Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Douglas Michael Show with Wendi McLendon-Covey

Here's a little interview I did with acclaimed BRIDESMAIDS star Wendi McLendon-Covey back in 2009.
Doug: Wendi McLendon-Covey is one of the funniest and talented women working in Hollywood today. Her role on RENO:911 won her a legion of fans - and she continues to entertain and charm audiences with her comic timing and sex appeal in film and on TV. Hello Wendi, first of I all - thank you for being the first guest on THE DOUGLAS MICHAEL SHOW! 
Wendi: Thank you for having me! The pleasure is all mine.


D: Recently you've done guest appearances on comedies like THE OFFICE and KATH & KIM. If you could be in any other sitcom from TV history - which one would it be and who would you want to play?
W: When I was in elementary school, I wanted to play “Sonny” on the show BOSOM BUDDIES. She wasn’t necessarily funny, but she was gorgeous and she got to play the love interest of Tom Hanks! I had such a crush on him! And I also thought it would have been fun to play Lucy Ricardo, Gidget, and Louise Jefferson.
 D: I’d love to see you as Weezie! LOL! Most women comics site legends like Carol Burnett or Lily Tomlin as their main influence. Who influenced you?
W: Of course I love those two women, and I used to drive my family crazy with my “Edith Ann” impression after I saw Lily Tomlin play that character on SESAME STREET. But I was also heavily influenced by Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, and Flip Wilson. I used to listen to their comedy albums over and over until the records warped.
D: Believe or not, I had all those albums too. Great, classic stand-up. You've been a member of The Groundlings for a few years - it's amazing how many of my favorite comic performers have been a part of that troupe! I've always heard it was an intense process to make your way through the program. (It sounds like a religious cult). Any advice for the young comic who'd want to try out?
W: It’s very much like a religious cult in that we are made to shave our heads and wear robes. And yes, the process is intense because the goal is to teach you to improvise, and then to use your improvisational skills as a means to write sketch comedy. It can be frustrating in the same way that learning a foreign language can be frustrating, especially when you have a teacher that refuses to speak to you in English while you’re learning. In the end, you learn more from a teacher that doesn’t coddle you. And with improv you get a better result from LISTENING and responding accordingly rather than looking for places to insert punchlines. 

D: Speaking of cults: LOVESPRING INTERNATIONAL was a funny, funny show. I know so many people who loved it – it’s got quite a growing cult following. The cast was perfection and it was so giddily over the top - I don't think the people at Lifetime understood it. Was it as much fun to make as it was to watch? Have you heard anything about a dvd release of the series?
W: Thank you! That was one of the most rewarding professional experiences of my life because it was so collaborative. And we had a dream team of improvisors – Sam Pancake, Jane Lynch, Jack Plotnick, Jennifer Elise Cox – it was so much fun to go to work everyday. But you’re right: Lifetime loved it at first, then they lost confidence in it. I don’t know that it will ever be released on DVD, but I think you can still watch entire episodes on Hulu.

D: Is there a chance we'll see you again on Lifetime - maybe in a dramatic role as Judith Light's blind daughter or something?
W: From your lips to God’s ears, my darling! Then I’ll know I’ve made it. Judith Light is a force of nature. I bought Pro-Active after watching her in those infomercials! She moved me to tears with her sensitivity towards the acne afflicted. I’m not even kidding.
D: Judith is pretty awesome. I hope you do get to work with her! One of my favorite TV shows of all-time (as readers of my blog may know) was SUPERFRIENDS - I was delighted to find out that you were also a fan! Any memories you care to share?
W: I was always scared by the episodes that featured giant, room-sized computers, because I knew that one day I’d have to learn how to use one. It really vexed me. And I didn’t like the Wonder Twins; their eyes were the same color as their skin, their voices were irritating, and they didn’t seem to take things as seriously as the other Superfriends. I mean, they were defending THE WORLD!
D: I never thought about that eye thing. The curse of cheap Hanna-Barbera animation! Well, thank you so much for being my guest - and taking the time to answer my silly questions. I look forward to seeing much more of you in the years to come!
W: Thank YOU for wanting to hear my silly answers to your silly questions!

2 comments:

laura weiss said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!

When I am feeling a bit better, I will be sure to feature this over Touch of Tuesday.

And if there was ever a broad who truly has A Touch Of Tuesday Weld, the lovely Wendi is IT.

Reno_Lover said...

Wendi is truly fabulous! Glad to see she's doing more than just "Reno" these days.

I only wish you would have sung a duet with her like Mike Douglas used to do with his guests!

-RL