TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Emmy winning actor Martha Plimpton -- who plays a no-nonsense housekeeper on the hit TV comedy "Raising Hope" -- got her hands dirty at a Tampa home Tuesday, doing laundry and scrubbing the family's tub.
Plimpton and co-star Garret Dillahunt helped clean the family's home as part of a Fox network promotion.
The stunt was Plimpton's idea for a Fox network promotion for the show, which has been renewed for a fourth season. The sitcom is about a man in his 20s who lives with his parents and gets a serial killer pregnant. The entire family then raises the baby girl after her mother is sentenced to death.
Ben Waberman, who is 26 and lives with his mom, dad, sister and nephew, entered and won an online contest by writing an essay about how his family was similar to the Chance clan on the TV show -- except for the serial killer part.
Waberman said he works at a call center and recently had to move home with his parents. His dad is self-employed, just like the TV dad, and his sister works at a grocery store, just like a character on the show. All of the adults in his home are pitching in to help raise his sister's 3-year-old son.
He added that he's a big fan of "Raising Hope" and he thought it would be exciting to have TV stars come to his home and clean.
"I think we could use a visit from them because the house is a mess, the pool is green and we could all use a break," he wrote in his winning essay.
Plimpton arrived in the pink housekeeper's uniform that she wears on the show, and after greeting and laughing with the family, stripped Waberman's bedsheets and took them to the washer. As she fiddled with the washer settings, she told local reporters about her laundry secrets.
"Everyone in the world uses too much detergent," she said.
Dillahunt, who plays Plimpton's TV husband, skimmed leaves out of the family's pool.
Waberman's parents said they were shocked when their son won the contest.
Elizabeth Waberman, Ben's mom, added that she cleaned the house thoroughly before the TV stars arrived.
"Ben kept saying, `leave it dirty, leave it dirty," she said, laughing. "I said, no, they're coming with a camera crew!"
Although Plimpton did don some gloves and use some elbow grease on the family's tub, the network hired actual housekeepers and landscapers to give the Waberman home a deep scrubbing.
The one-hour "Raising Hope" season finale is scheduled for March 28.
Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at twitter.com/tamaralush