The Ninjabot

The Top 7 Arrested Development Returning Guest Stars

Posted on April 27, 2013 at 10:40 am by Nathan Tolle

arrested dev

On February 10, 2006, I saw the final four episodes of Arrested Development at a Portland watch party with a bunch of people I didn’t know. Despite all of the uproarious laughter, the affair felt like a funeral because after the seemingly constant threat of cancellation since the first season, it began to sink in that we were losing our beloved Bluth Family once and for all. Arrested Development was a critical darling that won numerous Emmy’s and received more accolades than any comedy since Seinfeld, but the ratings were a constant disappointment (since most Americans prefer watching idiotic reality programs over anything smart and subversive), and Fox chose to cancel it in the middle of season three. False hopes kept sprouting for the next few years as talks of a movie or a second life at either HBO or Showtime crumbled to pieces, causing even more suffering among the passionate and growing fanbase. However, to everyone’s amazement, the six-year-long mourning finally ended last year as we learned that a fourth season would be premiering on Netflix, and series creator Mitchell Hurwitz, producer Ron Howard, and the entire cast would all be returning.

The blissful reunion is now officially less than one month away, as all fifteen episodes will be released on Netflix at the same time on Sunday, May 26th. Not only will this binge viewing reunite us with Michael, Gob, George, Tobias, George Michael, Buster, Oscar, Lucille, Maebe, and Lindsay, but also with a slew of returning guest stars. Here are the top seven non-Bluth characters that I am most excited about seeing again.

7. Scott Baio, as Bob Loblaw

arrested bob

In Season 3, the Charles in Charge star obtained what has to be the greatest character name of all time. I am glad the running gag will take a few more steps in season 4, but it’s going to be mighty difficult to top “Oh yes, the Bob Loblaw Law Blog. You sir, are a mouthful.”

6. Liza Minnelli, as Lucille Austero

arrested lucille

It will be interesting to see how the seven years have affected Lucille #2’s relationship with the Bluth Family, as their history has been tumultuous to say the least. We last saw her selling her Bluth Company shares to the folically-challenged Stan Sitwell, played by Ed Begley Jr., the latest in a string of romantic partners that included Buster, Gob, and Carl Weathers. I can’t wait to once again see the two rivaling Lucilles exchange insults like “at least my husband is in prison, not an urn,” before bursting out in polite laughter together.

5. Andy Richter, as himself

arrested andy

For over twenty years now Andy Richter has been one of the funniest and most under-appreciated performers on TV. He was instrumental in making Late Night with Conan O’Brien the silliest, strangest, and most hilarious late night program, due to his impeccable comedic timing and ability to say something smart and witty at any given moment. After a string of prematurely cancelled sitcoms like Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Andy Barker P.I., he reunited with Conan for the brief Tonight Show stint and for Conan on TBS, which is a thousand times funnier than all the other current late-night shows combined. So it’s no surprise that a show like Arrested Development would acknowledge the talents of Andy Richter, who’ll be making another appearance in season 4. He may not be bringing along his twins Chareth, Donnie, and Emmett, but a certain lanky redhead is rumored to be alongside him.

4. James Lipton, as Warden Stefan Gentles

arrested james

It was such a welcome surprise to learn that James Lipton has a wicked sense of humor. Even when he is shotgunning beers on Conan’s show or analyzing the many goofy, bizarre performances during last year’s Republican Presidential Debates, he never loses the gravitas and class that he’s known for from Inside the Actors Studio. So naturally he was a magnificent fit for playing a prison warden with a pronounced love of the arts. My favorite scene of his is when chastises Tobias for wanting to leave the prison after his father-in-law sells him for a pack of cigarettes. “But didn’t you come here to research the nature of fear? I can’t think of a better teacher than White Power Bill—he’s like a Masters course onto himself.”

3. Martin Mull, as Gene Parmesan

arrested gene

This crafty, opportunistic master of disguise has only appeared in one episode so far, but it was a real gem: “Amigos”, from season 2. His tactics as a private investigator annoy the hell out of everyone in the family except for Lucille, who takes great pleasure in being fooled by him slipping into a ridiculous costume (as well as a ridiculous accent) at any given moment. Gene is every bit as lovable and entertaining as Martin Mull’s character, Leon, from Roseanne, and I’m really hoping he gets a decent amount of screen time in season 4 because I have missed him dearly.

2. Carl Weathers, as himself

arrested carl

Whether he is teaching T (Tobias) all about getting a stew on or professing his love for Burger King’s free refill policy, the always-frugal Carl Weathers (Predator, Happy Gilmore) has a gleam in his eyes and sparkle in his smile that makes us all warm and fuzzy inside. It always made me laugh how he was hired as an acting coach yet only excelled at the teachings of airline loopholes and how to score free food.

1. Henry Winkler, as Barry Zuckerkorn

arrested barry

Where do I even begin with this character? Appearing in far more episodes than anyone else on this list (he’s probably more of an official cast member than guest star, but whatever), Barry Zuckerkorn is practically an unofficial member of the Bluth Family. Considering how dysfunctional the family is, he certainly fits right in: he’s a sexual deviant with multiple arrests, a lawyer with very little understanding of legal precedents, and a regular at rest stops in the middle of the night. I don’t think any character has scored more laughs per screen time than Barry, and even though we’ve gotten to know him through three seasons, he’s still a complete mystery. Just when I thought I couldn’t adore the character any more, in the episode “Motherboy XX”, Henry Winkler poked fun at himself by literally jumping over a shark, much like he did on the most infamous episode of Happy Days.

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