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Fall TV Mystery: Who Will Parks and Recreation Cast as Tammy No. 1?

When Parks and Recreation introduced us to Ron’s ex, Tammy 2 (Megan Mullally), we were scared. Or so we thought. Now that the NBC hitcom’s season finale has suggested that we’re about to meet her predecessor, Tammy 1, we know the true meaning of fear. What we don’t know is who’s gonna play the queen of mean. A few suggestions:

Glenn Close | We can already hear the Fatal Attraction psycho snarling, “I’m not gonna be ignored, Ron!” Hence, my shuddering on this sweaty May day. And wouldn’t you agree, if she’s ever gonna get to go further over the top than Cruella de Vil, this’ll be the role that lets her do it?

Jan Hooks | The former Designing woman’s 30 Rock guest gig as Jenna’s grizzly mama reminded us just how much we miss seeing her shtick on a regular basis. Besides that, wouldn’t her go-for-broke acting style fit right in among the crazies of Pawnee?

Charlotte Ross | Speaking of scene-stealers we miss… ! This born vixen got her big break playing a teenage hooker on Days of Our Lives. And though she’s most widely known for playing a do-gooder on NYPD Blue, she’s at her best when her characters are doing their worst (see also: Beggars and Choosers, The 5 Mrs. Buchanans).

Lucy Lawless | Thanks to Battlestar Galactica and Spartacus, everybody knows the erstwhile Xena is a force to be reckoned with. But did you know that she’s also funny as all get-out? No? Then you clearly haven’t seen her fooling around with Joel McHale on The Soup, which in my mind, qualifies as reason No. 21,104 why she’s needs to play Tammy 1.

Roseanne | Like Satan, she only needs a single name to strike terror into the hearts of us mere mortals. Unlike Satan, the She-Devil star’s not just intimidating, she’s hysterical, too.

Kim Cattrall | If anybody could treat PnR’s Ron like dirt and still keep him coming back for more, it’s Sex and the City’s libidinous Samantha Jones. Question is, since she’s already so closely associated with one bitchy vamp, would she see in Tammy 1 enough of a challenge to bother taking on another?

Wanda Sykes | Not only do we already know she can bust a guy’s chops with no more than a withering glare (courtesy of… um, pretty much every role she’s ever played), but the thought of how uproarious it would be to see how the censors would handle the legendary pottie mouth talking dirty to Ron makes her perhaps our favorite candidate.

Kirstie Alley | Long before she turned her struggles with weight into a multi-million dollar industry, Alley was an Emmy-winning actress who excelled at playing complicated women — and by “complicated” I mean bat-crap “crazy.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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145 Comments
  1. Sara says:

    Molly Shannon or Elizabeth Mitchell would be my top choices.

  2. C says:

    Nope. Jennifer Coolidge.

  3. Iggi says:

    Parks and Rec is the single most awesome TV series there is… I laughed for an hour straight after watching Tammy 2 get terrified out of her mind when seeing Tammy 1 in Ron’s Office. Genious.

  4. JJ says:

    Jean Smart

    • Corinne says:

      Weird, I was thinking the same thing. She was so great in Samantha Who and Garden State.

    • Erik says:

      I was thinking Jean as well. Since she is no longer on Hawaii 5-0
      It would be funny if Ron’s first was “an experienced lady” maybe make it that Tammy 1 was once his and Tammy 2’s old teacher?

      I like your Lucy Lawless suggestion, and I’m also digging Lisa Kudrow, but what about Kristen Wiig? I have a feeling Wiig could do an amazing “Fatal Attraction” version of an ex-wife or a real ball-buster ex.

  5. Bob Gassel says:

    Most of these “nominees” are way too old…remember, Ron’s in his mid 40’s.

  6. ggny says:

    Lisa Kudrow

    • emmitwest says:

      Only one actress has the ability to mix crazy and manipulation in a mannner that would scare not only Ron but Tammy 2.0 as well: Andrea Evans, the original Tina from One Life to Live. I had the biggest crush… therapy has helped.

  7. Steven says:

    Kirstie Alley would be amazing. I loved her in Veronica’s Closet. Or how about her fellow Cheers alumna Bebe Neuwirth?

  8. Kristi says:

    For me it’s a 3-way tie between Glenn Close, Lucy Lawless and Kirstie Alley. Those are the only three I could picture terrifying Tammy 2.

  9. mawhi says:

    Some other suggestions I’ve seen include Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Allison Janney, yeah Molly Shannon and Debra Messing (just to be ridiculous and unlikely because of Smash).

    • drelo says:

      Julia!

    • Nicole says:

      I like the Julia suggestion – she fits Ron’s type (brown hair) and she can play crazy, plus she’s hilarious. I also love Rachel Harris who plays a great bitch. My dream would be Kathleen Turner, but the ages are way too off unless it was a major May-December relationship.

  10. Ross Bonaime says:

    For some reason I hope Megan Mullaly plays Tammy number one too.

  11. Em says:

    When my husband said it, I knew he was right – Jane Kaczmarek.

  12. ladyhelix says:

    Juliet Landau is 39, and she can do magnetic/seductive/psycho/creepy/dangerous

    http://www.wizardworld.com/julietlandau.html

    • me says:

      YES! A MILLION TIMES YES! If any of those sparkly twilight vampires ever met Drusilla they’d be crying to their mommies in no time.

  13. Corinne says:

    My short list would be Jean Smart, Allison Janney, Jane Lynch, or Lisa Kudrow.

  14. Laura says:

    Lisa Edelstein!

  15. Elijah says:

    You had me at “Glenn Close.”

  16. Latifah says:

    I don’t think Tammy 1 should be blond! Ron is a simple man, he likes pretty dark haired women and breakfast food :D

    • sherylgurl says:

      yes! Ron stated he liked smart brunettes…so as much as i would LOVE Glenn Close to be Tammy 1.0, it’s a pope dream,me thinks.

      Roseanne FTW.

  17. Aly says:

    ALLISON JANNEY, CLEARLY.

  18. A lot of great suggestions here… Has there been any hint as to what she does for a career?

  19. El says:

    Uh… where is Tina Fey? :duh:

  20. John says:

    How has no one mentioned Catherine O’Hara yet?

  21. Anon says:

    Melora hardin (Jan on the office)

  22. Manissa says:

    Elizabeth Mitchell!

  23. shaz says:

    ooh, that’s a good one.

  24. nyshopgirl14 says:

    Yep, my vote’s for Allison Janney.

  25. Liza180 says:

    Hiw about Winona Ryder? She looks sweet but can play crazy!

  26. Jon says:

    Brooke Shields can play crazy too. And she’s more age appropriate than some of these other actresses.

    The only other actress I can think of who would be perfect would be a total opposite – Zelda Rubinstein. Of course, she passed away. So Brooke it is.

  27. Jim says:

    I agree with everyone who said Allison Janney. She can be hilarious and she can be scary when needed. I can see her making Megan Mullally run for the hills.

  28. Kathryn says:

    Oh GOD NO to Kirstie Alley!!! I could be happy with either Kim Cattrall or Glenn Close. But my top choices are Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, or Uma Thurman.

  29. Thari says:

    It’s never gonna happen, but i would love KAtey Sagal as Tammy 1! Either her or Jennifer Coolidge.

  30. Linda says:

    Tina Fey! Ron Swanson likes women with brown hair and glasses? I would assume that he went for that 1st time around as well.

  31. Sam says:

    Okay, under any other circumstances I wouldn’t pick Kim Cattrall, but the idea of her playing opposite Nick Offerman is too much to resist.

  32. CC says:

    Elizabeth Mitchell of course. She can play the comedic crazy better than anyone on that list.

  33. Corey Pietrzak says:

    Bebe Neuwirth IMO, but Lawless is genius also, too. As well.

  34. Soso says:

    Lucy Lawless, Lisa Kudrow, Katey Sagal, Tina Fey or Julia Louis-Dreyfuss !

  35. Soso says:

    or Rachel Griffiths !

  36. EM says:

    What about Joan Cusak?

  37. d_dets says:

    Minnie Driver!

  38. Kristen says:

    Kim Cattrall would be hilarious. I wouldn’t mind Jean Smart, Catherine O’Hara, or hell, Marisa Tomei can totally play crazy.

  39. Chase says:

    Who played Glory on Buffy? THERE’S Tammy 1. Might be too young. I would be equally happy with Allison Janney.

  40. Casey says:

    How about Christine Lahti? Great actress who can play funny, mean and crazy

  41. Reda says:

    Uh….how about Nick Offerman in drag? He wants it too

  42. mia says:

    Glenn Close is too busy doing better things — like portraying the amazing Patty Hewes in DIrecTV’s “Damages.”

  43. Dan says:

    LUCY LAWLESS please!!!

  44. machoman says:

    Lucy
    freakin
    lawless.

  45. Simon says:

    I gotta say the names that came to my mind originally were Lisa Kudrow, Elizabeth Mitchell and Jean Smart. Not really a fan of any of the names mentioned in the article. But I voted Lucy Lawless. But I like Joan Cusack and Minnie Driver were mentioned in the comments. The latter would be fun to go toe to toe with Megan Mullallny again like in Will & Grace

  46. Charles says:

    Jane Lynch gets some weeks off from GLEE, right? Having one more PARTY DOWN cast member on could never hurt.

  47. Tasha says:

    My sister and I were talking about this and we feel that Parks and Rec need to blow the budget and hire a Oscar winner to play Tammy 1. Someone like Nicole Kidman or Penelope Cruz. Someone who married Ron for the green card (Ron was young and in love) and proceeded to make Ron’s life a living hell. I know the chances of that are slim, but it’s worth a shot.

  48. rjmae says:

    You will never be able to beat the chemistry that Nick and Megan have, so if you aren’t going to have Megan play both Tammy’s, then it doesn’t really matter who it get. It won’t be as good as Nick and Megan.

  49. Ace says:

    No, no, no… they need to go the opposite direction and cast someone really shy and sweet and unassuming. Then the comedy is in trying to figure out why the heck Ron is so scared of her. (Who is the American version of Primeval’s Ruth Kearney? Somebody like that would be hilarious.)

    • Ace says:

      I’ve got it — Sports Night’s Sabrina Lloyd. She’s brunette, she’s of an appropriate age, and she’s adorably unthreatening. Why on earth would The Great Ron Swanson be afraid of such a wonderful little person? Therein lies the plot.

    • Jabbertalky says:

      I agree that going sweet and nice would be a clever direction to take this. My choice for that isn’t a brunette, but no one does sweet and nice (and cute, and vulnerable, and sexy, and …) better than Andrea Anders. I still miss her from Better Off Ted. Her role in the (deservedly) canceled Mr. Sunshine was sadly underdeveloped, so I hope we get to see her in something else real soon.

    • goflboyu says:

      Going the opposite way is what I think too. Why would Ron and Tammy 2 be so apprehensive of someone sweet and likable, that would be a great question. To make it even funnier, have Megan play the Tammy 1 too (she could wear a wig and her contacts). Then you have a sweet Tammy and an evil Tammy, only they look almost identical. That would be hilarious.

      • John says:

        Of course to complete this idea, Mullally would also have to play Ron’s mother at some point as well.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Maya Rudolph if you were going another direction and casting someone sweet.

    • murley says:

      if you are going that direction i would have to nominate amy acker. she can also turn on the crazy when needed.

      • Ace says:

        Amy Acker is a great idea!!! She could do the sweet/crazy dichotomy perfectly, and I’ve really been missing her since Dollhouse ended!

  50. Kobz says:

    Jane Lynch

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