Former Playboy centerfold and "Singled Out" co-host joins the likes of Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler, taking the reigns of a new talk show on VH1 starting tonight. The host spoke with TV Guide about joining the late night ranks and what viewers can expect from her weekly series.
McCarthy feels her show will stand out from others, carrying a unique energy and charm stemming from the host's own vibrant personality. "I have this really fun, party atmosphere and play pop culture games so I would say it's got the speed of [Bravo's] Watch What Happens Live, and the tone could be compared to Playboy After Dark," teased McCarthy. "Whereas Hugh Hefner had Sammy Davis Jr. on, I have big DJs so I'm a more current version of Playboy After Dark."
She continued, pointing out the need to separate herself from the growing crop of female talk show hosts. "If you're going to be a talk show host, you have to have your own identity. I can't really draw from anybody because I have to be me — otherwise, I'm f---ed. In today's world, if you're not your authentic self, the audience sees it and won't continue to tune in," she said.
Plenty of elements of the show are spawned from McCarthy's own silly, self-deprecating humor, such as a recurring segment entitled "Drunk or Dumb." The host explained, "I was thinking, 'What fits the show best?' And I thought, 'Going out at 3:00a.m., waiting for drunk guys to come out of a bar and test them.' We went out with my little microphone and piece of paper, like a popup game show on a corner, and I asked questions. 'What color is a red boat?' And they'd be like, 'Blue.' Or 'What is the capital of New York City?' It was hilarious, and reminded me of my 'Singled Out' days where I would make fun of the guys and root for the girls. It turned out to be everything I could have imagined. They are all the above — drunk, dumb and both."
However, the host's favorite unique segment from the show, entitled "Laid Out," will find her interviewing her celebrity guests while sprawled on the floor. "Basically, being interviewed a billion times [myself], I've noticed that the format of interviews in a chair doesn't allow the celebrity to be who they really are. I wanted to figure out a way to get past that. How can I get celebrities to open up and not be this fake, pretend self that they're being?" McCarthy explained. "There's a cameraman holding a camera and we lay in between legs so it's a really cool point of view for me! And also the audience... I decided to test it on Bradley Cooper. I laid out on a shaggy rug on the ground with him, literally like we were looking at the stars, and just had a conversation. It was really conversational and even he said that it's a brilliant way to get people to open up."
Aside from the offbeat segments of the show, McCarthy sees the more intimate live audience environment as integral to creating more of a 'place to be' atmosphere for viewers. "I purposefully set a small live audience of 30 people so at the end, they come out to dance," she said. "Do you remember 'Club MTV' or 'The Grind'? I miss all the shows that had people dance. I'm like, 'Sorry, but if we're getting worldwide DJs like Afrojack [on set], we're going to turn it into dance party at the end!'"
Will you be tuning in for series premiere of "The Jenny McCarthy Show"?