Six Classic Arrested Development Guest Stars

Ben Stiller Arrested Development

Part of Arrested Development‘s legacy comes from the people Mitch Hurwitz and company were able to get appear on it through four seasons (but particularly the first three, before AD was revived by Netflix and became a cameo-fest). Here are six of the show’s most memorable guest stars (not named Julia Louis-Dreyfus, of course):

Ben Stiller (Tony Wonder)

The reviews on Arrested Development‘s fourth season may have been mixed – but it seemed everyone enjoyed the return of Tony Wonder, who ends up in a game of chicken with Gob that neither man can escape (“Same…” “Same!!!”; also “I’m here, I’m queer… now I’m over here!”). Introduced in season two as Gob’s magician nemesis (when Tony appears on the cover of Poof magazine), Tony Wonder’s series of “illusions” are a great compliment to Gob’s own ‘magic’ show – plus when the two pretend to fall in love with each other, it leads to the funniest sequence of the fourth season in “A New Attitude” (thanks to Ann, no less).

Martin Mull Arrested Development

Martin Mull (Gene Parmesean)

A longtime TV and film actor  with over 120 projects under his belt, Martin Mull is a recognizable face anywhere on television; except on Arrested Development, who turned him into a private investigator with a penchant for hiding himself in plain sight. Sometimes, it’s not even Gene’s sudden appearance out of nowhere that’s hilarious – it’s Lucille’s surprised reaction when he appears, a shrill scream/laugh that would make any man’s ears bleed (and for Michael, it often appears that’s what will happen). Is he a good PI? That’s up for debate; what can’t be debated are Parmesean’s hilarious cameos in seasons two and four.

Andy Richter Arrested Development

Andy Richter (as Andy, Donnie, Emmett, and Rocky Richter)

One of the weirdest things Arrested Development did (and it’s a long list) was the introduction of the Richter quintuplets, introduced through Donnie the teacher, and later including Andy (as himself), Rocky (his stunt double), and Emmett (a compulsive hoarder who doesn’t like to show his face, and ends up at Austerity under Tobias’s care (and we know how that usually turns out). Who’s the best Richter? My money’s on Rocky, whose inner turmoil comes from his hatred of his brother, which in turn becomes hatred of himself when he looks in the mirror and sees his own brother looking back at him.

Ed Begley Jr Arrested Development

Ed Begley Jr. (Stan Sitwell)

Stan could make this list alone off the fact he plays Christina Applegate’s father on the show – but Stan earns his spot on the list with his alopecia, which leads to a hilarious series of wigs, fake eyebrows, and other wig-related jokes Ed Begley Jr. always appears more than game for. He also serves as a great antagonist to the patriarchs of the Bluth family, with Sitwell Enterprises out-earning the Bluths’ company at every turn.

Henry Winkler Arrested Development

Henry Winkler (Barry Zuckercorn)

Barry makes the list even though he’s one of the show’s main characters: Winkler is always credited as a guest star in the show’s credits, which lets him enter this list on a technicality, despite appearing in over two dozen episodes of the show. He certainly deserves it: Barry is one of the funniest characters on the show, a lawyer with a penchant for hookers and not knowing the law at all – plus a number of inside jokes to Happy Days, including a great little nudge-nudge scene where Barry jumps over a shark.

Charlize Theron Arrested Development

Charlize Theron (Rita Leeds)

Rita and Michael’s short-lived romance in season three is probably the show’s weirdest story line (that, or George Sr.’s business plan in season four),  a series of jokes on British life, television, and humor that remains divisive for fans of the show. Regardless of the material around it, Charlize is fantastic as Rita, completely game for all the absurdities that Arrested Development would throw at actors on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, she was only in Little Britain for five episodes, before it’s revealed that she’s mentally challenged and whisked away back to England.

Photos via FOX

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  1. mdram December 12, 2014

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