Mr. Schue Was Addicted to Meth in Original 'Glee' Script
Film/TV

Mr. Schue Was Addicted to Meth in Original 'Glee' Script

Mr. Schue, the unintentional villain of the early 2010s TV sensation, Glee, was originally written as a crystal meth addict.

Ryan Murphy joined the first episode of And That’s What You REALLY Missed, a no-holds-barred podcast that explores the show hosted by former cast members Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams) and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang). The conversation was more than telling.


Shortly after signing a first-look deal with Fox, Murphy was brainstorming a musical show for the network when he was approached by a guy at the gym with the script for Glee. To Murphy, it was “like serendipity."

"I went to the gym and I was in a towel and a guy went up and handed me a script and he said, ‘I had a feeling you were in show choir, am I right?’” Murphy replied, confirming the man’s assumption. “And he said, 'my friend wrote this script and you should read it.'”

Murphy did read it and decided it was the perfect musical idea for a show, but found some elements of the script too dark for network television — although not for his notoriously macabre taste.

“Mr. Schue, I believe, was a crystal meth addict in [Ian Brennan’s] script,” Murphy said on the podcast. “The NC-17 version of show choir with a weird protagonist who was unraveling. I just need something optimistic.” That was a phrase he never uttered again.

Together, Murphy and Brennan reworked the pilot to become Glee, the show we know and love (and love to hate). While drug dependence was written out of the show, an altered state of reality would explain Mr. Schue’s unconventional teaching style.

Like when he called the glee club a minority.

Or when he performed "The Thong Song" to his soon-to-be-wed workplace crush.

Murphy also revealed that the role that feels tailor-made to Matthew Morrison’s unique brand of horny-meets-cringe was originally written with Justin Timberlake in mind, which would’ve made the NSYNC* vs. Backstreet Boys medley where Mr. Schue did a sexy puppet routine and physically threw a student even more unsettling.

Photo courtesy of Rowben Lantion/BFA

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