ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Why Did I Need a Sports Bra When Interviewing Hugh Jackman?

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09 Jun 2014

Amy Sherman-Palladino and and Dan Palladino
Amy Sherman-Palladino and and Dan Palladino
Photo by Monica Simoes

A week in the life of actor, radio and TV host, music director and writer Seth Rudetsky.

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Happy post-Tony Awards! I started the week by interviewing Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Dan on my SiriusXM show, "Seth Speaks." They come from the land of TV ("Gilmore Girls" and "Bunheads") but they were both responsible for getting Violet to Broadway!

Let me go back: Amy grew up in California and both of her parents wanted her to be a dancer on Broadway like her Mom had been. However, they neglected to tell her that, perhaps, she'd need to leave the West Coast to be on Broadway. So, she was naturally trying to make it in New York via California. Anybody? Nobody. She would go to dance auditions and was also trying to be a TV writer. Finally, she and her writing partner had an interview to be on the writing staff for a TV show and near the end of it, the man interviewing them pointed to the cork-like ceiling. He told them if they could throw their pencils in the air, and have them both stick to the ceiling, they could have the job. Seriously. Not since "Saw."

Well, the two of them threw their pencils in the air over and over again. No matter what, they weren't able to get them to stick. Well, after they were there for an hour, he wound up giving them the job anyway. After that, Amy was still auditioning as a dancer, and during a call back for Cats (for real) she found out that she got a staff writing job on "Roseanne."

I asked for at least one "Roseanne" story and here's what I got: Right after she got hired, Roseanne and her then husband, Tom Arnold, had the staff over at their house for barbeque. It also happened to be one week after Roseanne sang the National Anthem. If you remember back then, Roseanne was asked to sing the National Anthem even though she's not a singer at all. She therefore tried to make it funny and, since it was a baseball game, she acted like a baseball player by grabbing her crotch and spitting. Of course, the media couldn't show enough outrage at her disrespect. Why was she asked to sing in the first place!?!?

Well, when Amy and the writers entered Roseanne and Tom's house, they noticed a wall of TV sets, all set on different channels. Each channel featured someone raging about the national anthem debacle. Roseanne told everyone there was food outside and the staff fled. After avoiding going in for quite some time, they realized they had better enter the house or else it would look too weird. When they walked in, they saw that Tom and Roseanne were watching all the TV's and laughing hysterically. The writers (many of which were brand knew) didn't know what to do so they chuckled along. Then Roseanne and Tom continued laughing while hugging affectionately. The writers smiled. Then Roseanne and Tom turned closer to each other and began making out. Everyone's smile remained frozen. Then Roseanne and Tom started putting their hands down each other's respective pants and that's the moment everyone said a quick farewell.

Continued...

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