“British comedy legend John Cleese rarely appears on American television, let alone a network sitcom,” reports the New York Post.
The story adds, “So it took two years — and a little help from ‘Speechless’ co-star Minnie Driver — for series creator/executive Scott Silveri, a self-professed ‘obsessive’ Cleese fan, to snare the 78-year-old ‘Monty Python’/‘Fawlty Towers’ icon for a guest-starring role in the two-part Season 3 opener (premiering tonight, Friday, Oct. 5th, at 8:30 p.m.ET/PT).”
Silveri also says, “We wanted [Cleese] last season when we started talking about a dad story for Maya. There was some interest [on his part]; he’d heard of the show and was open to it, but it never became real. Then this year we went back and said, ‘Hey, remember us?’
“It helped that Cleese and Driver played father/daughter Lestor and Lorraine Finster on the original run of ‘Will & Grace’ in 2004. ‘They liked each other a lot and that helped open the door for us a bit,’ Silveri says. ‘Minnie vouched for us. It was like a friend setting you up with somebody. I reached out and wrote him a note and said, “Regards from Minnie” and reminded him of the good times they had.’”