Carnie Wilson: The Newlywed Fame
By Noah Michelson
You are going on tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Wilson Phillips's debut self-titled album.
We're setting up dates right now. We did about 10 shows last year and hopefully we'll do at least 10 this year. We're thrilled. And we're trying to get in the studio to record a new album. We're not sure what the concept is yet. It might be a greatest hits with three new songs or it could be another covers album -- maybe of '60s girl group songs?
That first album was one of the first CDs I ever bought with my allowance.
That's so sweet. I can't believe it's been so long.
Do you hear that a lot?
It's very, very emotional and very, very close to my heart. At The Newlywed Game, my sister's [Wendy, who is also in Wilson Phillips] husband is doing the sound in the audience and he does a song for the show. He blasts 'Hold On' every day at the end of the day and the audience is on their feet going crazy! Every day I cry. I can't explain what it's like to have somebody shouting your song and dancing along to it and smiling at you. It is the most touching thing ever in the world.
If you were to run into Carnie Wilson from 20 years ago, what advice would you give her?
I would just say prepare for the ride. [Laughs.] Get ready to have fun and be fulfilled and be surprised and be accepting and stay positive.
You've lived your life very publicly over the last 20 years -- from your struggles with your weight to being in Playboy. Do you have any regrets?
No. No! I really think about things before I take a plunge. I believe in taking risks, for sure, and I write about that in my books. I talk about being honest with yourself and making decisions. It's hard to make decisions sometimes because there's a ripple, there's an effect. I just try to think, If I make a decision to do this, how is it going to affect my career? And now that I have children, the tables are definitely turned. Now it's How is my family going to be affected? How are my girls affected? How does it take up my time? How am I expending my energy? A lot of it is just trying to keep a balance between being a mom and working and staying loyal and truthful to my joys, which are music and hosting this show. I truly, truly adore hosting The Newlywed Game. Every day I'm saying how grateful I am and I tell the audience that too. I hope it goes on for 10 more years because it's just a blast.
Have you met the show's original host, Bob Eubanks?
I've never met Bob but I loved watching The Newlywed Game when I was young. I didn't understand everything, but I was pretty sexual from an early age -- aware of my body, you could say -- I know that sounds weird, but it's true. I always loved the show and I thought it was really funny. Bob took command. He was kind of sexy in his own way. He'd smile and he wouldn't comment too much but his facial expressions alone would say it all. It sounds like bragging but I thought, I really think this job is perfect for me. I love people, I love talking about sex, I love talking to couples about their sex lives -- I feel like I'm giving sexual advice backstage! It's not always about sex, it's really relationships and everything involved in a relationship. And it's also newlyweds. There's definitely a different energy around newlyweds. They're in their 'pink cloud' time, so it's definitely fun to be talking to them at that stage.
There's a famous 1977 episode of The Newlywed Game where Eubanks asks a wife 'What is the strangest place you've ever made whoopee?' and she responds 'In the ass.' Have you had any moments like that?
We sure have. Oh yeah, we sure have! And this season I'd say we went about 30% more risqu'. It's funnier -- some of the questions are absolutely hilarious. Some of them are really simple and aren't even sexual but they're just so funny. Like, 'If you had to wear a donkey costume with your wife, who would be the ass and who would be the head?' It's just funny! Questions like that can really make people chuckle and that's what we want. We want people to laugh and be lighthearted and have fun. But at the same time we want them to wonder, 'What will he say?' We baffle them, too, which is kind of funny with the reactions.
The Newlywed Game's second season premieres on GSN (Game Show Network) on October 12. Check local listings for time and channel. George Takei and Brad Altman's episode airs on Tuesday, October 13. For more information, visit GSN.com.