Since premiering on ABC last year, Suburgatory has featured a number of former Saturday Night Live performers in its cast, including Ana Gasteyer, Chris Parnell, and Jay Mohr. Now in its sophomore season, the single-camera comedy will also welcome Tim Meadows and Rachel Dratch to the fictional town of Chatswin, New York.
A self-professed fan of the show, Rachel Dratch will make her first appearance on Wednesday's Halloween episode. She will guest star as Paula, nicknamed "The Witch of East Chatswin," a childhood rival of Gasteyer's character Sheila Shay. Explains Dratch, "Paula doesn't conform to plastic surgery and everything about image, so the town naturally assumes she's a witch."
Also on tonight's episode, Tim Meadows will be introduced as Edmond, the father of the school's token black kid Malik (Maestro Harrell), who is dating Sheila's daughter Lisa. Edmond is described as the strong patriarch of a close-knit family who moved to Chatswin for the schools, not the people.
While assembling the cast for Suburgatory's pilot in 2011, creator and executive producer Emily Kapnek says she wanted Gasteyer in the role of nosy neighbor Sheila. "We knew the part was a little bit underwritten. I talked to Ana and I said, 'Listen, if the show winds up going, I promise that we will find more for you to do than just stand outside and water your flowers," Kapnek told TV Guide. "Luckily enough, when the show came to fruition, we really were able to do exactly what we promised."
Joining her as Sheila's weak-willed husband Fred, Chris Parnell is another SNL veteran who worked with Gasteyer before their days on the venerable late-night sketch comedy show. In fact, while they were both members of The Groundlings improvisational comedy troupe, he and Gasteyer played an uptight married couple similar to the Shays. "We've been playing a version of this weird suburban couple for all these years and now we're old enough to play them for real," Parnell admits with a chuckle.
While I didn't expect much from Suburgatory, the show won me over with its satirical twist and the impressive supporting cast. Rachel Dratch and Tim Meadows should make excellent additions as possible recurring characters. Are you a fan of Suburgatory?