I asked Khan about his after the press conference.
"Yes, it was [Lance Bass] in the original script. He hadn't committed to it, it was just me writing in my pajamas and I was trying to think of somebody," she said.
Regardless of how it came about, Van Der Beek is completely game to mock his image and his past. ("Dawson's Creek" references included, although those will diminish going forward.)
"I think once the residual money ran out is really when it became okay to make fun of it," Van Der Beek said at that ABC press conference. "This has been the most fun I think I've ever had doing anything. We came up with this character. By Episode 3, I thought it bore, you know, less and less resemblance to me, which just made it even more fun."
Van Der Beek said he watched Showtime's "Episodes," which is built around Matt LeBlanc playing a version of himself, whereas in "Don't Trust," Van Der Beek is part of the ensemble.
"This character is just kind of crazy," Van Der Beek said of his same-named alter ego on "Don't Trust." "He's really sweet, but he's completely narcissistic. ... He's got so many blind spots, and so it was really fun to kind of exploit those blind spots and see what they were and just go as far as we possibly could and into the land of ridiculous but still keep it grounded somehow, which is what the writing allows us to do."