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JOY BEHAR SHOW
Jason Alexander on Weight Loss; Weekly Roundup; Tea Party Fever
Aired May 21, 2010 - 21:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOY BEHAR, HOST: Tonight on THE JOY BEHAR SHOW, Jonathan Rhys Myers gets drunk, uses racial slurs and heads off to rehab. You know, if he keeps this up Mel Gibson and Michael Richards are going to have a hard time protecting their brand.
Then, Lindsay Lohan made it out of France and over the volcano. Now, can she make it up the steps of the courthouse?
Tea party organizer Amy Kremer tries to explain which entitlement programs she wants to see cut. I guess just as long as it isn`t Medicare, Social Security, the police department, the fire department or road kill removal.
That and more right now.
Lindsay Lohan has had a wild week and it will end with her being arrested for probation violation when she arrives home in Los Angeles. I`m a little worried for Lindsay. How will she survive in jail? Last call was at 6:00.
Here to talk about this and other news from the week are Elayne Boosler, comedienne and founder of the nationwide animal rescue organization, Tails of Joy; Noah levy, senior editor for "In Touch Weekly"; and actress Tamera Mowry. Welcome to the show, you guys.
Hi, Elayne, haven`t seen you in years.
ELAYNE BOOSLER, FOUNDER, TAILS OF JOY: Hi. You`re looking gorgeous.
BEHAR: Thank you so much.
All right. Now, let`s talk about Lindsay. The judge issued an arrest warrant, set bail at $100,000. Is this a wake-up call for Lindsay?
BOOSLER: Well, it`s going to work out well. It worked so well on Roman Polanski while he was in France. So, you know, the world hasn`t been this obsessed with a young woman since Joan of arc. What is going on here?
BEHAR: I know. Why is that? Why are we so obsessed with her?
BOOSLER: Because we don`t want to look at that we`re broken and they`re taking our houses back.
NOAH LEVY, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Yes.
BOOSLER: Americans, go home. Go home. Look at your own business. They`re fooling you out of everything --
BEHAR: It`s a distraction. It is and so it this show. Go ahead.
LEVY: That`s why I came.
A great distraction from the recession. But the thing is, Lindsay broke up with Sam Ronson. Prison is going to be the perfect place for her to find a new girlfriend.
BOOSLER: Oh my gosh.
BEHAR: That`s right. Is she out as a lesbian, Lindsay?
BOOSLER: I don`t know.
LEVY: No, no.
BEHAR: She`s not.
TAMERA MOWRY, ACTRESS: Isn`t she just bi? Is that what it is?
LEVY: I don`t think she`s labeled herself. But it`s a great place to meet a mate and also she can start rehearsing for the Long Island Community Theater`s production of Chicago.
BOOSLER: There`s less pressure there.
BEHAR: That`s true.
Now, she missed other court dates. Do you think -- does she think she`s above the law, this girl? Has she basically used up all the goodwill in the industry at this point?
BOOSLER: She`s 20 -- I`m sorry. Please go ahead.
MOWRY: I don`t think she`s used it all up. There`s always room for more, but my thing is, is a lot of the youth right now, she needs to realize that, ok, you`re in Cannes right now, ok, and you know you have a court hearing. She`s showing where her priorities lie right now.
BOOSLER: What do you mean by the youth?
MOWRY: You know, youth.
BOOSLER: Listen, when we were in our 20s who can survive this pressure? What would the headlines have been about us in our 20s?
BEHAR: I was busy lactating. I`m sorry. I was not in the business.
BOOSLER: My headline would have been Elayne Boosler puts lid on man`s shake at McDonald`s and he did not want lid.
MOWRY: My question is, where`s her mom in all this? You know, where`s --
BEHAR: My mom`s dead. I don`t know where your mom is.
MOWRY: Because I`m an Army brat and my parents would not have that at all.
BEHAR: Yes. Well, Michael Lindsay, the father, is he a hindrance or help at this point?
LEVY: I don`t know who`s helping. I mean the thing is you look at a child actor like this. They got that way because their parents were focusing more on their roles on ABC family as opposed to going to school, doing their laundry, minding their manners.
BEHAR: That`s right.
Ok. Let`s do another story. Jonathan Rhys Myers has been banned from flying United for drunken behavior and throwing the "N" word at airline employees. He`s no in rehab.
Now you know, I used to really like this guy. I feel so like, so annoyed with him because he`s -- I`ve met him a few times. He`s a charming, adorable, good actor. "The Tudors", he`s as hot as can be. Are you surprised at this at all?
MOWRY: Well, can we blame it on the alcohol?
BOOSLER: Let`s blame it on the youth.
MOWRY: The youth.
BEHAR: Blame it on the bossa nova and get it over with. Why do we blame that on the alcohol when you say the "N" word or when you make an anti-Semitic remark?
MOWRY: I know. I guess I was just being biased because I really did like him before as well and now I don`t know. I have second thoughts because there`s no excuse for that at all.
BOOSLER: Well, I don`t know if saying the "N" word really means that he has racist tendencies. Look, my whole family is Jewish. If he were to say the k word -- Kmart, I wouldn`t think that he hates the Jews.
BEHAR: I don`t know that we`re named as people.
LEVY: The thing is -- it`s disturbing because in Hollywood, when you`re insulting someone, people do it with a little more class. Look at Zsa Zsa Gabor, she went up, put down her purse and slapped the guy and then went back to her car. She didn`t look sloppy, you have to keep your claws. He didn`t.
BEHAR: But as they say, "in vino veritas", you know. So, you know, like Mel Gibson making his little anti-Jewish cracks.
BOOSLER: Well, I mean I know where --
MOWRY: I personally do think it`s racist, though. Being black that`s just one word you do not say if you`re not black, number one, to another black person.
BEHAR: You can say it if you`re black?
MOWRY: I don`t think so. That`s my personal opinion.
BEHAR: The rappers say it.
MOWRY: I know but that`s another story.
BOOSLER: I remember when Michael Richards was on stage and I heard the "N" word coming out of there so many times I thought there was a black comic on stage.
LEVY: That`s career suicide.
BEHAR: That was horrible, Michael Richards.
LEVY: That is --
BEHAR: You haven`t seen him since. Is this going to be career suicide for Jonathan?
LEVY: Not at all.
MOWRY: Probably not.
LEVY: Do you know why?
MOWRY: Because he said he`s going into rehab.
LEVY: Because he`s hot. If he was ugly, it would be career suicide but he`s good looking so he`ll get another shot.
BOOSLER: Don`t blame it on rehab. The last guy who took responsibility was Hugh Grant, and his BJ is starting to look very classy all of a sudden.
BEHAR: That`s true. I remember it very well.
All right. Moving on, Rima Fakih -- and that`s pronounced Fakih -- was crowned Miss USA Sunday night. She`s under fire from some right wingers who say she only won because she`s Muslim. Ok. What do you think about that? Whatever happened to world peace and a new outfit?
BOOSLER: How hilarious.
BEHAR: Why is it now -- they`re questioning them on world issues; I don`t know if it`s necessary.
BOOSLER: First of all, she`s the first Miss USA who can find Lebanon on a map.
MOWRY: Yes, that`s fantastic.
LEVY: That is a good point. The thing is she is gorgeous and the whole pageantry system has been so white-bred and so white I think it`s disturbing that finally a woman of color is winning and they question that.
BOOSLER: And how can they think that Muslims like this? This is worse than putting Mohammed as a teddy bear. Because she wasn`t in a burqa and she went -- she`s in a bathing suit walking in front of men. They hate this. I mean it`s not kowtowing at all.
BEHAR: Have you seen the photos? They`re not bad.
LEVY: They`re not that bad. I mean --
MOWRY: At least she had shorts on.
BOOSLER: She just danced with a pole. Arab men don`t dance with women.
LEVY: Who hasn`t danced with a pole?
MOWRY: I took some classes.
BEHAR: We`re taking bets that she has a sex tape. What do you think?
LEVY: I`m not only taking bets, I`m crossing my finger.
BEHAR: Ok. There`s another story that`s interesting.
BOOSLER: Can I ask you one thing? Since we said Muslim, how are these terrorists finding these unbelievable parking spaces in New York? How --
BEHAR: He just left it running, Elayne. He --
BOOSLER: 42nd Street, I`ve been circling 35 years in front of "The Lion King", how did he not go in and see the show? The giraffes are wonderful. How did he not go in?
BEHAR: I don`t know.
Here`s a story about Hollywood. Finally a device financed and supported by actor Kevin Costner could help clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. How do you like that? So will this sad story have a happy Hollywood ending? He`s got some kind of a little gizmo.
MOWRY: Do you think it`s going to work?
LEVY: You know what? It`s a lie and a ploy. I have proof. He`s doing this because he wants next week for Waterworld to be released --
MOWRY: I knew you were going to say that.
LEVY: Seriously in 3D. He wants it released in 3D. So we`re all just --
BEHAR: Since he bombed in Waterworld, is this sort of like a giving back?
LEVY: It`s a second chance at getting a little bit of fame, yes.
MOWRY: We should find out.
BOOSLER: I heard Justin Bieber`s developing a half ton to Clearasil pad to try and clean up that --
BEHAR: Why is it that an actor could solve the problem and the United States government cannot?
BOOSLER: Because the government made the problem. In 2007 they --
BEHAR: I know. I know.
BOOSLER: -- exempted them from the rules. That administration is the gift that keeps on given.
BEHAR: The Bush administration. I know.
BOOSLER: That`s right. And that`s why we`re having the problems today.
LEVY: He could be our new Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maybe he`ll be running for governor.
BEHAR: Ok. It`s possible.
BOOSLER: That works out.
BEHAR: Tamera, what do you think? You have the last word Tamera.
MOWRY: About Kevin Costner?
MOWRY: I hope this does well for him because I actually like Waterworld. I`m sorry.
BEHAR: You`re the one who saw it.
MOWRY: Yes and my sister. That makes two.
BEHAR: Thank you guys, very much. Be sure to catch Tamera in the new movie "Double Wedding" airing June 19th on Lifetime.
We`ll be back in a minute.
BEHAR: John McCain, remember him, the maverick -- not. He`s losing more than his principles. He`s actually firing staff members as he tries to beat Tea Party candidate, J.D. Hayworth, in the Arizona Republican primary.
With me to help figure out what`s up with the Tea Party and their candidates is Amy Kremer, director of Grassroots and Coalitions for the Tea Party Express.
Hi Amy, how are you?
AMY KREMER, THE TEA PARTY EXPRESS: Hey, Joy. I`m good. How are you?
BEHAR: I`m pretty good.
Let me -- I have to get a few things straight about the Tea Party, ok?
BEHAR: First of all, I read the poll, the "New York Times"/CBS poll and they found that Tea Partiers are wealthier, more educated -- well educated -- more than the general public in fact. They -- most of them send their kids to public schools and they`re ok with Social Security and Medicare. What is it that`s bugging you people?
KREMER: Well, it`s about the spending, the out of control spending. We cannot spend our way out of debt. And that is what is resonating with Americans across the country. That is what is unifying us, the glue that holds us together.
BEHAR: But you know what happens Amy, on that point is that a lot of people on the left like myself who never could really support President Bush. I`m a little irritated by it because I never heard one word from your group during the Bush administration when he was spending and spending on a war that is an unnecessary war and on the deficit -- that -- he came in with a surplus. He left with a deficit. I never heard word one from your people.
KREMER: And you know what I appreciate that. And you`re right. And the thing about it is, is this movement started back when Bush was still in office and when the spending was out of control.
You just didn`t hear about it then because it had not grown to what it is now. It`s a political movement. And we`ve grown day by day, month by month. And now we`re on the radar screen and you`re hearing about it.
But I can assure you that`s how we all came together through social media, social networking, Facebook, Twitter and that stuff was going on back when Bush was still in office.
BEHAR: All right, so it`s mainly your issue is fiscal.
BEHAR: Fiscal issues.
KREMER: It`s all fiscal. We don`t deal with the social issues.
BEHAR: You don`t at all? Because this Freedom Works group, which is an offshoot of the Tea Party -- are you familiar with them?
KREMER: I am familiar with Freedom Works. And I know that there are different groups involved. But the Tea Party Movement, we are completely nonbiased. We cross all political lines. There are independents, Democrats involved in this movement and we deal strictly with the fiscal issues. That`s what we`re focused on.
BEHAR: All right, well, then this J.D. Hayworth --
BEHAR: He once compared gay marriage to marrying a horse. Is he on drugs and do you guys support him?
KREMER: I don`t think he`s on drugs, Joy. But, you know, I think what he was -- I think what he was talking about was about how open the Massachusetts law is. I didn`t hear his comment. I read about it in a clip.
But, no, he`s not the Tea Party political candidate. We are a political movement, so we don`t have candidates. That is something for the people of Arizona to decide and they`re going to make their choice. I believe there are actually three candidates in that race.
BEHAR: Ok, so you don`t support Hayworth?
KREMER: I`m not saying whether or not I support Hayworth or not. The bottom line is, you know, we`re dealing with the fiscal issues and there`s a lot of issues involved here. But we need to talk about the issues and stick to the issues and not start slinging these personal attacks because that doesn`t do anybody any good.
BEHAR: Ok, look at this photo, Amy, that we have. Do you see that photo?
KREMER: Actually, I can`t see that photo. Tell me what --
BEHAR: You can`t. It`s a picture -- it says "Obama care" --
BEHAR: -- and then it`s a picture of Obama with a bone through his nose and he`s sitting there like I guess some kind of African warrior.
BEHAR: Now, that is a pretty racist whatever it is -- a poster.
BEHAR: Now, what are you supposed to do -- what are you going to do to keep these crazies out of the party?
KREMER: Well, you know it`s like what we do every time. I mean people show up at these events and they have racist posters with pictures, sayings. And we tell them we`re not -- they`re not welcome. That is --
BEHAR: Why can`t you just prohibit them from the -- from the event? Just say, look, you people --
KREMER: You know what we --
BEHAR: -- please don`t show up here because you`re misrepresenting us.
KREMER: Well and I did that actually when I was on your program a couple of weeks ago and I`ll say it again. If you`re racist go away, we don`t want you. That`s not what we`re about.
This is about being American, about our Constitution and about fiscal responsibility. There`s no room for racism in this movement and it won`t be tolerated.
BEHAR: Ok, I think -- I think you guys need to shout that a little bit louder and on different shows and really speak out against that. That`s my own feeling.
You know the poll that I read also says that Obama does not share the values of most Americans according to Tea Partiers.
That really fascinates me. First of all, according to me, he`s very conservative in many ways, Obama. He`s doubled down in Afghanistan. He believes in drilling in the oceans which I disagree with. Look at what just happened in the Gulf. And yet --
KREMER: It`s a tragedy.
BEHAR: -- you say that he doesn`t share your values. What values are you talking about?
KREMER: But Joy, this is not about the President. It`s so easy because everybody wants to make it about the President. This is not about our President. This goes back to when Bush was in office and Bush and Obama have one common thread and that is Congress. That is our federal government.
Neither Bush nor Obama can do what they do without Congress. This is about the spending. We need to stop these political attacks.
I mean, look, you may not agree with him on every issue or whatever but it`s not about him. It is about our federal government that`s out of control. That`s what this movement is about.
BEHAR: But the Tea Partiers also want their Medicare and they want their Social Security. Isn`t that spending? I mean, what are we supposed to do with that answer? That`s a contradiction, isn`t it?
KREMER: Well, and you know what, we do need to cut back. I`m not an expert on the U.S. economy. I`m not an economist. We need to have those conversations. We need to have those dialogues. What programs can we cut? And we need to cut somewhere. I mean, look, when families are cutting across the board across this country because their incomes have been cut --
BEHAR: Well, what do you cut, what do you want to cut?
KREMER: I mean, no --
BEHAR: You want to cut the fire department, the police department, do you want to cut Medicare?
KREMER: No we`re not --
BEHAR: What do you want to cut?
KREMER: This is the thing, Joy. Is we`re not -- we`re not, I mean, look, we need some taxes. We have to support our infrastructure.
BEHAR: That`s right.
KREMER: There are things we have to pay for.
I mean, you know, we need to help the people who need help. But the bottom line is, is that we cannot spend our way out of this debt.
BEHAR: Ok, all right, but Amy, what do you want to cut?
KREMER: I don`t know. I mean, I`m not qualified to make that choice and decision.
BEHAR: But if you`re not qualified to say that then how do you go around saying we need to cut things when you don`t know what to cut?
KREMER: Joy, we can`t spend our way out of debt. You can`t spend your way out of debt, we -- families can`t spend their way out of debt. How can the American government spend our way out of debt? We can`t do it.
BEHAR: Well, something has got to give.
KREMER: How about -- well, how about we cut out some of the pork that`s coming out of Washington? I mean, there`s a lot of pork that`s coming out of Washington. There are programs that could be cut - -
BEHAR: You know, I didn`t know the Tea Partiers were so kosher. No pork. Listen, let me ask you a question about Sarah Palin.
KREMER: Yes, go for it.
BEHAR: A lot of the -- a lot of the people in this poll said that they didn`t think Sarah was qualified to be president. Do you think she is?
KREMER: You know, I`m not looking at 2012 right now. I don`t know if she`s qualified or not. I know that we are focused right now on getting some good fiscal conservatives into office. I know Sarah Palin has resonated with many people across this country because she is standing up to the establishment and bucking the establishment so to speak.
BEHAR: But she`s a very polarizing figure. She uses words like we`re all Arizonans. No, we`re not. And she uses words like the real America. You know a lot of people like me feel that we`re in the real America too.
You know my whole -- all my -- my father and my uncles, everybody fought in World War II, so I`m a real American too. And I always feel that that`s pushing me out of the mainstream when she says that. And I resent it, frankly.
KREMER: Well and I appreciate that and I respect that Joy, I absolutely do. I mean, you`re a right. She is a polarizing figure but she also has bucked the system and the establishment and stood up to some of these partisan politics that have been going on.
BEHAR: Yes. But what she says is polarizing.
Listen, Amy. We could go on for days on this topic but thank you very much for coming on. I appreciate it.
KREMER: Thank you Joy.
BEHAR: Good to see you.
We`ll be back after a short break.
BEHAR: Comedy insiders Paul Provenza and Dan Dion collaborated on the new book "Satiristas", it`s a collection of interviews and photographs of the nation`s leading subversive comics. I`m happy to welcome the two to my show. Hello, guys. I know I`m in this book.
PAUL PROVENZA, COLLABORATOR, "SATIRISTAS": You are, in fact.
BEHAR: You consider me subversive in some way.
PROVENZA: I do. Yes, I do.
BEHAR: In what way am I subversive?
PROVENZA: When we decided to go and collect people who did subversive work you`ve always stood out as somebody in a very particular way because on "The View" you speak your mind. It`s morning television, a place where generally you don`t see people really speaking their minds. People are generally pretty pulled back and very sort of anodyne. I`ve always respected it, for as long as I`ve known you, you`ve spoken your mind. And you do it on this show. You do it on "The View". Even in life. And that`s what we celebrate in the book.
BEHAR: Oh, I see. That`s what you consider -- so comedians, contrarians, raconteurs and vulgarians. Which one am i?
PROVENZA: All of the above.
BEHAR: Am I a comedian, a contrarian --
PROVENZA: You tick all the boxes, baby.
BEHAR: I don`t think I`m a raconteur, at all. I don`t tell long stories.
PROVENZA: You`ll tell me one later though.
BEHAR: But I don`t do that. I`m rather contrary in many ways. I always take the opposite position. Comedian, yes and vulgarian, definitely.
What`s a satirista exactly? How is it different from a normal comedian?
PROVENZA: We chose something whimsical which sort of invoke Che Guevara before he got into the T-shirt business. These are either people who are doing satire. They`re doing -- telling truth to power. And collecting all their voices you get a sense if all of us who want to make a change really speak our minds and don`t shut up when we`re told to, you know, it might actually be a movement someday. Who knows?
BEHAR: I see. Well, I agree with that. The pictures are great. You took the pictures. Wonderful.
PROVENZA: The photography is beautiful. Actually it was the photography that spawned the whole book. I hoped to -- in my interviews which really are conversations between comics, they`re not journalistic, I wanted to do something that was as evocative as Don`s photographs.
BEHAR: Did you have any trouble with any of the comedians when you took their pictures? Was anybody obnoxious and rude?
DON DION, COLLABORATOR, "SATIRISTAS": No. Actually --
BEHAR: Besides me.
DION: No. Actually because most of them were familiar with my work and they see the respect that I bring to it and I`m not -- I`m not asking them to do wacky things and not putting them in clown shoes --
BEHAR: Right. They`re straight-up pictures and they`re good.
DION: They`re just honest portraits of the person and not the act.
BEHAR: I see. You know, I do think that comedians are subversive because Al Gore -- not Al Gore -- Joe Biden, that`s who I meant. Joe Biden, I ran into him one time before he was vice president and he said he`s more petrified to be on Jon Stewart`s show than on "Meet the Press".
PROVENZA: I actually quote you in the book saying that. And you put it perfectly. You said -- he`s not afraid of --
BEHAR: I did tell that story. I`m a raconteur.
PROVENZA: You are a raconteur. But I love how you put it. You said he`s not afraid of Barbara Walters, she`s more "Meet the Press" the language. Not afraid of Sheri Shepard because she kind of agrees with him on things. Who`s he afraid of? Whoopi Goldberg and me -- why, we`re just comedians.
BEHAR: He`s mostly afraid of going on Jon Stewart`s show.
PROVENZA: And what`s interesting is that Jon Stewart`s show and Stephen Colbert`s show, if somebody decides not to go on there that actually becomes a talking point which means that there`s a certain power and respect that those guys have being the comedians they are. If you`re a politician who won`t go on that show people think that`s interesting.
BEHAR: Well, I feel that`s true of this show, too. They should come on this show. What are they afraid of? Little old me? I`m totally harmless.
DION: I don`t know about that.
BEHAR: Yes, I am. See how I flutter my eyelashes when I -- thanks, guys. Their book is called "Satiristas".
And we`ll be back in a minute.
JOY BEHAR, HOST: George Castanza will always be remembered as the funny, neurotic chubby guy from "Seinfeld." Jason Alexander who played George may be funny and neurotic, but definitely not chubby anymore after losing 30 pounds on Jenny Craig. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty pounds in 18 weeks, Jenny totally worked.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bikini?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: OK. Here with me is Mr. Six-pack abs himself, Jason Alexander. Wow. That`s funny.
JASON ALEXANDER: It`s fun.
BEHAR: It`s funny. It`s like the little shop of horrors sort of sound.
ALEXANDER: Yes, I wonder if I`ll be sued by Allan Lincoln now?
BEHAR: No, you won`t.
BEHAR: But you look great. You lost 30 pounds.
ALEXANDER: I did. It`s not lost. I know where it is. I could find it.
BEHAR: Where is it? Hey, hey, where is it?
ALEXANDER: But, yes, I know, I did 30 pounds in about 18 weeks.
BEHAR: Eighteen weeks. I did the same thing years ago, but I put a little bit back - half.
ALEXANDER: Well, that can happen.
BEHAR: I put half back.
ALEXANDER: I`m hoping to not do that because I`m married to a woman that has weapons and would not look good if I started gaining it back.
BEHAR: You`re the first man that they`ve had, spokesman for the Jenny Craig, right?
ALEXANDER: Thank you for that noticing.
BEHAR: Yes. I mean, what`s the idea of jump into a male representative?
ALEXANDER: You know, it`s another thing, you know, I guess Jenny Craig has the -- gives the impression of being a feminine product which is silly, because what`s a gender food? And I think they actively said, you know, we -- this works for guys, why don`t we get a guy? And we -- I had made a connection with them because of a character that I was doing. We were looking for a branding partner.
ALEXANDER: And they said, well, you know, we`re not really branding right now, but we`d be happy to talk to Jason, and I told them my sad tale of woe of weight and struggling. They explained the program and said, what do you think? I went yes.
BEHAR: It works.
ALEXANDER: It really does work. You know, it really does work.
BEHAR: So your whole life you`ve been battling weight?
ALEXANDER: Yes. I was heavy as a kid. I mean, I kind of got it together for a while there in my 20s and early 30s.
BEHAR: Sure, you needed to get a little action.
ALEXANDER: I was doing, you know, I was doing Broadway so I was a dancer and a singer, and that kind of kept it under control. But then, you know, I got on to "Seinfeld" with its rather lavish craft service budget and I gained 15 pounds with each kid. My wife had the baby, but I kept going. I held on. Over about 20 years, I gained 40, 45 pounds.
BEHAR: Yes. You know, I was reading a study that said that people who lose a little at a time, you know, like over long stretch of two pounds a month, let`s say, they don`t do well. It`s the ones who do fast drop that basically stay on it more.
ALEXANDER: Well, I`ve also heard that -- like a crash diet seems to not be useful. What everybody seems to say, not just Jenny Craig, but all the programs seem to say, a pound to two a week is a good, steady, safe and tends to reset your metabolism then you can kind of hold it there.
BEHAR: Right, yes, but even that, it`s like, two pounds, you know? You want more. You want it off.
ALEXANDER: Listen, two pounds, good. Two pounds a week is good.
BEHAR: Yes, I know.
ALEXANDER: I am very happy.
BEHAR: Slow and steady wins the race.
ALEXANDER: Yes, very happy.
BEHAR: Did you have a goal weight of any kind or you just --
ALEXANDER: Thirty. Said I could do 30 and, you know, I`m looking at it now and going, I see a little round thing here and a little thing here. Maybe another -- I`m still about --
BEHAR: You`d like to lose more?
ALEXANDER: Well, I`m about five or six pounds above where I started "Seinfeld" at and that was a pretty good weight for me, 115. I`m about 165, 159 was a good looking thing for me so I may push another --
BEHAR: Push it.
ALEXANDER: -- six to ten. We`ll see.
BEHAR: Tell me about the story about your son when you hit 50.
BEHAR: That might have been your tipping point.
ALEXANDER: It was a big moment actually. It didn`t seem that way at the time but in retrospect. I had my 50th birthday. I gone to the doctor, the doctor said you`re healthy as a horse. You got two weight problems - two health problems because of your weight. Please do something.
ALEXANDER: I have very high cholesterol and I have fatty deposits in my liver.
BEHAR: Hate that.
ALEXANDER: Yes, not fun and so then we had my 50th birthday. My younger son, 14, Noah is 14. I tucked him in that night. He goes, dad, how old would you be at my 50th birthday? I said, well, I`d be --
BEHAR: He`s 14.
ALEXANDER: I said, I`d be 86. He kind of looked at me and he went, are you going to be there? I went, well, I tell you what, I`ll really try. It just kind of cemented to me that I had gotten away - because I have really good genetics and had gotten away with a lot of stuff all the way up to 50.
But I went, you know, this is not going to get any easier. So it felt like it was now or never and these guys came in and they were really my heroes because the program is solid. It really works. It was mindless -- I always say, if it were hard I could not do it.
BEHAR: No, they tell you exactly what to do.
ALEXANDER: They tell you what to do. I was never hungry.
BEHAR: It`s maintenance that`s hard.
ALEXANDER: And I got with my little consultant and we figured out all the little issues and it was all good. I don`t think - I mean, maybe it`s a mindset. I don`t think the maintenance is going to be very hard for me because -- here`s the misnomer that everybody had, you have to eat their food all the time.
I did not do that because I was traveling and literally couldn`t do it. So I learned how to eat off the program, but eat with their principles. And that`s -- I don`t --
BEHAR: Do you exercise?
ALEXANDER: Yes, but I always did.
BEHAR: You always did and you still couldn`t lose weight. It`s really about the food to lose weight.
ALEXANDER: You know, when you burn 500 calories in a workout, but you eat 15,000 it just doesn`t --
BEHAR: You know, we found this old commercial in our archives that you were in. Take a look.
BEHAR: I`m assuming that McDonald`s is not on your diet anymore.
ALEXANDER: It`s not high on the list. Actually, I represented the one McDonald`s product that went in the toilet from the get-go.
BEHAR: I don`t remember that one.
ALEXANDER: They couldn`t give those things away.
BEHAR: The McDLT.
ALEXANDER: The McDLT was brilliant. It was brilliant, really, oh my God.
BEHAR: What`s the "D?"
ALEXANDER: Here`s what it was. You know when you get a hamburger that`s premade the heat of the hamburger wilts the lettuce and the tomato. They had a two container package, for one bun with lettuce and tomato over here keeps it cool and the hamburger hot over here keeping it warm.
Very good if you build it this way, put it in the bag this way, take it home this way, but they don`t do that. You see because the geniuses at McDonald`s go, here you go, put it in and everything from the top would fall down to the bottom and had a McDL mess. That`s what it was and it just - it wasn`t -
BEHAR: McDL mess -
ALEXANDER: It was horrible. It was a horrible product.
BEHAR: Do you worry you might not be as funny now that you`re so studly and everything?
ALEXANDER: How -- well, boy, now I had seven different answers, but then you threw me the studly again. Jerry Seinfeld has an interesting theory. He goes 20 pounds up or down you lose your funny.
BEHAR: Is that so?
ALEXANDER: So by that theory, I should have been not funny a long time ago.
BEHAR: Twenty pounds up or down, you lose your funny.
ALEXANDER: You lose your funny that`s his theory.
BEHAR: Well, there are people who are very thin that are funny.
ALEXANDER: But they were always thin.
ALEXANDER: He said if Jackie Gleeson suddenly lost 100 pounds not funny.
BEHAR: Well, 100, yes. But 20 off Jackie Gleeson would have been nothing.
ALEXANDER: That`s a drop in the ocean.
BEHAR: Tell me about -- what is this Donny Clay experience?
ALEXANDER: My Donny Clay experience. I could save your whole life. This is -- I`ve been having so much fun with this. This was a character I developed who was a very bad motivational speaker. I kept being asked by corporations to do corporate gigs. I said, I don`t have anything. I`m not a standup and you know, I only come in show tunes for you I don`t think so.
So I developed this character that would go and do a faux motivational seminar. I would talk to them about their problems and issues and we started doing it for audiences and wound up in Vegas for an extended run this year and go back the end of July. We`re talking about it now. Really fun.
BEHAR: So it`s a character basically that you -
ALEXANDER: So it`s character I do -
BEHAR: A funny character.
ALEXANDER: It`s standup with a twist or standup with a premise, I guess.
BEHAR: You never did standup?
ALEXANDER: I never did standup. I would not be foolish enough to venture into that arena.
BEHAR: Why you`d be very good I think.
ALEXANDER: I`m a classically trained actor. I love a reverential hush to come over the audience not the two drink minimum that`s --
BEHAR: Do we have time to show a clip from "Seinfeld?" yet or shall we wait until the next segment. I guess, we`ll wait, OK. So we`ll wait.
ALEXANDER: That will tease everybody because I don`t think many people know that show.
BEHAR: Yes, but -- my God. You know, today who was on my show? The kid from -- the other show that I do, from Big Bang Theory.
ALEXANDER: Big bang, yes.
BEHAR: That show just went into syndication and it`s -
ALEXANDER: Yes, that`s a good show.
BEHAR: It`s even bigger in syndication than "Seinfeld."
ALEXANDER: Excuse me?
BEHAR: Bigger meaning more revenue I believe.
ALEXANDER: Let me ask you a question, if it just sold into syndication, just now, today --
BEHAR: Well, I guess --
ALEXANDER: -- how could it be bigger than my show that`s been in syndication for 160 years?
BEHAR: OK, you`re right. Stay right there. Get comfortable. We have a lot to talk about. We`ll be back in a minute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I ever get out of here I`m going to change my life, I`m going to do a whole Zen thing. Take up yoga, meditate. Come down. Lose my anger. Hey, is anybody listening?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Well, that was a clip from "Seinfeld" with Jason Alexander as the George Costanza and Jason is here with me now. That show really made a dent. You know, it`s like "I love Lucy," "Seinfeld," "All in the Family," there are just a few iconic shows like that. I wonder if it could be put on the air now. You know? You never know.
ALEXANDER: We wouldn`t have survived -- we were not a hit until our third season. We wouldn`t have made it.
BEHAR: So somebody at the top put their stamp on it? And said, go ahead in.
ALEXANDER: Yes. It was a different time. I mean, you know, we -- we were able to sell the advertising time, but nobody was watching the show. You know, people knew it was a good and different show, and we just couldn`t quite find the audience. In the third season they put us on after "cheers" and we held the audience.
BEHAR: It`s all about the placement. Like what happened to Jay Leno. Look at what happened to Jay Leno? I mean, it`s all about positioning in TV. I know. Your character, George, was based on Larry David, our pal, Larry.
ALEXANDER: Yes, not initially.
BEHAR: Not really, no?
ALEXANDER: At least I didn`t know that. He may have been thinking that. It -- that came about really in, like -- I can`t remember what episode. It was early on. You know "Seinfeld" doesn`t seem this way now, but at the time it was constructed very differently.
I remember doing an episode and there was something George had to do and I went to Larry, I said, you got to help me with this because this would never happen to anybody and if it did nobody would react like this. He said, this happened to me and it`s exactly what I did. I went, a-huh and at that point, I think we kind made a sort of agreement that this was - we were feeding each other but --
BEHAR: A lot of the things he does on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" just seem unlikely also but they happened to him.
ALEXANDER: He`s got a note - he`s got notebooks filled with things that happened to him that -- his real gift is that he realizes how funny his own life is and how he overreacts to his own life. He`s brilliant.
BEHAR: Yes, he is brilliant and very, very -- what`s the word? Fakund.
ALEXANDER: Yes, nicely said.
BEHAR: You`re welcome. I mean, thank you. Now, you`ve been married 28 years.
ALEXANDER: May 31st.
BEHAR: That`s lovely for someone in Hollywood and showbiz.
ALEXANDER: Nothing to it.
BEHAR: What`s the secret?
ALEXANDER: Marry the right person.
BEHAR: That helps. You married young. A lot of people don`t last.
ALEXANDER: Actually very lucky because I was in love with the love and I kind of dragged Dana down the aisle. Truly, she didn`t -- she was more reticent than I was. She`s an amazing gal and she`s my best pal and, you know, really it is a little bit of dumb luck because where I`m weak, she`s strong and vice versa and we make each other laugh and a lot has happened. Our lives have changed but we`ve always grown in the same way. It`s -- you have to get lucky. We work, too.
BEHAR: You work at it.
ALEXANDER: You know, we went through some stuff and found a great therapist and worked it out and you have to fight a little bit to make it work.
BEHAR: You found a therapist? At what point did you have to go to therapy?
ALEXANDER: We were about 14 years into the marriage.
BEHAR: And things were rocky?
ALEXANDER: A little bit for a while. You know, it was sort of like an early midlife crisis for me. I do things a little early and guys kind of freak out a little bit. I went, oh my God, I`ve been living this life since I was 20 years old and maybe I was wrong.
BEHAR: Most people -- very similar, I got married young and had a crisis and I got divorced. Sometimes it doesn`t work out.
ALEXANDER: The third person in the room makes all the difference when you`re going to therapy.
BEHAR: They shrink?
ALEXANDER: An amazing therapist who really guided us beautifully, but you know, you have to want it. We -- we --
BEHAR: You wanted to stay married?
ALEXANDER: I knew that if I left I would never find anything better. Different, but not better.
BEHAR: Well, you had kids at that point, too.
ALEXANDER: We did. They were little teeny people.
BEHAR: Yes, but let me talk a little politics with you now. Obama just nominated Elena Kagan, who is a Jewish woman.
BEHAR: Yes, to the Supreme Court and if she gets on the court that would make three Jewish justices.
ALEXANDER: Now, now you got a minion. Now it`s nine people. That makes some sense. Before this I never knew what was going on.
BEHAR: Yes, now, Pat Buchanan apparently --
ALEXANDER: Not a Jew by the way.
BEHAR: No, not at all, the opposite. He thinks there are too many Jews on the Supreme Court.
ALEXANDER: Really, funny Pat Buchanan.
BEHAR: I know, he recently wrote a blog titled "Are Liberals Anti- Wasps? He wrote," if Kagan is confirmed," quote unquote, "Jews who represent less than 2 percent of the United States population will have 33 percent of the Supreme Courts seats? Is this the Democrats` idea of diversity?" unquote.
ALEXANDER: Well, look how Pat did math and everything. He had to work out the numbers.
BEHAR: Yes. He`s worried about wasps.
ALEXANDER: Listen, can I also say -- I don`t want to - because I know we run our business. Our people -- admit it, America, we run Hollywood.
BEHAR: The 2 percent of Jews run everything.
ALEXANDER: But, let me just say if you look around at the legal profession, it`s not a lot of Irish. It`s a lot of Jews. If you`re going to put the top legal people into the Supreme Court, by default, you`re going to get a lot of Jews.
BEHAR: You know, there are two Italians on the court also which probably doesn`t represent the majority.
ALEXANDER: Jews with a horn and a cross -- Italians -- I like Elena Kagan. All the rumors about her, I don`t` think so. I like her.
BEHAR: That she`s a lesbian. Did you sleep with her?
ALEXANDER: I think I did. She grew up in Manhattan, I grew up on Jersey. I think in a phone booth on 58th I might have jump bumped into her.
ALEXANDER: She seems very familiar. I`m actually being somewhat serious. She seems familiar to me.
BEHAR: Do you think she`s going to sail through or what?
ALEXANDER: She seems awfully charming, awfully smart and they got nothing to pin on her. You know, they can`t say, oh, you said one time --
BEHAR: They`re after her for that ROTC thing she did when she was on the solicitor --
ALEXANDER: She`s no Robert Bork. I really don`t think how -- I don`t see how you can make a major objection to this who woman. She`s very bright. She`s very qualified.
BEHAR: What do you think about Buchanan`s remarks though? Do you think that will be used against her when the time comes to confirm the woman?
ALEXANDER: That the judicial committee is going to go, I`m sorry, we love you, sweetheart, but there are too many Jews on the --
BEHAR: I don`t think they`ll say that.
ALEXANDER: I don`t think they`re going to say it, no. They`ll all think it.
BEHAR: They`ll think it. We`ll be back with Jason Alexander after a quick break.
BEHAR: I`m back with actor Jason Alexander. You know, Jason, last we were talking, well, a lot of people were talking about a "Newsweek" article written by -- I think the guy is gay who wrote it. He said gay actors can`t play straight.
Once they`re out of the closet, his point is and everybody knows they`re gay, American audiences will not accept they`re a love interest, I guess, a heterosexual part. What do you think about that?
ALEXANDER: I agree and disagree. I think people can accept it, because the truth is acting is an illusion, it`s a magic trick. Nothing is real. Nothing about it is real.
ALEXANDER: So if you have skill and you`re good at making the illusion then you`re good at making the illusion and an audience will believe it. However, there`s always a moment -- I know it happens with me. If I do a dramatic role the moment I walk on stage or screen, the first reaction is hey, it`s George. I have to get beyond that.
There are producers who say, I don`t want the audience to have that moment. I`d rather have a complete unknown than that moment. By the same token there can be a moment where the audience goes, huh, he`s playing, but I wonder -- where reality is bumping them a little bit. If the actor has the skill we go right around that moment. I think it would be disingenuous to say that a person might not have a moment where they two, that bumped me a little bit.
ALEXANDER: But what`s interesting to me is that -- and I`m an example of it. I played in a film a flamboyantly gay character. Nobody had any problem with it. I don`t know why it might bump this way but not bump the other way.
BEHAR: His point is a straight guy can play gay, but a gay guy can`t play straight.
ALEXANDER: To me I don`t understand that.
BEHAR: No, it`s the fantasy level of the audience. It`s unreal. Women who watch soap operas they believe it all. You have to suspend disbelief. The Brits seem to get away with it more.
ALEXANDER: Nobody knows what they are. They have everything.
BEHAR: Exactly. Rupert Everett said in his career --
ALEXANDER: You bet it did. You have to have a degree of -- you have to be very comfortable in your skin. I think it is a risk for some acto actors, certainly in this country still.
BEHAR: Here`s a couple of Twitter questions. They want to know, what do you think happened to George since "Seinfeld" went off the air?
ALEXANDER: We found out. That`s what the whole curb thing was. He invented the I-toilet phone app for the iPhone. Made millions of dollars and invested it all with Bernie Madoff and lost everything.
BEHAR: Did he stay friends with Cramer?
ALEXANDER: Yes. I can`t remember what Cramer`s story line was in the curb thing. Yes. They all stayed --
BEHAR: They want to know what are some of the parts you`ve turned down?
ALEXANDER: Parts I`ve turned down?
BEHAR: Like Russell Crowe got the part, Paul Newman turned it down so Russell Crowe got it. One of those things.
ALEXANDER: "Batman." I turned down "Batman." Do they think people are throwing me jobs? No, no, I have to raise my children. I don`t turn things down. Throw me the jobs. I`ll take it. What the -- turn them down?
There have been things I`ve turned down, but they`re trivial because I go, that`s not ever going to see the light of day. I was right in every case. You know, but I`m not turning down work.
BEHAR: Would you go on "Dancing with the Stars?" before we go.
ALEXANDER: Would I go on "Dancing with the Stars?" I`d rather do -- here`s what I will do, "Celebrity American Idol."
BEHAR: OK, that`s a good one. You should produce that show. Thanks very much, Jason.
ALEXANDER: I`ll be right on it.
BEHAR: It`s lovely to see you.
ALEXANDER: Thank you, Joy.
BEHAR: Especially now that you`re such a hunk.
ALEXANDER: We`ll go backstage in a moment.
BEHAR: And thank you for watching. Good night, everybody.