Jenny McCarthy, <EM>Santa Baby</EM> Jenny McCarthy, Santa Baby

The last time I spoke with foxy funny lady Jenny McCarthy, due to a scheduling mishap we didn't have anything to talk about, yet got along famously and conjured up a frothy Q&A. This time, McCarthy is touting ABC Family's Santa Baby (premiering Sunday at 8 pm/ET), a yuletide tale in which Type-A biz whiz Mary Class ventures north to tend to her ailing father — that is, Santa Claus (Cheers' George Wendt) — and ultimately attempts to "save" Christmas by applying her hi-tech skills to Dad's old-school operation. Kinda funny, right, seeing as McCarthy's real-life beau, Jim Carrey, once played a holiday-hating Grinch? TVGuide.com asked her about that irony and more.

TVGuide.com: As a seasoned comedienne, did you enjoy the wrinkle that Santa Baby's elves weren't the usual brilliant, efficient little workers? That they're actually, like, idiots? I thought that was one of the movie's most enjoyable parts.
Jenny McCarthy: Oh, gosh, I enjoyed every moment of it! That entire scene with the "focus group" just made me laugh, and it was actually hard to do because they were just so stupid. But that made them all the more adorable. I'm actually glad they weren't as clichéd as in other Christmas movies.

TVGuide.com: Was that actually you in those sled-dog riding scenes?
McCarthy:
That was me, in every frickin' one of them. It was fantastic, even though I almost died a few times.

TVGuide.com: It does seem pretty exhilarating.
McCarthy:
It is. It's frightening, though, because they kind of take you on their own ride here and there, so there were a few times where we almost tipped, and screamed.... But it was a lot of fun, needless to say, because when am I going to do that again?

TVGuide.com: Did you appreciate the irony that in this TV-movie you save Christmas, whereas Jim Carrey's Grinch stole it?
McCarthy:
[Laughs] Boy, I never really thought about that. You know, actually, when I first read the script, what attracted me to it was the fact that I had never seen a girl kind of take over Christmas. It was kind of fitting, since I'm kind of a ballbuster who likes to control things to begin with! I thought, "What a great little movie that my son [currently age 4 1/2] can actually watch someday! Mom takes over Christmas!" It's very sweet.

TVGuide.com: How important was Christmas to you as a kid? Any favorite traditions?
McCarthy:
I really liked it when my uncles would dress up and pretend that they were Santa, when I knew they weren't. [Laughs] Through the years, I couldn't wait to see which uncle was going to try to pull it off. That's the tradition I remember, of busting their chops!

TVGuide.com: What's going on with your series of books? The last time you and I spoke, you were writing Life Laughs.
McCarthy:
Life Laughs came out in May, and I'm currently writing the next one, which is untitled.

TVGuide.com: How much are you enjoying the writing thing?
McCarthy:
Oh, I love it. I absolutely love it. I have a couple of different things in the works, which you'll see soon.

TVGuide.com: Do you have any new TV guest gigs lined up? You visited My Name Is Earl earlier this season.
McCarthy:
Not yet, no. They always come up, like, two weeks ahead of time. We're in the holiday season, so I probably wouldn't [hear about any] until next year.

Send your comments on this Q&A to online_insider@tvguide.com