The Comeback is back! Valerie Cherish (Lisa Kudrow) made her triumphant return tonight, but she wasn't alone. The series return of the beloved HBO series had some very famous faces, both in the reality TV world and in the big bad world of Hollywood. The premiere featured cameos by Chelsea Handler, Top Chef's Carla Hall, Andy Cohen, RuPaul and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Lisa Vanderpump. Coming soon: Seth Rogen in a meaty (and amazing) role.
So how did they get everybody? "It was just let's ask, fingers crossed, and then they said yes and it was like, ‘Yes, thank god,'" Kudrow told us. "Andy Cohen was one I was really on pins and needles because everything we came up with was sort of dependent on Andy Cohen because that's what kicks off the whole season, and luckily he said ‘OK, yeah.' We just had to figure out dates. Malin [Akerman] too—she was shooting a movie and just said, ‘It's OK we'll just stay up all night and we'll do it.' We just made it work."
Basically every cameo featured the stars playing themselves.
"We're trying to do as much reality as possible. Lisa Vanderpump, Chelsea Handler, Andy Cohen, so many and they all played themselves and they came to the show happily," series co-creator Michael Patrick King told E! News. "People really feel Lisa [Kudrow] as a very special actress so they're more than happy to act with her and she's very special. Everybody who was in the show liked the first Comeback. That was the doorway. That was our calling card."
In The Comeback's reality, Valerie Cherish was an original cast member of Bravo's hit The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. This happened in the time between The Comeback seasons on HBO, but Valerie didn't last long, as viewers saw in a scene with Vanderpump.
"I feel we very honestly represented our view of what Valerie would do with [Vanderpump and Cohen] and it's a little bit wicked but a little bit benign at the same time. And they were all up for it. And we wrote all of it. There was nothing improvised. So it's Andy Cohen as written by Lisa and I. Lisa Vanderpump as written by Lisa and myself. What's really shocking is how good everyone is at playing themselves," King said. "That's the world we live in now, everyone knows how to play themselves."
When The Comeback returns, we find Valerie Cherish, who bills herself as a television star/actress, trying to regain the spotlight again by producing a reality show pitch for Bravo's Cohen. In the process, she finds out her former boss Paulie G. (Lance Barber) is writing an HBO dramedy about his time hooked to heroin writing Room and Bored, Val's short-lived sitcom. Much to everybody's surprise, Val gets a part playing a fictionalized version of herself. Seth Rogen plays himself playing the Paulie G. character in Seeing Red, the fake HBO show. Got all that?
King said Rogen was the "Holy Grail" star cameo "because we wanted a really big movie star to play a big movie star."
"It was tricky and fun to get him on board, because he's busy. But there's this underlying belief because he liked The Comeback so much that it was going to happen," King said. "We wrote Seth in the script without having the knowledge. We just kept going and we kept saying he's going to show up, and then he showed up."
The Comeback airs Sundays, 10 p.m. on HBO.