WHAT Kelly Ripa in conversation with Bethenny Frankel about Ripa's book "Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories"
WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30, NYCB Theatre at Westbury
INFO $41.25-$64; livenation.com
Kelly Ripa has interviewed many an author on her daytime talk show "Live With Kelly and Ryan," which she co-hosts with Ryan Seacrest. Now Ripa will get to find out what it's like to be the one answering the questions when she heads to NYCB Theatre at Westbury on Sept. 30 to discuss her first book "Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories" (Dey Street Books, $28.95) with moderator Bethenny Frankel.
"Live Wire" is an amusing collection of essays about episodes in Ripa's life including growing up in New Jersey, spending time in the Hamptons and the time she passed out during sex with her husband, actor Mark Consuelos. There are serious moments, too, especially when writing about her time on "Live" with Regis Philbin.
"The biggest misconception about my place on the show was that Regis had hand-selected me, guided me and was my best friend, and then left, after which I never spoke to him again," she writes.
Ripa, 51, recently chatted via Zoom about the book, Philbin and even the Long Island Expressway.
Congratulations on writing your first book. How difficult was the process?
I read all the time, so I thought I can write a book. How hard can it be? And then I realized I will never read a book with the same cavalier enjoyment. Now every time I read a book, I think about how much the writer must have suffered and how many sleepless nights the writer must have had. How obsessed the writer was with making their deadline. How the writer kept thesaurusing up words for other words they found redundant. That’s what my life became.
One of the funniest stories is the one when you talk about meeting your husband on the set of "All My Children" on a day when you had toothpaste on your face to cover a big pimple.
I’m not exaggerating in any way. … I tend to have epic misfortune, so of course I met my husband on the day that I looked the absolute worst than I’ve ever looked in my entire life.
It proves that if he saw you when you looked your worst and he ended up marrying you, it was really love.
What’s so funny is he always recounts the story so differently. Not the details of it, but he says he wasn’t really paying any attention to what I looked like at all. He was trying to get a job.
You write very honestly about your relationship with Regis Philbin. Was that a difficult chapter to write?
It was so impossible to write because I wanted to treat him with the reverence and respect that he deserves. … That’s why I relied so heavily on transcripts for that chapter because I wanted more of his words to speak than my own. … I kept having to answer these questions that were posed in the media about why I had cut off communication with Regis when it was completely the opposite. That’s not at all how it was. So I felt like I owed it to myself since I’m writing about this that I should, in fact, put it on record and set the record straight.
You also talk about how much you dislike the Long Island Expressway, which I think all of us out here share with you.
Have you found the person that likes the Long Island Expressway? [Laughs.]
No, I haven’t. But what is there about Long Island that you love?
I keep telling Ryan Seacrest that Long Island in the fall is the most beautiful place on Earth. The way the sun sets there and the color scape is like no place you’ve ever seen. The beautiful foliage and all those pumpkin patches. I’ve spent a lot of time at different places on Long Island, not just the Hamptons. My daughter used to be in horse shows and we were everywhere. … And I love the smell of everyone’s fireplace. The air smells different out there.
One thing I found interesting is that you state in the book that you're terrified of public speaking, yet you're a talk-show host.
I know, it makes no sense. I keep saying this is me trying to cure myself. But it’s been 23 years and I’m not getting cured. I will always have a terrifying feeling when I do the show and I will be terrified going into Westbury because I will have to speak in public. Knowing that people who have read the book have been very receptive to it, they’ve been so encouraging and have really related to it. … The book is a love letter to my husband, it’s a love letter to working moms, it’s a love letter to New York and New Jersey — and you know what, and the LIE.