Film/TV

Meet the Parents... on TV Shows This Fall

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!"


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