In case you missed it, this week’s superb episode of Broad City paid tribute to the millennial classic Mrs. Doubtfire, by recreating the film’s iconic restaurant scene. In the episode called “Burning Bridges,” Ilana has plans with her family to celebrate her parents’ wedding anniversary at a fancy restaurant, whereas Abbi has finally agreed to a date with Trey, her well-meaning yet overenthusiastic and slightly douchey coworker who she started hooking up with on the sly this season.
Of course, as fate would have it, both pals end up at the same restaurant and once spotted, Ilana naturally thinks that her friend has come to surprise her — which puts Abbi in the precarious position of maintaining a presence at both tables, unbeknownst to one another. While it was pretty obvious that the whole scene was an homage to Mrs. Doubtfire (they even included the choking part!), one detail overlooked by many was that the episode featured none other than one of the movie’s stars: Mara Wilson as the waitress.
Although Wilson, who played the youngest daughter in the film, has given up acting since childhood — even scoffing at the idea of appearing in Mrs. Doubtfire II — she jumped at the chance to make an appearance on Broad City, and the stars were aligned right in her favor. As she later told the NYC blog Brokelyn, she was a late adopter of the Comedy Central series, but had briefly met Ilana Glazer years earlier while studying at NYU.
I followed Abbi [Jacobson, the other co-creator and star] on Twitter, and she sent me a message saying, “That’s really weird that you followed me today, because we are working on an episode right now that’s an homage to Mrs. Doubtfire.” I felt emboldened a few days later, I think it was after a glass of wine, and I said, “You know, if you want me to make a cameo or something on this, I totally would. I don’t act much, I don’t really like film or TV acting, but this would be really fun and I have a lot of respect for you two.” They were like, “Totally, we’d love to have you on.” They were both really excited. Ilana sent me a “Yes, yes kween!” email.
So perfect. It was easily one of the best episodes of the season, if not series, and this hidden nugget makes it even better.