Ricki Lake: Queen of Queens
is only halfway through her six-episode stint as Kevin James
's sister on The King of Queens
, and already producers of CBS's hit sitcom are begging her to quit her day job. "They want me there every week," Lake tells TV Guide Online. "They're like, 'Wait a minute, can't your talk show go away? Can't it be cancelled?'"
Not likely. Although Lake says she's "so psyched" to be a part of Queens, the native New Yorker insists she has no plans to put down her microphone anytime soon. "My talk show is not going anywhere," she says. "I truly love going to work every day. I love talking to people about the inner-most details of their life.
"But I love acting, too," adds Lake, who has agreed to return to Queens on a recurring basis next season. "So, this is a great opportunity where I'm able to come in and play this really funny part. It feels like just enough for me right now."
Besides, if ever the Hairspray actress wanted to ditch her self-titled show currently in its eighth season now's not the time. As Lake explains, she's never been more proud of the increasingly issues-oriented Ricki Lake, which during the month of November has tackled such hot-button teen topics as gang violence and drug addiction. And this Friday, unwanted pregnancy comes under scrutiny.
"The idea this time around was to have teenagers who are actually hiding their pregnancies, reveal it to their parents [on the air]," explains Lake of Friday's show, another joint venture with Project Cuddle, a rescue program that provides around-the-clock support for women contemplating abandoning their babies. "Project Cuddle has raised almost 300 babies, and the Ricki Lake show has been responsible for 77 of them, which is powerful. It just makes my job that much more rewarding. I feel like we're doing something to make a difference."
It's no small coincidence that the pregnancy-themed program will air the day after Thanksgiving. "Families will be together, so it's that much more likely to make a difference," says Lake. "Hopefully, young women who are hiding their pregnancies might feel compelled to tell someone after they see this show."