Thanks to the plethora of reruns airing on TBS, it’s hard to ignore that The Office just ain’t what it used to be. Plenty of people think that the problem is Jim — now that he’s married to Pam and a manager, there’s not as much room for his character to tug at our heartstrings or make us laugh. But NBC obviously thinks it’s something else: a lack of guest star power. That’s why they’re reportedly bringing in the great Kathy Bates to cameo in a story arc as Jo, a bossy Floridian executive whose pals with Jan’s replacement. Maybe they were hoping she’d work her Annie Wilkes magic on the writing staff? (In less exciting news, a day care center could soon be opening at Dunder Mifflin, presumably for Jim and Pam’s spawn.)
While stunt casting can be a tricky beast (and is often a tell-tale sign that a series is on the way out), when done right, it’s a beautiful thing to watch. After the jump, some of our favorite TV guest stars in recent months. Note: We wanted to include Betty White’s super brief cameo on 30 Rock, but the video was nowhere to be found.
Edward Norton as Spandau Ballet basist Izzy LaFontaine on Modern Family
John Lithgow as Arthur Mitchell on Dexter (Warning: NSFW)
Kathleen Turner as Sue Collini on Californication
Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes on Glee
The Seinfeld cast as themselves on Curb Your Enthusiasm