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TV Junkie Interview: Fran Drescher has a Tawk Show
"The Fran Drescher (Tawk) Show" debuts on Friday, November 26 at 2pm on KTTV Fox 11
Before we had "SuperNanny" we had "The Nanny", before we had "Flight of the Conchords" we had This Is Spinal Tap and in both of those shows we had The Queen of Flushing, Queens, Fran Drescher who will be making a return to TV this Friday with "The Fran Drescher Show" (on KTTV Fox 11 @ 2pm). Of course, with Drescher involved, this will be more of a "tawk" show than anything else out there and as she told me in the interview below, everything will be "Fran-ized" if you know what I mean. Some people love her, some people can't stand her because of that Queens accent but what can't be denied is that she is intelligent and opinionated.In 2008 Drescher was appointed as a U.S. diplomat by the U.S. State Department with the official title: Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women's Health Issues. This appointment was partially due to the fact that in dealing with her own diagnosis and treatment of uterine cancer, she wrote a book, Cancer Schmancer, and launched the very successful Cancer Schmancer Movement in 2007.
We talked to Drescher a few days ago to find out how this show will be different than your typical daytime fare, that tired formula of guests with new movies, books, or TV show who line up to hock their wares, show a clip and then go to the next show. Drescher assured us it won't be like that. Read on:
LAist: What's it been like, launching this new talk show?
Fran Drescher: It's a real roller coaster, but for me it's an E ticket ride. I'm very excited, I've got my hands in everything. The show launches the day after Thanksgiving.
LAist: So while we're still all bloated and having L-Tryptophan hallucinations, you will come on the screen?
Fran Drescher: [Laughs] Right! Exactly!
LAist: Tell me how you're going to make your show stand out and be different?
Fran Drescher: I have a lot of ideas. First of all, I'm the centerpiece of it so everything has to be Fran-ized. If its something that can be an any other show then it doesn't belong on my show because I'm very specific. We want to cater to that, I think that's what my audience has come to expect. I think I'm a very passionate person, I'm outspoken, I have a lot of opinions, and I'm very diverse in my interests and I want the show to speak to all of that. I'm very intellectual, I don't want to dumb down the show. I want it to reach for new things so that I too am stimulated by the show, so that I'm learning along with my audience.
I want to have a lot of family and friends on so that it has a familiar aspect and a little bit of a reality edge. Of course Esther Drescher, my Pomeranian, will be my Ed McMahon. I'm going to have a live band with musicians who are multi-Grammy winners, you don't really see that in daytime [TV] anymore. We're going to have live music acts because I love music and I can't imagine doing a show without music. We're going to have segments like "There Ought To Be A Law" where we get Americans to band together, sign a petition on the website, and let our elected officials know that we want to see something changed. There will be a lot of health advocacy and information. I'm going to have a group of little kids sitting around a roundtable with me to discuss global issues.
LAist: Are you going to bring on any people you have met in your Ambassadorship?
Fran Drescher: Sure, but maybe not in the test [run] but ultimately absolutely. I just got back from South Africa from a diplomacy tour of duty, we will definitely be speaking about that. You'll see some funny footage of me on safari, we'll have some wild animals on the show. It's a big ask, but I'd love to get Bill Clinton on to have him talk about his work combatting AIDS on a global level. The reason why I was [in South Africa] is because the majority of people in the world who have AIDS are women, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa. It's good that we know that, that there are sisters out there who need our help. That's my most recent trip so we will deal with that a bit.
I want to have a segment about rape victims because I was a rape victim. I want to have a segment with caregivers of critically ill people. My ex-boyfriend Don who was my caregiver when I was recovering from cancer surgery. I'm going to have people in the kitchen with me, my Mom and Dad will be on the show and lots my friends like Rosie [O'Donnell], and Danny Aykroyd, and Donna Dixon, and Kirstie Alley, and Maura Tierney. Maura and I have a lot in common, we met doing a Neil LaBute show in New York, we are both cancer survivors, and both of her husbands were... well let's just leave it that we have a lot in common.
But we'll be talking about all of that and I want to have real conversations with everybody. We won't be doing a lot of that pre-scripted "I say this then you say that" kind of thing. I want to know who you are, are your parents still living? A lot of people I'm finding are at an age where their parents are getting older, what's that like? Or maybe they've lost their parents, tell me about that. What're you doing for the greater good? What's your point of view?
LAist: It sounds like your show will be more issue-driven than some shows that bring people on because they have a new movie coming out.
Fran Drescher: Yeah, I don't care about your movie, you're welcome to hock it, but you've got to have a point of view, you've got to be doing something for the greater good. But you know, the biggest stars actually do a lot for the greater good: George Clooney, Sting, Brad Pitt, Bono, Angelina [Jolie]. Angelina, myself, Brad Pitt, Bono, and George Clooney are the five most successful celebrity lobbyists in Washington D.C. and that's according to the Washingtonian. I was really impressed that I made their list [laughs].
LAist: So in about a year it will be 11/11/11 and I've heard that there's a movement to make that Nigel Tufnel Day as dedicated to Spinal Tap, perhaps even making it a Spinal Tap Day. Have you heard anything about this? Has anyone asked you to participate?
Fran Drescher: Well I haven't heard about this yet but we're going to have Rob Reiner on to talk about how money got funneled into the state of California for Prop 8 but perhaps... [talking to someone off the phone] hey, can you see if we can get Spinal Tap or some of the guys to come on when Rob is on? [Back on the phone] You never know what can happen. But it's funny, do you know how often we say "we're going to turn this to 11" around here? It's hysterical. But you know, that's what I want to do with my show, turn it to 11.
"The Fran Drescher Show" will premiere on Friday, November 26, the day after Thanksgiving, and will be broadcast in Los Angeles on KTTV FOX 11 at 2:00pm.