Last week, The Talk’s co-host, Sheryl Underwood turned 50 years old and had quite the celebration on-set of the hit CBS series!
Over the last several weeks, Sheryl has had some other milestone moments in her career as well. First, she performed in front of the CBS Daytime family at the CBS Daytime After Dark benefit for Stand Up To Cancer, where her routine rocked the house, and had us spitting out our drink … it was that hilarious. Secondly, during The Talk’s season four premiere week, where each of the co-hosts revealed a personal secret that has never been shared before, Sheryl riveted the audience at home, and in the studio, when she related the truth about her twin sister and how her mother stabbed her father. Thirdly, you gotta love a woman who is pro-soap opera! Yes, The Young and the Restless is Sheryl’s show, and she gets just as excited as many of you at home when seeing your favorite stars, or watching a must-see episode!
On-Air On-Soaps chatted with the fabulous Underwood in one of our favorite interviews in recent memory, because not only did she have us laughing in stitches, but she opened up about the sharing of her painful family secret, plus what she thought upon hearing about the controversial killing of little Delia on Y&R! So, here’s our special chat with Sheryl!
The stand up routine you performed at CBS Daytime After Dark was so funny! You did this stream of consciousness monologue on how you met all of the ladies from The Talk for the first time. How did you not lose your place in telling the story?
SHERYL: 95 % of it is based on something that really happened, like Sharon throwing up on me! (Laughs) I was never going to tell the story until Sharon was telling the story! So, it was easy to pull out all the layers together … and then coming to Julie Chen’s house with bags and stuff, cause you should never go to someone’s house empty handed. (Laughs) So, everything is based on a truth. You just have to put it in an order. The only fear I had was, it was an event for a great charity, Stand Up To Cancer. So, you never want to say anything that takes the spotlight off of why we are really here, which is to raise money. Plus, you have all these daytime and nighttime stars there. I just wanted to write material that shows my sincere appreciation for having the opportunity to be on the number one network, but then also say what I felt … like …”I would like to have sex with David Hasselhoff!” And as for Nina Tassler (President, CBS Entertainment), I was thinking of her because I watch Judge Judy every day. I was like, “You know, who she reminds me of?” And then I wrote it down on a piece paper! I put Judge Judy and Nina together, because they are little itty bitty women who wear cool clothes! What I try to do is … do the thing that gets you to the visual, a verbal visual, and then I will go on to talk about how Les Moonves (CBS CEO) and Julie’s house looks! (Laughs)
And, you admitted you had no idea that your co-host, Sara Gilbert was a lesbian?
SHERYL: One thing I love about sitting next to Sara Gilbert every day is the humanity she shows. She is such a sweet-spirit that now I am defensive of her. I surely did not know she was a lesbian. And I just thought, this was the most wonderful thing in the world. Now on the road the jokes are much dirtier than what you saw at CBS Daytime After Dark. But I felt, representing CBS Daytime and The Talk, and trying to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer, it really showed that we could do something and be a little bit edgy, but not so far that people walk out and go, “Oh, my God. What did we just pay for?”
Now, I heard you had a thing for The Price is Right host, Drew Carey, until something went down the night of CBS Daytime After Dark! What happened?
SHERYL: I have been in love with Drew Carey, before I was ever going to the Cleveland Improv! He keeps dating all of these other people exact for me! So I am backstage at CBS Daytime After Dark. I am trying on wigs, and everyone is telling me to wear red. People are telling me, “Red really makes your skin pop.” So I am trying on jeans and blouses and trying to get the low cut scoop neck so he can see my …you know whats! Then, I thought he would see me kill it on stage, and then ask me out to dinner, and go, “Sheryl, you’re the woman for me” So, guess what happens? He walks in with his new young girlfriend. I felt like I was playing Plinko and all my chips were going into the zero! So, I am sitting next to this young girl and she is Cuban. I think she is from Miami, and she is a photographer. I am thinking, ‘If you can’t make Drew happy, than maybe this girl can make Drew happy.” Then, she tells me her brother was in Menudo! I go, “What? Forget Drew Carey, which guy is he from Menudo?”
So did sort of “cleaning up” your act in front of the suits and stars of CBS Daytime, change your outlook at all on what you might do in the future?
SHERYL: The one thing about doing the show the way we did it, and the way I had to do the set, was to take out the profanity. So I learned, I can also do mainstream comedy. I have an act where I would like to take Y&R’s Christian LeBlanc (Michael) and Ignacio Serricchio (Alex) on the road with me, and have them dress in nice tuxedos, or nice sweaters, to show off their shape, and add a band to it, and give it a more Las Vegas or variety show feel. I would host it. I would like to go to the CBS affiliates and split the money three-ways: my foundation for education, and whatever charity the CBS affiliate is working with, and then a third charity that we could raise some money for. I would like to do this for 21 to 30 days in August of 2014. This would be a theatre show. I would really love to do this.
I know you are a huge fan of The Young and the Restless! What happened the first time you met one of your favorites, Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott)?
SHERYL: I had been dieting and I am at event, but they are giving us these fruity drinks that I think is just juice… but its fruit juice and alcohol! So I am nice and buzzed. I see Peter Bergman, but to me, he’s Jack Abbott! I walk up to him and I slap him on the back and go, “Man, let me tell you about the time you got out of that wheelchair!” Peter goes, “You watch the show?” And I go, “Yeah, I watch the show!” The funny part is you see this great actor looking at you. But, you know how people look at you, and they go, “I am very happy that you watch the show.” I am like the Y&R uber-fan, and Steve Burton (Dylan)…. is he going to change the name of his band, now that he is on The Young and the Restless? It can’t be “Port Chuck” anymore! You’re on CBS now, you got to go all in!
And keeping it all in the CBS Daytime family, you got something going with Criminal Minds star and former Y&R hottie, Shemar Moore, too? (Laughs)
SHERYL: I will let you in on a little secret. I am going to work with Shemar Moore on his Baby Girl fashions! We are going to do a photo shoot for that. I just love the fact that we all can work together and help each other on other projects. I love the fact that CBS has the most daytime shows on, and they believe, if you do it right, you get the numbers.
Did you see that on Y&R that they killed-off Billy and Chloe’s adorable little girl Delia in a hit and run?
SHERYL: NO! On the for real, for real? Soaps do it best! Soaps have you crying over kids you never met that you don’t know! (Laughs) You know damn well, when they walk up the stairs, and they come back down they are going to be 30. Oh my God! I have to see it.
Fans are outraged and upset that the powers-that-be killed the little girl!
SHERYL: Yeah, but it gives great stories to the actors, either it has to be a disease or heart transplant, or a hit and run accident. I don’t know why the fans are upset? This is daytime! You know how many things happen in daytime? They sent Y&R’s Mamie on a cruise! (Laughs) You don’t see the black people mad? (Laughs) Now, if it advances the storyline, c’mon people?
Do you ever shed a tear … and are there moments when you are emotionally riveted to Y&R?
SHERYL: Absolutely, but I am emotionally riveted when Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) comes out and looks at the camera. I go, “I know he’s looking at me! I know he’s looking at me!” I am already riveted. I let the stuff play out. I like a good cry. I surely love an, “Oh, my God! I did not know this person came back from the dead!” That is what soap operas are all about. It’s sort of a respite, and making love with someone you know you shouldn’t be making love to, and their blackmailing you! That is the best sex in the world… blackmail soap opera sex! That’s soap opera romance 101!
Nothing was move moving and haunting then your revelation during season four premiere week of The Talk, when each of the ladies, shared a personal secret that no one else knew before, or publicly. I watched yours over and over again. It was so heart-wrenching, but yours struck a chord with so many people. How difficult was it for you to come forward with that admission?
SHERYL: It was one of the hardest things to do, even when we were working through it with the producers, because we did not know what each others secrets were. We just knew there was going to be a secret, and when it came to my secret, we were going to be running some ideas and that came up. That is a secret that I keep personal to myself. But then I thought, maybe it would help somebody. Maybe people will understand me a little bit better. I was more worried about my brothers and sisters on both sides of my family. But you know what it did for me? It caused me to forgive my birth mother in a way that I had never been able to after more than 40 years. But once I started to think about it, and talk about the beat of what was going to be said, I started to think about my mother doing this. And maybe for the rest of her life, as long as she lived after this, did she really mean to do this, or was she really angry? And then I started to think about my father differently, and why he was such a loving and caring person, but he had to get out of that relationship. So when The Talk came back the following Monday episode after my reveal, I said, “I hope wherever my mother is, she forgives me as I forgive her.” It helped me probably a lot more than it helped anyone in the audience. I am glad it happened at this point in my life and I am glad I felt save on The Talk to say it.
What did you think of the other secrets revealed by the ladies of The Talk?
SHERYL: I can tell you Sharon’s secret was the most fun for me. Sara’s secret was the secret of, “Why I continue to live my life the way I am.” We had Luther Vandross, Harold Rollins, and we got all these people who were closeted, and are dying with this secret. Just think, if they could have lived their life organically? As for Julie, I thought her secret showed great humanity. Everybody thinks Asian people and black people are the only people that carry their race around them wherever they go. You have to make sure you don’t do anything to offend the race, or make the race look bad. So, I hope people understand Julie Chen has feelings! But Aisha’s was the one that second to mine that touched me too, because I don’t have any children either. Now, I would not go through all that she went through. I wanted to run over to her and tell her, “Why didn’t you tell me you were going through all of that?” I look for Aisha to come in her one day, and talk to God for a minute, and just vomit all over the table, because she is pregnant! I look for her and her husband to make a baby that looks just like Leslie Uggams! (Laughs)
I remember watching the Friday episode. Julie set up that when they come back from the commercial break, it would be your turn to tell your secret. What was going on inside of you when you knew the moment of truth was upon you?
SHERYL: I said to myself, ‘Tell a joke and get out of it.’ Then I said, ‘I hope the chair breaks’. I was thinking anything to get out of it. And then I thought, are people going to think my whole family is filled with kooky people? It was every emotion. It was fear, because you don’t know if you are going to be accepted for saying it. It’s mustering up some courage, because someone else may be going through it. You know it was, my mother stabbed my father and the story of my twin sister dying, and then hearing that my mother was telling me since two years old, “Your father killed your sister. Don’t be close to him.” I remember talking to my father. I remember the tears welling up in his eyes. My father was a young man in his early 20’s when we were conceived, and to think of a man sitting by an incubator because his babies are premature, and then to hear that he is being accused of that, there is some part of me that heard my sister talking to me and saying, “Go ahead and say it. You can say it? You say it to me every day, say it to them.” And that’s when I really wanted everyone to feel and understand … that my sister is with me, every day. Even when I tell a joke go that does not go well, I can hear my sister on my shoulder going, “Well, that’s a clunker!” Or, if it goes great, I can just hear or envision my sister laughing.
Do you ever take this all in and pinch yourself? From the success you have with this top rated afternoon talker, being a revered comedienne, and having legions of fans who adore you?
SHERYL: Every day I pinch myself. When I land and go home on a Sunday, after being out on the road, and I take care of my disabled sister, and we have our moments together. I kiss on her and say, “I am so happy that I have you, and I have a job in California where I can take care of you. I didn’t have to re-locate.” With this opportunity with The Talk, I am meeting new and different people every day! Where in the world is John Stamos ever going to send me flowers? Where? (Laughs) It’s like hitting the lottery every day, over and over again. Where are you going to get to eat free stuff? Who said I was ever going to be Sharon Osborne’s friend? You don’t see Sharon Osbourne at the Crenshaw Mall! (Laughs)
Before we wrap, you wanted to elaborate on the story of visiting Julie Chen and her husband CBS CEO Les Moonves’ house for the first time! (Laughs) Do tell!
SHERYL: We go to Julie Chen house, and I don’t want to be late. So it’s me, Sharon, and Aisha. We put the address in the GPS, and we get there. I am parked at what I think is the entrance to their house. OK, ready? It ain’t the opening of their house! It’s the end of the drive way to their house. So this black man comes out and it’s raining and he says, “Ms. Moonves told me to come down here and get you! And you need to park in front of that red truck.” I go, “But, that’s two blocks away!” He goes, “Yes, but that is the opening to the house!” I said, “We need to take some pictures of this!” He says, “Miss, if you don’t calm your ass down …” I said, “Look, nobody knew this house was going to be this long!” All I saw was trees and landscaping. I hate to say it but … it was like driving up to Tara in Gone with the Wind. It was the bomb. I hope I never lose this feeling of excitement and fun, and wanting to do the best that I can, so that everybody can keep their jobs and we have a good product. If you put a camera on us gals, I think you would find no dirt on us, except maybe…. cheating on our diets! It’s a phenomenal job and if people don’t believe me, I am not that good of an actress! Go rent, I Got the Hook Up and Beauty Shop, and you’ll see what I mean.
So, what did you think of Sheryl’s comments about Y&R? Revealing her heartbreaking family secret? Her thoughts on her The Talk co-hosts? Let us know!