Charlie Day Wooed His Wife, Mary Ellis, In A Modern Game Of Fisticuffs


Charlie Day is a writer, actor, and producer. He’s best known for creating, producing, and starring in the hit comedy series,  It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Not only did Day create the series, but he actually originally pitched it based on a home video he’d made with his costars and co-creators, Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney. To turn a home video with your friends into a 15+ season series takes some serious vision. But, the goofy, fun-loving behavior of the characters in Day’s show actually may not be too far from his real life. Day’s life with his longtime love sounds pretty close to that of the characters in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

He Arm Wrestled For An Introduction

Charlie Day met his wife when they were both acting in different plays in New York. At the time, Day was 25, and Ellis was 22. According to Ellis, one evening, they went to a bar after their plays with some friends. Ellis told Conan O’Brien that at the bar, Day and his friend both thought Ellis was “cute” and wanted to talk to her. Since engaging in a classic duel isn’t appropriate bar behavior, the two friends decided to take a different approach: arm wrestling.

According to her story, Ellis didn’t only have the attention of the two men engaged in a battle for her attention. Elsewhere in the bar, a drunk man was talking to Ellis This kept her distracted, and she didn’t realize that there was an arm-wrestling match for her attention going on. Fate intervened, and Day emerged from battle victorious. After winning, he, in her words,  “came and rescued [her] from a drunken Irishman.” 

The rest is history. According to Ellis, “The professional answer is we met each other and thought each other were great and had a very above the board, classy relationship. The true story is it’s a one-night stand that’s still happening this many years later. So you know, just go for it, it might work out.”

These shenanigans definitely sound like something ripped from an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and perhaps it was foreshadowing. The couple went on to both act on Day’s series for many seasons. And, in a true case of art imitating life, the couple’s characters even got together in season 12.

They’ve Been Married Since 2006

While the duo is best known for sharing the screen together on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, that wasn’t their first taste of working together. They also appeared in an episode of Reno 911! in 2004. “We were dating at the time and asked if we could go in together,” Ellis said of her and Day’s audition for the series. “We got to choose to either play a victim or perp, so we decided to be brother/sister lovers,” she told Monster Fresh. Day added, “Nothing says, ‘This is the girl I want to marry,’ like pretending she’s your sister and making out with her to get a job.” As unconventional as it may seem, he was right. It’s Always Sunny premiered on FX in 2005, and the following year, Day and Ellis got married. 

The couple has since welcomed their son, Russell Wallace Day, to the family. When asked if she thinks the new addition to this show biz family will end up pursuing the family business, the answer is maybe. She said she could imagine the then 4-year-old being a director, because of how much he bossed his parents around.

Since then, Day has racked up many career accomplishments. He’s had quite a few  TV writing and producing credits, as well as acting on the small and big screen. He’s even taking a page from his son’s book. He’s trying on his director hat for the upcoming film, El Tonto. Ellis has also played many hilarious TV roles. While the couple has been enjoying their separate careers, it’s clear they love working together.

It’s Always Sunny is on its 15th season, and this March, Day and Ellis will celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary. We’re looking forward to seeing the laughs this hilarious couple shares with the world for years to come.