CHICAGO – Jenny McCarthy might have made a home in the Chicago suburbs, but the 40-year-old mother of a 10-year-old son hasn’t lost her goofy, party girl-persona.
The former Playboy playmate and TV host said Hugh Hefner’s 1970s-era “Playboy After Dark” is the inspiration for her new weekly VH1 talk show, “The Jenny McCarthy Show,” which debuted Friday.
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She commutes from her home near her native Chicago to New York to film the show.
“In a perfect world, the dream is to be as close as possible to my little boy so I can be the mom I want to be and to be the person on TV I want to be,” McCarthy said in an interview last week as she was preparing for the show’s debut.
After years of unproductive development deals, McCarthy finally finds herself with her much-desired talk show. But she also finds herself a single mother concerned about her son.
McCarthy was outspoken about autism treatments after her son was diagnosed, and she wrote a book detailing her search for a cure. She advocated special diets, supplements and metal detoxification and delayed vaccines as treatments. She said her son no longer suffers from autism.
McCarthy decided in May to move back to Chicago after realizing her son’s life in Los Angeles wouldn’t be the same as her childhood.
“There was no catching lightning bugs in the backyard,” she said. “Within five days I made the decision to pack up and get out of there.”
Potential viewers will appreciate the position she is in, the host said. She’s grown up with responsibilities, but she doesn’t want to stop having a night of fun.
“The Jenny McCarthy Show” – complete with Hefner-inspired go-go dancers, bizarrely paired celebrity guests and pop culture chatter – is her girls night out, she said. The guests and McCarthy will do interviews, maybe play trivia games and talk about pop culture.
“I wish there were more of them,” McCarthy said. “But because I’m a single mom work comes first. I definitely make a night out with my friends once in a while.”
The target audience is what VH1 and McCarthy call “adultsters” – hip adults who they’re hoping will be attracted to McCarthy’s wacky, witty comedy.
“It’s that great generation of us who had to grow up, but still want to go out and have fun,” McCarthy said.