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Timothy Busfield to play Ben Franklin on Sleepy Hollow

If you enjoyed the first season of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, but found its supernatural mysteries and Revolutionary War shenanigans too hard to see with your monofocal glasses—not to mention your house constantly being burned down by un-grounded lightning strikes—then you’ll be glad to hear that bifocal and lightning rod inventor Ben Franklin will be joining the show in its upcoming second season.

This news comes from Entertainment Weekly, which reports that The West Wing’s Timothy Busfield will be playing America’s portliest founding father, called “the Steve Jobs of 1776” by us just now, in a recurring role for Sleepy Hollow’s next season—with an emphasis on “portliest.” Busfield says he was told to “eat all the ice cream [he wants],” and he notes that this is “finally a part that Michael Fassbender couldn’t play.” Though that sounds a bit like a challenge, and now we can’t help but picture how awesome it would be to see a chubby Fassbender inventing crazy gadgets to defeat the Headless Horseman.


As for Sleepy Hollow’s non-Fassbender version of Franklin, executive producer Mark Goffman seems excited to add such a larger-than-life historical figure (that’s not a fat joke) to his show, saying, “Benjamin Franklin is great because we are all familiar with so many of his contributions and now we get to pull back the veil a bit.” Goffman also says the series’ approach will play off of Franklin’s “precociousness and eccentricities”—so anyone looking for a solemn, respectful interpretation of the man probably shouldn’t be looking in a show called Sleepy Hollow.

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