Van Der Beek relished the chance to poke fun at his melodramatic "Dawson's Creek" image. Fans of the show are glad he's back.
"It's nice to not be in jail or rehab and it's even nicer to hear people are happy that you're still working," he said with a laugh, "so I'm very, very grateful."
The show pushes boundaries as far as comedy goes and allows Van Der Beek to leave nice guy Dawson in the dust. But how risky will Van Der Beek get before the season is over for this show?
"As risky as broadcast standards will allow us, pretty much," he said. "We just go there. This show takes place in its own parallel universe. And we just take a lot of chances and push the envelope. The fun part is to see how far we can go with all the craziness."
In his role, Van Der Beek will be able to show people that he can be funny after doing a lot of drama.
"It's nice to laugh at work instead of crying all day, you know?" he said. "It's so much fun. You show up, you laugh, you make jokes and the rule is if it's funny, it wins.
"I think I've made enough people cry for one lifetime, at least for now," he added.
Comedy night on ABC kicks off at 8 p.m. with new episodes of "The Middle," "Suburgatory," and "Modern Family," followed at 9:30 p.m. by the debut of "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23." Then at 10 p.m., there will be a recap of the season so far on "Revenge."