Fall TV Preview

Exclusive: New Girl Poised to Introduce Jess’ Parents – Our Picks to Play Them!

Zooey Deschanel New GirlPass the pumpkin ale and fire up the dryer, because New Girl is gonna try and top its Season 1 Thanksgiving instaclassic by using this year’s episode to introduce Jess’ parents. But who will play Mom and Pop Day? Here are our picks:

Patrick Duffy and Victoria Principal: Not only do they look like they could be Zooey Deschanel’s folks, but their casting would serve us the Bobby-and-Pam reunion that Dallas left us craving. (Bonus: Duffy’s such a joker, he can even make his former leading lady laugh. Have you seen the old Dallas bloopers on YouTube?)

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Woody Allen and Diane Keaton: It may be hard to imagine big-screen legends like the Annie Hall co-stars downsizing to the small screen, but it’s not impossible (think: Meryl Streep on Web Therapy, Gwyneth Paltrow on Glee). Plus, they say girls always fall for guys who remind them of their dads — and didn’t Jess’ ex, Paul (Justin Long), remind you a lot of Woody Allen? (For that matter, hasn’t Justin Long always reminded you a lot of Woody Allen?

Burt Reynolds and Sally Field: Unlike Allen and Keaton, this former real-life movie-star couple has a long, long history on the tube (he did Gunsmoke and Evening Shade, to name just a couple of shows; she did Gidget and Brothers & Sisters, for starters). And it just isn’t right that their pairing should go down in history as being best remembered for the Smokey and the Bandit flicks.

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David Hyde Pierce: Were New Girl to choose this former Frasier star to play Jess’ dad, the show could forego casting her mom altogether — by leaving her off screen the way his last sitcom did Niles’ wife, Maris. (Or they could just hire Pierce’s missus from The Powers That Be, Valerie Mahaffey — that’s who we always pictured as Maris, anyway!)

Robin Williams and Nathan Lane: How big a hoot would it be if New Girl reteamed the boys from The Bird Cage? Not as big a hoot as it would be if Lane played Mama Day in drag and Jess was the only one who didn’t realize that she actually had two dads. But a hoot any way you slice it.

Your turn. Who do you envision when you picture Jess’ folks. Your suggestions below.



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Comments (92)

  • DEBRA WINGER FOR THE MOM.

    She looks so much like Zooey!

    Comment by M80 – August 16, 2012 12:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes! That would be perfect

      Comment by Ariel – August 17, 2012 11:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jan Smithers and Howard Hessman (Bailey and Johnny Fever) from “WKRP in Cincinnati”. Jess and Jan look very much alike with glasses

    Comment by Shawn – August 16, 2012 12:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos. : D

    Comment by arial2 – August 16, 2012 12:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • So say we all!

      Comment by Mike – August 16, 2012 02:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • There’s some seriousness to the comment. Zooey D. looks like a younger version of Mary McDonnell.

        Comment by arial2 – August 17, 2012 12:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You can’t bring up Sally Field and TV without mentioning The Flying Nun!

    Comment by Jon – August 16, 2012 01:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How about Lisa Kudrow as the mom?

    Comment by Jon – August 16, 2012 01:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yeah they’re only 17 years apart so that can’t happen

      Comment by debra – August 17, 2012 12:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fred Willard and Debra Jo Rupp.

    Comment by Steven – August 16, 2012 01:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • A few months ago I would have said Fred Willard without a doubt. Not so much anymore lol

    Comment by Chuck Finley (AJ) – August 16, 2012 01:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Either set of parents from Dharma and Greg. The thought of Woody Allen on my TV screen as a father creeps me out.

    Comment by Stafford – August 16, 2012 01:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The following suggestion will NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPEN, but man oh man it would be PERFECT CASTING and lead to a symphony of brilliant comedic-timing from the whole cast:

    Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

    Or:

    Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

    Or:

    Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal
    (“When Harry Met Sally…They Eventually Made Jess” 8pm PT/9pm CT on FOX.)

    Comment by Nic – August 16, 2012 01:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Nice! I could actually picture a dinner scene involving Schmidt and Jess’ *Meg Ryan* mom each ordering their dishes in a nit-picky, anal-retentive way while Nick and Jess’ *Billy Crystal* dad engaging in a verbal-volley back & forth re: their “domestic partners’” obsessive concerns with the minutiae.

      Comment by Steven – August 16, 2012 02:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • None of the above.

    Comment by Velvet – August 16, 2012 02:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ditto. Not sure about the dad, but how about Paget Brewster for the mom.

      Comment by EmPress – August 16, 2012 02:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Uh…..Paget Brewster is only like 10 years old that Zooey, and looks young enough to be her age. How about no.

        Comment by Jessica – August 16, 2012 02:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • AGREED. Thank you

      Comment by Jess – August 17, 2012 10:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jaclyn Smith

    Comment by Velvet – August 16, 2012 02:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Jaclyn Smith and Matt Frewer

      Comment by Velvet – August 16, 2012 02:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • morgan fairchild and bruce boxleitner. they were fantastic as mr and mrs awesome in chuck so i wouldnt mind seeing them together again

    Comment by Alan – August 16, 2012 02:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • David Hasselhoff and Heather Locklear.

    Comment by Chuck Finley (AJ) – August 16, 2012 02:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Amanda Bearse and Ted McGinley
    Maureen McCormack and Barry Williams
    Lisa Loring and Ken Weatherwax
    Julia Duffy and Peter Scolari
    Scott Baio and Erin Moran

    Comment by Richard – August 16, 2012 02:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Tony Hale and Liza Minnelli… just putting it out there.

    Comment by Isabella – August 16, 2012 02:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • HAAA! Having Liza as a mom could explain why Jess is crazy in a good way. Also, I love the Buster/Lucille duo

      Comment by Amy – August 17, 2012 02:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Megan Mullally. I know she’s Penny’s mom, but she’s the one to call when you need a kooky lady. Then I’d go with a super serious guy for dad, Kiefer Sutherland maybe?

    Comment by Tricia – August 16, 2012 03:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • just imagining sutherland being comically serious amongst all the madness that goes on on this show is making me giggle, that could work really well

      Comment by Alan – August 16, 2012 03:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Megan Mullally was the first person I thought of.. even though she does play Penny’s mom awesomely.

      Comment by rebecca – August 16, 2012 05:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Totally agree! Love this idea

      Comment by Kay – September 13, 2012 07:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jeff Goldblum for the dad. Or was he a dad on Happy Endings? I forget.

    Comment by Chuck Finley (AJ) – August 16, 2012 03:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He was on Glee as one of Rachel’s gay dads.

      So I guess they random actors that already played Jess’ parents in flashbacks don’t get to come back? I’m going to go with Peter Gallagher and Mary Steenbergen.

      Comment by Jen – August 16, 2012 07:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Peter Gallagher plays Whitney’s dad on Whitney. Too bad because he is hilarious.

        Comment by Deena – August 16, 2012 08:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • DAVID AND VALERIE!! PLEASEE! THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!

    Comment by LUCY – August 16, 2012 03:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Will Ferrell and Betty White

    Comment by Brian Nussbaum – August 16, 2012 03:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Please this.

      Comment by Isabella – August 17, 2012 11:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes!!!! Please!!! :)

      Comment by Stacey – August 17, 2012 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • TIna Fey and Larry David!!!

    Comment by JASon – August 16, 2012 05:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “Woody Allen and Diane Keaton” OH MY GOD IF THAT HAPPENED MY HEAD WOULD EXPLODE, SERIOUSLY!

    Comment by lana – August 16, 2012 05:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • woody allen and diane keaton as zooey deschanel’s parents? that’s the hipster dream!

    Comment by lucas – August 16, 2012 05:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Caleb and Mary Jo Deschanel, anyone better than her real-life actors parents?

    Comment by Juan Ignacio Aguilar – August 16, 2012 07:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Lovely idea!

      Comment by Carrie – August 16, 2012 08:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Her dad isn’t an actor. He’s a director and cinematographer.

      Comment by maggie – August 16, 2012 09:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • for sure her real mom, they look alike and she’s an actress, what better than her???

      Comment by Sue – August 17, 2012 11:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ryan O’Neal. He already plays her sister’s father on Bones :)

    Comment by Deena – August 16, 2012 08:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Love this! I enjoyed the Bones ep when Zooey played Bones’ long-lost cousin or whatever and Brennan kept insisting they looked nothing alike!

      Comment by dodgerpacker – August 17, 2012 01:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Omg Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer as Martie and Bobbie Culp. That would be hilarious..

    Comment by New Girl – August 16, 2012 09:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • BEST.IDEA.EVERRRR

      Comment by vICTORIA – August 17, 2012 10:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • that would be weird…cuz in the Elf Zooey and Will had a baby…awk

      Comment by Molly – August 17, 2012 11:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad would be a funny twist… heh

    Comment by The Squatch – August 16, 2012 09:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would love to see Woody on the small screen, especially if he wrote his own part or even entire episodes… I do think that’s dreaming too high though (but it could happen! Tarantino did a CSI episode once didn’t he?)

    Comment by Florence – August 16, 2012 11:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Blythe Danner and Eugene Levy would work for me!

    Comment by PJ – August 17, 2012 08:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ROBIN WILLIAMS AND NATHAN LANE. YES. xD

    Comment by neena – August 17, 2012 10:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nathan Lane and Barbara Striesand(can’t spell)

    Comment by Katie Lynch – August 17, 2012 10:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lily Tomlin for sure!!!! And as for the dad…hmm…Dustin Hoffman?? They were great/quirky on I <3 Huckabees and I could imagine them playing her parents!!

    Comment by Jess – August 17, 2012 10:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Joanie & Chachi

    Comment by dburnett – August 17, 2012 10:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Frances McDiarmand, who played her mother in “Almost Famous” as her single mom.

    Comment by HP – August 17, 2012 10:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Fockers!!!!

    Comment by Jennifer Camp – August 17, 2012 11:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t know about the mom but I could see Jeff Bridges as the dad.

    Comment by Alexis – August 17, 2012 11:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Barbara Streisand and James Brolin. She gets her awesome looks from dad and wonderful quirkiness and singing talent from mom.

    Comment by Melanie – August 17, 2012 11:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen would rock as jess’s parents.

    Comment by Erin N. Shaw – August 17, 2012 11:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Tom Hanks would be perfect for her dad. and Jaclyn Smith or any funny famous actress that Zoe looks like a younger version of, would be awesome!

    Comment by Paula – August 17, 2012 11:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would go with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane XD (loved the movie)

    Comment by Lain – August 17, 2012 11:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bob Newhart and Madonna

    Comment by maggiest – August 17, 2012 11:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The parents from Easy A!
    “Why does that matter? I’m adopted”
    “WHAT!? Who told you!?”

    Comment by Cole – August 17, 2012 11:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Woodie Harrellson and Juliett Lewis :)))

    Comment by Alush – August 17, 2012 11:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas

    Comment by Jim Dempsey – August 17, 2012 11:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really think Sally Field should play her mother. She looks a lot like her. Stanley Tucci would be hilarious as her dad, in my opinion but I think Patrick Duffy would do well as her dad too.

    Comment by Linda – August 17, 2012 11:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Joyce Dewitt from Three’s Company (Janet) and Richard Moll (tall Bull from Night Court), both are the right ages, know comedy, n Joyce looks n acts like Jess and Moll would scare her roomies! Lol I’ve been in plays with them in Nashville and they were so funny to work with onstage! They’d be perfect!

    Comment by Kay Jay – August 17, 2012 11:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Goldie Hawn and Nicholas Cage

    Comment by Tobie – August 17, 2012 11:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Demi Moore and Ron Lowe.

    Comment by Kimba – August 17, 2012 11:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Rob Lowe. Stupid iPhone doesn’t think Rob is a name.

      Comment by Kimba – August 17, 2012 11:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Goldie Hawn for her mom and woody harrelson for her dad! They would be great!

    Comment by Rachael Silverman – August 17, 2012 11:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Or instead of w.h. How about Goldie hawn and Chevy chase!

    Comment by Rachael Silverman – August 17, 2012 11:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Allison Janney for the win!

    Comment by Laura – August 17, 2012 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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