TCA 2011: Whitney Cummings: 'My real life feels like a TV show'
Roseanne Barr. Jerry Seinfeld. Ray Romano. Now Whitney Cummings?
The tradition of comedians working their standup personas into a weekly television narrative will come via Cummings this fall with the launch of NBC’s new comedy “Whitney,” about a happily unmarried couple. The "Chelsea Lately" personality created, produced and stars in the new series, and when she appeared Monday to promote the show at the TCA press tour, she reflected on a certain loudmouth predecessor.
“Roseanne has been really important to me,” Cummings said. “Her show is one of my favorite shows ever. I didn’t nevessarily look to” other comedians who’ve landed their own shows.
“In terms of persona, if you know who I am it's going to feel like the same person,” she said.
And that’s a point she hopes will remain constant.
“It’s always my intention to have my personal life echo the show," she said. “Hopefully what happens in my real life will happen on the show.”
Just not everything. Executive producer Betsy Johnson said the writers “try to decide what’s pertinent to TV and what’s just therapy.”
But for a woman who’s not only juggling a relationship, but also two comedies that will launch this fall (the other is gal buddy comedy “Two Broke Girls” on rival network CBS) perhaps a therapy session will be needed at some point.
“I’m so lucky that I'm able to be part of two amazing shows,” Cummings said. "I am spending my days at the NBC show … and then I’ll be at home and read the notes on 'Two Broke Girls,' but I think it’s in pretty good hands with [creator] Michael Patrick King.”
“It’s all just so surreal," she said. “My real life feels like a TV show and my TV life feels like real life.”
-- Yvonne Villarreal
Photo: A scene from NBC's new comedy "Whitney," starring Whitney Cummings. Credit: NBC