Tag Archive | Family Guy

Pop Icon Enters Immortality- Adam West Succumbs to Leukemia

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Tonight in the sky,  it’s the Batsignal. No, its not the signal for the Caped Crusader. It shines in sadness. Last night , the actor who played sixties icon Batman, Adam West died of complications from leukemia. Forever pigeonholed by his portrayal of Bob Kane’s legendary superhero, Batman, West made a career by appearing at Comic Cons and endearing himself to millions of fans. Today, social media was filled with tributes of fans and former cast mates like Burt Ward and “Family Guy” creator, Seth Mcfarlane. In later years , West would voice the befuddled Mayor West on “Family Guy.” This would endear him to a whole new generation.

adam on family guy

Adam was born William West Anderson in Walla Walla Washington in 1928. His father was a wheat farmer and his mother was an opera singer. Adam started to work in radio when he was in high school. He ran the station when he was a grad student at Stanford. Later on, West was a contract player for Warner Brothers where he would appear on such shows as “Maverick”, “77 Sunset Strip” and “Cheyenne.” In early 1966 , West would read the script that would change his life forever. West would return from Europe to read 20 pages of the script and then sign with producer , William Dozier. He also approved Burt Ward as Robin/ Dick Grayson with no acting experience but a brown belt in karate.  The show exploded on ABC on two consecutive nights with the one night ending with the Dynamic Duo in a dire situation to be resolved on the following night. “Batman” was the height of camp with its fight scenes punctuated with words like POW and SPLAT! . It became the coolest show on tv and being cast as a super villain was one of the most envied parts on television. Color television was coming into being and “Batman” was perfect for the new media. It also proved to be escapist television in the midst of a country that showed war on the nightly news. But just as the show exploded, with in two years it fizzled. The show had done its damage to West’s career , forever typecasting him as the Caped Crusader. He did episodic tv like “Alice” and recently appeared as himself on the mega hit , “The Big Bang Theory.” For the most part, his latter career consisted of himself or voicing Batman for various animated series.

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Here is Adam as he appeared on the CBS hit, “The Big Bang Theory” on the 200th episode “The Celebration Experimentation” He is pictured with series stars Kunal Nayar, Kaley Kuoco, Simon Helberg, Johnny Galecki, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch, and Jim Parsons. Also pictured is “Star Trek Next Generation” icon Will Wheaton.

West was survived by his second wife, Marcella. and his children and grandchildren. We at chitownstarconnections give our sympathy to the West family.

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Goodbye Old Chum!  Adam West 1928-2017… here he is in the iconic role that he made famous Bruce Wayne / Batman and his partner, Dick Grayson/ Robin played by Burt Ward.

 

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Jewish Television Characters

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Every year at this time, we salute our Jewish friends at Hanukkah. This year we are doing a revised list of television’s most beloved Jewish characters.

We will start with one of the most iconic Jewish television characters, Jerry Seinfeld. star of the classic “show about nothing” Jerry is neurotic and sarcastic which are traits of what the network at the time of the show said were “New York” Jewish.  People wonder if George Costanza was Jewish as well. With the parents that he had, it is possible that he was as well.

george and his parentsgeorge and jerry

Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander were Jerry and George on “Seinfeld.” Estelle Harris and legendary comic Jerry Stiller were George’s parents Estelle and Frank Costanza

Everyone’s favorite “Friends” had Jewish characters as well. Monica and Ross were both Jewish . Actor Elliot Gould made quite an impression as Jack Geller, their father. Courteney Cox was not really Jewish , but David Schwimmer is .

geller family

Another television show that featured a Jewish character was “Will and Grace”. Debra Messing embraced her Jewish roots as neurotic Grace Adler. Movie legend  Debbie Reynolds was her mother show biz crazy Bobbi Adler. Grace made every JAP dream come true by marrying a Jewish doctor , Leo Marcus played by Harry Connick Jr.

grace and leo

 Fran Drescher’s show “The Nanny” featured television’s funniest Jewish women. Drescher portrayed Fran , who became a nanny to the very wealthy and handsome widower Max Sheffield. Max was a Broadway producer who eventually in storybook fashion falls in love and marries Fran. Viewers also enjoyed the exploits of Fran’s mother and grandmother, Yetta.

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Fran is pictured here with her mother, Sylvia played by Renee Taylor and Yetta played by Ann Morgan Guilbert

Larry David was the everyman on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Larry shows his funny and cynical side in Hollywood. Here is one of the most memorable moments when Larry gathers his stars together from the mega hit Seinfeld that Larry created.

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On “Entourage” , Vinnie wouldn’t gotten where he was without this man. Chicago’s own Jeremy Piven was super agent Ari Gold. Piven embraced his own Jewish roots as the harried agent and family man.

ari gold

Simon Helberg plays the Jewish member of the nerd gang on “The Big Bang Theory” Howard has accomplished quite a bit for being the least educated of the group . He has gone to space and was the first to get married.  He had a sad occasion when he lost his mother this year. (The actress who voiced his mother passed away in real life and the producers decided to let the character die as well.)

howard and bernadette

Simon Helberg and Melissa Rauch are Mr and Mrs Wolowicz

Bebe Neuwirth entertained audiences in two series as the droning Dr Lilith Stern Crane. She was also the Jewish mother to her and Frasier’s son, Fredrick .

lilith and frasier

For ten years, Sandra Oh portrayed Jewish cardio goddess Cristina Yang on “Grey’s Anatomy” . She was every body’s person and a bad ass surgeon.

meredith and cristina

ABC takes viewers back to those great eighties with the latest Jewish family “The Goldbergs” .This includes another Chicago actor, the very funny Jeff Garlinard

THE GOLDBERGS

Before there was a “House of Cards” or an adulterous President on “Scandal”, there was Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing”. Bradley Whitford and Richard Schiff were Josh Lyman and Toby Ziegler, the two member’s of the Bartlett White House who were Jewish.

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Mandy Patinkin has made quite a name for himself as a Broadway star and movie star. He embraces his Jewish roots as Saul Berenson , a CIA operative on “Homeland”.

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John Munch is one of television’ s longest running characters. Richard Belzer brings his personality and Jewish background to the homicide detective on “Law and Order SVU”

munch on law and order

 

Paulo Costanza has Italian roots but brother Hank aka Mark Feurstein is every mother’s dream a Jewish doctor on USA’s hit “Royal Pains”

hank and evan lawson

 Even in a small little town in Colorado, there is a Jewish family . Kyle is the little Jewish boy on “South Park”

kyle on south park

Lea Michele of “Scream Queens” made her mark  as the Kosher Diva , Rachel Berry on “Glee” Her idol was , of course, Barbra Streisand

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 Peter and his friends always make sure to shop at Goldman’s Drugstore, owned by the very geeky Mort Goldman on “Family Guy”

mort goldman

It isn’t well known if Attorney General , David Rosen of “Scandal” is really Jewish, but his portrayer the awesome Joshua Malina is. Fun fact: David went to Dartmouth just like Shonda Rhimes, and Meredith Grey on “Grey’s Anatomy”

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The Simpsons’ contribution to Jewish culture is none other than Krusty the Clown, his father was a rabbi

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The Puckerman brothers on “Glee” love to sing and they especially love to sing about Hanukkah like in this song. Here we have Mark Salling and Jacob Artist .

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Finally we end with two people from the show destined to be a classic “Mad Men”

Ben Feldman started out as an angel on “Drop Dead Diva” till he went back to heaven. He really made a mark as Mark Ginsberg , adman at Sterling and Cooper

ben feldman michael ginsberg

Maggie Siff made such an impression as JAP Rachel Menken that they brought her back again in the final season as a similiar character. Rachel was a love interest of the infamous Don Draper

rachel menken

Once again Chitownstarconnections wishes everyone a Happy Hanukkah!!!

Our Salute to Television’s Mothers

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Well today is Mother’s Day and we wouid like to wish all mothers everywhere a Happy Mother’s Day. Jen is cooking dinner for hers and mine will celebrating from Heaven . Television has also a great assortment of mother’s be they gems or jokes.. We salute television’s current crop of mothers, from singers and sinners. Mothers that live in NY lofts and the White House. Let’s take a look at some of these inspirational women.

beverly goldberg

Let’s take a trip back in time to the grand eighties for our first mom. Beverly Goldberg played by the fun loving Wendi McLendon -Covey.on ABC’s “The Goldbergs” Beverly takes her love a little too far when it comes to her kids. Also love those neon jazzercise duds.

bailey and tucker

Chandra Wilson is one the moms on the long running hit “Grey’s Anatomy” As Dr Miranda Bailey , she is a surgeon and the mom of her son , Tucker George. She also is a mother figure to her interns as well.

calzona momsSara Ramirez as Callie and Jessica Capshaw as Arizona  are lesbian mothers that share custody of their angel , Sophia. on “Grey’s Anatomy” She is the result of a night of passion from the late Mark Sloan., Callie’s bff.

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The legendary Debbie Allen has come to Grey – Sloan as Katherine Avery, mother to Dr Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) She is also one of Shondaland ‘s best directors and the wife of Richard Webber.on the show .

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 Kate Burton, daughter of the late Richard Burton has been playing moms for years. Here is one of her most endearing roles as the mother of Meredith Grey, Dr Ellis Grey. She also gave birth to Meredith’s recently discovered sister, Dr Maggie Pierce

meredith grey My vote for the bravest mother on television has to be this woman, Dr Meredith Grey played for eleven years by the wonderful Ellen Pompeo. She is raising three children all alone since the untimely demise of her husband , Derek and continuing her career as a surgeon.

maya popeOlivia Pope of “Scandal” has had bad luck all around with parents. But she thought that her mother had been on a plane that had been shot down. Surprise, she had been in a hole for about twenty years by her husband. When she got out, she became a terror that is bent on ruining her daughter’s life. Khandi Alexander is Momma Pope.

mellie grant scandalIt is not easy being married to the President , especially when you are the other woman in his life.Bellamy Young shines as supermom Mellie Grant on “Scandal.” Mellie is running for Senate but she has had a hard year with the death of her son and dealing with her husband’s whims as well.

rayna james and daughters nashville Connie Britton is superstar mom Rayna James on “Nashville” Like most country legends, she is a survivor . . Rayna has lived through a manipulative father, a divorce, and having to chose between two men. Now she must be strong for the man she loves as he faces life saving surgery.

Juliette babyHayden Pantierre as country diva Juliette Barnes has just become a mom on “Nashville.” But there are problems as she fights post partum depression and tries to return to her music career.

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Susan Sullivan is another mom who has went from “Falcon Crest” to “Dharma and Greg” . Currently , Susan is the drama queen mother, Martha Rodgers  to Richard Castle on “Castle.” Recently she acquired a daughter in law , Kate Beckett.

stepmother kate to alexis

 Stana Katic as Kate Beckett Castle has a new role , stepmom to her husband’s daughter. Alexis has thought of Kate as a mother figure since her own mother abandoned her and Castle years ago.

rainbow and her kids blackishTracee Ellis Ross , daughter to Motown legend , Diana Ross ,plays hippie child Rainbow on “Blackish” Rainbow is mom, doctor, and wife as she deals with her children and her immature husband and his overbearing mother

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Let’s hear it  for Steppenwolf member and Emmy award winning Laurie Metcalf. Laurie has endeared us as the Bible loving mother to Jim Parsons “Sheldon” on “The Big Bang Theory.” Mary has had to depend on her Lord and Savior to deal with her genius son.

beverly hofstadter  bbtChristine Baranski tears your heart out as the psychologist mother of Leonard on “BBT” . Her clinical approach to child rearing has caused him a lot of embarassment through the years. Now Beverly prepares to welcome her son’s wife into the family and then use her for study as well.

betty draperJanuary Jones is finishing her run as sixties mom, Betty Draper on “Mad Men” Betty has had to be mother to her children and perfect housewife in the turbulent late sixties to her unfaithful husband.

joan holloway and sonIt has been tough being a single mother and career gal but Joan Holloway has done it on “Mad Men” Christina Hendricks “Joan” has provided very well for her son.

cookie lyon and jamalFox’s new hit “Empire” has Taraji P Henson as “Cookie Lyon” . Cookie has made many sacrifices in her life for her husband and children. Her pride and joy is her son Jamal who has talent and her love because he is gay.

lois griffin family guy

Cartoon families have moms too and there isn’t a cooler or sexier mom than Lois Griffin in “Family Guy”

marge simpsonAnd there isn’t a more endearing mom than Marge Simpson on “The Simpsons” You need a smart mom when your dad is an idiot like Homer.

sharon and rusty major crimesMary McDonnell is mom to her adopted son on TNT’s “Major Crimes” Sharon Rayder is the head of the major crimes unit in Los Angeles .

rizzoli and isles and lorraine braccoLorraine Bracco is mom to the girls on “Rizzoli and Isles” As Angela Rizzoli , she serves up friendly advice to her daughter, Jane  and her partner in crime. Maura .

Donna BodenEamon Walker of “Chicago Fire” just became a husband and a new father. Chief Boden’s wife is played by Melissa Ponzio

Laura DiamondDebra Messing made a return to television this year as mom and detective on NBC’s “The Mysteries of Laura” As Laura Diamond , she has her hands full as mom to twins and assigned to the same precinct as her ex husband.

mom allison janneyAllison Janney formerly of the drama “The West Wing” makes a hilarious return to television in “Mom” She is the former addict Bonnie who drags her daughter and granddaughter into her trials weekly. This is not daughter , Kristy’s first time as mom on television. Anna Faris will always be remembered as young mom Erica from the last season of “Friends” . She was the birth mother to Chandler and Monica’s babies.

mollys mother swoozie kurtzMelissa McCarthy is “Molly” on Mike and Molly. Life is trying enough with her family, especially her mother , Joyce, played by veteran Broadway and television actress , Swoozie Kurtz

The Good Wife - Family PhotoFinishing our salute to television’s mothers is Julianna Marguiles of “The Good Wife” She was a mother before on “ER” as the mother to George Clooney’s twins . In this picture , she is joined with her children and her mother played by Stockard Channing. Stockard was formerly the FLOTUS on “The West Wing.”

TV Stars Get Animated

flintstones_bewitched In the sixties  Hanna Barbara was one of the first animators to incorporate popular tv characters using the real actors . They did it  a lot on the cartoon series “The Flintstones” Here is Dick York and Elizabeth Montgomery from “Bewitched” in cartoon form for the classic episode “The Flintstones Meet the Stevens” Today thanks to shows like “Family Guy” “South Park” and “The Simspsons” pop culture is forever captured in animated form. Also a lot of television’s brightest stars have lent their voices to animated movies and series..You’d be surprised who……

 

 

jim gandolfini where the wild things areHere is the charming Carol from the film” Where The Wild Things Are ” played by the late James Gandolfini

big pussy  shark taleHere is Luka from “Shark Tale”  played by another of the Soprano gang , Vincent Pastore

frankie michael impIn the movie “Shark Tale”, the Sharks were led by their capo played by Robert DeNiro. Here is Frankie , another Soprano, Michael Imperioli

shark-tale-oscar-will-smithHere is the adorable Will Smith in “Shark Tale”  as Oscar

buzz lightyear“Toolman” Tim Allen  made three Toy Story movies as Buzz Light Year

hammy john ratzenbrgerHammy the pig is played by the incomparable John Ratzenberger of “Cheers” fame

alec-baldwin  The hilarious Alec Baldwin of “30 Rock” was the bad guy Zuba in “Madagascar 2″

melman  Since the end of “Friends” David Schwimmer has been busy as the voice of Melman in the popular “Madagascar” franchise

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“Over  the Hedge” was a movie about a cunning raccoon played by Bruno himself “Bruce Willis”

allison janney mom over the hedgeEmmy award winning Allison Janney of “Mom” was terrifying in the same movie.

dory ellen“Finding Nemo” has the sweet and fun Ellen Degeneres as Dory

nathan-fillion-john-goodmanHere is the adorable John Goodman as “Sully ” and “Castle’s” own Nathan Fillion as Johnny in Disney ‘s Monsters University

tarzan and jane  md and tgDisney ‘s Tarzan had two stars in it , the hilarious Minnie Driver and the very debonair and Presidential Tony Goldwyn of “Scandal”

abigail big hero 6 klFrom Disney’s newest “Big Hero 6” its Abigail played by one of the gladiators of “Scandal” Katie Lowes

"BRAVE"Lord McGuffin and his son are voiced by none other than “Grey’s Anatomy’s ” Kevin McKidd

mulan ming naDisney  princess Mulan was voiced by  “Agents of Shield” Ming Na

jeff perry american dadFrom an episode of “American Dad” its “Scandal”s own Jeff Perry as Francine’s real dad

american dad lisa kurowIts Phoebe from “Friends” and Valerie from “The Comeback ” Lisa Kudrow on “American Dad”

500px-Adam_West_Family_GuyHere is the original television Batman Adam West as Mayor West on “Family Guy”

family guy big bang theoryJohnny Galecki as Leonard Kaley Cuoco Sweeting as Penny and of course Jim Parsons as everybody’s favorite nerd , Sheldon ..its BBT on “Family Guy”

genieAlways and forever the Genie from Disney’s “Aladdin” the late Robin Williams

houseofwhacks“Could I be more of a house” asks Matthew Perry who comes back to television as everyones favorite slob Oscar in “The Odd Couple”

how i met family guyHere is Jason Segel as Marshall Josh Radnor as Ted and the legend wait for it NPH as Barney from HIMYM on “Family Guy”

jason segel in despicable me vectorJason was also the evil Vector in the first “Despicable Me” movie

FUTURAMA  Katey Sagal (as Leela / Turanga Leela)Here is Katy Sagal of “Married With Children ” and “Sons of Anarchy”  as Leela on “Futurama”

molly quinn as supergirlHere is Alexis Castle aka Molly Quinn from “Castle” as Supergirl

stana katic supergirlHere is Mrs Castle or Stana Katic in an episode of Superman as Lois Lane

ozzie the opossum shatnerOzzie from “Over the Hedge ” is none other than James T Kirk William Shatner

patrick stewart american dadAnother Star Trek Captain ,Patrick Stewart voices Stan’s boss on “American Dad”

Queen Miranda sara ramirez “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Sara Ramirez lends her voice to Queen Miranda on “Sofia the First”

sandra oh american dadand the former Cristina Yang, Sandra Oh lent her voice on “American Dad”

the-crane-boys “Frasier” stars David Hyde Pierce , John Mahoney , and Kelsey Grammer are the villains who want to see Bart Simspson dead on “The Simpsons” Kelsey is a semi regular as the psychotic “Sideshow Bob”

the mysteries of laura  debra messing “The Mysteries of Laura” Debra Messing is a friendly ranger in “Open Season”

brother bear kenaiHere is the hot and adorable “McDreamy” Patrick Dempsey of “Grey’s Anatomy” as Kenai in “Brother Bear 2”

OPEN SEASONHere is “Two and a Half Men” ‘s Ashton Kutcher and comedian Martin Lawrence in “Open Season”

shaw-from-open-seasons-gary-siniseHere is Gary Sinise from “Open Season” as Shaw.

Screenshot_2015-01-28-19-06-04-1-1On an episode of “The Wild Thornberrys” its one of our favorites, Dan Bucatinsky , Kevin on “Marry Me” Billy from “The Comeback” and James from “Scandal”

 

barnyardHere is the “King of Queens ” Kevin James and Jules of “Cougar Town” Courteney Cox in “Barnyard”

hank azaria and simpsonsAnd finally we end with that man of a thousand voices Hank Azaria who has played in such movies as “The Bird Cage’ and “Along Came Polly” and appeared in “Mad About You” and “Friends” . Here he is as Moe the Bartender and Apu on “The Simpsons”

TV’s Current Jewish Actors and Actresses

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Every year we do a salute for Hanukkah for our Jewish friends. This year we salute the many actors and actresses who are of Jewish decent. We found them on our favorite shows and others and are proud to present them and wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah

noah wyle 2

Noah Wyle has come a long way as the baby face John Carter on ER , now he plays a man with a mission in his new series , “The Librarians” on TNT .

eric dane the last ship capt chandler

Eric Dane once strolled the corridors and on calls rooms of “Grey’s Anatomy , now he commands “The Last Ship” on TNT

david eigenberg chicago fire

David Eigenberg first came to our attention on “Sex and the City” as Steve. Now he is one of the firefighter heroes, Christopher Hermann on one of our faves “Chicago Fire” .

lisa kudrow the comeback valerie cherishLisa Kudrow was one of our favorite” Friends “, now she tries to make her comeback in the hilarious HBO series “The Comeback” as Valerie Cherish

simon helberg bbtSimon Helberg makes us laugh with his nerdy friends on CBS’ hit “The Big Bang Theory” as Howard Wolowitz

andy samberg brooklyn 999Andy Samberg steals the laughs on Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine Nine ” as Detective Jake Peralta

dan buckatinsky marry me the comebackWe mourned him last season when his character , James , was shot on “Scandal”. But Dan  Buckatinsky is back doing two series “The Comeback” and NBC’s hilarious hit “Marry Me” .

paul leo on scandalPaul Adelstein formally was on “Private Practice”  but now he walks the halls of power as Leo Bergen on ABC mega hit “Scandal”

josh malina scandalAlso not far from the West Wing, Joshua Malina stays in Washington as Attorney General David Rosen on “Scandal”

tony goldwyn scandal fitzA true son of Hollywood , Tony Goldwyn governs the country and romances the fair Olivia Pope as President Fitz Grant on “Scandal” Tony is also an accomplished director who has directed his own series a few times.

julianna marguiles the good wifeJulianna Margulies first came to us as Doug Ross’s girlfriend on “ER” , now she fights for justice as Alicia Florek on “The Good Wife”

shamyMayim Bialik is the girl to steal Sheldon’s heart on “The Big Bang Theory” as Amy Farrah Fowler .

debra messing  the mysteries of lauraShe was the one to make us laugh in “Will and Grace” but now she keeps the streets of the Big Apple safe on NBC ‘s new series “The Mysteries of Laura” – Debra Messing

jeff garlin the goldbergsChicago native, Jeff Garlin , kept us laughing on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Now he plays dad Murray Goldberg on ABC’s new wonder years “The Goldbergs”

george segal the goldbergsGeorge Segal plays the cool , swinging grandpa “Al” Pops Goldberg on “The Goldbergs”

scott caan h50Scott Caan helps keep the peace in “Hawaii Five O” as Danno

adam levineHe may not be an actor  but one of our favorite TV personalities, its the front man for Maroon 5 and judge on NBCs “The Voice” Adam Levine

hank azaria simpsonsFrom “Friends” “Mad About You ” and a host of voices on “The Simpsons” it’s Hank Azaria

saul homelandMandy Pantinkin guides Clair Danes character on Showtime’s “Homeland”

kat dennings two broke girls maxKat Dennings serves up the laughs as Max on “Two Broke Girls ” on CBS

defiance premiere 101108As Hollywood fixer “Ray Donovan” or SCREAM’s Cotton Leery its Lieb Shreiber

milaShe may be the voice of frumpy Meg but in reality she’s adorable and a new mom Mila Kunis

seth greenOn “Buffy” , the creator of the hilarious Robot Chicken, and the voice of Chris from “Family Guy” Seth Green

mark feursteinKeeping the Hamptons healthy on USA’s “Royal Pains” its Hank Med himself Mark Feuerstein

laura prepon oitnbLaura Prepon is nothing but trouble as Alex Vause on the mega hit “Orange is the New Black”

natasha lyonne oitnbNatasha Lyonne made us laugh in the Pie movies and now she is rocking the cell block as Nicky Nichols in OITNB

kevin pollak momKevin Pollak has returned to television as Christy’s dad on “Mom” He is the love interest of Allison Janney

alex borstein family guyShe is the hot little momma to Peter on “Family Guy”its Alex Borstein

julia louis dreyfus veepRounding out our list is a television legend … forever in our hearts as neurotic Elaine on “Seinfeld” and now governing the US as “Veep” its Julie Louis Dreyfuss