metal chairs to the dome, too, as he mumbles incoherently from time to time and seems to misunderstand just about everything. (For example, when Mac (McElhenney) and Dennis (Howerton) try to get him in on the timeshare, he thinks that means they’re now apartment roommates.) Apparently, Piper got really into character whenever he was on set, which Howerton described:
“Okay, so what I remember was when he came in, he was like, there was some like method acting s*** happening, he was in character. He would, I mean, he would interact with us, but he was — He kind of stayed in character to a degree. And I remember thinking at the time, and I think I brought this up to you guys, he was so good and playing it so real. And so his performance was so haunted that it was like I was watching him thinking he could have played The Wrestler. In Darron Aronofsky’s ‘The Wrestler.’ He would’ve been amazing.”
The guys went on to explain that Piper was so in character that it could be a little difficult to communicate with him on-set. They did point out, however, that he was a completely different person in the dressing rooms, where he was out of character and was just himself. It had to be pretty intimidating trying to make a comedy with a guy acting like the Maniac around, but the results are spectacular because both episodes are wildly funny.