1. History. I have been on “Arsenio” before. Well, I was on his former show in the 90s about five times. The first time was after “Beaches” came out and I played the trumpet on his show. Yes, I was that precocious actor kid giggling and playing a musical instrument for the pleasure of the audience. I was on again a bunch of times when I was on “Blossom” and if you go to my website you can see the video clips of all of those cringeworthy (for me) moments of me on “Arsenio.” Some include me in a floppy hat, dress, vest, and Doc Martens. Awkward!
2. Backstage. Sherri Shepherd from “The View” was on “Arsenio” last night, too. She came into my dressing room and was very sweet. I have been on “The View” to discuss my book on Attachment Parenting, Beyond the Sling, and they sort of gave me a hard time about a lot of it but they were also fairly nice. Then when I got divorced, some of the former hosts were not really nice at all. But Sherri has always been kind and supportive and we had some good laughs backstage. She also specifically said she wishes she could bottle and sell my hips which surprised me but I guess they are nice in the right light.
3. Zooey. Zooey Deschanel was the featured guest and I am a fan of hers. We met at a party a few years ago and she didn’t seem to know “who I was,” but that was fine because I think she is so swell and I love her bangs and her style and her general vibe and who cares if she knows who I am, not everyone has to! When she came offstage after her segments last night, she shook my hand and complimented my dress and that was neat!
4. Pre-Interview. A producer for my segment (aptly called the “Segment Producer”) called me earlier in the day to basically get a feel for my conversational abilities and ask if I had any particular things I wanted to talk about or not talk about. Arsenio ended up talking about a few of the things the Segment Producer and I had discussed, but he also went off on his own funny stuff a bit and we riffed on some of that. He is a very skilled interviewer. I was on just about every talk show in my youth, and Arsenio always stays very locked in and focused on what you’re saying while simultaneously thinking about what to say or joke about next. It’s not an easy skill at all and I think he’s great at it.
5. Arsenio is a nice guy. Like, for real. Even off camera. He’s super smart as a comedian and he’s genuinely interested in people and he always makes me laugh so hard! I am not a giggly female at all, but he really brings out the giggle in me.
6. Dress. Stylist Ali got me a really interesting high necked mid-calf Ted Baker dress in a woodsy kind of pattern which I wore with a skinny belt and ankle-strap heels. It also had a deep neckline but a closed one. Not sure if that counts as tznius (modest), I will look into that! The dress was quite comfortable, but I had not tried sitting down before I got to the show and I realized that the slit comes up quite high and the “Arsenio” couches are very deep and that if I crossed my legs, all of America would be looking straight up my dress into the nether regions of the SPANX, and that’s not OK! So I decided to cross my legs at the ankle and hope that the dress stayed closed-ish. I think it did but I’m not 100% sure!
7. Body Make-Up. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day, but here’s the truth about women in Hollywood: most women in Hollywood you see on the red carpet are not that color. That’s make-up and tanning and skin tinting. I know, it’s shocking, but it’s true. It’s OK, it will all be OK. As for me, I don’t use tanning products and I feel like my skin is my skin color and that’s just the way God made me. But make-up artist Linda decided she could not bear for the American public to look at my pale legs poking out through that slit, so I let her do a little body make-up. Blech. She puts it on on a large powder puff and shmears it all over my legs and onto my feet (and my toe cleavage, she pointed out; ugh, the phrase “toe cleavage” makes me feel so yucky). Showering body make-up off at night looks like the shower scene from “Psycho” as the color I’m not goes down the drain and I’m returned to the color God made me. Phew.
8. Some Bored Jew. Yes, I uttered that phrase on “Arsenio.” He was asking about Thanksgivvukah and he asked how we calculate the calendar and the phrase just sort of popped out. I know you can’t use “Jew” on certain spelling computer games because it’s thought of as derogatory, but I hope I didn’t offend anyone saying it. I don’t find it derogatory the way I used it….
9. Appearances. I always feel too made-up and overdressed in general for events and appearances. Zooey Deschanel is so adorable and she doesn’t wear a lot of make-up and her hair just flows so gently and cascades down her shoulders so effortlessly. As for me, my hair stylist (who also did my hair for the Emmys FYI) literally told me not to move my head at all during my segment so that the waves he made would stay just so. I may have failed, but I was conscious of it and tried to keep one side back like he wanted me to. I wonder when the day will come when I can go on talk shows looking more like “me.” Probably not for a long long time, if ever. But I am very happy with how everything turned out appearance-wise last night, but it’s still hard for me to be so adorned, even after all these years!
10. After. Since I was already farputzed, Fancy Assistant Brandon and I went to a benefit after the taping for the Save the Children charity. I bought a book by photographer Matt Hoyle called Comic Genius, showing creative and extraordinary photos of famous comedians. All the proceeds go to the charity. There were photos of Bette Midler with a giant rose in her mouth, Jim Carrey looking at his reflection in a broken mirror, Neil Patrick Harris as a sad clown, Steve Martin playing ukelele with Kermit the Frog, and other such awesome images. There were photos of Jane Lynch, Bob Newhart, Ricky Jervais, Weird Al (setting his accordion on fire a la Jimi Hendrix), and so many others. I bid on a photograph of Mel Brooks holding up a small black comb as a mustache a la Hitler. I am sure I’ll be outbid by the time you read this post, but I have never bid on anything and that was kind of fun.
My Ted Baker dress got a bit more mileage from going to this event, and I met Michael Richards, which was cool, and I saw Dick Van Dyke milling around the photo exhibit which was even cooler and I told the photographer that if I ever become famous enough, I hope he will take my picture. He said he’d like that very much.
I hope if that day comes that he won’t be freaked out that my skin is not the color it was when he met me last night.
Under all that make-up, though, I’m still me. And that’ll do.