George Clooney Joins Downton Abbey & The Dowager Countess Can't Even

Just when you thought Downton Abbey parodies were so 2012, the gentlefolk at ITV pulled out all the stops for a big one.
The network that produces Downton made a nine-minute It's a Wonderful Life-esque short starring the full Abbey cast, plus George Clooney, Joanna Lumley, and Jeremy Piven.
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Clooney's appearance as Lord Hollywood, the man Cora marries because Lord Grantham was never born, should be funny enough for non-devotees of the show. He even makes Dame Maggie Smith, a.k.a. the Dowager Countess, swoon off the couch.
However, the real jokes are for the fans. When the second Lord Grantham receives a telegram that he's lost his fortune (again), you can see Thomas in the backgrounds shoving silverware in his pockets. Meanwhile, Cousin Isabel has been having a little fun with Mr. Selfridge (Jeremy Piven, from that other ITV crossover hit), and downstairs, Molesley is losing a game of strip poker, showing off two full sleeves of tattoos.
The parody short was made to support the Texts for Santa fundraising effort, and it seems to be working. As of Saturday evening, ITV said it had reached its highest total yet for the fundraiser, which collects for donations such as the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Alzheimer's Society.
It seems Clooney's marriage to a Brit is doing right by many so far.
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