Viewers of "Desperate Housewives" have already met Bree's over-the-top mother-in-law this season. Soon, they'll meet her own stepmother, and from the description of the character, it sounds like the "wicked" won't even need to be stated.
To play the character, "Housewives" creator has recruited one of his comedic idols, Carol Burnett. The multiple Emmy winner is scheduled to appear in an episode April 9.
"I thought this would be a hoot. I'm a soap opera fan," Burnett tells USA Today. "I've watched 'All My Children' for a hundred years [in addition to appearing on it numerous times], and this, too, is a very campy soap. All these crazy things happen in this one town."
Cherry tells the paper that Burnett's character, Eleanor, raised Bree (Marcia Cross) after Bree's mother died young and describes Eleanor as "a very tightly wound, proper lady for whom appearances mean everything" (sounds familiar). She and her husband arrive on Wisteria Lane after Bree's son, Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom), says he wants to be emancipated and is willing to spill family dirt to have his request granted.
For now, Burnett's appearance is a one-time-only affair, but both she and Cherry say they're open to the character returning.
Burnett will be the second comedic legend to guest-star on the show. Bob Newhart has made several appearances as Morty Flickman, the hapless beau of Susan's (Teri Hatcher) mom Sophie (Lesley Ann Warren).