Thanksgiving on NBC's The Michael J. Fox Show is all about tradition — family, food and football. In the holiday episode tentatively scheduled to air Nov. 21, Fox's Mike Henry engages in a spirited gridiron game with his dad, Steve (Charles Grodin). "Charles is a unique individual," Fox says. "He is in his seventies, incredibly spry, and has a surprisingly live arm."
Steve treats Mike as if he doesn't have Parkinson's disease. "I come in with a heavy duffel bag and throw it at him in an aggressive way that knocks him back a couple of steps," says Grodin, who couldn't help but poke fun at Fox's real-life condition. After completing his first day on set, Grodin says he told Fox, "'OK, we have it now with the Parkinson's; tomorrow let's try it without.' Mike got a chuckle out of that. He's kind of amazing."
While the boys are out tossing the pigskin, there will be an equally tense competition in the Henry kitchen, courtesy of Candice Bergen, 67, who plays Mike's domineering mother, Beth. "She's like a tornado," Bergen says. "She's always criticizing Mike's sister, and she thinks it's just terrible when Mike's wife makes the fatal mistake of adding a new element to the traditional meal."
Bergen first met Fox on the set of Boston Legal and costarred with Grodin in the 1974 film 11 Harrowhouse. The last time she saw Grodin was decades ago at Marlo Thomas's house — for Thanksgiving dinner.