Department of Desperation Guests

I was talking about Carrie Fisher with someone the other day (regarding the fact that she’s bringing out another book and that HBO is doing a documentary behind the scenes of her one-woman stage show), which somehow led to my finding this clip of her appearance on Laverne and Shirley in the infamously terrible 1982-3 season — aka “The One Without Shirley.” As befits a show whose co-star had left and that was struggling to stay on the air, the producers tried to compensate with lots of gimmicky guest stars and plots. But having a plot about the Playboy Club, with Hugh Hefner playing himself (badly) and a singing Carrie Fisher in a Playboy Bunny outfit, may place an episode on the top 10 list for most last-ditch gimmicks in one episode: guest star as himself; guest star from movies; guest star singing for no good reason.

Throw in the fact that the episode was directed by Michael McKean — who wasn’t even a regular any more — and it’s a reminder that whatever The Office does without Steve Carell, they’ll… no, wait, if they replace him with Hugh Hefner and have a singing Carrie Fisher episode, I’ll watch, as will we all.

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