What started as a guest role on the new ABC comedy series “Suburgatory,” quickly became a regular part for Ana Gasteyer. Producers were so pleased with her perfectionistic next-door neighbor Sheila Shay, she has had an increasing presence on the show throughout this season.
The laffer centers on George Altman (Jeremy Sisto) who moves his teen daughter Tessa (Jane Levy) to the suburbs away from the big bad city. Their new neighbors are the Shays, with Gasteyer’s former “Saturday Night Live” co-star Chris Parnell as her husband plus Allie Grant and Parker Young as their children.
In a video chat with senior editors Rob Licuria and Chris Beachum, Gasteyer said, “The show has quite a bit of heart and quite a bit of tenderness to it, which for a half-hour comedy is actually what makes it such a fun environment to work in because it’s all not just like a laugh box. It’s sweet and kind and family-oriented in many ways.”
Gasteyer will be competing for a shot as Best Comedy Supporting Actress for that program with possible episode choices narrowed down to “Don’t Call Me Shirley” (where her Shirley Temple doll collection is stolen) or “Thanksgiving” (a dysfunctional Shay holiday). She will also be on the Emmy Awards ballot for “Curb Your Enthusiasm” as Best Comedy Guest Actress. In the memorable and funny episode “Mister Softee,” she receives a very bumpy ride while her boyfriend Larry David is driving the streets of New York.
“It was really fun seeing him in his own environment kind of battling the most combative people out there, and that’s New Yorkers,” said Gasteyer. She praised David and the creative staff, calling the show a “Rubik’s cube; it’s so complicated.”
She added that it was her career coming full circle since David cast her in a small role early in her career in one of the most famous episodes (“The Soup Nazi”) in the history of “Seinfeld.”