Thursday, October 6, 2016
Rhonda Shear comments on Caroline and the hostess switch of 1991
Rhonda Shear sent a note to the Shear Fanatics Yahoo group on January 12, 2008 to comment on how she was hired to replace Caroline Schlitt as hostess of Up All Night.
"I never even met Ms. Schlitt. Here is the real deal. She was hired in 1989, after the show was starting to do well with Gilbert as host on Saturday from NY. She became the west coast host on Friday night. She was not a standup comic, but did have comedy improv experience. I personally thought she was very good in that area. For some reason, upper management at USA wanted to go a little sexier with their Friday night host, so they held a huge audition on the west coast. I had been doing stand up comedy for some time then, so when my agent told me about the audition, I went for it ... in character ... sexy dress and all. Most girls were wearing business suits for a typical host job, and I was in a red spandex dress. Three months later I was hired. They let go of Caroline and Tim Conway, Jr. (producer). They brought in Tommy Lynch to produce me. After that I had six different producers over seven years. I was on from Jan 1991 till December 1998, when Barry Diller bought the network and they cleaned house with programming. The reason the show had many looks over the years was multiple producers, including the least sexy being in NY for the last two. Had a ball during those years, in spite of creating a bimbo image that followed for years. :) Love and sizzle kisses (yes, I created the up in up sitting in my kitchen with producer Tom Lynch). Our little show was a cash cow for the network."
Gary’s notes: I’m not so sure that Caroline was never a standup comic. I don’t know what Rhonda means by "up in up", but I think she’s referring to her voice inflection.