Which Shows Should Lust After Lutz?
Lining up new gigs for Playing House's latest comedy-royalty guest star.
Of the many things that must have thrilled Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair when they created Playing House, I have to think that casting all their old UCB NY buddies was paramount among them. Already this season, we've seen Zach Woods and Andy Daly (and the lesser-known Owen Burke and Brad Morris). Last night's episode also brought us Jason Mantzoukas, who's already well known for his recurring role on The League, as well as his memorable guest shots on Modern Family, Broad City, Parks & Recreation, and Kroll Show. But as great as Jason Mantzoukas is -- and he's truly one of the greats (and one of my favourites) -- the UCB alumnus who got the best showcase in the latest episode is surely John Lutz.
Anyone who watched 30 Rock knows that Lutz is a total genius -- a fearless performer who will do any crazy-ass thing that'll get a laugh, with no regard for coolness...which the fictional Lutz, with his man-bra visibly glowing under blacklight and his stress vomit, definitely never was. But those of us lucky enough to have seen him improvise live at the UCB know he can play many colours other than "extreme social awkwardness"; though that was, admittedly, most of what he did in "Drumline," and St. Clair and Parham gave his character Rodney some dignity in here, letting him be the best kisser of Emma's life. (Could Rodney turn out to be a real love interest for Emma?! Okay, probably not.)
Granted, Lutz is mostly a writer -- he's currently on staff at Late Night -- but the little bits of him that we get there aren't enough. Therefore, I'm offering up some ideas as to where he could AND SHOULD go next.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Boyle is excited when his theatre-critic brother Brendan (Lutz) comes to visit from London, but his pretentious affectations and blunt judgments alienate everyone in the squad.
Veep When Gary finally can no longer ignore his chronic bag-carrying pain and has to take a few weeks off to recover from surgery, his inept replacement (Lutz) makes Selina appreciate how good Gary actually is at his dumb job.
Parks & Recreation Though Leslie is very powerful in her regional office of the National Parks Service, she still has to fight for resources against her obnoxious counterpart from California (Lutz) .
Cougar Town Andy is horrified to learn that a local ne'er-do-well (Lutz) has been enjoying mayor perks all over Gulfhaven by posing as Andy.
Nurse Jackie Jackie thought she knew everything there was to know about getting illicit prescription drugs, but when another member of her new NA group (Lutz) tells detailed stories of his antics when he was at his worst, she's happy to pick up a few tips.
Archer Lana and Archer are disgusted to be assigned the protection of Kasper (Lutz), a feckless, rude member of the Danish royal family on an official visit to America.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Who installed a hidden camera in the stall at an elite Upper East Side private girls' school? Surprise! It's the creepy janitor (Lutz).