If you've binge-watched Girls5Eva and also frequent country music websites and their social media accounts, you likely got a kick out of executive producer Tina Fey's surprise Dolly Parton impression.
Parton (or a reasonable hallucination thereof) helps girl group member Dawn (Sara Bareilles) beat songwriter's block in one of the Peacock series' most memorable moments.
"I remembered from watching, I think it was Dolly Parton on Letterman or something like that, that she sometimes fasts when she writes music," series creator Meredith Scardino told TVLine. "And I think another writer, Chelsea Devantez, knew that she gets up really early or in the middle of the night, and we thought, 'OK, if we put these two things together, we could create this kind of fugue state for Dawn to try to emulate the greatest songwriter in the world, Dolly Parton.' The whole writers' room, we're all super fans of Dolly Parton, we love her. We thought, 'Well, she's hungry and she's tired, and she's trying her best to write Girls5eva a hit. Wouldn't it be fun if Dolly Parton came to her?'"
Per Fey's May 2021 appearance on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, necessity was the mother of her Parton cameo's invention.
"Here's what happened. Remember a long time ago, when I looked like Sarah Palin and everyone was like, 'You should play Sarah Palin'? This is the opposite of that. No one asked for this," Fey said, referencing her Saturday Night Live appearances as a former vice presidential hopeful.
A lack of other options found Fey donning a Dolly wig and beauty mark.
"It was in the middle of the pandemic when we shot this whole show, and we kept being like, 'We're going to try to get Dolly Parton,'" Fey continued. "It was literally like, 'Who's around? Who's already COVID-tested and in the system?' And it was me."
Bareilles co-stars with Cougar Town's Busy Philipps, Broadway star Renee Elise Goldsberry and SNL writer Paula Pell.