This is how Nancy McKeon says Jo would react to the actress joining Dancing With the Stars
On The Facts of Life, Jo referred to fancy dances as "wing-dings."
On The Facts of Life, the character of Jo was the house tomboy. She played the hard-edged, sarcastic foil to Blair's self-absorbed girly girl, and as the show wore on, each girl taught the other plenty of lessons. People were so drawn to watching this duo (and, of course, the dimple-inducing comedy of Tootie and Natalie) that in the 1980s, these characters became archetypes of femininity, and after all these years, that's still how many viewers see the actresses who played them.
That brings us to today, when the actress who played Jo, Nancy McKeon, continues to be active on TV. She's been in plenty of shows as a leading character, including a dramatic role on the popular Lifetime series The Division, but now that she's been cast on this season's Dancing With the Stars, her biggest fans can't help but ask with a smirk, "What would Jo think of McKeon joining this cast?" McKeon played along and gave her response in an interview with Access Hollywood:
"She would've kicked me out of the neighborhood. That's exactly what she would've done. It would not have gone down well."
Fans of The Facts of Life will likely remember an episode from the second season, where Blair expects a boy to invite her to the cotillion, but instead he asks Jo! Jo, of course, doesn't even want to go, but she does it to spite Blair, who insists Jo lacks the grace to attend such an event. Later in the episode, Jo dons this uncharacteristic blue dress, looking like she's Belle from Beauty in the Beast before she puts on the gold gown.
This image of Jo frowning in a gown with green sneakers likely aligns much more with McKeon's fans' memories of her than whatever sparkly costumes her wardrobe for Dancing With the Stars has in store this season. You can watch McKeon shake up her image when that show starts September 24 on ABC.
In the Access Hollywood interview, McKeon also discussed how her Facts of Life co-star Kim Fields, who participated in a previous season of the reality dancing show, set the bar high with her performance. Fields placed seventh out of 12 dancers in the 2016 season. Here's hoping Tootie's moves can inspire Jo to go even further!