Broad City has had some amazing guest appearances in years past (Whoopi Goldberg, Kelly Ripa, Hillary freakin’ Clinton), but 2017 might take the cake in terms of pure, unadulterated star power. We not only got to meet two more of Ilana and Abbi’s family members, but also Abbi’s Canadian pop idol and “long-time” trainee.
There’s still one more Season 4 episode to go (and Broad City finales are usually chock-full of celebs) but that didn’t stop us from putting together a comprehensive list of Broad City’s best 2017 guest stars to date. Warning: spoilers ahead.
Sykes, best known for her roles on Black-ish, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The New Adventures of Old Christine, played Abbi’s happy-go-lucky boss Dara this season. Unfortunately Dara and Abbi don’t leave off on the best of terms, as Abbi accidentally kills Dara’s cat while she’s high on mushrooms. But Dara also thought Abbi was a promising young talent, and maybe one day her advice and words of wisdom will give Abbi the confidence to quit Anthropologie and follow her artistic dreams. By the way, we’re still not over the fact that Dara hates macarons. They’re beautiful and delicious!
Ah, Brenda. First she claimed she was the only Sushi Mambeaux employee who didn’t have a nickname because she “came with the building.” Then she admitted that she sometimes falls asleep at the restaurant and stays the night. But nothing beats the bombshell that Brenda was secretly using Sushi Mambeaux to operate her very own prostitution ring. Brenda may be insane, but she’s nothing if not entertaining—kudos to stand-up comic Sandra Bernhard for making us both laugh and cringe every time she shows up on screen.
Frasier’s Peri Gilpin is the perfect choice to play Abbi’s conservative-but-restless mom, Joanne. We totally buy her as a woman who’s become bored with her safe, conventional existence and gets swept up in her daughter’s “rebellious,” pot-smoking lifestyle. She also rocks Abbi’s iconic blue dress and recovers like a champ after falling off of a Sushi Mambeaux table. And don’t forget about the special moment she shares with Bevers. We’d totally watch a spinoff where those two go on their own wacky adventures.
Tragically, The Color Purple’s Cynthia Ervio hasn’t had a chance to show off her unbelievable vocal chops yet. But because Erivo’s Lisa is the manager of Anthropologie and Abbi’s new boss, we’re fairly sure that she’ll pop up in at least a few Season 5 episodes. Hint, hint, Broad City—this is the perfect excuse to put together a musical episode!
You may recognize Greta Lee from Girls. Or New Girl. Or Inside Amy Schumer. Or St. Vincent. Honestly, she’s been in pretty much everything. And her turn as Dr. Elizabeth, Abbi’s short-lived (51-year-old!) dermatologist, is brief but memorable. Initially Dr. Elizabeth is so worried about maintaining her beauty that she refuses to giggle (laugh lines are a non-no), but Abbi eventually convinces her to let loose and embrace her inner witch.
Speaking of witches, we’re convinced that Jane Curtin’s Margo has legit magic powers. Saturday Night Live’s former weekend updater plays a woman who meets the broads on the steps of the Met and spooks Abbi with her seeming ability to appear out of thin air. When Abbi discovers that she and Margo are eerily similar (they have matching wheely carts, thermoses, and Tupperware containers), her sudden fear of aging becomes even more intense. But Abbi and Ilana eventually discover that Margo is (probably) a witch and embrace the fact that all women are powerful, wonderful, and witchy in their own way.
We mean this in the best and most flattering way possible, but Steve Buscemi’s always had a knack for playing complete creeps. His cameo as Abbi’s oddly judgmental mugger in “Bedbugs” is no exception, as he somehow manages to both terrify and irritate her with his scathing assessment of her spending habits. You can be scary and you can be annoying, but only a truly gifted actor can convincingly play someone who’s both.
Aunt Bev might be even more like Ilana than Bobbi is—which is saying a lot, because Ilana and Bobbi would definitely be BFFs if they weren’t related. We meet wacky Aunt Bev, brilliantly portrayed by The Nanny’s Fran Drescher, in “Florida.” And while she and Bobbi initially fight over who gets to take their deceased mother’s engagement ring, Bobbi graciously agrees to let Bev have it while they partake in a nice, calming pot circle.
Marcel is confident, blunt, and considerate—basically, he’s RuPaul if he decided to become a restauranteur instead of the world’s most famous drag queen. We’ve probably seen the last of him now that Sushi Mambeaux is “indefinitely” closed down, but we’ll always keep the memory of him comforting a seasonally depressed Ilana in her hearts. He, like Margo, taught her how to embrace her inner witch, and for that we are grateful.
What can we say that hasn’t already been said? Abbi’s fibbed about training the legendary Canadian chanteuse for years, so getting to see her live out her lie/fantasy was genuinely mind-blowing. The fact that Shania clearly ships Abbi and Trey makes her cameo even better. Why can’t Shania show up every time Abbi needs love advice?
Don’t miss the season finale of Broad City when it airs this Thursday at 2:30 a.m. ET.