Jason Ritter Filling Big Shoes

Jason Ritter comes from the stock of a comedic star, the late John Ritter of "Three's Company" and "Eight Simples Rules." But it wasn't always easy for the son to follow the path forged by the father.

He got his big break in the TV drama "Joan of Arcadia" and now is starring on the hit comedy "The Class." He plays the overly romantic Dr. Ethan Haas who gets dumped by his fiancée when he throws a party commemorating the 20th anniversary they met — in their third grade class. She dumps him in front of everyone and Ritter ends up becoming friends with a cynical former class mate.

For a while, Ritter resisted doing sitcoms and said "sitcoms resisted doing me," partly because of his father's legendary career.

"I think that had something to do with it," he told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "A lot of times I would go into a room and audition for whatever sitcom it was and they would expect me to do sort of what my dad was doing and I am not him so they would be disappointed and I would feel nervous and not know exactly how to do it."

Ritter said auditioning for "The Class" was the first time he went in feeling confident in his own ability and his sense of humor. He learned the importance of being himself from his father.

"The think I saw was how much fun he was really having," Ritter said. "That's not something you can really fake. You can pretend that fun but it's different than people actually playing and having a great time with each other. On 'The Class,' it's really almost disgustingly sweet. We all have so much fun with each other and we are so excited to be doing this show and talking about how we are just all over each other, climbing on each other and having so much fun. I think that started to translate into the show, which is exciting."

"The Class" airs Monday night at 8 EST on CBS.
  • Caitlin Johnson

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