Superstore: America Ferrera and Lauren Ash on the Olympics episode
The shoppers in Superstore‘s signature vignettes are going to look particularly familiar in the NBC comedy’s Olympics special Friday night: Gold medalists McKayla Maroney, Tara Lipinski, and Apolo Anton Ohno will be the customers picking up necessities at Cloud 9.
“They’re placed very strategically in the episode,” Lauren Ash, who plays Dina, told EW. “I think it’s going to be really fun for people to watch it and kind of like find the Easter egg Olympians throughout the entire thing.”
But the three decorated athletes aren’t the only guest stars in the episode — Cecily Strong will appear as Olympic gold medal gymnast Missy Jones, who also happens to be Amy’s (America Ferrera) childhood idol. “She’s very excited to meet her,” Ash explained, “and Dina manages to help bridge that gap and gets Amy talking to Cecily’s character because she’s being a little bit shy, and Dina, in general, is not impressed by celebrities, so has no problem approaching the very famous person in the store.”
“[Strong] is so ridiculously funny and that day I left with a stomachache from laughing so hard,” Ferrera said of the experience.
Because the first season finale of Superstore ended with Amy organizing a walkout to protest Glenn’s (Mark McKinney) firing, fans may be raising eyebrows at the special episode that takes place within the store. Ash can allay those fears: “This is a one-off so it stands alone. You can kind of consider it a bonus episode from season 1. It lives somewhere in the chronology of season 1. And then our official premiere on Sept. 22 will pick up minutes after the season finale ended.”
While Ferrera talks about her former shot put dreams and Feldman gets confused about curling in the video above, we asked Ash to assign a Summer Olympics sport for each of her castmates. They might surprise you…
America Ferrera: She’s really training for a triathlon in real life right now, and she’s such a maniac, that she will literally shoot like a 12,13-hour day and then be like, ‘Oh, I’ve just gotta go for a quick mile-long freewater swim.’ What?! She could do swimming, running, or cycling based on her current training schedule. Given how determined and focused she is, I think Tokyo 2020 should watch out.
Ben Feldman: He’s gonna kill me, but men’s rhythmic gymnastics. I feel like he has a lot of grace, a lot of great movement, and I think he’d look really good in a unitard, frankly. He’d be doing a disservice to the world if he didn’t pursue that.
Colton Dunn: I’d have to give him discus or shot put. That guy has some real strength there in those arms. He could really launch a rock.
Nico Santos: Could I have him designing the outfits? … But if I had to choose an actual sport, I think I’m going to give him equestrian. He could really do something beautiful there. He’d look great in those high boots.
Mark McKinney: We had a scene we were shooting the other day where we had to throw a football around, and he shocked me at how good he was. … He had to throw the ball in an exact place and he hit it every time. So maybe archery. He’s got really good aim and I think people underestimate just how athletic Mark McKinney really is.
Nichole Bloom: She’s probably the most athletic of all of us. So I’m going to say long distance running.
Lauren Ash: High jump because at least then I get to end on a mattress where I can just take a nice nap once the work is done.
Superstore‘s Olympics episode airs Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Season 2 premieres on Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.