Family Fortune

CBS Watch! Magazine|January - February 2020

Family Fortune
Mom welcomes comic genius Kristen Johnston
BRANTLEY BARDIN

THAT VOICE, THOSE LIPS, THOSE EYES FULL OF mischief—Kristen Johnston is back and Mom’s got her! “I’d left the sitcom world for a while to do theater,” says the actress, who won two Emmy Awards for her spectacularly extreme extraterrestrial Sally on the ’90s hit 3rd Rock from the Sun. “I was just going to do this one Mom episode as a guest star two seasons ago, but thenthey had me back, and then this season [executive producer] Chuck Lorre said, ‘We want you permanently.’ That was a great day!”

For us, too: What could be better than weekly doses of Johnston’s signature screwball brilliance, playing the just-out-of-jail recovering alcoholic and full-time loon Tammy Diffendorf? “Tammy is very funny, very sweet, very naive, and both really smart and borderline stupid,” says a huskily chortling Johnston, who’s long professed a jones for deeply flawed characters. “I love playing people who live in the gray area,” she confirms. “Those who aren’t good or bad or sweet or mean or smart or dumb—they’re all of it. Because we are all of that: One minute we’re clever and the next minute we’re idiots.”

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January - February 2020