Yay, Arrested Development is getting one more TV season before the slightly-more-confirmed-than-before film! We get to see all our favorite characters again!

But Arrested was always bolstered by amazing guest stars, like Bob Odenkirk as the Fünkes’ couples therapist, James Lipton as the prison warden and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Maggie Lizer-ass-off.

Maybe we’ll see them again. But we need new guests too. EVERYONE. GET IN HERE.

1. Bryan Cranston

Why Arrested: Breaking Bad is the funniest drama on premium cable. Arrested could be the most dramatic premium comedy. Any fan of one needs to see the other.

The obvious role: Fellow prisoner and love interest of an incarcerated Lucille. In an easy riff off his Breaking Bad character, he just plays a comedic version of Walter White.

The better role: A town councilman who needs George Sr. to denounce him, which would give him a huge boost in the next election. This lets Cranston get as goofy as he did in Malcolm in the Middle (as another unworthy authority figure), but with the extra refinement he’s honed on Breaking Bad.


2. Charlie Day

Why Arrested: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia replicated Arrested‘s energy better than either of Mitch Hurwitz’s post-Arrested sitcoms, Sit Down, Shut Up and Running Wilde. Charlie is the heart of that energy.

The obvious role: Another long-lost cousin, this one with a string of huge mistakes following him to Orange County.

The better role: A government investigator imitating Twin Peaks‘s Agent Cooper, with less successful results.


3. Judi Dench

Why Arrested: Dench is in several films planned for the next couple of years, and by the time Arrested is out she’ll be known for her dramatic role in J. Edgar. But she starred in nine seasons of a comedy of manners.

The obvious role: A rival to Lucille. While Lucille Austero was sillier than Lucille Bluth, Lucille 3 will be a Tammy-3-like force of nature. The Sitwells will end up saving the Bluths from Dench’s evil plan, but only after she’s reduced every family member to tears, and driven Lucille 1 to sobriety.

The better role: Nope, the one above sounds about right.


4. Ricky Gervais

Why Arrested: The British Office made the mockumentary sitcom a thing, and its U.S. remake would become what Arrested was supposed to: The reliable ensemble comedy that didn’t sacrifice reality for cutaway gags. And this would be a lot more fun than his U.S. Office cameo.

The obvious role: Judi Dench’s boy toy.

The better role: The British investor (and Lucille Austero love interest) that Gob tries to sell the company to, until George Sr. finally stops him. Michael switches alliances on this twice. But it turns out Ricky’s character really wanted to help the Bluths, because everyone loves the Bluths.


5. Paul Rudd

Why Arrested: Why the hell not?

The obvious role: An interim Bluth Co. CEO who rescues the company until he’s brought down by Buster due to petty jealousies over Lucille’s attention.

The better role: College-age George Michael’s professor, who teaches George Michael about the housing crisis, causing George Michael to start an #occupythebananastand protest against his own family.


6. Conan O’Brien

Why Arrested: A nice callback to co-host Andy Richter’s five-man cameo.

The obvious role: Himself, when Lindsay appears on his show to promote her new charity in an obvious bid to start an acting career, which she screws up when she hits on a married guest (see below).

The better role: Annyong’s new guardian, once Lucille has lost custody. Makes a lot of veiled references to network disputes, especially if Arrested premieres on Netflix.


7. Kristen Bell

Why Arrested: Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat acted in the same episode of Bell’s Veronica Mars (as college students older than her high school senior, though they’re both nearly a decade younger than Bell). And she was so good on Party Down.

The obvious role: Another crazy hottie for Michael to court.

The better role: Steve Holt’s mother, in another age-fudge. She goes on a fling with Gob that ends in recriminations and a lawsuit. Barry Zuckerkorn ends up representing Bell. Meanwhile she becomes another crazy hottie for Michael to court.


8. Melissa McCarthy

Why Arrested: ”Smart” comedy viewers loved her in Bridesmaids and will never try her show Mike & Molly.

The obvious role: Another damn lawyer.

The better role: Michael’s wife in flashbacks. We never heard a thing about that woman’s personality, so there’s plenty of room to make another silly, though grounding, character. And McCarthy can make her lovable enough that we feel terrible for Michael and George Michael losing the center of their lives and the counterbalance to the horrible Bluth family. Plus maybe there’s a “Mike & Molly” name gag.


9. Jesse Eisenberg

Why Arrested: He’s the new Michael Cera, duh.

The obvious role: Another suitor for Maeby, who confuses George Michael by being a slightly better version of him and yet so much cooler. (This is not a judgment on the actors! CALM YOURSELF)

The better role: A struggling FBI trainee working under Charlie Day, a Hercule LaJoy to Day’s Inspector Clouseau. He really believes in Day’s unorthodox methods and theories, and he tries to reconcile them with reality. He ends up saving the Bluths by discovering Lucille was set up by Kristen Bell, but Charlie takes the credit.


10. Alec Baldwin

Why Arrested: He’s just so damn fun to watch as that one serious guy, over and over.

The obvious role: A rival businessman who does the same growl-voiced posturing that he and Will Arnett did so well on 30 Rock, but this time with George Sr. While Sam Sitwell was a lightweight wannabe role model for Michael Bluth, Baldwin’s strong businessman is a serious threat, the male equivalent to Dench’s Lucille 3.

The better role: Himself, as a guest on Conan with Lindsay Fünke, or in a cameo when the Bluths visit New York City, delivering some NYC etiquette like “No eye contact!”


11. Aubrey Plaza

Why Arrested: She doesn’t get enough range on Parks and Recreation.

The obvious role: An ice cream vendor threatening to sue over the Bluth Banana, but who has no idea how courts work. At some point commands her lawyer to “Seize him!”

The better role: A girlfriend whom George Michael steals from Steve Holt, mostly out of revenge. She turns out to be a total drag, but she does get Maeby jealous. Of course, that leads Maeby back to Steve Holt, since she’s still turned on by that incest thing. So George Michael finally reveals to Maeby that she’s not related to any of the other Bluths. Except of course Maeby’s long-lost sister (Lindsay’s been pregnant “dozens of times”)… Aubrey!


12. Wallace Shawn

Why Arrested: Henry Winkler was a great nostalgia play for the 30-and-up audience. Wallace Shawn has an endless fanbase for his most famous film role, The Princess Bride‘s Vizzini. His “Inconceivable!” is as big as Fonzie’s “Aye!” Just give him any role where he gets to squint.

The obvious role: The new head of the Magician’s Guild, who will allow Gob back in if he serves as volunteer for an especially dangerous trick. Gob is nearly decapitated but instead loses a foot.

The better role: Buster’s old teacher from Milford, who has new evidence against Lucille Bluth from long ago, through pictures drawn by Buster during “visible yet quiet time”. But Michael gets him placed under a gag order. Several meta-jokes about “the gag” ensue. Plus a double entendre from Tobias about “gagging on that man”.

13. Ellen DeGeneres

Why Arrested: Will Arnett got to marry his real-life wife Amy Poehler on the show. Jason Bateman almost had un-incest with his real-life (but not in-show) sister. Now Portia de Rossi gets to…

The obvious role: …have a lesbian affair with her real-life wife.

The better role: …almost have a lesbian affair with her real-life wife, who is actually her in-show biological cousin, but who’s mistaken for a man by Tobias, who later figures out that DeGeneres is also cousins with Kristen Bell’s character (Steve Holt’s mother), which means Bell and Lindsay Fünke are also cousins and Steve Holt is Lindsay’s cousin once removed. Cue replays of Lindsay hitting on Steve.


14. Alyson Hannigan

Why Arrested: Not for the promotion (HIMYM doesn’t need Arrested‘s numbers) but to help her segue her career to some future Hannigan vehicle.

The obvious role: A perky efficiency expert for the Bluth Company, and love interest for Michael. A scheming Bluth family accidentally puts her in traction and Michael adopts her child.

The better role: She seems like a perky efficiency expert. But she’s actually a banker trying to drive down the cost of the company so she can buy its assets, sell mortgages on the houses, divvy it up into tranches, and sell it to Icelandic pension funds, then bet against it with her own hedge fund. She rented the kid. She gets taken down by George Michael’s protest.


15. Brian Baumgartner

Why Arrested: Look at his cute widdle face! Brian still hasn’t gotten a worthy plot as Kevin on The Office.

The obvious role: George Sr.’s bumbling new secretary, as George takes over the company during Michael’s absence and Lucille’s imprisonment.

The better role: A stowaway on Michael and George Michael’s getaway boat. He’s a longtime Bluth Company investor, and he takes the Michaels hostage and forces them to follow his own business plan, a bee farm Gob pitched him. The bee farm becomes a reality, but the swarm, after stinging all the Bluth Co. employees, is overtaken by wild Africanized honey bees and dies out.

Or he could be the gun store owner in the season 2 episode “Burning Love”, which I forgot until a commenter pointed it out. Thanks, Yourenotlaura!


16. Dane Cook

Why Arrested: He’s got a show! And Arrested fans will obviously appreciate this innovative comedian and his observational comedy.

The obvious role: A sassy new housekeeper for Lucille!

The better role: A new lead as Michael is fazed out, because honestly no one really cared for Jason Bateman as a leading maHAHAHAHA, YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN YOUR FACE.

  • Kyle

    mannnn this article was dumb.  You guys have zero knowledge of what this show is like! The beauty of it’s writing isn’t cramming well-known people into the show (in fact, one episode even mocks the very idea this article talks about!).  That’s kind of an obvious sitcom move, and if you’ve seen the show, then I don’t think you can say AD is an obvious sitcom.  

  • Yourenotlaura

    The dude from The Office was on this before. I think he was a store worker at a gun shop or something?

    • Anonymous

      Oh man, good point! Added a note in the article.

    • Ferris Cooler

      yeah i was about to comment the same thing 

  • Redemption37927

    I was digging all of this until you mentioned Dane Cook. Seriously, where’s the love for Vince Vaughn? (I think he’d be PERFECT as the director of Maeby’s life story.) And I always had a soft spot for Tim Robbins, a self-professed fan of the show…

    • Anonymous

      Dane Cook was a joke, read that section. Vince Vaughn is an… interesting choice. But I’m with you on Tim Robbins.

  • Rachel

    I love this piece — it seems like a listicle, but the roles all come together to tell the story of a whole spec season.

  • Greg Voakes

    Thank you for reminding me how shitty Running Wilde was.

  • cassie caccavallo

    Dane Cook..seriously? Do you even watch Arrested Development?

    • Anonymous

      It’s a joke. So no, not seriously.

  • Cups

    Dane Cook? shut up. he’s not even a comedian.

    • Anonymous

      Pro tip, check the other comments.

  • Shadowgex

    i was hesitant to read when i say dane cook’s photo… the man is a hack and a joke-stealer (namely those of louis CK… look it up); popular among visor-wearing douche bags.

    I stopped reading when you called breaking bad the funniest drama on TV.  It’s an excellent show, one of my personal favorites.  But to describe it as you did makes me wonder if you’ve actually seen it…

    • Shadowgex


      ok i see that this list is largely sarcastic so i will retract the above post :)

  • Her?

    I like how you pretty much already wrote a whole set of plots and subplots for the 3rd season 

  • Anonymous

    No, Dani Pudi should play Abed playing an extra on the show in the show depicting the story of the Bluth’s.

  • Guest

    Any and all credibility possessed in this article is completely destroyed at the final suggestion of including a hack like Dane Cook into Arrested Development. Especially when said hack is described as “innovative” and “comedian.”

  • Anon_ymous45

    Don’t forget about Neil Patrick Harris as a possible rival towards Tobias

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