Lizz: Back In The Spotlight
By Aaron Barnhart

What the heck. I've been late so many times delivering issues that I decided to be way early, just for variety. This way I can say I got my 200th out before "The Simpsons" got theirs out. No issue next week or the next. See you on Cinco de Mayo.

The real reason I'm sending this dispatch early is so that you might have a chance to catch Lizz Winstead's return to television this weekend. "The Ms. Foundation's Women of Comedy Live from Caroline's" airs 9 p.m. Sunday [Central Time] on cable's Lifetime network. (If you miss it, check the schedule; it'll repeat often.) It's produced by Winstead and features terrific performances by Joy Behar and Caroline Rhea. Less terrific are the host Janeane Garofalo -- I just know there's something I'm not *getting* about her routine, but please don't tell me what it is, that'll spoil it -- and Ellen Cleghorne and actually she's pretty good in a hit-or-miss kind of way.

Roseanne also shows up and gives 100 percent (as only Roseanne can, looking like she's giving 50 percent) in a face-to-face with Winstead. Roseanne gets huge cheers from the studio audience when she suggests Hillary should tell Bill, "Look, I *made* you and I can take you out!"

I forgot to mention this special in the last issue, only remembering when Winstead blew in a call to me from the set of "The Man Show," the pilot she's helping make with former Letterman producer Daniel Kellison, cable cutups Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel and a writing team that includes herself, longtime Letterman head writer Steve O'Donnell, former Letterman and "Seinfeld" writer Spike Feresten.

"Yep, I've gone from the woman show to 'The Man Show,'" she said. "Actually, all television is the man show -- this is just the one with the balls to admit it."

Right now everybody on the set is busy sketching out concepts, then going out and taping them. The show will consist of Kimmel and Carolla in a studio, tossing to the various taped pieces, not much live schtick if any, so the show will live or die by the prepared material.

Among the sketches already well along are a "Clutch Cargo" conversation among the poker-playing dogs in the famed painting; a piece explaining why women's car insurance rates are lower than men's; and tips on fixing your toilet from Cindy Crawford.

"She opens up the lid and shows you the ballcock," explained Winstead. "You know what the ballcock is? It's the thing you jiggle up and down to stop the toilet from running. I'll bet you didn't know it was called a ballcock."

Winstead is here just for a few weeks to work on the "Man Show" pilot, then it's back to New York. Which means she probably won't continue work on the program if ABC decides to pick it up. She wants to spend as little time in L.A. as possible.

"I'm doing this because I love working with these people," she said. "I lived here for three years and wanted to stab myself in the throat when I got done."

On personal matters, Lizz said that her mom, Ginny Winstead, who suffered a heart attack last year, is fully recovered. "She got back on her feet in no time, back to criticizing." And no, Lizz hasn't watched a single episode of "The Daily Show" since leaving it.
(Webmaster's Note: Neither did I.)

Copyright 1998 Aaron Barnhart/Late Show News

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