You may know her as TV's quirkiest witch or the host who weighs in on America's reality dieters, but stand-up queen Caroline Rhea says that signing on for Rhea's Anatomy (premiering tonight at 10 pm/ET) part of Bravo's Funny Girls comedy-special lineup, which also includes Joan Rivers and Paula Poundstone is doing what she loves the most. "[The stage] is the place I feel the most comfortable in the entire world. I have an unbearable desire to connect to people," she tells TVGuide.com. "I'm the kind of celebrity where fans eventually say to me, 'Um, I've got to go....' I'm way too chatty. Probably about 40 percent of my stage stuff is improvised."
Don't expect any ghoulish surprises from the Sabrina, the Teenage Witch star just because her Bravo show is airing on Halloween. There may not be costumes and candy, but you can be sure Rhea's routine is a treat in and of itself, touching on topics like dating gay men, her mom's public comments, visiting a fertility clinic, attempting weight loss, and much more. "Kathy Griffin is not the only one that loves the gays, OK? I have dated many men who I have had a catalytic effect on, who realized that going out with [me] made them realize [they] love Bob. I'm the last stop before Outsville," she tells TVGuide.com. "I talk about all the things in life that women should talk about but nobody wants us to. There's something about when you turn 40, where you just want to say to everybody, 'Say something interesting!' I talk about Tom Cruise, too."
Certainly in her element in front of a live audience, Rhea's bright personality doesn't only bring in a few laughs but has also found her success in front of the camera. From a successful TV series to an inspiring reality show, Rhea has covered all ground, leaving a lasting mark along the way. Hosting NBC's The Biggest Loser (Wednesdays at 9 pm) is a job she takes to heart. "I'm a total Weight Watchers girl, and that's really what I talk about in Rhea's Anatomy, because Biggest Loser is a very serious show, but women laugh about the diet process, too," she said. "You can see that [Biggest Loser] scale from space!"
Seeing the emotional effects of Biggest Loser up close, Rhea signed on for a Lifetime movie, Fat Like Me inspired by a true story about a teenager who learns what it's like to be overweight when she puts on a fat suit for a documentary project costarring 8 Simple Rules' Kaley Cuoco. "Do I have the worst title karma in the world? First of all, I'm not the 'Me'! I'm the mom. But I loved the script, and I loved Kaley," she shares. "I've spoken to so many people who have suffered from being extremely overweight, that I thought this was an interesting role." Also on the plate of the comedienne/dieting cheerleader is an upcoming self-help weight-loss book titled How to Make Your Life Bigger and Your Ass Smaller. Seriously? "I'm not kidding," says Rhea.
All jokes aside, for someone who said she wanted to be Carol Burnett since she was 7 years old, she's certainly attracted fans with more than her flare for comedy. Her honesty is refreshing and funny at the same time, and after 17 years on stage, she has no plans to stop connecting with her audience.
"Please, you must watch my special. I know that sounds like I'm begging, but I say to people, 'You might not like this and you might not like that, but I promise it's entertaining.'" We have no doubt it will be. After all, Aunt Hilda always knew how to crack a joke.
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