"They hated me, didn't they, because they barely laughed," Elon Gold said fretfully after his audition on the new Fox sitcom "Stacked," starring Pamela Anderson.
"That's exactly the neurosis your character needs," Executive Producer Steve Levitan told the 34 year old comic-actor ("You're the One," "The In-Laws").
The anxiety factor is why Gold was hired as a last-minute replacement for Tom Everett Scott, who was deemed too laid back to portray Gavin, the tense bookstore owner employing party girl Skyler (Anderson).
In the promising pilot -- which one critic called "'Frasier' with boobs" -- Gold proved a hilarious comic foil for the vacuous yet surprisingly insightful Anderson. The ex "Baywatch" beauty whose, er, body of work has rendered her America's iconic blonde bombshell, is the latest celebrity to essentially play herself on TV, albeit not on a reality show.
Gold, in part, is playing himself, too. The character "needs to be an uptight, neurotic intellectual, and I think that Elon can portray that," Levitan told the New York Daily News.
The comic agrees that his "head is filled with all kinds of crazy problems"; the latest is Levitan's idea about creating a Marilyn Monroe-Arthur Miller style affair between Gavin and Skyler.
"I'm almost hoping they don't make my character Jewish, in case romance sparks and I get in trouble from all my relatives for marrying a shiksa," said Gold, an observant Jew.
The relatives no doubt approve his take on landing the show to "a Purim miracle," however. On that holiday, Levitan called him in for a meeting and the next night he was surprised in his synagogue parking lot by a Fox executive, with Gold's contract in hand.
The comic said he was excited to land the sitcom because it's "a throwback to shows like 'Cheers' and 'Taxi'" and also because of ex-Playboy model Anderson, whom he had ogled on "Baywatch."
"It doesn't matter what she wears, she's provocative," he said of meeting her on the "Stacked" set. But he's madly in love with his wife, Sacha, who does not feel threatened by Anderson.
"Her theory is, the more beautiful the actress, the less chance I'd ever have," Gold said.
"Stacked" airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m.