The episode is “very, very special to us for so many reasons,” the actress says.
Following the Thursday premiere of season 3, episode 8 of the Fox sitcom, titled “Call Me Fancy Puffenstuff,” Bialik recalled the “incredibly special” time cast and crew had on set, noting that it marked Jordan’s last episode on the show following his Oct. 24 death at the age of 67.
“We didn’t know at the time that that was Leslie’s last episode,” Bialik said in a TikTok, adding that she “couldn’t bring myself to watch it.” She continued, “I’m not ready. That week was so incredibly special because of our dialogue coach directing for the first time and just how much fun we had.”
Bialik leads the sitcom as Kat, a woman who uses her entire savings to open a cat café in Louisville, Ky. Jordan played Phil, a newly single gay man who works as head baker at the café. The latest episode followed the characters as they celebrated Friendsgiving with a murder-mystery themed dinner, and Phil and his new boyfriend Jalen (John Griffin) sealed their relationship with a kiss.
The episode marked Jordan’s first on-screen kiss, Bialik said. “He and John Griffin, who plays his boyfriend on the show, were very specific about their appreciation for our writers’ sensitivities in writing a gay couple that was navigating the newness of living a truly authentic out life. It was a very important episode for Leslie in particular.”
The Jeopardy! host said she intended to talk more about the upcoming Christmas/Hanukkah episode, set to air Dec. 8. Jordan passed away while cast and crew filmed that particular episode, Bialik said. “But for now, I just want to say that for those of you who watched and appreciated Leslie’s final episode, we thank you. It was very, very special to us for so many reasons.”
CALL ME KAT: L-R: Leslie Jordan and Mayim Bialik in the Call Me Flatch episode of CALL ME KAT airing Thursday, April 28 (9:01-9:31 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
Mayim Bialik and Leslie Jordan on ‘Call Me Kat’
| Credit: FOX via Getty
“In the coming weeks you’ll be hearing more about what we decided to do with Leslie’s character,” she said.
Executive producer Maria Ferrari previously confirmed that Jordan’s death “absolutely affected the storylines.” Vicki Lawrence, who starred opposite Jordan in the 2018 sitcom The Cool Kids, has been cast as Phil’s mother for an upcoming episode. “We felt, and the cast in particular, felt strongly that even though Leslie isn’t with us anymore, they would like Phil to find his happy ending,” Ferrari recently told Deadline.
“Just for now we can say that on the show, Phil will live on forever and live his best and happiest life,” producer Jim Patterson added.
Jordan died after he suffered a medical emergency behind the wheel and crashed his vehicle into the side of a building in Los Angeles. The Emmy-winning comedian also starred in Will & Grace, American Horror Story, Sordid Lives, The Help, and more.