Last week I went to see Jenny Slate: Dead Millionaire, and you should be jealous of me, because the show was amazing and hilarious. But don't be too jealous, because you can still catch it again on May 21 at the UCB theater.
The premise of Jenny Slate's "one lady show" is simple. Jenny, a dead millionaire, leaves $300 million to her dog, played by her's adorable real-life dog, Reggie. At the end of her funeral party, Jenny's video will is going to reveal the millionaire dog's new owner.
After the show, I went backstage to the green room, which at UCB is literally painted green, and got to take some pictures with Jenny, who was super nice, and her dog, Reggie, who was kind of aloof. Aloof? More like a-woof? Am I right? No? I am wrong? Okay, I'm wrong.
I'm not really a good interviewer person, but I was able to ask Jenny a few questions, at which she was nice enough not to scoff and tell me to go blow myself. In fact, she even answered my questions!
Click after the jump to keep reading.
I asked Jenny about a little bit about where the idea for the show came from and what the writing and planning process was like.
She responded in an email, "It was kind of a long process, writing this show. I knew I had all of the characters that I wanted to play, but I couldn't really think of a way to get them all together. I knew that I didn't want anything to be a stretch, or to feel forced.
"After a while of trying to write a one lady show, I got frustrated and said, 'Ugh, why don't I just kill myself.' But then I thought… my funeral would be the perfect place to gather as much of me as possible and really put it all out there… I had this attitude that was like, 'fuck it! they need to know everything about me! EVERYTHING.'
Jenny Slate and her dog Reggie
"I was also lucky enough to have Dean Fleischer-Camp, (who directed the films and edited them), to work with me on coming up with a unique concept and look for the videos. I wanted it to look as special, bright, and lively as possible! It IS a funeral with a video will, but it's not morbid at all. It's kind of a fuckfest!"
I remember in college (for those of you who haven't been to college, here is a perfect example of what college is like) one of my film professors said, "If you have a film with a dog in it, even if you have another brilliant and groundbreaking element cementing the film, everyone will just want to know more about the fucking dog."
Jenny Slate's show was bright, vivid, and hysterical, but I couldn't lie to myself. I wanted to know more about her dog, so I asked her all about her bichon frisse, which I've just been informed is not a fancy kind of mustard.
It is comical to imagine that dogs have thoughts.
"My Dog's name is Reggie. He is the best, best dog that I've ever met. He's really calm, but he's not boring at all." Jenny said, "He usually runs laps around the apartment for ten minutes straight every afternoon, and when we go to sleep at night he sleeps on his back, under the covers. Just like me. He has pretty bad breath, and I love it."
Jenny plays a lot of characters in her show, including her lawyer, her niece, her blind cousin, and, probably my favorite character, her celebrity friend, Gloria Estefan. I asked her to talk a little bit about her characters.
Gloria Estefan pictured with Kathy Griffin, basically living life to its fullest; with bongos.
"I think all of the characters are based of of my own traits and tendencies. The only real 'impression' is Gloria Estefan, who I am strangely obsessed with because she's incredibly accident prone, (she had the infamous bus accident, but also managed to kill somebody with her yacht as well), and I think I look at LOT like her. I always hated her music when I was growing up, but now I have her greatest hits on my iPod."
Oh, that reminds me. I was able to film a short video clip of Jenny's show which I've embedded below.
I asked Jenny who her ideal celebrity best friend would be, and she basically gave the correct answer, "I think that if I had one celebrity friend I would want Cloris Leachman or maybe celebrity chef Jaques Pepin. They both just seem so fun and special. I love food and sassy old ladies."
In conclusion, if you missed the show last night, you should be ashamed of yourself. Fortunately, you can still catch the show again on May 21, and then you can stop being ashamed of yourself.