The Conners Has Cast SNL Icon As Mother To Katey Sagal's Louise

In its fifth season, The Conners has pulled off some big moves with its core couples, with such updates flowing in both positive and temporarily negative ways for all involved. It’s also proving itself to be yet another big winner of a season when it comes to guest stars, with ShamelessEthan Cutkosky reuniting with former co-star Emma Kenney, Runaways and Once and Again vet Ever Carradine, and the latest appearance from the always excellent Roseanne vet herself, Estelle Parsons. It was known that a surprise was on the way in the form of Louise and Neville’s mother, and we now know that SNL legend and sitcom queen Jane Curtain will be bringing her decades of comedy stylings to the ABC sitcom. 

Both John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf have past connections to Saturday Night Live, but they were able to welcome in sketch comedy royalty when the Emmy-winning Jane Curtain recently joined the show to film the upcoming Christmassy episode “The Dog Days of Christmas,” which is set to air on Wednesday, December 7, and will serve as the midseason finale. Most importantly here: we don’t even have to wait a whole week to see her in action!

Curtain will be taking on the role of Doris Goldufski, according to TVLine, and though other details about the character weren’t revealed, the first look images that ABC released from the episode make it seem like Doris and Louise are on much better and happier terms than those of Louise and Bev’s relationship. Check out one of the new pics below.

Louise and Doris in The Conners

(Image credit: ABC)

Look at those smiling faces! And the fact that Doris is holding food and at least one gift! Unless she happened to swipe the food and bag off of someone else on the way to her visit, Doris might actually be a loving and traditional mother. Which will no doubt be a baffling idea for Dan to consider, since he’s so used to having a curt and judgmental mother-in-law. Just look at him in the pic below and decide for yourself just how comfortable or uncomfortable he is. 

Dan talking to Louise and Doris on The Conners

(Image credit: ABC)

I love how halfway frightening Louise and Doris' smiles are in that shot. You can almost here them chanting under the breaths: "One of us! One of us!"

The episode synopsis also doesn't tip its hand for whether Dan will have stereotypical sitcom mother-in-law issues, or if this will be a twist on that standard. It doesn't seem like Nat Faxon's Neville is around, at least in the first-look images, but one has to assume he'll want to see his mom, too. Unless there's drama there. Where is the drama?!? Ahem, here's that synopsis:

The holidays are approaching and Dan meets his mother-in-law for the first time. Elsewhere, Darlene helps Becky with a parenting problem.

Will Doris get in the mix helping Becky with parenting problems? Will she have advice for Darlene about how to handle Harris? Will Jackie and Louise's relationship evolve after the former gets to meet the woman who raised her husband and sister-in-law?We'll have to wait a few more days to see. 

Jane Curtain will no doubt be a treat to watch here, just as she is in every role she takes on. As one of the O.G. stars of Saturday Night Live, the actress also went on to star in Kate & Allie, Third Rock from the Sun, the Librarian TV movie series, and more. She's also obviously as well known for Coneheads as anything else, having reprised that role for a 2015 commercial. Here's hoping her Conners debut sparks interest in her return to SNL, as a host or even just a cameo.

Catch all of The Conners’ Season 5 episodes streaming with a Hulu subscription, with new episodes airing on ABC on Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET. And stay tuned for another big guest star in the form of William H. Macy.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.