Scene: WOODLAND HILLS. At the home of Heather McDonald, with Nikki Joel.
Heather McDonald is a lady of many talents. She has mastered her craft as a Comedienne, Actress, Story Producer, and best-selling Author. Best known for her appearances on E!’s Chelsea Lately, she became a breakout star ‘mockumentary’ series, After Lately, which chronicled the ‘behind-the-scenes’ shenanigans of the Chelsea Lately cast.
McDonald is also a best-selling author of two books, You’ll Never Blue Ball in this Town Again and MY INAPPROPRIATE LIFE: Some Material Not Suitable for Small Children, Nuns, or Mature Adults.
She is also a regular collaborator with the Wayans Brothers; serving as a writer on their features White Chicks and Dance Flick. Heather has been a guest star on Frasier, Malcolm in the Middle, and Reno 911.
Nikki Joel: Where are you from?
Heather: I’m 818. I’m a true Valley Girl. I went to USC, and in my twenties lived in various locations between Santa Monica and Brentwood.
Were you always funny growing up?
I always knew I was funny, and I could make people laugh. I could impersonate friends and teachers and tell stories but I didn’t really pursue it until after college.
What made you decide to do it?
I knew that I should but because when you grow up in LA you become really jaded. Even 6 year old kids say, “Well, you know a lot of pilots don’t get picked up. Good luck sugar!”
What was your biggest break?
Chelsea Lately. It opened doors for me as a stand up – opening for Chelsea and being on the show. Then we did After Lately, and that led to me getting a book deal.
Do you write all of your own material?
Do you wake up in the middle of the night with a funny joke, pad at your bedside?
Yes. Or I have the most amazing dream and I think it’s a movie, and I’ll write it all down and then the next day I realize it’s just weird thoughts blended together. But yes, throughout the day I write small things down to go to later, to make a bigger bit from it.
The titles of your books are really funny. What was the impetus for the books?
Actually when Chelsea got her first book deal years ago, My Horizontal Life, I just loved it and thought it was so funny. I love these books about dating, and I thought – ‘I have so many funny dating stories’.
Your kids go to the same school you went to. How does the mommy mafia treat you?
I don’t think they enjoy me as much as I think they should! But I also don’t think they are thinking of me that much…I try really hard to get invited to their parties, and I just haven’t been. And now, I’m thinking let’s just wait till high school I’m going to really kick it out of the park then.
Are your kids really funny – do they have the comedy gene?
Yes, they are really funny. They are a lot of fun. One of the things we do is we play Shark Tank, where we totally improvise. We’ll pick out anything and then you’re either Damon or Mark Cuban. My 9 year old always wants to be Damon. He says ‘What, I created Fubu…’ and my older son who is Mark Cuban says ‘I will sell it at the Mavericks games.’ And I’m always like the dorky mom who has the product…. ‘Hi Sharks, as you know bedtime can be a challenge..’
What is your favorite topic to talk about?
Probably marriage and dating and relationships.
Tell us about the new show you are working on at TLC.
It’s called #whattshesaid and it’s a bunch of funny mothers, some stand ups like myself and others who have hit it in the blog world. We address motherhood in a humorous and really honest way.
What does the next 5 or 10 years look like for you?
I would love to be a regular on a talk show. I like doing the topics. I would love it to be Daytime because I feel like I could give advice to moms. I’ve been through it all. I’m a stepmother, I’m a mother. I have sisters. And to continue with stand up, and create shows for other people.