NBC's live telecast has found its Prudy Pingleton
Credit: Mike Pont/WireImage; John Shearer/Getty Images

What’s the opposite of “Stop, don’t, no, please”?

Stage great Andrea Martin has joined the cast of NBC’s upcoming winter musical event Hairspray Live!, EW has learned exclusively.

Playing the role of unhinged helicopter mother Prudy Pingleton, Martin will scold and discipline Ariana Grande (who plays her over-protected daughter, Penny), express her distaste for progressive society to Harvey Fierstein (reprising his iconic Broadway role as Edna Turnblad), and more or less disapprove entirely of newcomer Maddie Baillio (as the titular aficionado of aerosol, Tracy Turnblad).

Martin also joins a stacked ensemble that includes Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Derek Hough, Dove Cameron, Garrett Clayton, Rosie O’Donnell, and Sean Hayes. Kenny Leon and Alex Rudzinski will direct, with choreography by Jerry Mitchell, an updated teleplay by Fierstein, and, of course, music by theatre legends Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman; Craig Zadan and Neil Meron produce.

Prudy Pingleton was classically portrayed by Joann Havrilla in the original 1988 film, Allison Janney in the 2007 remake, and Jackie Hoffman in the 2002 Broadway musical. (On stage, Hoffman also played the prison matron and the school’s gym teacher, the latter of which will be played by O’Donnell in Hairspray Live).

Where to begin to even describe Martin’s career? Besides being an award-winning mainstay of SCTV, Martin has a storied film and TV career but thrives especially in the theatre, having earned Tony love for My Favorite Year and Pippin, in addition to roles in Candide, Oklahoma!, Young Frankenstein, Act One, and last season’s Noises Off. Currently on television, she’s endearing herself to millennials as Julie Klausner’s character’s outrageous mother on Hulu’s Difficult People, and she’ll co-star in NBC’s midseason comedy Great News, from Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, and Tracy Wigfield.

Hairspray Live airs on Dec. 7 on NBC.


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Hairspray Live!
  • TV Show