All talk shows have an array of topics for guests to share. The difference between “Saturday Night Live” and a talk show is that “SNL” guests can share laugh-out-loud moments. That’s not always a part of a talk show, though, so when performers do something very funny, it’s harder to imagine them in something that’s not quite on the same level. You’d think that if anyone could do that on a talk show they’d be Melissa McCarthy.
Right? No … not necessarily.
The 45-year-old actress says that that many things about what she does on “SNL” and what she does on other projects don’t match up. When she appears on “The Talk” with Sheryl Underwood, she has a difficult time getting around her years of bouncing off and off in front of a live audience.
“I walk up there, and I think I’m going to do a phone call,” McCarthy says. “I’ve asked my sister when I got up there, and she said, ‘It’s the cool girl.’ So I kept calling it a phone call.”
That’s not to say that she doesn’t get a lot of laughs. But that’s not the same thing as doing something that is at least as funny.
“Melissa did a wonderful job on that,” Underwood says. “I don’t know how she does it. She’s always prepared.”
McCarthy agrees. She claims that just coming out from a dress rehearsal makes her feel like an outsider.
“I have to go to work, and I can’t even remember what the show is about, and I can’t remember who’s on the show because I didn’t do a dress rehearsal,” she says. “I don’t know. It’s all. I can’t even figure it out.”
Of course, McCarthy is just one of many stars whose first impressions were completely wrong. A huge one was the actress appearing on “Saturday Night Live” after watching her act and thinking that she had an amazing skill to be able to do everything — even mail boxes.
“When I was there, the first time I came out, I walked out with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, as a total stranger, I’d never met him, and I said, ‘Mr. Paul, a little promise for you, now in person, I promise that you will never open a mailbox,’” McCarthy says. “‘That is the end of it.’ I’d go to the city and I’d be walking in stores, and if I had a fitting in a department store and I didn’t know what section I was in, I’d look at the trash can — and I’d be like, ‘Oh, so that’s where the junky clothes are.’ So if I wasn’t in that area, I knew I didn’t belong. But it was great.”
It was that vaunted talent that she was judged on as a young comedian and that keeps McCarthy trying to get herself a job wherever she can get one.
“I want everything to feel like an audition,” she says. “Especially when you audition, you keep moving people’s buttons.”
She shares the same hard luck stories that so many performers have. But because she knows it may not work out, she keeps pushing.
“I may never get it, but I know I have a good shot. So I keep trying. I don’t know if I really care about it, but I just keep trying. I have to believe in that. Otherwise, it’s just wasting my life.”