Apparently a package deal of vodka and cigarettes was a winning casting combo for Will & Grace creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan.
In a PEOPLE exclusive sneak peek at their acceptance speech at Friday’s upcoming broadcast of the 2017 Logo Trailblazer Honors, which was taped in New York City on Thursday, the creative partners joked that they convinced actress Debra Messing to join the cast of the now-famous sitcom with booze and nicotine.
Mutchnick opened the speech, telling Messing, “To think it was almost 20 years ago that Dave and I showed up at your apartment with two packs of Marlboro Lights and a bottle of Ketel One, and we decided to beg you to do a pilot we had just written.”
Kohan followed up with the logic behind the move, saying, “Our thinking was that if you were drunk and coughing, you physically could not say no.”
The producer partners received recognition for their contributions to LGBTQ representation in entertainment at the award show. The ceremony also honored pop icon Cyndi Lauper and gay rights activist–turned–AIDS Quilt creator Cleve Jones.
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A new 12-episode season of Will & Grace is set to premiere Sept. 28 on NBC, more than 11 years after its original eight-season run.
Messing, who most recently appeared in ABC’s Dirty Dancing remake, will reprise her role as one half of the titular pair, with Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes also returning to complete the ensemble.
The Logo Trailblazer Awards simulcast Friday at 9 p.m. ET on Logo and VH1.