C.J.: Winstead walks over crude quips
C.J. / Star Tribune
Minneapolis' Lizz Winstead severed ties with ''The Daily Show'' on Comedy
Central because she couldn't stomach working with anchor Craig Kilborn after his
crude comments about her in January's Esquire magazine. "I didn't know how I could do
my job to the fullest feeling the animosity that I felt reading the Esquire article," she said. "I
worked for two years, 15 hours a day, trying to make him a star and that show a
success. It was really hurtful, and it was like, 'Why did you have to say that?' " To
illustrate just how well things were going with Winstead, Craig quipped to Esquire that
Lizz found him so attractive she'd do to Craig what Monica Lewinsky allegedly
was doing for President Clinton. Kilborn, a native of Hastings, was suspended
from the show for his remarks. He apologized, saying it was a joke. As Kilborn returned
from suspension, Winstead walked. "I think I'm gonna be OK," she said. "They gave me
a little pocket change." Kilborn's hiring was not Winstead's doing. "I spent eight months
developing and staffing a show and seeking a tone with producers and writers.
Somebody else put him in place. There were bound to be problems. I viewed the show
as content-driven; he viewed it as host-driven. Forget it."
Life after Kilborn is fine
Winstead is well on her way to forgetting this episode in her career. "I just got back from
Los Angeles, and I have four offers that I'm considering. Some are in reality-based
television-type shows, and one is a sitcom deal," she said. "[Most] are based in NY,
which is very cool." She can't be more specific but said, "None of them are on cable; they
are all network." Without her "TDS" pulpit, Winstead might have imploded over the
White House Sex Opera. But she was able to vent on her recent appearance on
"Politically Incorrect." Actor Rod Steiger got so friendly that Winstead "had to turn
to him and go, I don't care if you have an Oscar. Get your hand off my knee. Yes! I
said that on the air to Rod Steiger." Reminds me of Winstead's days as a stand-up comic.
"I'm so sick of people saying where are the feminists" in the Monica Lewinsky support
club, said Winstead. "I'm telling you: first of all, feminists don't defend people who are
paid off by the Christian right, because the Christian right doesn't exactly have a feminist
agenda. Where was the Christian right during Anita Hill? She was a Christian woman.
You know why they didn't defend Anita Hill, because Clarence Thomas had their
agenda. So shut up all of ya." Winstead was on a roll: "Not that I think Bill Clinton is a
gem. Linda Tripp looks like Donald Trump with a wig on. LOOK at her! Put
a wig on Donald Trump -- you've got Linda Tripp. How scary. Monica . . . You know
for sure that Shannen Doherty is going to play her in the made-for-TV movie. I'm
not kidding. Mark my words."
Copyright 1998 Minneapolis Star-Tribune