Hillary Clinton was the first big name cameo of “Murphy Brown’s” revival season.
Clinton appeared in the Sept. 27 premiere of the Candice Bergen-led sitcom — but not as herself. Instead, she was “Hilary,” a woman who said she is often mistaken for the former presidential candidate but actually spells her name with only one “L.” She arrived at Murphy’s new cable news show, “Murphy in the Morning,” to interview for the “secretarial position.”
“Your reputation proceeds you, but I want you to know I’m not afraid of hard work, I’m qualified, and I’m ready on day one,” Clinton said to Murphy at the start of her interview.
Murphy went on to ask if she had any secretarial experience (“For four years I was the secretary … of a very large organization,” she replied) and if she had experience with technology and teamwork.
“I do have some experience with emails,” she said. And on the topic of how many people it takes to run a production, she relied on another one of her campaign mottos: “Everyone works together, it takes a village.”
In the end, though, Murphy said although she was “very impressive,” she was “maybe a little over-qualified” and needed some time to think about the hire. Clinton left Murphy with a business card that said her email address was “Hilary at you could have had me dot com.”
This marks the first of Clinton’s two CBS cameos this fall television season. She will also appear in the fifth season premiere of “Madam Secretary.”
“Murphy Brown” creator and showrunner Diane English first teased this cameo appearance during the Television Critics Assn. press tour panel for the revival, saying they had an “enormously famous person” in the first episode.
“We’ve always tried to blur the lines between fiction and reality, and we were so successful in doing that in the first iteration of this show that the vice president thought Murphy was a real person,” English said. “And so we plan to do the same thing again.”
The original “Murphy Brown,” which ran on CBS for 10 seasons from 1988 to 1998, became known for a wide range of cameos. Iconic figures in pop culture such as Aretha Franklin appeared, as did big names in the news media, such as Connie Chung, and politics — most notably Dan Quayle from that latter arena.
Quayle famously criticized “Murphy Brown” for “promoting” single motherhood when Bergen’s character got pregnant with her son and decided to have and raise him on her own, and dropping his name became a common occurrence on the series afterwards, but he also appeared in the 1992 episode “You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato: Part 2.”
For the revival, English chose to start those cameos with someone whose politics much more closely align with the titular character of Murphy’s. Now the question is whether the show will reach across the aisle for future ones.
“Murphy Brown” airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.