Over the past few weeks, it seems like we can't read an entertainment blog without learning of some completely random and amazing actor guest-starring as someone's mom or dad on the new season on one of our favorite TV shows. So in the grand tradition of Kathleen Turner playing Chandler's trans-gendered father on Friends and Debbie Reynolds guest-starring as Grace's brassy mother on Will & Grace, here are the actors making cameos as (most likely horrifying and hilarious) primetime parents.
The child: Kenneth the Page (Jack McBreyer) on the final season of 30 Rock
The parents: Catherine O'Hara will play Kenneth's mom and "mom's friend," will be played by Bryan Cranston.
The child: Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) on New Girl
The parents: Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis will play Joan and Bob, Jess's divorced parents, whom she will attempt to reunite at Thanksgiving.
The child: Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) on Community
The parent: James Brolin will play William Winger, Jeff's long-estranged dad, on the Thanksgiving episode of the show, titled "Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations."
The child: Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams) on GIRLS
The parent: Rita Wilson will play Marnie's mom. Here's a shot of them filming a scene together...
The child: Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) on Parks and Recreation.
The parent: Breaking Bad's Jonathan Banks will play Ben's father on the sixth episode of this season's Parks and Rec. According to the show's co-creator Mike Schur, he will be a lot like Banks' BB character Mike Ehrmentraut. "To me, at this exactly moment in time, he's everyone I know's favorite actor," Schur told Hit Fix. [Fun fact: Banks appeared in one of our favorite films of all-time, the made-for-TV movie Nadia, about Nadia Comaneci (as her dad), which we rented so many times from the video store that they ultimately gave it to us.]
The child: Veronica Moore (Jennifer Hudson), who joins the cast of Smash for its second season.
The parent: Tony-award nominee (for Dreamgirls!) Sheryl Lee Ralph will play her mother Cynthia.
The children: Alex and Jane Kerkovich (Elisha Cuthbert and Eliza Coupe) on Happy Endings
The parents: Extremely prolific actor Christopher McDonald (Boardwalk Empire, Cracking Up, Veronica's Closet, Requiem for a Dream) and Airplane's Julie Hagerty will play Alex and Jane Kerkovich's parents on the sixth episode of the season, in which Jane "tries to find Serbian-themed jokes for her tough-to-please dad's birthday party."
The child: Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons)'s classmate on Modern Family.
The parents: Bridesmaids' Wendi McLendon-Covey and former SNL-er Michaela Watkins will play lesbian moms whose son gets into a fight with Lily on the first day of kindergarten.
The child: Sabrina (Shannon Woodward) on Raising Hope
The parents: Melanie Griffith and Tippi Hedren will play Sabrina's mother and grandmother, respectively. Griffith said, "Tamara is a complete narcissist. Everything about her." And Hedren added, "I am playing the most despicable character!"