Jenny McCarthy on ‘Love In The Wild’

McCarthy gives us love tips and tells us how she gave Melissa McCarthy her big break.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

When I was in high school, every night I’d turn on MTV and watch “Singled Out” before “Beavis and Butt-Head” came on. Nearly 20 years later, I interviewed Jenny McCarthy for another dating show she’s hosting.

She joined “Love in the Wild” for the second season, moderating the outdoors contest between mixed and matched lovers. She still looks the same as she did on my TV set in 1993 too.


CraveOnline: Are you able to make dance and make faces on “Love in the Wild” too?

Jenny McCarthy: Oh yes. I absolutely do some dancing, ridiculousness, some hitting, pushing around. I definitely do a few of those, like “Shut up!” Smacking, but no one went away going, “What a bitch.” They went away like, “Oh my God, that was fun and funny.”

CraveOnline: I used to watch “Singled Out” with “Beavis and Butt-head.” Can you believe they’re back too?

Jenny McCarthy: I can’t believe it. Who would’ve thunk  “Beavis and Butt-Head” would be back but they don’t age, so they can do whatever they want.

CraveOnline: What brought you back to T.V. for this show?

Jenny McCarthy: Well, you know, since "Singled Out” people have been coming up to me going, "God, can't you just do that show again?  It was so much fun.  And bring that Jenny back."  And I thought to myself, well, there can't be a show as perfect as that where I can be all those elements. It took this long, but when NBC contacted me and they said, "We want you to host starting the second season."

I said, "Hmm, maybe this could be a dating show that I could implement all those things that people liked about 'Singled Out.'" So I sat down and I watched the first season in its entirety and chewed off all my nails at the same time because the format worked, and I did realize why they wanted to use me for the second season to just kind of add a little bit more pizzazz, some comedy, and kind bring out the drama that you know exists that we love in these shows.

So when I sat down with them I said, "Yes, I would love to do it as long as you let me bring that 'Singled Out' Jenny back to T.V."  And they said they would. I can proudly say that I've given all I got to bring that character back.

CraveOnline: Is that just in the banter with the contestants or are you doing sketches too?

Jenny McCarthy: Well, they initially gave me kind of a rough script to let me know what their adventures would be like.  There are really long speeches, and like a lot of hosts use cue cards and teleprompters.  I didn't.  All these things, you're going to find the map and then you're going to find the gold star, and then you're going to take a donkey over the mountain, and da, da, da, da, da every day.

So what I wanted to do was kind of mess with them, so in like one of the adventures I let them know that in order to get to this adventure I said, "One of you in your couple has to decide who's going to make out with this disgusting, old, gamey farmer.  Decide right now." And literally they were sitting there doing rock, paper, scissors figuring it out.

So those were the types of things that I would kind of mess with them, and then if they came back after this long adventure and they were supposed to bring back two shells and they were dripping in sweat after three hours I would say, "I said star fish."  And they would be like, "No, you said these," and I was like, "No, I didn't," and I would just kind of like have fun with them.

CraveOnline: Did you take notes from the contestants who were falling in love?

Jenny McCarthy: I did actually. I am trying to apply it to my own life. It was really interesting to watch and really heartwarming for me because initially they have to pick each other based off looks. We only give them a few seconds so they have to go, “Okay, you. Uh, you.” Then as time goes on, not even time, as the day goes on, they can instantly see there’s no chemistry. They start to see red flags immediately going she’s not for me. So it helped me go, “Okay, I need to notice those red flags sooner.” My therapist back in the day said, this is a great line, “Jenny, you have an amazing ability to bleach red flags white.” So watching the show, it made me go, “Oh, okay. You just have to wake up and be very clear minded to see them and not fool yourself.”

CraveOnline: As you got to know the contestants would you mess with them personally and individually?

Jenny McCarthy: Yes. There were definitely a few which you'll see along the way I picked out as kind of stars that kind of shined and had great banter back and forth, and then I was hoping the kind of skanky ones would stick around longer. I was kind of sad to see them go. 

You always see like one or two on a show, and I was like, "No, please don't send her home." I did get along with all of them and just like on "Singled Out," I cheered on the girls because we need all the support we can get, and I made fun of the guys, rightfully so.  So that's really what I kind of brought to the table again, and I'm very happy with the outcome.

CraveOnline: So the skanks don't have very many wilderness skills?

Jenny McCarthy: You would be surprised. They do. I guess I can't go there. I mean, come on, a lot of the other dating shows that I've watched the girls are always pretty much looking very pretty.  These girls are coming out of the adventures with like mascara dripping down their face and their hair like this going like this, "Waaah," and the guys trying to console them, you know.  So I love that reality part of it.

CraveOnline: Do you have a comfort zone being single now?

Jenny McCarthy: I do. It took a while. I felt like, “Ooh, I’m so alone, I have to be with somebody. Oh my God, I can’t cuddle with Evan until he’s 14.” I have. I got to that place where I was like, “You know what? I don’t really need anybody in my life. I’m happy with myself.” I said it in my other book, I don’t need to have a lover to have love in my life. Then I finally got to that place and it kind of worked out.

CraveOnline: How do you make time for everything – hosting, writing, motherhood?

Jenny McCarthy: It’s really hard, I gotta tell you. There’s a lot of flying involved. There’s a lot of dragging my child with my everywhere I go. And it’s a lot of time management. I’m really good at scheduling and understanding this is what I need here, this is what I need, this is my mommy time and this is the dating time and this is the work time. I just kind of break it all up and it seems to juggle itself out.

CraveOnline: Is dating easier or harder now with all the technology we have?

Jenny McCarthy: It’s so much easier. It’s so much easier because you have cell phones. I didn’t have cell phones in 7th grade so I had to wait until after school to talk to my boyfriend. Now it’s much easier.

CraveOnline: Did you ever tattoo the name of a lover on you?

Jenny McCarthy: No, but I do have a half of a yin yang and some dude has the other half of the yin yang which is just as bad I think. I wouldn’t do it based off of no one has a good track record of it working out so to me, no.

CraveOnline: How do you stay looking the way I saw you 20 years ago?

Jenny McCarthy: Let me just tell you, I was just pulling up my pictures of when I was pregnant. I was 211 lbs. and I was telling people, “Look at this picture.” No one believed me. They were like, “Oh my God, you really were 211 lbs.”

So I do know what it’s like to lose 80 lbs. That’s how much I had to lose. Now it’s a matter of freaking working out, which sucks. Ugh. I’d rather shoot myself in the head. I’m so going to give up after like 65. Eat and drink and smoke.

CraveOnline: So now how to do keep it up?

Jenny McCarthy: Well, having your sister be your professional makeup artist helps. I’m an obvious botox user. I tell everyone. And that’s it. I just take care of myself. Yoga helps.

CraveOnline: Are you related to Melissa McCarthy?

Jenny McCarthy: She’s my cousin.

CraveOnline: What was it like to see her explode?

Jenny McCarthy: Oh, you don’t understand. It’s been phenomenal. When she moved out to L.A. I was about to do my MTV sketch show. She said, “I want to move to L.A., I want to get a break.” And I said, “Why don’t you come on as a PA on the show and see how everything works, how the machine works.”

So she came on as a PA and worked on my sketch show for 22 episodes and then towards the end, she’s like, “I want to do a couple sketches.” I’m like, “You got it.” So I put her in a couple sketches and I was like oh, this bitch is grrreat. Then some people just take longer to hit. I had no doubt in my mind and would’ve put all of my money on her going, “She’s going to hit. It’s just going to have to be the one that goes there.”