Thursday, August 28, 2008


Bonnie Hunt, one of my favorite actresses/comedians/talk-show-guests, is starting a talk show of her own in a couple of weeks. She's brought her down-to-earth personality and blue-collar, self-deprecating, Chicago-Catholic wit to numerous TV shows and movies in the past (Jerry Maguire, Cheaper by the Dozen). She also wrote, directed and co-starred in one of the most underappreciated romantic comedies of recent years, "Return To Me." Bonnie is a real gem so I hope she succeeds in this latest endeavor.

You can find out more about the new show here. Also, here's an excerpt from a recent L.A. Times story about her:

If Hunt's personality can be captured in the way McLoughlin describes, the new show stands a good chance. By nature, Hunt is about as approachable and down-to-earth as someone with her name on a marquee can be. During our interview she addressed me, diner-waitress-style, as "honey," though we'd never met or spoken before. When one of her producers poked his head in her office to pass along a message, she looked up and deadpanned: "Are you still with the production?" After our talk wrapped up, Hunt walked me down the hall, past an office where executive producer Don Lake was meeting with other top staffers. She introduced me with this line: "He already says we're going to fail."

But for all her gentle wit and affability, she does have strong views, views that have yielded an interesting career, if not always a secure one. She was trained as an oncology nurse (an occupation she returned to after her first sitcom was canceled) and blossomed as a star at Chicago's Second City comedy troupe. But she turned down a shot at instant stardom when producer Lorne Michaels offered her a gig on "Saturday Night Live." Hunt felt the show would have been confining.
But it's just possible that Hunt was never really meant to thrive in prime time or late night. It may just be that daytime will turn out to be the appropriate venue for her considerable talents. Certainly that's what Telepictures is hoping.

And if it doesn't work out? "That could very well happen," Hunt said. "But I'll be OK.

"If you can maintain your standards and your integrity and you fail, it's OK. It's when you sell out and you fail that you feel pretty sick inside."

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