Caroline Rhea’s travel diary

Aug 26, 2002  •  Post A Comment

On the road: Over the summer, Caroline Rhea visited 26 cities to meet station executives and promote her upcoming Warner Bros. talk show “The Caroline Rhea Show.” Electronic Media asked her to keep a diary of her travels. A peek at her life on the road follows.
I never thought that I would ever say this but part of me actually relates to Miss America. It was thrilling being crowned “Rosie’s replacement” (a name that I have actually answered to). I am sure that the thrill is just as great when some young state pageant winner upgrades to the whole country (that would be well over 90 percent clearance). However, there are a lot of station visits and hospital openings that we both must attend with our newfound titles.
I do think if you’re going to have a show with your name on it, you should, at the very least, go and meet the people who bought you. (The same rule does not apply with table dances.)
May 3: Chicago, WCIU-TV
I love this town and this particular station. I’m on in prime time here, which I think makes sense. The sales team are all young and spunky, and the toughest Chicago gal there tells me that I remind her of me, which I love. They have the most hysterical promos to do. I am put in a small booth. (Totally claustrophobic but I sucked it up for the cause.) I have to wear a very unflattering mask, and they turn on a machine that circulates fake cash, which I have to grab at. Is this a giant metaphor for syndication?
July 29: Las Vegas, KLAS-TV
There’s something about this town that actually makes me laugh out loud. There is an enormous billboard with very handsome well-built men on it, entitled, “Thunder From Down Under.” They are Australia’s answer to Chippendales. Hard way to get a green card. I am obsessed with Siegfried & Roy and the fact that they seem to be morphing into one person. Royfried.
It is 108 degrees. I am picked up by the promotions manager, who shows me funny promos to do. I had my hair and makeup done in L.A. because I am nervous that I will be made up as a showgirl. The heat saps all life from my hair and melts my makeup 2 inches down my face, giving me that entirely relatable “Clockwork Orange” look.
We are at the pool of The Palm. I am the only person in the state of Nevada wearing pantyhose. It’s a typical Vegas hotel. I’m shooting promos, and Motley Crue and their unbelievably gorgeous and surprisingly tattoo-free entourage are two cabanas down. One thing my new title has given me is huge cajones. I walk over, introduce myself and ask them to be on my show. They are “Sabrina” fans and all is well. On the way out I bump into the winner of “Survivor 3” and Smash Mouth. Only in Vegas.
Next up is a client meet-and-greet. Everyone is extremely nice and supportive and the men who own the car dealerships are always incredibly built. I like talking to strangers because I’ve realized that everyone has a story.
July 30, Sacramento, Calif., KOVR-TV
I fly up and everything is very rushed. I have my hair and makeup done in L.A. and look like a trollop on the plane. Smile at strangers and get a lift from the very sweet promo guy in his mother’s car. I’m either in limos or looking like a plainclothes detective, that’s me. I do an interview with Dewey Hopper. I love weathermen’s names. How do the parents know?
I rush in to meet the G.M. and then it’s off to do a noon talk show at a restaurant with Dewey Hopper again. Have I mentioned that I love his name?
We have an hour to get to the restaurant. We get completely lost and end up within one mile of Folsom Prison. We pass by it over and over until I start to suspect why my driver is so familiar with this route. I quickly became become obsessed with the lyrics to Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison.” Why was he in prison again? Did he shoot a man before or was that the grounds for admission?
The heat is dizzying and it is 12:20 p.m. My driver and I have become Starsky & Hutch. We finally find the worst-marked restaurant in history at 12:29 and I run in and straight on to camera to Dewey shoving a piece of boiling hot halibut into my mouth. And cut!