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TV Preview: Carrie Fisher chats up celebrities in 'Man Talk'

Monday, September 03, 2001

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

There are talk shows and then there's a Carrie Fisher talk show.

On most chat fests, celebrity guests parade through to promote their latest film project. On a Carrie Fisher talk show, guests gather to gossip with the host. And viewers get to eavesdrop.

"Man Talk With Carrie Fisher" is a one-hour conversation hosted by the author, screenwriter and one-time Princess Leia. It airs at 9 tonight on Oxygen, a women's cable network available locally to some suburban AT&T and Adelphia cable subscribers.

"Man Talk with Carrie Fisher"

When: 9 tonight on Oxygen.

Host: Carrie Fisher.


"Man Talk" wasn't Fisher's first choice for a title. At a July news conference, Fisher said she wanted to call it "Men Who I Would Like to Sleep With If I Was Younger and Had a Better Body."

First up: Ben Affleck.

Fisher and Affleck flirt their way through tonight's premiere, with Affleck complementing Fisher, who's uncomfortable with Affleck's ability to "generate pockets of desire everywhere" he goes.

"You're speaking in tongues again," Affleck says, attempting to be modest. (He later tells the story of a female fan who offered to perform oral sex on him when she saw him playing blackjack in Las Vegas.)

"I have been on the other end of talk shows for a long time," Fisher said in July, "although I wrote once that now that talk show hosts are interviewing other talk show hosts, you know, it's one of the 12 signs the world is ending. I do have an odd perspective on celebrity, given that I grew up around it and saw it go this way and saw it go that way.

"I've had this kind of salad celebrity to a full meal," she said. "Like, I was the salad to the Debbie [Reynolds] and Eddie [Fisher] blue plate special. And I was the salad to the sci-fi fast food thing. And then I was the salad to the Paul Simon thing -- whatever that was."

Fisher was married to Simon and is the daughter of Reynolds and Fisher.

"It's sort of my tribe, these people, these weird celebrity people," she said. "And I have to talk to them all the time anyway, they might as well film me."

Affleck describes a Fisher-hosted party as "a celebrity petting zoo."

Filmed in Fisher's living room, their on-camera conversation takes a variety of twists and turns, with her dismissing his idea that his level of fame, once attained, can go away.

"I'm going to talk to George Lucas, who I suppose I would sleep with if I were young and had a ... I was younger and had a better body! Did I sleep with him? I'll find out later," she said at her news conference.

"Man Talk" is not a weekly series; rather, the network has contracted with Fisher to film five specials. Although it has yet to be taped, a network spokeswoman said Lucas will be Fisher's next interview.

Fisher said she's simply comfortable talking to people.

"I like to have good conversations," Fisher said, "so there are a lot of people around that I'd like to have a good conversation with, as opposed to sort of interview style."

Her approach?

"Extremely eccentric with just that right amount of mental illness to make it really fly," she said. "And I think that's unusual to television these days."

Carry on, Carrie.

You can reach Rob Owen at rowen@post-gazette.com Post questions or comments to www.post-gazette.com/tv under TV Forum.

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