If you’re a parent of young children–or have been at some point–you’re probably enjoying Christina Applegate’s latest successful TV venture “Up All Night.” The ABC sitcom, co-starring Maya Rudolph and Will Arnett, proves that the truth about parenting is stranger, and much funnier, than fiction. All three of the stars are in the midst of raising young children in real life, as are three of the series writers.
In the April issue of Parent & Child magazine, Applegate (who’s also covering the April issue of Health magazine) admits that sometimes moments from her real life with baby daughter Sadie Grace, 1, end up on the small screen. “For instance, the birth episode included a lot of what I actually experienced. I didn’t mention this to anyone else while it was going on, but I turned pushing into a competition. In the back of my head, I needed to be the person who pushed a baby out the fastest in history.”
That sense of competition may have helped the blonde beauty and breast cancer survivor land so many successful comedic roles, but Applegate tells the parenting magazine she didn’t come by her sense of humor naturally. A self-described “tough” kid, Applegate says, “My mom was dealing with being a single parent, and there wasn’t a lot of humor at home. To be honest, I learned humor from Katey [Sagal] and Ed [O’Neill] when I started working on ‘Married with Children.’ They are very funny people. Before that, I was pretty serious. I think that’s why they hired me for that show. They wanted tough.”
Segal and O’Neill must be seriously effective teachers, as Applegate has become a staple in sitcoms and in classic comedy films like “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” Thankfully for Applegate, that humor has managed to find its way into her personal life with fiance Martyn LeNoble and baby Sadie, who’s “a much harder critic than the public” any day.
Says Applegate, ”I talk to her in silly voices. She loves it when I imitate a monkey—she starts imitating a monkey, too. Every day there’s something different that she thinks is hysterical. And you try to use it again and again, but then by the third time, she doesn’t find it funny anymore. So we’re constantly trying to invent new ways to make her laugh.”
Sound familiar? Do you think your own parenting moments could inspire a great television comedy?