Jimmy has a J-Role in cartoon sitcom

THE CLEVELAND SHOW "The Cleveland Show" lineup includes (from left) David Ortiz, Jimmy Rollins, Joey Votto and Cleveland.
THE CLEVELAND SHOW "The Cleveland Show" lineup includes (from left) David Ortiz, Jimmy Rollins, Joey Votto and Cleveland.
Posted: March 12, 2013

SPRING IS IN THE AIR! The weather is warmer, the sun is out later, people are starting to become tolerable again and the Phillies are all over your TV screen.

Except they aren't playing baseball for real just yet.

First up is Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who will cameo on the Fox cartoon "The Cleveland Show," a "Family Guy" spin-off, next Sunday in an episode titled "California Dreamin' (All the Cleves are Brown)."

Rollins isn't the only famous face appearing on the baseball-themed (duh) episode. The Dodgers' Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, along with Red Sox's David Ortiz and the Reds' Joey Votto also lend their voices to the ep, featuring our hero Cleveland as he moves his fam from sleepy Stoolbend to Los Angeles so he can realize his lifelong dream of being a baseball scout.

"Jimmy Rollins was as nice a guy as I've worked with," Mike Henry, "The Cleveland Show" co-creator, executive producer, voice of Cleveland and apparent timepiece enthusiast, told me. "We realized the Phillies would be in L.A. around the time we were recording the episode, so we reached out to him. He was a total pro and had a huge, shiny watch!"

I also heard Rollins got a spot on the show after some campaigning by "Cleveland Show" producer Kara Vallow, a former Philly girl and die-hard Phillies fan who wanted to counteract Henry's love of the Cincinnati Reds with hometown appreciation.

Ryan Howard is the other Phillie looking to get his SAG card by cameoing on the Scranton-set "The Office" as a potential client for Jim ( John Krasinski) and Darryl's ( Craig Robinson) Philly-based sports-marketing firm, Athlead. "Ryan killed it. He was dope, man. He's pretty damn funny in real life, which doesn't always translate to TV, but he killed it. He's definitely a better actor than John Krasinski. Without a doubt," Robinson told ESPN.com.

Howard is the second Philly superstar to clock into "The Office." Dr. J played basketball with Jim on a recent episode, rivaling "Parks and Recreation's" use of Detlef Schrempf for best cameo by a retired basketball player in a sitcom.

Eagle Nnamdi Asomugha also has a yen for Hollywood stardom, appearing on an episode of Comedy Central's "The Kroll Show," featuring the many bizarre characters of comedian Nick Kroll, who pulls double duty on FX's excellent fantasy-football-centric "The League."

S. marks the spot

Actress S. Epatha Merkerson, best known for her long running role as Lt. Anita Van Buren on "Law & Order," will be at International House (3701 Chestnut St., 215-387-5125, ihousephilly. org) on Tuesday to screen and discuss a documentary she co-directed. Titled "The Contradictions of Fair Hope," it's about the evolution of Fair Hope societies, created to combat hunger, illness and poverty in newly freed slave communities. The event starts at 7 p.m., and is $10 for general admission tickets.

Local 'Millionaire'

Three Philly-area contestants tried to capture the big prize on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." Local 44's quizzo master J.B. Farley lost out on the fifth question on Friday, and took home $1,000. Ambler's Rosalie Hooper, a grocery cashier, also took home a grand, going out on the eighth question. Technical writer Alex Cabot, from Phoenixville, gets his chance to compete at 12:30 p.m. Monday on 6 ABC.

OUT AND ABOUT

* The Dropkick Murphys'

lead singer, Ken Casey, took in the Flyers' loss to the Penguins on Thursday before their two sold-out weekend shows at the Electric Factory, which almost didn't happen due to a labor dispute between the venue and its stagehands' union. But the Boston-based punk band made arrangements with Local 8 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees to continue the show without crossing the picket line.

New Eagles coach Chip Kelly met with Flyers coach Peter Laviolette before the same game. Let's hope Laviolette gave Kelly tips on how to handle us passionate fans.

* Bensalem-born pop star Christina Perri was in town to support her brother, guitarist Nick Perri, who reunited with his band Silvertide for a sold-out show at the TLA. Christina Perri's song, "A Thousand Years" from the "Twilight: Breaking Dawn" soundtrack, recently won the 11th annual Musicnotes Song of the Year Award. Previous winners include Adele, Leonard Cohen and Linda Perry.


Email: eichelm@phillynews.com

" @PhillyGossipDN

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