10 Questions With ... Caroline Rhea

Andy Cohen chats with Caroline Rhea.

Before I talk about how hilarious and smart Caroline Rhea is, I have to plug my appearance on the insanely simple and addictive (simply addictive?) online show RING MY BELL tomorrow, Wednesday. You can watch the show at Ringmybell.tv, but the most important thing is that you can call in and talk to me and say anything you damn well please from 11-12 PST, that's 2-3 EST for all you confused people. The show is an offshoot of the great WOW Report and those insane World of Wonder kids who produce some fine quality shows for Bravo and HBO and the world so it is an honor to be on their show. How embarrassing will it be if no one calls and I am sitting there singing the Donny and Marie Goodbye Song for an hour? So please do call!!

ANYHOO, man is Caroline Rhea funny and talented! And she also is starring in a standup special on Bravo tonight called "Rhea's Anatomy!" I love that girl and I love the title of the special and she called me yesterday morning at 8 am to chat about it all....

HELLO!
Hi, am I waking you up?

NO, YOU AREN'T. ALMOST THOUGH. WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW?
I am just driving around the city. I just did the morning news to promote the show. There's a lot of pressure -- I have to have every gay man that I like to watch my special tomorrow because Kathy loves the gays so much. But there's enough for all of us, Kathy -- we can share!


WHAT KIND OF STUFF COULD YOU NOT JOKE ABOUT ON YOUR TALK SHOW THAT YOU DO IN YOUR ACT?
What's that word I'm looking for -- everything!!! My talk show -- the crime of it was.... Well, I need to get better at reading fine print. It was a daytime show that was on in late night. I have a late night sensibility and I wish I had done it late night. I think of myself as being bawdy -- as in b-a-w-d-y, it's not all about my body! I hate it that I couldn't talk politics on the show. That bummed me out. Political material is tricky because you have to be funny. I have my own version of protest but hopefully in a funny way. Watching the President speak is like watching your parents dance. A little part of you dies. Oh, the President -- you're so against gay marriage and gays -- basically they want to be monogomous and serve their country. What's next?!

DID YOU EVER JOKE ABOUT ANYTHING ON DAYTIME TV THAT YOU GOT IN TROUBLE FOR OR JUST FELL FLAT?
I don't remember. If I can get hold of the 11 people that were watching I can ask.

 

EVERYONE HAS A SPECIFIC AUDIENCE -- LIKE WHEN YOU GO TO MARIAH CAREY CONCERTS YOU HAVE THE PLEASURE OF GETTING UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH HER PEOPLE. WHO ARE YOUR PEOPLE?
Gay men and women. That's all my best friends -- gay men and straight women. I wanted to do a show called "Willfull and Graceless." I just think with female comediennes, and for me since I've been in high school my best friend was a gay guy -- there's something about the sensibility that's a natural bonding. Oh, and women get senses of humor and straight men don't!


IN YOUR "BIGGEST LOSER" LIFE, YOU ARE IN THE PROBST/KLUM ZONE. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE KEY TO BEING A GOOD REALITY SHOW HOST?
First of all, I only just heard you say Klum. There's one big difference between Heidi and I -- lighting! I have no idea. What cracks me up is when people ask me if I've lost weight from "Biggest Loser" -- has Jeff Probst eaten a bug? Heidi is so beautiful and a separate entity. I know I care about the contestants moreso than they want me to, or maybe than anyone else.

I DON'T THINK IT'S APPARENT WHEN WATCHING REALITY SHOWS HOW LONG IT TAKES TO DELIVER HOST INFORMATION AND RULES TO THE CONTESTANTS. ON "BIGGEST LOSER," HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO DELIVER INFO TO THE CONTESTANTS?
No, but unfortunately that's what they leave in the show! There's so much more interesting stuff that happens but you become a rule-deliverer! The interesting part of that show is not what they show on camera, it's a lot of the questions that get asked of the contestants.

WHAT REALITY SHOWS DO YOU WATCH? Nothing. I actually don't even think of "Runway" as reality. I do watch "Runway" a little bit. I just can't stand when anyone gets eliminated! Even on a game show growing up -- I don't like that part. I am a comedienne. I don't think of myself as a host of a reality show. For a lot of people that's their main job but I don't like the competition -- I just want it to be a talk show.

DO YOU WATCH OPRAH?
Yes!


WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT?
She moves me to action, which I think is very impressive! I am actually going to Africa in December. I had an obsession since I saw her open that school so I wanted to see what I could do. I am going with another program so I want to go do something.... We're all loaded in this country and they are all suffering there so I am going to Rwanda. My mom won't listen to it but she also told me when I moved to NYC that I would promise her not to leave the house after dark. Yeah mom, I will only do comedy at lunchtime....

 

BY THE WAY, MY EX-BOYFRIEND AND I GOT IN A MASSIVE FIGHT AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY YOU HAD AT SOME CLUB ON FORTYSOMETHING STREET. I DON'T KNOW WHY WE WERE THERE....
That was the best birthday party! Why'd you get in a fight? Who was your boyfriend?

NOTE: At this point the conversation devolved into personal details of my former relationship and Caroline's feelings about the party. She told me of the seedlings of an idea of a show she's thinking of and busted me doing the classic TV Exec move of telling her I loved the idea, but didn't really want to hear about it too much more. This lady is funny and her special is on Bravo tonight and if you want to hear why I got in a massive fight at her birthday party you can call me on Ringmybell.tv tomorrow!

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