TCA Press Tour: New talk-show host Mo’Nique says skinny women still evil
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In 2004, plus-sized comedian Mo’Nique wrote a book called “Skinny Women are Evil: Notes of a Big Girl in a Small-Minded World.”
But appearing before press to promote her new late-night talk show for BET, “The Mo’Nique Show,” Mo’Nique looked slimmer than she has in years.
Has she changed her philosophy about being big and beautiful? Not a chance.
“It’s OK to be big, but let’s be big and healthy,” she said. “I started at 262 pounds, and now I’m between 220-224. ... I want to meet my grandkids. So that’s why I had to lose some of the weight. Get myself into shape. I want to be here.”
In fact, Mo’Nique, whose role in the dramatic film “Precious” earned her the special jury award for acting during this year’s Sundance Film Festival, said she’d like to do another book called “Yes, I’m Still a Fat Girl.” “I didn’t want to go through any surgeries. I wanted to make the commitment to myself to do it … and I’m enjoying the journey.”
But, she added, “I can’t get too much smaller because my head is big.”
And in regards to those skinny girls, there’s still animosity toward them. Playful animosity.
“Are skinny women still evil? I’m going to say yes. Because they’re hungry!” she said. “That’s why I can’t lose all that weight. I like to chew. I’m a chewer! … I’m used to my mouth moving, that’s why I’m a talk-show host.”
In spite of talk that her performance in “Precious“ could lead to an Oscar nomination, the comedian said “The Mo’Nique Show” is her sole focus. “I’ve been in this business for over 20 years, and from the moment I got into it, I wanted to do a talk show. This is the focus.”
As for the show’s content, it’s anything goes. “We might start with a monologue, a skit, you don’t know what you’re going to get, but it’s going to make you feel good,” she said.
Asked about why minorities have been absent from late night, executive producer Loretha Jones said she wasn’t sure. “This is a fresh approach. We haven’t seen an urban sensibility since Aresenio Hall,” she said. “I’m not sure why.” (Wanda Sykes will anchor her own late-night show Saturdays in the fall.)
Mo’Nique counts Oprah among her inspirations and said meeting the talk-show queen was “mind-blowing.”
“Everything goes against it: She’s black, she’s big, she’s a woman. To walk into the studio she owns … to know she’s worth billions of dollars, when I put my hand in her hand, she let me know this is possible. What a great teacher to look to.”
Bottom line, Mo’Nique said, she just wants to make you laugh. “I like to make you feel good. It’s been that way since I was a child. It’s always been. I like a good time, and I like to see you smile.”
-- Denise Martin