Lennon Parham (left) and Jessica St. Clair
Andrew Eccles/USA Network


Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham take their friendship on-screen for the new comedy Playing House.

Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham are living the dream: These real-life best friends co-write, co-produce and co-star in USA Network’s new comedy, Playing House, in which they play, well, best friends, who stick by the other’s side through pregnancy, heartbreak, career disaster and an incident with a raccoon family. And that’s just the first episode. The BFFs, both new moms, explain to American Way why the show is so important to them and what makes it awesome for the television landscape.

On their friendship:
St. Clair: We met about 12 years ago at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. I remember thinking, “Who is that girl in an Express sweater set?” It’s always been a dream to do a hard-hitting comedy with heart.
Parham: You don’t see that very often for women right now. The dynamic you see between us on the show is pretty much us in real life.

On their writing process:
Parham: We break the story down, then improvise the scenes and tape-record ourselves.
St. Clair: Everything that makes it into the show comes out of our mouths, so it sounds like how girls actually talk.

On the show:
Parham: Sometimes on TV, it’s better if the two best friends are in conflict, but that’s not how real friendships work. You help each other through things. We like to show girls who look normal but who are falling apart a bit on the inside.
St. Clair: It’s a little bit like Laverne & Shirley — we’re going on adventures together. And also a lot like The Golden Girls. Hopefully we don’t look quite as old.
Parham: But we do have on those muumuus.