Tag: Adam West

A Chat with Darryl Bell of “Househusbands of Hollywood”

It feels a little disingenuous for me to talking up a series which I can’t even watch in my area (Cox Communications in Hampton Roads, VA, has yet to pick up Fox Reality), but as someone who works at home and has a 4-year-old daughter, I respect the concept of “Househusbands of Hollywood” enough to do at least a little bit of promotion for it. I’ve already detailed the TCA panel about the show, but when the opportunity to sit down with one of the cast members – Darryl Bell, late of “A Different World” – became available, I couldn’t resist. In addition to his time spent on the “Cosby Show” spin-off, Bell has worked with Spike Lee and done time on a rather infamous sci-fi sitcom, but he’s still very much a working actor. He’s also the significant other of former “Cosby” kid Tempestt Bledsoe, a relationship which led him to this reality-show endeavor…and led me to my first question.

Bullz-Eye: First off, you two seem to be almost a ringer on the show. You’re not even husband and wife yet!

Darryl Bell: That is a good way to put it, Will. We are the ringers. That’s probably caused the most frequently asked questions, like, “You guys are the only couple who is not married, you’re the only ones without kids, so what are you doing here in a show called ‘Househusbands’?” The short answer to that has been Marilyn Wilson. Marilyn’s a good friend, produced Temp’s talk show. Marilyn and I have been out, pitched shows’ and tried to sell other things. We’ve worked together in that capacity. It was her assurances that we’re trying to do something that’s fun and not trying to ambush anyone or be mean spirited. “Come be a part of this, because we think you guys are hilarious.” Apparently, the more that I have even talked to other friends, they are, like, “Oh, we’ve been saying for years that you guys should have your own reality series, because you are just funny.” It just happened to come in this format. I don’t know that we would have agreed to have done this for anyone else. So, there you go.

BE: It makes it a little hard for me to ask, “Is it weird being a ‘Househusband’?”

DB: And I don’t know what that means for me, anyway, only from the standpoint that people ask me that because I’m on this show. But in terms of work-wise, it’s just like…even in the series, when Tempest was coming back from on location, shooting the film, I was going on location to shoot this show for TV One. That’s really the nature of our relationship. You know, it’s rare that we’ll both be doing something at the same time, but we’re always in this cyclical gig that is being a working actor in Hollywood. That’s just how our lives have operated. I was just saying in another interview, when Brad is off shooting a movie, Angelina isn’t always shooting one. She’s somewhere with the kids. Or when Angelina’s shooting and Brad is somewhere…? That’s just the way it works.

BE: So what kind of husbandly responsibilities do you have? I mean, do you chip in, doing the dishes or whatever when she’s not there?

DB: I mean, I can’t really call it husbandly duties. Our house is not a pigsty, but I can say that some of that is attributed to the housekeeper. You know what I mean? That helps out a lot. I can only say that when I think of that…when anything breaks, like most men, it’s, like, “Darryl, come fix it,” you know? I get that. But as a regular responsibility, that’s not me.

BE: Is there anything you do that would typically be considered a gender-specific thing, something that one would normally expect a wife to do?

DB: For us, no. For us, I guess that’s what has been so good: we have talked about not having an ego about anything. She likes to cook, so she has cooked for me, but I’ve cooked for her, you know? So from a relationship standpoint of view, I can’t say that…we don’t have any specifically defined roles, other than, as many men will find the case, she wanted pets and yet somehow they are my responsibility. You know how that works out.

BE: Hey, I feed our cat.

DB: Exactly, exactly. And what man asks for a cat? That’s just not the way it works. I want a Neapolitan Mastiff, but the reason I don’t have one is because she wanted a cat.

BE: Sure, that seems fair.

DB: That’s a whole different relationship kind of issue, you know what I mean? It’s not specific to the show, but that’s how it worked out.

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Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XV

Do “Mystery Science Theater 3000” fans engage in fierce debates over who was the better ringleader – Joel or Mike? And if so, does it ever get ugly? A little bit of MST3K (as the cool cats refer to it) has always gone a long way for me. I’ve never been able to grasp how this gimmick lasted for as long as it did, since it requires 90-plus minutes of your time for each installment; while the concept of heckling bad movies is novel, you still have to sit through the bad movies. Often times the fare would be considered unwatchable if not for all the slings and arrows lodged in the direction of the movie screen. Of course I realize that’s the whole point of the thing, but if the gimmick isn’t working, as is the case about half the time with MST3K, it can be a torturous way to watch a bad movie.

The latest set from Shout Factory collects four more installments, from different eras of the series. Judging by these episodes, Mike would unquestionably win the proposed fan debate, as neither of the Joel offerings are anything to write home about. “The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy” comes from very early in the series, and it’s just terrible. I swear I didn’t even laugh once. “The Girl in Lovers Lane” is somewhat better, but the difference is negligible. The third offering, “Zombie Nightmare,” is an absolute scream – everything that this show ever did well is encapsulated in their lambasting of this terrible ‘80s film featuring Adam West. The final entry is called “Racket Girls,” and while not quite the standout the previous title is, it’s still pretty good stuff, although you’ll be able to safely slip off to the bathroom from time to time, and likely not miss anything special. Regardless, MST3K has such a devoted following, I can’t imagine fans of this show will be satisfied until every single episode is available on DVD, and therefore my stick in the mud antics carry very little weight whereas this series is concerned.

Click to buy “Mystery Science Theater 3000 XV”

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