The show is less insane - but also more familiar
The last time I checked in with "The Talk," it was like showing up during the closing moments of a wedding reception that's gone off the rails -- the bride and groom are drunk, the flower girl has thrown up behind the buffet table and the guests have started an impromptu cake fight. With wild monkey co-host Leah Remini cackling and chattering hysterically on every episode, the tone of the show was set firmly at "hormonal breakdown" on a daily basis as Remini's co-hosts battled to get a word in edgewise and Julie Chen looked on with an expression of mild distaste. It was a car accident, but one that was easy to look away from.
The stand-up comedian says she really wants her own talk show
As the host of the new syndicated dating show "Excused," Iliza Shlesinger lobs zingers at the lovelorn and the clueless. We'd expect nothing less from the first woman (and youngest contestant) to win "Last Comic Standing," of course. I talked to Iliza about why "Last Comic Standing" isn't the golden ticket some might think, what she'd love to do next and the line she won't cross in making fun of luckless daters.
So, did winning "Last Comic Standing" open doors? I would think you'd be a shoo-in for jobs after that.
I would have thought that too, but I won that show and I think it only really matters to comedians. At the end of the day, it's "Last Comic Standing," not the "Last Host Standing" or "Last Actress Standing." It gave me the opportunity to broaden my career horizons, so I was a featured comedian at that point, and afterwards I was a headliner.
A lot of people claim stand-up is still a man's world. Do you find that to be true?
It's a mans world in that there are more male comics. You do have to prove yourself over and over. It doesn't matter how many times you perform or how many awards you win, you have to keep doing those half hour specials and getting in front of people before you become popular.
What's the biggest difference between this show and doing stand-up?
There are things you can't say and things that aren't right for certain audiences. There are certain people you can't offend. The real similarity is that, with the show, you have to be funny right then and there.
Do you ever feel that people think, because you're pretty, you're not going to be funny?
You know what? It's so weird because to be held up as the gorgeous homecoming week cheerleader, it's only among comics, so while I was never got that head cheerleader status in my real life, now that I'm in comedy, where there aren't a lot of attractive women, I do get that, well, she's hot, she must not be funny. They're comparing me to bald guys and hardworking, overweight women, so I think to be somewhat attractive when I walk out on stage throws people. But it doesn't matter ultimately, because if you don't know who I am, you find out in the first minute of my act.
You said there were things you couldn't say on "Excused." Any examples?
Because I'm not a mean spirited person, I don't want people walking away from this show feeling bad about themselves. So I walk a fine line where I'll say, that's a goofy sweatshirt, but I wouldn't say someone has a big nose.
If you weren't the host, do you think you'd ever appear on this show?
If I were younger, no. Personally, I wouldn't do this show because I don't have a tolerance for people. But a lot of people do tell me they had a great time and they're glad that mom and dad got to see them on a reality show. This is a half hour of fun and we try to keep it upbeat.
What's next for you?
I'd love to do a talk show, and I think people are ready for a young, funny, attractive woman to be on late night TV. I've been working on something for a while, and I think it's going to be awesome. Women want to be talked to like they're intelligent. Not all women are preoccupied with Kim Kardashian. I think there is a young, female audience out there who wants intelligent humor, so why not include them in your late night dialogue?
A lot of people are talking about how this is TV's year of the woman. Do you agree?
I think the doors are open as long as you're willing to kick them open. Last year was all about diversity and the year before that was all about late night TV comics. Women have been funny for years and years and years, and people are just getting around to noticing.
It sounds like life isn't too different for you after "Last Comic Standing."
In the comic world, it carries some weight. When it comes to getting a movie role, not so much. Stand-up is just totally different. I'm not one to rest on my laurels. I won it, and I've moved on. There are people who were on the show that still talk about it, like that's their biggest accomplishment. It's a good thing to have in your back pocket, but nobody really cares.
The Scripts and Demi Lovato perform
So, the big scandal overshadowing tonight's results show is, of course, whether or not Nancy Grace had a nip slip. She swears she didn't, the gossips say otherwise, and I don't care. Seriously, her costume covered so much real estate it could have served as a pup tent. I really don't think it was much of a slip, even if it was a slip. Anyway, let's get on with the elimination.
We open the show with the guy dancers ripping off their shirts and shaking it all over Carrie Ann, who seems just fine with that.
The stylist's helpers describe how motherhood transformed Rachel Zoe
On "The Rachel Zoe Project" (Tues. at 9 p.m. on Bravo), Joey Maalouf and Jeremiah Brent are hardly the best of friends. Jeremiah, who was hired by Rachel despite a lack of experience simply because she liked his "vibe," was an unknown quantity, while her beloved longtime friend Joey is understandably skeptical of the new kid. But in a conference call with reporters, Jeremiah and Joey seem to have gotten past their rough start. "I don't think we were ever not friends," Maalouf says. "But being Rachel's friend for years, and I trust Mandana's [Zoe's assistant] judgment more than anybodys. I wanted to trust Jeremiah, but I took a couple steps back. There was never really a title [for Jeremiah], never a job description, so I had a million questions in my head. I tend to test people without realizing. It's a product of my personality that comes out. It takes me a minute to trust people."
For his part, Jeremiah took Joey's icy welcome in stride. "I think I was very aware coming in what I was getting myself into. The people around her are very protective and rightfully so. Joey has a good heart, and as the show progresses this season, you'll watch relationships evolve. I was the new guy. You've got to give the new guy some shit."
Both men agree about the other new guy on the scene -- Rachel's newborn son. "He brought a lot of love and a lot of energy and brought out a different side of Rachel," says Maalouf. "She became this amazing strong, confident, sexy woman. And he brought out a lot of patience in her. She's not usually patient, but now that she has him, she's become really patient."
On October 4, the show will air its Oscar episode, during which Zoe dresses host Anne Hathaway and an assortment of other stars for Hollywood's big night. Even for Zoe (who was still pregnant at the time), it was a daunting task. "It was pretty insane," Maalouf admits. "It was the most major Oscars. She's been doing this for 20 years, and it was an insane thing for her. She got run down, and it was hard for her... She's like a robotic woman. And in heels. I swear she's made of steel sometimes.
An early favorite fails to deliver but others surprise the judges
We lost Metta World Peace last week, and there are countless lame jokes to be made about this, but really, I'd rather get on to the dancing. It's a quickstep and jive week, and these are always demanding dances for beginners, especially when some of those beginners are shaped like Weebles or are woefully uncoordinated. I'm sure we're going to see some tempers flare (and lots and lots of ice packs), but I'm hoping we see some stars rise to the (considerable) challenge.
The wives gang up on the new diva in town
Did ABC make the right choice in canning 'All My Children' for this food chat show?
Today marked the big debut of "The Chew," the food-oriented chat show that ABC felt a worthy substitute for "All My Children." Whether viewers will feel the same, well, it's too soon to tell. But the studio audience? BIG fans. You have never heard such an EXCITED STUDIO AUDIENCE since, well, probably "Let's Make A Deal" or some show that gives out free cars. Yes, audience members will be getting free food, but I'm wondering if someone was tossing twenties into the stands to keep the excitement level up. It's pretty clear that the more sedate, homey feel of most Food Network shows (with the exception of equally screamy Emeril's programs) is being eschewed in favor of big excitement! Over things like psyllium husks! And apple rings! OH MY GOD, they're making APPLE RINGS! While I understand the need to amp up a network show that's solely focused on food, all the screaming is putting my teeth on edge -- and I'm only five minutes in.
The CBS show has a real medical rarity for a consultant
Klaus wants to create his army -- but it won't be as easy as he thinks
A lot of people confront obstacles in their relationships, but most pale in comparison to what Elena is facing with Stefan. Instead of the usual "my parents don't approve" or "his ex-girlfriend keeps hanging around," Elena has to get past the fact that her boyfriend has run off with a hybrid werewolf/vampire on a killing spree that involves ripping people into bits and pieces. I guess this is what they call true love -- accepting someone else's flaws, even when they're felonies.
It's a rock 'n' roll challenge, but one designer can't loosen up
Well, after tonight we'll have just seven designers -- but I have to admit, I'm still seeing plenty of taste-challenged designers left in the game. I'm hoping that "PR" will cut back on the goofy challenges and really allow us to see what these guys are capable of doing. While yes, I readily admit there is something to be said for someone who's creative enough to design a dress based on a boyfriend or husband's description of what their significant other likes (as they did last week), the results seem to be more about luck than about true talent. But, judging from what I've seen of this week's episode, we've got another oddball challenge before us that will do nothing more than exhaust the contestants and give the judges ample opportunity to come up with witty insults. But let's get to it, shall we?