Keenen Ivory Wayans (TV Late Night Show):
Commented Transcript of A Chat with Christina Applegate

Last update November 9, 1998

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Christina Applegate on 'Keenen Ivory Wayans',
a syndicated Fox late night talk show,
original airing on March 4, 1998;
the show was cancelled in the week after CA's appearance.

As posted by Carolyn Crapo on March 20, 1998 and John L. Spetz on April 1, 1998, at, last corrections by Andreas Carl

Keenen Ivory is probably the handsomest and definitely the tallest of the Wayans family, a large black dynasty of entertainers (TV, movies, recordings) who attracted wide attention on Fox with the innovative variety show 'In Living Color', also known as the show that launched Jim Carrey. It was a particularly glitzy talk show, shot in LA, with an elaborate set, full band, raucous hooting Arsenio-style audience, etc. Keenen was wearing an expensive, casual grey suit and CA had on a sexy but tasteful black cocktail dress, with a scoop neck (not especially low, but not that high either!), 3/4 length and slightly flared at the bottom, with hose and black heels; her hair was the same length as in the last season but with waves in it. She looked relaxed, at least initially, sitting with her legs neatly crossed at the knee and hands gracefully entwined in her lap, and quite pretty, with makeup more natural than Kelly's. Otherwise, she sounds quite like Kelly; no different accent or pitch or anything, just, for obvious reasons, much more calm and measured a tone. Her eyes are wide and friendly and, like Kel's, stare into the middle distance when she thinks, unlike DG's sweep of the skies like God's going to write the answer in the heavens for him or Ed's downcast ones when he's asked a tricky question. I think poor CA was asked to put up with a lot, as the initially sympathetic and respectful Keenen gave her a few 'zingers' of questions that seemed to confuse her with the parts she played. Honesty must record that IMHO Christina STILL didn't give the vision of having a huge untapped reservoir of intelligence, but she did give the impression of someone who is trying to overcome an image and realizing that it's going to be pretty hard. However, I don't know if she helps herself by using the word 'like' so much...

But, judge for yourself. I'm afraid this one, due to the relatively rapid speech of the host and interviewee and massive audience interference, was much harder for me to transcribe than DG's, so there's probably more mistakes and mishearings.

<> Description of action
{}  Unwarranted and intrusive comments from Carolyn
[] Comments from Andreas

Introduction: <Keenen, index cards in hand, big smile on face>: "Now, y'all know my next guest, who hit it big as the sexy Kelly Bundy on 'Married With Children' <audience screams> -- Now... she's on the big screen with *three* new movies. Let's give a warm Keenen welcome to the very lovely Miss Christina Applegate!"

<CA enters from wings, smiles but doesn't wave to the audience; Keenen smiles at her, shakes her hand warmly, motions her to her seat; I timed the rapturous audience standing ovation, which continued long after CA sat down, at forty seconds; she interjects during the ovation, hands held up in surprise> Wow! This is great! Thank you! Wow! Wild crowd out there!

Now, they're just appreciative. You came down the steps there and this guy over here <points to audience member> started fingering his collar, he was like this <imitation showing that Keenen remembers his vaudeville days quite well> it got a little hot, didn't it brother?
Yeah, well. Our audiences used to be kinda like that but, like, half of them were drunk.

Well, these -- half of them are drunk! <Audience agrees vehemently>
Woooh! <to audience> Right on!

Well, let's start by talking about Married... with Children because it was a great show, you guys were on for eleven years, it was a groundbreaking show <cut off by audience hoots and cheers; CA tries to say "Yeah..."> and ironically, after eleven years, you guys didn't even get a chance to celebrate all your success.
{CA seems puzzled, saddened, but not terribly angry about it} No, we didn't, it was AWFUL, they didn't even, like, call me or send me a fruit basket or anything. It was just wild!

Please tell us how you found out.
I found out from 'The Mark and Brian Show' {I think this an LA radio program} [It's a radio show on the LA rock channel KLOS on 95.5 FM Monday to Friday at 6 am to 10 am] when we were cancelled.

So, on the radio?
On the radio, basically.

So how bald-faced can they get? That is... this is like... <audience goes 'awwww'> no... I mean... isn't this funny, it's just like...
I know, it's wild. After eleven years you'd think you'd think we'd have the balloons, and the streamers, and the big party.

<Speaking of the radio show> Coming right next 'Puff Daddy'... and by the way, Christina, you're out of a job!
And I was like "Oh, cool!"

Now, your character, Kelly -- very funny...
Thank you.

What was great about her was <audience interrupts with cheers -- sound familiar?> she was kind of -- she was the epitome of the dumb blonde, but you took an interesting take on it; *she* didn't know she was dumb.
No, no. I think the secret to playing dumb is that you think that everything you're saying is completely brilliant, that you're right-on about everything, and also I used to play her as a virgin. That's what I'd tell myself before I'd go out, so she had this sort of wonderful, vulnerable quality about her. {She's got it!}

Even though they would do all the big slut jokes, you were like, you were like...
Yeah, I'd be like, "What are they talking about? I've never been with a man before in my life."

Was there anyone that you, sort of, drew your...
Yes! Actually, many many years ago, I saw this movie called 'The Decline of the (sic) Western Civilization'; it was a documentary on kind of the rock scene in LA, and there was this girl, and she had just won a, uhm, a beauty pageant or something, y'know, 'Miss Rock Fest '87' or something, and she's sitting there {CA's face goes blank and simpering as she mimes the vacancy of this girl; VERY funny and skilled performance} and she has her little crown and her little sash and they say to her, "So, what are you going to do after, y'know, having won this pageant?" and she says {in a total airhead voice} "I am going to continue with my modelling and my actressing." And I went -- it's Kelly. It's HER! That's IT!

Thank you again!
Thank you! [looking to the "sky"]

Now you've been acting since you were very young as well, right?

About how old were you when you started?
I did my first commercial when I was about five months old. And after that, instead of having babysitters my mother would just stick me in plays that she was in. And then when I was five I played... a hooker <giggles>, a little street urchin kid, and... here we are!

How do you play a hooker at five?
<Laughing> I don't know! <audience is laughing> She wasn't really a hooker, she was more like a street kid, y'know, like this little street urchin...

I'm sorry, this is amazing -- you played a junkie also?
Uh, YEAH. No, no, no... I think I was about eight years old and there was this hideous movie...

Who's casting this?! A five-year-old hooker, an eight-year-old junkie? <audience is laughing loudly, CA sits with one hand shielding her face, giggling uncomfortably> Eight! I mean...
<With seeming earnestness> It was the Seventies, man, come ON! It was like really open back then. <Keenen laughs>. Anyway, she was more like a plain little drug dealer. I don't know if that's better...

Whoa! <audience is laughing incredulously, screaming, begins to applaud> Yeah, so, an eight-year-old drug dealer!
I guess it's not really PC to be talking about this right now!

No, it's funny, it's like, what drug could you be selling? Flintstone vitamins?
I DON'T KNOW! But, y'know, I turned out OK. I'm not out robbing convenience stores or anything; I mean, I turned out pretty good.

<Admonishing> Hmm-hmm, this is true, this is true. <audience groans and boos cheerfully>
<turns to them> Oh, you guys!

<also to them> Yeah, like we don't know people who are robbing convenience stores now?!
You know, after eleven years on a show, sometimes kids can turn out to be, y'know, a little wacky.

That's right. The pressures having grown up in this business can be really rough. <sobers up> And it is a testament to you that you have remained focussed NOT lost your mind and, like you said, robbing convenience stores and things like that. {CA nods, seemingly with relief that he's changing the topic} And this year has been a really busy year for you because you've got not one, not two, but three movies that you will cast?
Yeah. Three films. I've finished "The Big Hit" with Mark Wahlberg and Lou Diamond Phillips and Antonio Sabato, for all the ladies out there -- <soprano crescendo of screams> and then I did this movie called "Mafia" which is a parody of The Godfather, with Julianne Moore and Olympia Dukakis and Lloyd Bridges, some really wonderful people {I suppose this was Mr. Bridge's last movie then}; and then, I did an independent film called "Claudine's Return", where I play sort of this... uhm... this wonderfully crazy character who romanticizes death and, y'know, fears love, and she's kind of like all of us.

And she's, she's -- you play a stripper in this one, right?
<Face is a study in annoyance and resignation, with a slight Hollywood smile graciously plastered on it> Yes. I play a stripper in this movie! <audience whoops wildly; CA sits smiling uncomfortably with her hands tightly folded in her lap>

Those... those years of... of five-year-old and eight-year-old...
I know, it kind of foreshadowed my life.

And it paid out well. Now I think we have a little clip from this... from this movie.
Oh, God, Yeah, uh... <nervous laughter>

Naah, this is sexy!

{Clip is of a 'nudie bar', very atmospheric, pulsing video look to it, darkish lighting and techno music ["Glory Box" by "Portishead"], with a runway and a pole. CA enters with curly Shirley Temple like hair and a baby doll nightie, which, with a blank abstracted expression, she slowly strips off while gyrating and hands it off to a bald, middle-aged man; now dressed in a red bikini, she bends and twists around the pole. I don't know much about this sort of thing, but it seems to me that they're going for the sleazy 'Showgirls' effect, unfortunately. CA is a better dancer, though. When the clip ends, she again sits with her face covered by her hand and a somewhat sad, wise smile as the audience hoots for {checking my watch again} twenty-five seconds. By now I'm starting to feel downright sorry for her. Even Keenen notices her mood.}

You're not embarrassed, are you?
No, it's just -- it's funny, all those years of acting classes for THAT moment...

For that moment, I know.
... that moment right here on the Keenen show.

Well you know what? We tried... we tried to get other clips from the other movies; they didn't have any. And I said, "well <Keenen smiles in a naughty & sheepish way>...
<CA chimes in with her own take on what happened> Just show the one where she's all... <While talking Christina rolls her eyes, flicks her tongue to her upper teeth, and swivels her upper torso.>

...if this is all we've got, go on and work it girl, you know, 'cause its pretty hot though. And I saw... I saw some of the movie. It's a very interesting film -- very different kind of character. <Christina nods in agreement as he says this>
Yeah, thank you.

Well, you're doing... you're doing great work and I'm looking for more from you. You're a very talented Lady.
Thank you Keenen. Thank you. <Christina says this seemingly sincerely. They shake hands. She does NOT hug him>

<summing up for the audience> Christina Applegate. You guys be sure to check her out in the Mafia, the Big Hit, and Claudine's Return... coming soon. We'll be right back after this. <The camera pans back as Christina looks out over the audience. They cut to promos for the next show>

You can download a 13 MB AVI video file of this chat at Tiger's Christina Applegate Site.

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© Andreas Carl 1998