Rob Lowe will be joining the cast of Parks and Recreation, and the show’s producers are not mincing words when it comes to the audience-bait that is Lowe, “the world’s handsomest male.” The network producers hope that Lowe will tap into the appeal of Alec Baldwin’s 30 Rock character, at least in terms of attracting female viewers with baby-making eye contact. And no one seems to be worried that a star like Lowe will seem out of place within the quirky Parks universe (or that such a starry presence will undoubtedly be commented on within the show itself).
However, stunt casting Sam Seaborn makes us think that anything is possible, and so we’ve compiled a list of other stroke-of-genius ideas for recurring guest roles on other prime-time television shows. Pitch us your own dream roster of stunt-casted “actors” in the comments.
The Office – The obvious choice would be Ricky Gervais, who originated the boorish boss in the British series and has made his public contempt for Steve Carrell laughably transparent. He would be brought in as the international CEO of a company that purchases Sabre, further shaking up the Dunder-Mifflin branch by offering to promote Michael to corporate for his managerial skills. If The Office is going for eye candy, though, a smaller storyline could be created showcasing someone like Megan Fox as Creed Bratton’s long-lost daughter who finally returns to find her daddy. For pure entertainment, Courtney Love plays Meredith’s equally boozed-up and socially inept younger sister who is forced to move to Scranton while facing marital problems.
Curb Your Enthusiasm – Larry David has already had a coterie of cameos to accompany his curmudgeonly nature, tackling industry controversies like the time Michael Richards made racially-charged comments, then placing him face-to-face with a very pissed-off fan. Another celebrity who laid low after publicly damaging xenophobic comments earns our nomination: Mel Gibson. A season of Gibson crossing paths with David’s endlessly nebbish and exaggerated stereotype characterization of a grumpy old Jewish man would have to make for some alternately cringe-worthy and hilarious television.
Glee – Noted Broadway stars Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, and Jonathan Groff have all made guest appearances at the dysfunctional paradise that is William Mckinley High School, with Neil Patrick Harris in the pipeline to play an old high school rival of Matthew Morrison. If the Glee producers wanted to stick with the Broadway heartthrob theme, than Hugh Jackman could step in as a dashing new teacher who assists Morrison in whipping the Glee Club into shape with some serious song-and-dance moves. However, our real choice would be the reunited trio of Jack Black, John C. Reilly, and Will Ferrell, who in the past have all showcased their singing and over-the-top comedic chops that would thrive in the campy atmosphere of Glee. Watch the video of the three at the Oscars and imagine them as a janitorial crew desperate to prove to the club they can do more than just clean up a Slushie aftermath.
American Idol – Lady Gaga as permanent judge, until the end of time, forever and ever. No more “pitchiness, dawg,” or stiff upper lip British put-downs. No, with Lady Gaga at the helm, you have a competition where contestants would poison each others coffee to compete for who has the most ludicrous hairstyle, outfit, or publicity-grabbing headline behavior. The current iteration of Idol seem even more watered down compared to Adam Lambert’s glam explosion of last season, and Gaga would bring controversy, a massive fanbase, and an untamed sense of unpredictability to a franchise lagging in credibility.
The Amazing Race – Endless possibilities (how has a celebrity Amazing Race not happened yet? The closest they’ve come is having the pasty actor/screenwriter from School of Rock and Boston Rob and Amber from Survivor). Family teams, in particular, would qualify that race as “must-watch” TV: Jon and Kate Gosselin, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Peyton and Eli Manning, Alec and Stephen Baldwin, and Lindsey and Michael Lohan. You could even break down The Amazing Race for a more niche audience by making an all-rapper race; imagine Method Man and Redman, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, Andre 3000 and Big Boi, Chuck D with Flava Flav.
Lost – Who would look good caked in mud and dirt, traveling through time and being attacked by mysterious forces from all around? Samuel L. Jackson has proven in the past that he can anchor an Internet viral campaign with Snakes On A Plane, and his presence would feed the already endless Internet presence of Lost with memes like Samuel L. yelling “I am so tired of this motherfucking black smoke on this motherfucking island!” In the realm of Lost where logic is a far-off place, we’d turn back time and put Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff on Oceanic Flight 815, squeezing into their old red swimsuits for a Baywatch reunion of running in slow motion along the islands edge and assisting the other plane crash survivors as they survey the island.
Saturday Night Live – John Mayer. Come on, you’ve heard all of the public comments that the guy has been nailed for as of late, and SNL could always use a much needed burst of controversy. If you forgot just how crazy some of what Mayer said was, you can refresh your memory with the excerpts we took from his memorable Playboy interview here.