The Paul Rust and Leslie Arfin-created and Judd Apatow-produced Love is back with its second season on Netflix, following Gus (Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) in their topsy turvy romance. The show’s universe expands this season as well, giving more screen time and her own storylines to the always funny Bertie (Australian comedian Claudia O’Daugherty), tracing her own doomed romance with Gus’s friend Randy (Mike Mitchell). But in addition to the strengths of its leads, the show is also filled with some fantastic guest performances from beloved comedians, charming up-and-comers and a few faces you’ll recognize from the Apatow cinematic universe. Here’s ten of our favorites:
Yi plays Cori, the bestie Gus dishes to over brunch, whom he calls when Mickey ditches him at a party. Yi’s quietly lovable characters are always charming, in large part because characters like hers are so rare. What’s even better is watching a nerdy male character go on and on about his burgeoning crush to an equally nerdy woman already ensconced in a long term relationship. My only complaint is that Yi doesn’t return for season two. I just wanted more of Cori’s hopeful sensibility.
You might remember Pell as Pete’s wife on 30 Rock, but she’s best known as a long time writer for the likes of Saturday Night Live and the Amy Poehler/Tina Fey vehicle Sisters. Pell plays the wonderfully anxious Erika, Mickey’s boss who latches onto her with relentless determination to keep their jobs when their radio station gets acquired. Pell plays Erika with an awkward desire to be cool next to the hip younger Mickey; she manages somehow to make that neediness delightful, perhaps because Pell has such fantastic physical comedy skills.
Scovel plays a one-off role in season two as a radio host named Gator. Gator is the perfect overconfident radio jockey who assumes Gus is impressed to meet him at Mickey’s work party, even after Gus blatantly tells Gator he’s never heard of him or his show. Scovel has less than a minute of screen time, but he packs so much ridiculous and excessive self-regard into every second that we can only hope to see more of Gator (and Scovel) in future seasons.
Fine, I’m cheating a little by including Apatow, who’s more of a recurring actor, but there aren’t enough good things to say about her Arya Hopkins. She plays the pitch-perfect child star who’s at once bratty and adult in ways a kid should never have to be. She even manages to be sympathetic while chastising her own parents, whose behavior, next to hers, seems childish. On top of all this, she’s also campily great in Arya’s scenes in Witchita, Love’s show-within-a-show.
Morris is less recognizable than some of the other folks on this list, but he pops up as various characters in just about everything from Happy Endings to Step Brothers. The longtime UCB alum plays Evan, the hard-nosed production manager on Witchita with no time for Gus’s eager-beaver brown-nosing. Morris never fails to delight in the many shades of dirtbag roles he plays.
Though she’s best known for her role on Reno 911, I’ve adored Kerri Kenney since her days with sketch comedy team The State. Syd, her character in Love, is more subtle than her previous work, but her performance as a disillusioned mother—who’s only nominally embarrassed to have let go of her cool-kid past—is relatable and offers the perfect foil for Mickey, showing her that settling down doesn’t mean becoming lame.
One of the founders of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Roberts has been more prolific behind the scenes in recent years as Key & Peele’s show-runner. But he makes a brief appearance in season one as an obnoxious restaurant patron when Gus and Bertie go on their ill-fated date. Playing the guy you love to hate is a bit of a specialty for Roberts, and the relish he puts into this ridiculous dude trying to impress his date is beautifully uncomfortable to watch.
You’re not likely to know her name or face from Bravo’s acting work, but she’s been behind the scenes of many comedies for a while now. Most often working as a designer, Bravo is a rising director with avant-garde theater training who recently directed the “Juneteenth” episode of Atlanta. She appears in Love’s second season as Lorna, one of Mickey’s infinitely child-obsessed coupled-off friends who has an impressive reasonableness in the face of Mickey’s pot-stirring antagonism.
Regulars of the Judd Apatow oeuvre, character actors Allen and Bannos are always a welcome sight. In Love they play Allan and Frank, two bachelor roomies who live in Gus’s apartment complex and are always ready with fresh conversation and a quick smoke. They’re groovy dudes who haven’t let go of the ‘70s, but they also constantly bicker like an old married couple.
Ennis plays Stella, the disinterested podcasting sensation whom Mickey and Erika are trying to woo to their radio station. Stella interviews celebrities about their sex lives from her own bed, a ridiculous hook that would totally be successful in the real world. Ennis’ performance offers the perfect blend of “overshare-y social media millennial” and “sensible outsider able to call Mickey on her shit.” It’s all worth it just to hear her inanely talk about her obsession with Nicki Minaj’s boobs.
I mean, come on: Can you resist David Spade playing a clueless, sleazy Hollywood dad going through a bitter divorce and pretending to befriend lovably gullible Gus? Naw, I didn’t think so.
Erica Lies is a writer and comedian in Austin, TX. Her work has appeared in Bitch, Splitsider and The Hairpin, and her humor writing has run in McSweeney’s and National Lampoon.