Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Talking about his new BBC America series The Nerdist earlier this afternoon, comic Chris Hardwick set the stage for Jenny McCarthy‘s appearance promoting her new late night talk show for VH1. Joking about their years as co-hosts of MTV’s Singled Out, Hardwick told a story about her failing to come out of her dressing room on time for their first installment because she was fighting a clogged toilet without a plunger. So when McCarthy came out later, she did Hardwick one better with a tale of her own about how she once set a hotel room on fire before a show as a result of the unfortunate combination of a boyfriend, a candle and some hot rollers. “That tops a clogged toilet,” McCarthy said gleefully (although she confided that she clogged her toilet on a weekly basis).
But McCarthy was here to talk about what she’s doing in late night with The Jenny McCarthy Project. She said that the 10:30 Friday night show is the result of a five-year development deal with Oprah Winfrey to do a daytime talk show that didn’t work out. “I realized I was definitely into late night more than daytime at this point in my life,” McCarthy said. “I probably always was. I was really excited when VH-1 told me I could be myself, outrageous but fun.”
Related: ‘The Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick On Podcasts As “Survival Mechanism” For Comics
McCarthy says she could have “rocked” daytime, but “while I consider myself to be a mother warrior, BFF, naughty girlfriend, I can’t pigeonhole myself as being a good girl.” She said she wants her show to have the same kind of sexy playfulness she admired in Hugh Hefner’s Playboy After Dark.
To maintain spontenaeity, McCarthy does not plan to have any pre-interviews for her guests. She said she realizes it’s hard to book top guests for a new show but “I hope to get something different out of the A-listers.” She has already tested her interview skills on Bradley Cooper. McCarthy said she will continue to pursue other projects and has signed a five-year contract to continue to host New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.