It's been two months since beloved actor Leslie Jordan died. At the time of his death, he was starring in Call Me Kat at Phil. As TV Insider noted, the show cast Vicki Lawrence to fill the void left by Jordan. Now, the publication has the first look at Lawrence's character, Phil's mother.
Lawrence will appear in Call Me Kat's winter premiere, which airs on Jan. 5 on Fox and is titled "Call Me Philliam." The show has not yet shared an official logline for the episode. However, based on sneak peek photos shared by TV Insider, Lawrence will share the screen with stars Mayim Bialik, Cheyenne Jackson, Swoosie Kurtz, Kyla Pratt, and Julian Gant. In early December, Bialik opened up about Lawrence making an appearance on the show as Phil's mother. According to the Jeopardy host, she was thrilled that the star was able to join them for the Fox program as she's one of her comedy idols.
"She's a legendary icon and literally one of the three women I credit with my training as a comedian. Her, Lucille Ball, and Carol Burnett were kind of my big three growing up," Bialik told TV Insider. She went on to explain that Lawrence's role wouldn't be an express replacement for Phil, "because you can't. Just like Leslie Jordan, there is no replicating that character or person. But we wanted someone who had enough of the feel-good aspects of Leslie's character and enough of that sharpness and fun Leslie brought to his character." She added about Lawrence, "She is her own woman. We age her up, but she's not the destitute woman that sometimes Phil's character would describe her."
While there haven't been too many other details shared about the upcoming Call Me Kat episode, it's safe to say that it will serve as a tribute to Jordan. In late October, it was reported that the actor died at the age of 67 in a car crash after experiencing a suspected medical emergency. Shortly after the tragic news was reported, Jordan's Call Me Kat co-star Bialik shared a tribute to him on social media. She referred to her late co-star and friend as "tender, wise, naughty and hilarious." The Big Bang Theory alum continued, "We got to know and love him at the height of his happiness and joy and it is inconceivable to imagine a world without our Leslie: the man who would spit on his contact lenses before putting them in his eyes, the man who had a story about every man in Hollywood and some of the women as well, the man who lived to make people laugh."