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November 12, 2009

Paula Deen on the Bonnie Hunt Show!

I spent the afternoon today at....

The Culver Studios at a taping of....

The Bonnie Hunt Show! With special guests....

Fran Drescher and PAULA DEEN!

My friends JoAnn and Windy joined me for a Meetup event. We had such a great time! Bonnie Hunt is so lovely with so much class. We were given hot dogs and root beer, then later got to sample Paula's Banana Pudding. The audience warm up guy was great without being over the top, and once the taping got going, there weren't many breaks. The waiting area was outdoors but shaded and the weather was great, a little on the cool side of a crisp fall L.A. afternoon.

Fran Drescher was promoting a new skin care line she's bringing to QVC. My friends volunteered for a Fran-alike voice contest. After auditioning for a writer, they were put on the list to appear on camera! But Bonnie told a hilariously involved story during her monologue time that ran over, so the segment was cut and never taped at all. Fran is not my favorite actress, but is wonderfully human in person and was very warm and funny. I was more impressed with her than I expected to be.

The musical guest for the day was Dashboard Confessional, a new-ish group on the Alternative Rock scene. The band's lead was a former teacher, and it was neat that Bonnie brought out this everyday-side to a person who's obviously on an extraordinary ride. The audience was pleasantly surprised with plenty of swag today, taking home the band's new CD. The band was great, though loud (damn taping!). Just my type of music, so I lucked out.

Paula Deen appeared with her husband, Michael Groover, to promote their latest books, (his: My Delicious Life with Paula Deen, hers: The Deen Family Cookbook) and each audience member was given a copy of both of them! They have a great chemistry together, reminding me of my Aunt Rita and Uncle Mel. They demonstrated a recipe from Michael's book, Bayou Banana Puddin'.

Paula and Bonnie graciously greeted audience members while off-camera, during commercial breaks or after the show. I can't speak highly enough of their kindness or appreciation.

Here's how to get tickets if you'd like to go see Bonnie. Let me know in a comment on the blog if you've ever been to her show, or if you try the following recipe from Michael's book.

Bayou Banana Puddin'
by Michael Groover

One 8 oz. pkg. Philadelphia cream cheesse
One 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
One 5 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
3 c. cold milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
One 8 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed
Half a 12 oz. pkg vanilla wafers
4 bananas, sliced

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping.

Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch dish with the vanilla wafers. Arrange the sliced bananas evenly over the wafers. Spread with the pudding mixture. Top with the remaining whipped topping. Chill for at leat an hour and a half.


  1. From Trudy Walker via email:

    It sounds like you had such a great time. It's always nice to know that people you like on TV are actually as nice as you had hoped. Thank you so much for sending this blog Ellen.
    It's just great!! Can you see how green I am??? LOL

  2. Ooooh! What a fun day! I would have loved to be there. I've never seen the Bonnie Hunt show, but it sounds like a great time. I'd love to come to LA someday and take advantage of all your hook-ups and connections! ;)

  3. I love the Bonnie Hunt Show!!! How awesome!


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