Movies - TV
How John Lithgow Dodged A Common Sitcom Problem With 3rd Rock From The Sun
By J. GABRIEL WARE
When John Lithgow joined the ‘90s NBC sitcom “3rd Rock from the Sun,” he broke his biggest rule in Hollywood: Never do a sitcom. "The thing I disliked about the idea of doing a sitcom was that they would — that's all you would be able to do," he told the Los Angeles Times. "People would only think of you that way. The way Carroll O'Connor could never escape Archie Bunker."
As Dick Solomon, the head of an alien family posing as humans on Earth, however, Lithgow could experiment wildly with the character to discover what kind of human he wants to be. While Dick did have his own outlandish personality, viewers never knew what to expect from the character from one episode to the next. "Dick Solomon was not just Dick Solomon," the actor said.
Because of this freedom, Lithgow, along with his co-stars, Kristen Johnston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and French Stewart, showed his range as an actor and helped make "3rd Rock from the Sun" one of the most unpredictable shows on TV at the time. Possibly, not only did this not trap him, but his showcase of range may have helped increase his stock.