Former TV Guide Channel (and The View
) host Debbie Matenopoulos
a mild concussion and head trauma while taping a segment of Good Day Live
. Fortunately, the morning-show trouper bounced back just in time to ring up TV Guide Online for a good old-fashioned gossip session. Here, Debbie dishes the sudden staff turnover at GDL
, those crazy cross-dressers she's judging on TBS's He's a Lady
, and (best of all!) the recent scandale
of Star Jones
. We figure she's either fearlessly candid, or that head injury truly did a number on her. Either way, this Grecian sasspot is fun
TV Guide Online: ABC has curtailed Star Jones' greedy bridezilla tactics. Think she overstepped, Deb?
Debbie Matenopoulos: Uh, yeah. All I can say is, with her not being to do her plugs anymore and the iron fist coming down on her, karma does a much better job of taking care of people than we give it credit for. That's karma!
TVGO: I take it you didn't get along on The View.
Debbie: [Laughs] I'm actually gonna be a bridesmaid. You didn't know? Honey, I'm the maid of honor!
TVGO: No, you're not. Shut up.
Debbie: Please! Security would beat me away and escort me out of the building if I showed up at her wedding. Can you imagine? But I've actually already sent three or four gifts to starandal.com.
TVGO: I knew you were pulling our chain. If you were attending her nups, Star would've plugged that, too!
Debbie: She would only let me come to her wedding if I plugged it on my show, Good Day Live. Although my producers wouldn't allow me to do that kind of thing.
TVGO: Speaking of GDL, what's the real poop on Jillian Barberie and Dorothy Lucey losing their cohostess gigs to you and Arthel Neville?
Debbie: You're askin' me? The reasons behind that, I'll never know. All I know is, Dorothy and Jillian are still there doing the local show in L.A. from 7 to 9 am. I do the national show with Arthel from 9 to 10. Those ladies are the ones that really launched the show nationally, and they're very funny.
TVGO: Still, you're a bigger celebrity than they are. That name recognition must help the show, right?
Debbie: Wow! You're out of your mind! Honey, I've gone from the F-minus list to F-plus — and I'm working my way up to D. I take real pride in that. But thank you very much, I'm flattered. What're you doin' later? Can I pay you to come over and keep telling me I'm a celebrity?
TVGO: Of course! You've really suffered for GDL. In your first week, you had a giant snake wrapped around your neck.
Debbie: I know. I was channeling Britney Spears from the "I'm a Slave 4 U" video at that moment.
TVGO: Is there behind-the-scenes drama between you and those demoted hostesses?
Debbie: It never feels good to be in their position. If anyone knows what that feels like, I do. Being let go from The View was extremely hurtful. It took me years to come back from that. The good news is that Arthel, Dorothy, Jillian and I all genuinely, really do like each other. Jillian and I are cut from the same cloth. We're both zany. I'm just there doing the best job I can do and letting people know that the show exists.
TVGO: You need to do a publicity stunt. How about having multiple sets of twins via a surrogate mother, like Joan Lunden!
Debbie: That's actually why my stylist, Leslie, is coming over today. I was gonna ask her to bring me some fabulous clothes and carry my child.
TVGO: Anyway, why are you judging the guys on He's a Lady? RuPaul seems far more qualified.
Debbie: Good question! My guess would be that because he's a real drag performer, he'd rip each of them to shreds, whereas I think they're all fabulous. I'm like the Paula Abdul because I'm so attached to the guys, I don't want to vote them off.
TVGO: Lady is about macho men trying life in a woman's shoes. What if you came home and found your husband wearing your clothes?
Debbie: I'd probably straighten his skirt and pull down his blouse so I could see more cleavage. [Laughs] No. If it was like a one-time gag, I'd say, "That's funny, honey." But if it became a habit, that's a little scary to me.