After first being introduced as a podcast in 2019, The Shrink Next Door is making another splash in the form of a new dramedy limited series premiering on Apple+ TV this month. The series is getting mixed reviews from critics for its story structure and its depiction of its Jewish characters. One of the highlights of the series seems to stem from the collective cast of comedy stars.
The story explores the dangers of relationships one has between those they trust but despite its serious plot, the show features a crew of comedy writers and a cast of both big and small names in the comedy world that have plenty of projects worth watching.
Will Ferrell – Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
As one of the show’s leads, Will Ferrell plays Marty Markowitz in The Shrink Next Door and is the most famous actor in the show. With a long list of memorable characters, Will Ferrell is not new to hiding his funny bone for serious roles. Some of his best performances are the dramatic ones like Everything Must Go and Stranger Than Fiction.
The latter focuses on a mathematically obsessed auditor named Harold Crick who lives a very ordered and quiet life. This all comes crashing down when he alone hears a voice that begins to narrate his every move. Just like Marty, Harold seeks counsel from a literary professor to help him understand the narrator’s motivations. And just like his characters here, Ferrell is in tune with being the nice guy, and fans can relate and root for him to achieve a happy ending.
Paul Rudd – Ant Man (2015)
Joining Will Ferrell as a lead character is Paul Rudd who plays Dr. Isaac Herschkopf in The Shrink Next Door. Rudd is another famous actor on this list starring in comedies like I Love You Man and Wet Hot American Summer. Recently, he was voted People’s Sexiest Man Alive and is one of the two stars here that is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the MCU, Rudd plays the title role of Ant-Man, aka Scott Lang, a cat burglar who is down on his luck after recently getting out of jail. Unlike Herschkopf, Scott is clueless and stumbles through his superhero changes. With his performance in Ant-Man, Rudd is clearly at his comfort level playing the good guy. With The Shrink, Rudd in the unusual role of antagonist will make the audience want to tune in.
Kathryn Hahn – WandaVision (2020)
Kathryn Hahn plays Phyllis Shapiro on The Shrink Next Door and immediately inherits the role. Sister to Marty, Phyllis is tough and wants what’s best for her brother. Hahn has played many supportive characters throughout her career, most notably in Step Brothers and Bad Moms. Just like Rudd, her performance in the MCU has garnered her the most recognition and gave her the Best Villain award at the MTV Movie Awards.
In WandaVision, Hahn plays Agatha Harkness, a powerful witch who comes to Westview to harness The Scarlet Witch’s powers and use it for herself. Hahn is clearly having fun playing the villain. She is proving to be the kind of actor who should be given more characters like the ones in WandaVision and The Shrink Next Door where she can show off her acting capabilities.
Casey Wilson – Happy Endings (2011-2013)
Rounding out the main cast of characters is Casey Wilson, who plays Bonnie Herschkopf, the partner of Dr. Herschkopf. Wilson may not be as famous as its lead actors but has made a name for herself in the television world. Her TV credits include Black Monday, Atypical and Happy Endings.
In a recent interview with Collider, she preferred audiences watch her in Happy Endings due to her love of the show and the fact that she worked on it with her husband. The comedy series is about a group of friends trying to figure out the ropes and pitfalls of being adults in Chicago. Wilson’s character of Penny in Happy Endings earned her two acting awards.
Sarayu Blue – I Feel Bad (2018)
Most of the cast members on The Shrink play smaller roles but all have a fruitful career of guest spots on multiple TV shows. Among them is Sarayu Blue who plays the recurring character of Miriam, one of Ike’s patients. She has guest-starred in a variety of comedy shows such as Veep, The Big Bang Theory, and The Unicorn.
Sarayu Blue had the starring role in the short-lived 2018 NBC comedy series, I Feel Bad. The show is based on a bestselling book and centers around Emit, a mother, wife, and career woman who, like the title suggests, feels bad about everything. As the lead, Blue carries the show and despite only one season should see more leading roles in her future.
Robin Bartlett – Mad About You (1994-1999)
Robin Bartlett may be playing a small role in The Shrink Next Door as Cathy, she is no stranger to the screen since debuting alongside Vanessa Redgrave in the made for tv movie Playing For Time in 1980. She is a revered actress both on stage and on screen. Bartlett has accumulated a long career of credits including Shutter Island, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Mad About You.
The long-running tv show, which garnered multiple awards throughout its run, follows the daily life of a newly married couple living in New York City and the many people that revolve around their lives. Bartlett is best known for her performance as Debbie Buchman, sister to Paul Reiser’s character, and appeared in over 46 episodes.
Cornell Womack – Grimshaw (2018)
As Bruce, Marty’s employee, Cornell Womack is another actor who is best known for his roles on television. His TV credits include Flaked, Criminal Minds, and Rescue Me. His career of playing supporting roles may not be as exciting as others on this list but he is a consistent and reliable talent.
In 2018, Womack stars in the short film, Grimshaw, about two men playing chess. Within the story lies two people broken; one dealing with addiction while the other deals with his past. The film was part of a few film festivals and won a slew of awards including one for Womack with a Best Supporting Actor.
Allan Wasserman – Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000 – Present)
Allan Wasserman is another actor with a recurring character in The Shrink Next Door as Rabbi Sherman. He is first introduced on the show at a party and even though it’s a small role, Wasserman is not new to the acting world. He has been acting in small roles since the late 80s when he made his acting debut in the Tom Hanks comedy Big.
His name may not be as known but his filmography is and his guest credits seem to be growing faster recently with roles in Suburbicon, Funny People, and The West Wing. One of the most popular shows he has appeared in was the series Curb Your Enthusiasm as an HBO Executive.
Lindsay Kraft – Grace and Frankie (2015 – 2022)
In the first episode of The Shrink Next Door, the audience was introduced to Deborah, Marty’s ex-girlfriend played by Lindsay Kraft. Despite only appearing briefly, Deborah burst onscreen. No surprise as the actress is known for making splashes. Just like her co-stars here, Kraft has appeared in many tv shows throughout her career including Why Women Kill, Living Biblically, and Getting On.
Her performance in Grace and Frankie, is her most notable role yet. Here, Kraft plays Allison, the significant other of Frankie’s kid Bud. She is a hypochondriac and suffers from numerous allergies which make for some wildly funny shenanigans on the show. Unlike her performance in The Shrink where she knows exactly what she wants, here she is reserved. That is what makes Kraft’s performance all that more memorable.
Amir Talai – American Dad (2005 – Present)
Amir Talai plays the character of Joe, an employee of a frame store in the series. Just like his other co-stars, Amir Talai is an actor known to play small roles in TV and movies. His film credits include What To Expect When Expecting, The Circle, and Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.
Fans will most likely recognize his voice from the animated show American Dad. Even with small roles, Talai is still a relatively unknown name in Hollywood. He truly is a character actor and dominates in his one scene in The Shrink Next Door.
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