The mistress of Dollywood has gone Hollywood once again.
Country songbird Dolly Parton recently spent a week workin' 9 to 5 (sorry!) on the set of Reba McEntire's sitcom, Reba. And while Ask Ausiello may not think much of the country-fried comedy, this reporter thinks tonight's Dolly episode (9 pm/ET on WB) is a good excuse to stop by Reba's living room and set a spell. After all, it's something of a casting coup for this little show. Let's have it: How long did McEntire have to beg and cajole to pull this one off?
"Reba didn't have to badger me," Parton tells TVGuide.com. "Reba and I have been friends for a long time and, since she started her show, I wanted to be on it. I couldn't do it earlier on [in the series' run], but I sent her a fax when I had some free time saying, 'I'd like to be on your show if you still want me.' They wrote me a great part and I was tickled to death."
Here's what they came up with for her: "My [character's] name is Dolly Majors. I am a successful real estate agent, and that was the doing of Reba and the writers. I told her I wanted to play something where I could wear my high heels, my hair and my makeup. I didn't want to be too different from the way I look."
Come to think of it, Parton has
basically played herself in everything from 9 to 5
to Steel Magnolias
to The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
. "I have to," she laughs, "because I'm not that fine of an actress!
"I think Reba's got it down pretty good... but me, I feel I need to play parts that are pretty much close to me because I'm familiar with that personality, and I'm not good enough to do a lot of fine actin'."
"We were so excited to have Dolly Parton on our set for a whole week," McEntire adds. "We had so many visitors just happening to stroll by our set just to look at Dolly, much less get to meet her. She was so hospitable to all our crew. Everybody was nervous and tense to see how she was going to treat them, but I wasn't worried at all. I knew Dolly would have 'em eating out of the palm of her hand."
Naturally, no Dolly cameo would be complete without Parton poking fun at herself. As fans know, she especially enjoys making cracks about her famously ample bosom. "[There's a funny line where] I said, 'Hey, we're not comparing melons and apples here.' And then Reba looks down at her chest."