This morning while doing my usual eat-oatmeal-drink-tea in front of the Today Show, I witnessed Alexis Stewart’s interview (along with her ex-collaborator, partner, friend, co-writer Jennifer Koppelman-Hutt) about her new book Whateverland, which is supposed to be about… advice? Funny stories? And a bit about Alexis Stewart’s mom, Martha? The interview got so tense I had to look away a couple of times and didn’t even catch exactly what the point of the book is.
What was odd as well was that Savannah Guthrie, someone I pegged as a lanky Pollyanna, really dug in and stayed with the embarrassing questions as if she were a lawyer for the prosecution.
If you’ve never seen anyone radiate anger/hatred/disgust, then watch Alexis in action in the video below. This is the entire first segment, including the intro, plus the segment the following hour when Alexis and Jennifer were supposed to answer viewer e-mail questions. Apparently, Alexis and her co-writer Hutt are no longer friends/partners/ collaborators and are not on speaking terms because that’s the way Alexis wanted it. They talked about it as if it were a divorce, Stewart saying that one day you look at your spouse and just say, “Oh, not anymore.”
Which begs the question of why both women agreed to come on and do the segment. Shouldn’t one of them have played sick? They acted as if they were incredibly evolved but I noticed that they could hardly look at one another.
Most baffling, to me, is that at every turn Alexis refutes everything she says in the book about her mom, claiming it’s all one big joke. But this is a woman who looks like she’s never laughed in her entire life. She did look a tiny bit sad (and dare I say sincere?) when she admitted that there were no “prepared foods” in her house – nothing to eat but the raw ingredients to, like, make stuff because her mom was busy. No prepared food in Martha’s house!
It reminds me of that riddle about the ocean that goes “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.”
“Arugula, pecorino, peppercorns and vinaigrette everywhere but not a gourmet salad to eat!”
I’m not sure if appearances like this will help the book or not. While the break-up of the friendship could draw some people in, if they saw this interview they probably would not want their money to benefit Alexis (in the form of buying her book.) She’s just going to go out and spend it on leather leggings.
What I did enjoy was that Ben Stiller was sitting in the studio waiting to be interviewed about his new movie while this was going on and, when they cut to him following the interview, he looked as annoyed and confused as everyone else. At the end of his interview he said, “And I’d like to mention that my father dripped hot Chanukah candle wax on me as a child.”