As a comedian who also dabbles in politics, there’s no better show for Jimmy Tingle to guest star on than “Veep.”
The longtime stand-up comic and former candidate for Massachusetts lieutenant governor may not have played a politician on the season premiere of the HBO comedy’s seventh and final season, but his character did give the show’s protagonist, Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), the right words to announce her run for president.
In Sunday night’s premiere, Meyer and her staff settle on the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams as the perfect place to announce her campaign. But when they arrive, they find an irate tent rental company owner named Nick Spooner (Tingle) who says he got stiffed on the bill when Meyer announced her first presidential run back in 2008.
“I am sick and tired of these hoity-toity people like yourself prancing in here with this la-di-da attitude and total disregard for the working-class people of this country like myself,” Spooner tells Meyer, as she smiles and nods.
Minutes later, Meyer parrots Spooner’s line to the assembled press almost word for word — even adding a terrible Boston accent to every syllable of “disregard” — while she makes her announcement.
Tingle said he heard about the role from his agent on Aug. 10, 2018, in the midst of his run for lieutenant governor. After discussing it with his campaign team, he decided to fly out to Los Angeles for filming. But only days before he was set to film, Tingle’s mother passed away, and he had to figure out if he wanted to proceed.
“I ended up flying out the day of the funeral, after the reception and everything,” Tingle said, his voice catching slightly. “I filmed it the next day, and flew back to Boston on the red-eye the next night.”
Tingle said that working with Louis-Dreyfus was an incredible experience.
“She’s about the nicest person I’ve ever worked with in the business,” Tingle said. “Unbelievably poised, unbelievably professional.”
Great to be in a scene with @OfficialJLD in the season opener of @VeepHBO Sunday night. Thank you Julia and @HBO for having me, so much fun! #VEEP #HBO #MaPoli @TheComedyStudio @BostonGlobe @wgbhnews @WBUR @jimbraude pic.twitter.com/f5y6icSSO5— Jimmy Tingle (@JimmyTingle) April 1, 2019