Night Court: Figure Skating Icons Tara Lipinski And Johnny Weir Reveal Cast And Crew Reactions To Their Guest Roles, Despite Feeling Nervous

Night Court returned to television in 2023 with a revival series that wasted no time in becoming a huge hit for NBC. Already renewed for Season 2, the comedy is bringing in two former Olympians for guest star roles that fans won’t want to miss. Figure skating icons Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir play versions of themselves in the new episode on February 21, and they spoke with CinemaBlend about their experience, including how the cast and crew reacted to their arrivals and how they still get nervous under pressure. 

In Night Court, it turns out that Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir are two of Abby’s favorite celebrities, but it’ll be a race against the clock (and Dan’s patience) to make sure that the judge will get to meet the skaters-turned-broadcasters. Lipinski and Weir are of course familiar faces (and voices) to viewers who tune in to Olympic figure skating coverage every four years, and Lipinski herself made history in 1998 as the youngest Olympic gold medalist in figure skating history. 

Now, fans will see more from them than just their commentary on the latest and greatest in their sport. Their Night Court guest roles mean some scripted performances, and Lipinski shared that they “called each other and said ‘This sounds like a real fun gig’” when they received the opportunity, and decided to do it. Weir elaborated: 

We are often a package deal, and we wouldn't have it any other way. We love doing things with each other. I mean, going to work with my best friend is an amazing thing, and it's such a rare thing, especially in entertainment, that we love when we have opportunities to stretch our wings to do something outside of the Olympic world and to play elevated versions of ourselves. I think that's always fun for us to see how people script us and script things that we might say. [laughs] People's perception of us is how we improve. We love trying new things, and this Night Court appearance was just so fun. The whole cast and crew were so welcoming, as soon as we walked on set, and they applauded us when we walked in. So we felt right at home right away.

According to Weir (who has made Olympic waves with his fashion as well as his skills on ice as a skater), they got a very warm welcome from the cast and the crew when they arrived on the Night Court set. They’ll also be playing "elevated" versions of themselves, so viewers will be able to see how the sitcom versions of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir compare to the real-life commentators! 

Coming to Night Court also meant performing opposite John Larroquette and others with plenty of sitcom experience. Lipinski shared what it was like to work with him, as well as the “intimidation factor” of coming onto the show: 

It was so much fun! When we knew we were going to do the show, I told my friends and my family and everyone's been so excited and so pumped to see Johnny and I on the show… I think for us, just going on to set is obviously something new. We're athletes at heart, so we always really want to do a good job. The writers that wrote this, we wanted to make sure we made them proud and there's always that little bit of the intimidation factor just walking into someone else's, quote unquote, home. But the greatest part is you get to do that with your best friend, so we walked in hand-in-hand, and everyone was so lovely, so warm, so welcoming.

Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir are the best of friends in real life; viewers will have to tune in to see how the Night Court writers scripted their dynamic for the February 21 episode! Her comments make it clear that having each other was helpful in coming onto a scripted set when they have more experience elsewhere. When I asked if they still get nerves when trying something new, despite making careers out of delivering under pressure, Weir shared: 

Always! Tara and I both have experience on scripted shows and acting experience, and we pretty much will try anything once and we've been so lucky to have careers that that's possible. But in my opinion, and I know Tara echoes the sentiment, if you're not nervous, then you don't care about something that much and you probably shouldn't be doing it. I get nervous for every appearance, for every skating show, for every practice that I do, for the Olympics broadcasting, of course. We're used to high pressure but also we feed off of that pressure and that vibe and that need to do a good job and that's how we keep one-upping ourselves. That's how we keep becoming better as people and at our jobs.

As the skater-turned-broadcaster noted, both do have scripted TV experience. Notably, Weir appeared in several episodes of Netflix’s figure skating drama Spinning Out (which was sadly cancelled after one season despite fan outcry), while Lipinski is credited with seven episodes of Jim Carrey’s Kidding. The two hadn’t yet seen their episode of Night Court when we spoke, but both shared that they “tried our best.” For a sneak peek at their guest appearance, take a look at the clip below:

Even on Night Court, they can use their commentary experience! Fortunately, the wait for their episode is almost over. Tune in to NBC on Tuesday, February 21 at 8 p.m. ET for the new episode of Night Court, featuring Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. You can also find any episodes you might have missed (or just want to revisit) streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription now.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).