The 52-year-old’s show is known for its gossip-filled antics and risqué games, all meant to push guests to spill the tea and get real beyond their usual PR-scripted talking points or convenient side-stepping of tough questions.
Some guests, however, haven’t been so easy to crack, or weren’t willing to play along with the show’s overall zany vibe — making it a very rough hour of live TV indeed.
Speaking with news.com.au on July 16, Andy dished on the best of guests, the worst of guests, and the one question he still regrets asking. He first professed his love for Patti LuPone as an all-time favorite guest — plus a few others.
“[Patti’s] a great one, always a classic. She’s at a point in her life where she just doesn’t care, and that’s a wonderful place to be,” he stated. “Jane Fonda’s like that, too. People who just say what they think and take no prisoners. And there are still people I’ve never had on the show that I’d love to get: Michelle Obama, Madonna … I’ve never had Nicole Kidman on.”
Although Andy’s noted in the past how awesome it was to have Oprah on his show, he did ask her something he … very much regrets.
“I was really nervous and excited when Oprah Winfrey was on my show. Towards the end, I asked her if she had ever ‘swum in the lady pond’; if she’d ever been with a woman. As the words were coming out of my mouth, I regretted it. I thought, oh man, you’ve sullied this amazing encounter,” he shared.
One guest in particular — Debra Winger — wasn’t too fond of the “dumb stuff” on the show, resulting in a tense experience between the two as Debra seemingly didn’t want to play along with the show’s “Plead the Fifth” game.
Andy’s spoken about that encounter before, but gave more details about what he thinks went wrong in that interview.
“Well the show is live, and it’s very much a document of what happens in the course of a half-hour – the good, the bad and the awkward,” he said. “Here you have a guest who was starting to turn against me as the show continued. It makes for compelling television, for sure. But I’ve had guests who’ve absolutely hated each other’s guts as the show’s gone on. I remember Joan Rivers’ last appearance, she was teamed up with this guy from Dancing With The Stars US. She wound up getting to like him as it went on, but before the show, she said to me: ‘I’m gonna take this guy down.’ I was terrified … yet also excited. That’s why the show works; you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
He added, “When I got off the air (after Debra Winger), I had planned on going home but I thought, ‘Oh man, I need to stay and have a drink or five with my team.”
Overall, WWHL has had some truly fun experiences, for Andy, his team, and viewers alike. He did say, however, that some celebrities just aren’t worth the hassle — although he won’t name names.
“I wish I could say who it was, but there was a huge star who had said yes to doing the show – I mean, this was a huge international superstar. But they were clearly so terrified of what was going to happen that they were just trying to micromanage everything,” he revealed. “It got to the point where I said, guys, this is not worth it. Why are we doing this? I’d rather have a bad night with Debra Winger than a weird night with this superstar. And the truth of the matter is, I’m ultimately a fan. I want to celebrate people, and I’m excited that they’re there. I want it to be fun for them too. And people are on my show because they have something to promote. If something happens that ends up getting a ton of press – that’s positive!”
Photo Credit: Janet Mayer/Startraksphoto.com