“I was in a production meeting, then I had to do [other stuff]. I thought this was going to be easy. Turns out it’s hard,” said the host of the “Jerry O’ ” show, which began a three-week test run Monday on Fox.
“I’m going to have a good time, that’s for sure,” said actor Jerry O’Connell, who earned this TV test as a result of killer gigs filling in for Wendy Williams. “It’s such an honor that Ms. Williams [executive producer of “Jerry O’ ”] has given me this opportunity. First of all, I don’t want to let her down because she’s my Oprah, I’m her Dr. Phil. I’ve been a fan of Wendy’s for 10 years since she has been on TV and before that when she was a DJ. This is sort of my version of her show. They are doing a new thing testing in her time slot to see if anything sticks. We’ll see how it goes.”
During a recent appearance on “The Wendy Williams Show,” Williams expressed hope that O’Connell’s test takes off and becomes a lead-in to her show. She has given him her set, audience, wardrobe people and time slot while she is on summer hiatus.
When he was on Williams’ show he talked about how he and wife Rebecca Romijn’s 10-year-old twin daughters were not amused that they had to ride the subway to summer camp. During this phone interview, I learned O’Connell really rides the NYC subway system.
Q: Awhile ago when you were on “The Wendy Williams Show,” your mouth was in proximity to her toes. Soooo, I guess it’s OK to suck Wendy’s toes when your wife is also on the couch?
A: [Laughter] Well, listen. She [Wendy] was on “Dancing With the Stars” and always complaining about her feet — I thought it would be like a funny bit. I don’t know if sucking [was what occurred]. They [Wendy’s toes] came near my mouth.
Q: OK. You were being intimate with Wendy’s toes?
A: I was close, I came very close. Wendy always has fun, and I wanted to have some fun with her.
[Talking to someone else] Yeah, sure, I’ll take a selfie with you.
Q: Where are you?
A: Sorry, C.J. I’m so sorry. I’m right by Penn Station. I just got out of work and I knew I was late calling you. I ride the subway. I ride it every day.
Q: Because of whatever you were doing with Wendy’s toes, I have been anxious to ask your opinion of the Armie Hammer kiddie toe-sucking imbroglio on Instagram.
A: That was really gross. That was super gross. Someone call child services.
Q: Is Rebecca Romijn the first model who paid attention to you?
A: The only model to have paid me a whole lot of attention. Unbelievable. The second she showed any attention, I locked her down. It was never going to get better than that. Rebecca and I have a real fun time, and it’s fun to have such a fun partner in crime.
Q: And she’s one of your guests on the first week of your show. Do I correctly recall an interview where she said that one of the fun things about having kids is curating their musical tastes?
A: My wife is really [into music]. It’s only Stevie Wonder and Prince. But they are 10, so some Ariana Grande does get in there.
Q: You don’t live beyond your means, I gather?
A: Yeah. What means do I have?
Q: Your daughters want to know why you don’t live in a bigger house and aren’t Ubering all the time instead of riding the subway.
A: Because I have no money.
Q: Is it true that you almost got your butt whupped by a Wayans family member, or is that shtick?
A: I grew up in the same neighborhood. One of the older ones hit me on the back of the head with a cardboard thing as a joke, but it hurt. Listen, they were the cool kids in my neighborhood. They sort of ran things around here. We’ve since made up; I’m actually huge supporters. I love their family; I think everything they do is hilarious.
Q: I love the way you dress; you embrace colors. Do you select your own clothes?
A: Full disclosure, somebody else picks my clothes. Wendy’s wardrobe person did. I put on whatever he puts in front of me. He knows a lot more about fashion than I do.
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count.