Jason Alexander will make his debut on The Conners tonight, playing a rebel pastor with a sketchy past. The former Seinfeld star is one of several major guest-star appearances on the ABC show this season.
Alexander will appear in two episodes of The Conners as Pastor Phil. In Wednesday’s episode, Darlene is adrift after her former boyfriend Ben rejects her efforts to reconcile their broken relationship. To find spiritual guidance, she goes with her sister Becky to an AA meeting led by Alexander’s character, TV Insider said.
Alexander said his character has “quite a self-destructive and unhappy past. He is certainly not without sin.”
The veteran TV actor added that Pastor Phil blends help with tough love. It’s part “lean on me” and part “no one can do it but you.”
Pastor Phil’s journey to the pulpit was a long and difficult one, the show says. And Alexander said he liked that his character embraced that.
“With the full acknowledgment that I am neither Christian nor a man of the cloth, my guess is that term relates to his self-deprecating humor and the somewhat tortuous path he took to the pulpit,” he said.
Jason Alexander is one of several major guest stars that will appear during the fourth season of The Conners. Patton Oswalt will reprise his role as Lanford city councilman Don Blanksky on Wednesday’s episode as well. Brian Austin Green and Tabitha Brown will also appear on the show this season, Newsweek said.
‘The Conners’ Pay Tribute to Norm MacDonald in Season Premiere
The cast performed the live show twice, one for the East and West coasts. Each episode closed with the cast piling onto their famous sofa and holding a sign that read, “Dedicated to the memory of our friend and colleague Norm Macdonald.” The cast shouted “Here’s to you, Norm,” as the show cut to black, Variety reported.
The Canadian comic died of cancer on September 14. He was 61 years old.
MacDonald wrote for the fifth season of Roseanne, The Conners predecessor show, along with showrunner Bruce Helford. The two worked together off and on for the next two decades, including on MacDonald’s The Norm Show.
“We did his Norm show together, which is one of the best shows I’ve ever done,” Helford told Deadline. “And it was because he was so brilliant and irreverent and he pretended he didn’t care, but he cared very much and worked really hard to create something unique. He was so admired by other comics because he had that rare gift — a voice that no one else had. A rhythm and a brain that was unlike anyone else.”