The Most Unhinged ‘New Girl’ Guest Stars
Sure, listing and ranking ‘New Girl’s most deranged guest appearances might feel redundant, given that our main gang of roommates are quite the unhinged group of individuals themselves. Jess (Zooey Deschanel) is constantly bursting out in song like a maniac, and Nick (Jake Johnson) would rather trauma-dump on a poor old Asian grandpa in the park than go to therapy. Winston (Lamorne Morris) keeps buying (and returning) boats for some insane reason, and there is not enough time in the world to explain to anyone the madness that is Schmidt (Max Greenfield). That’s what YouTube compilations are for.
Still, New Girl has seen its fair share of guest appearances that are on the level of unhinged depicted by its main and recurring characters. Here are the most bonkers of those bonkers appearances…
Taran Killam as Fred (Jess’ Almost Boyfriend)
Featured only in one episode as Jess’ prospective new boyfriend because she’s actually in love with his parents, SNL’s Killam plays Fred — the dullest love interest to ever grace a sitcom. He’s wickedly funny as the extremely passive guy who, at the same time, seems likely to smother you in your sleep with a weighted blanket. We’re not shaming train-enthusiasts here, but no one should ever be allowed to talk this much about model trains while at dinner with other people. Absolutely no one.
Jessica Biel as Kat (Wedding Guest)
The Season Four premiere saw the gang attend a wedding, ready to get their sex on. Jess has her eye on the best man, but competing for that junk is the tall, genius scientist Kat who lost her virginity to Malcolm Gladwell and refers to getting it on as “procreation.” In truth, she sounds more terrifying than smart, but hey, she did cure a blue toxic syndrome plaguing vaginas everywhere.
Linda Cardellini as Abby (Jess’ Sister)
Playing Jess’ rebellious older sister (and somehow not evolving into a recurring character), Cardellini’s portrayal of Abby felt effortlessly grunge and is delightful to watch. We first meet her when Jess bails her out, and she immediately causes a scene in the jail cell because Abby is a tornado crushing everything in her path, simply because she can. And yet, she’s not a shallow, one-note character. Honestly, the show could’ve prevented a major plot hole if they had only brought her back.
Natasha Lyonne as Gretchen Nelson (Schmidt’s Bang Buddy)
At yet another wedding (because these folks apparently know an insane amount of people), Schmidt runs into what he calls “an acquaintance” and someone he absolutely loathes — Gretchen Nelson. It turns out, however, that he’s boned her many times before — partly because she’s as sexually aggressive as a bonobo; partly because he can’t resist her two-hour river-rafting slide shows.
Dennis Farina as Walt Miller (Nick’s Dad)
Appearing in Season Two just to con Jess into buying a horse (supposedly for Nick), the introduction of Walt Miller explained so, so much about Nick’s many, many issues. After all, it’s kind of hard forging a relationship with a dad who cares less about his son and more about the price tag of horse semen.
Carla Gugino as Emma (Schmidt’s Sorts Boss)
Playing another sexually aggressive character who can take on Schmidt and then some, Emma is the female version of that guy in Fifty Shades of Grey (only funnier). She makes Schmidt sign a bizarre sex contract that checks off things like latex allergies and “guaranteed mercury poisoning.” Of course, Schmidt has no problem with any of this as he explains in his own words: “I’m a depraved freak, and I want to wander into your Narnia of sexual terror and emerge, like a freshly birthed calf.”
Fred Armisen as Brandon (Brief New Roommate)
When Zooey Deschanel went on maternity leave, the show wrote her out as attending jury duty. Nick decides to basically Airbnb Jess’ room to make some cash, and that is how the creepy Brandon enters the picture. Brandon is trying to finish a novel (which sounds completely bonkers), but he seems way more preoccupied in filling Jess’ shoes, literally.
Sonequa Martin-Green as Rhonda (Winston’s Brief Girlfriend)
Man, this group of friends have dated some dodgy folks, but Rhonda is not only one of the funniest, she might also be the most terrifying. A U.S. Marine Reservist, Rhonda is all about the pranks, and we’re talking next-level, faking-a-stabbing kind of pranks. Her sense of humor is bizarre to everyone around her except for Winston, and she even labels her shtick as “getting Rhonda’d.” It’s a pity there’s no compilation of Rhonda’s many eccentric practical jokes on YouTube (someone should rectify that), but you at least get a quick glimpse of her in the episode’s online promo.
Adam Brody as Berkley (Jess’ Ex)
When Jess (who is finally now dating Nick) tells him that he should try and be friends with his ex, she invites her own ex-boyfriend Berkley over to prove that ex-lovers can be platonic buddies. Of course, things go exactly as you’d think it would when Berkley eventually confesses his love for Jess, and threatens to leave his wife to be with her again.
It’s his laugh. That laugh is undeniably unhinged. That is the kind of laugh you hear before the lights go out and you eventually wake up, tied to the mass of a boat out in the middle of the ocean, dressed in a Muppet suit. No sane person laughs like that. That laugh should be illegal.