Actress, comedian, and radio personality Stacey Prussman has been a regular guest on the Artie Lange show, and the Howard Stern Show, and is the host of PBS’s Emmy Award winning “Great Places to Live.” Stacey is also a nationally recognized motivational speaker on the topic of eating disorders. Mike met Stacey 12 years ago at New York Comedy Club. Mike calls her a “bright light as a person to me and everyone around her, and the most unselfish person I’ve ever met.” Stacey and Mike both appear on Artie Lange’s podcast every Thursday. They’ll be appearing on Artie Lange’s podcast from Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival next month, and they’re on tour together, with the “Don’t F*ck With Me” Tour with Evan Weiss and some other special guests.
Mike Bocchetti: I know you’re a great actress and comedian, I’ve worked with you for a long time, I know you for a long time. If you had a choice, which would you rather be, a comedian or actress?
Stacey Prussman: I like doing both. I like doing lots of different things, so they both fulfill a different need for me. As a comedian, I can really be myself; as an actress I can be other people; as a comedian I write jokes; as an actress I read other people’s jokes or script; so I can be dramatic as an actress. They both lend themselves to different parts of myself.
Mike Bocchetti: Stacy, given a choice, is there anybody you’d really want to work with? Is there anyone you’re star struck by?
Stacey Prussman: Besides Mike Bocchetti? (laughs) I’m a big musical fan– I don’t get star struck really by actors. Everyone wants to work with big actors like Meryl Streep, someone like that. They’re so amazing just to see them work, but, I think for me, I would want to work with Kate Bush, my favorite musician. I don’t know in what capacity, but I would like to collaborate on a project. Or if I ever do a scripted show, I would hire her to write the music for it.
Mike Bocchetti: You’re such a great dynamic performer, you light up a room and light up everyone around you. You also had a grandmother who was like that. Can you tell us more about your grandmother?
Stacey Prussman: My nanny? I always wanted to be a performer like my grandmother who was a performer. She was on Broadway in a show back in the day but back then they didn’t encourage women. Back in the turn of the century, women who were actors were considered bad girls but my grandmother was very talented. She sang, she danced, she acted. And as a child, I would do little plays in the living room with her, and it was just so much fun. My nanny and my poppy and I- we’d play on the organ and we’d sing songs. She died about eleven years ago. Amazing woman.
Mike Bocchetti: I know you do a lot of charitable work, with animal rights and other stuff. Whats your favorite charity you’ve worked with so far?
Stacey Prussman: Mike, you’re always saying to me, ‘you’re helping animals, you’re not helping your children.’ (laughs) I do, I have a passion for animals as you know, and the eating disorder [charity] is a big thing too. I do a lot of charity. I do speaking engagements as professional speaker and I donate some of my time with the organization. But I don’t have a preference. I love the animals, if I could help anyone with any ounce of talent that I do have…or business savvy… I do whatever I feel passionate about. Animals are a big passion of mine, not to diminish any other charities. And of course eating disorders, starving children, people suffering. I did a candlelight vigil outside of Chicago for an organization called ANAD, Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. It’s a big eating disorder charity. What we did was very bittersweet.
I did the keynote speech at this big event they do every year, and its for people who have recovered, and also for people who have lost people with eating disorders. So a lot of parents of people who died were there, and they spoke. So it’s really a wonderful thing because it shows you both sides of the coin. There’s recovery and there’s death. To see that mirrored back on both ends is very powerful, and i think it really helps people with their recovery. I think it would really get somebody really inspired to get better.
Mike Bocchetti: How much has political correctness changed your comedy?
Stacey Prussman: I probably am PC without knowing it sometimes just because I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. But I’m also very un-politically correct. I say awful things all the time, but I don’t mean it. I’m not a mean-spirited person, so it’s not coming from meanness or hatred. I grew up in a home that wasn’t politically correct, but they were kind. I think its what’s inside that counts. If you’re hurting somebody because you don’t like their religion or their race, or their color or their creed or whatever the hell they are, that’s one thing. But if you’re just saying things and meaning to be humorous without being hurtful, its different….We’re worried about the outside rather than what’s going on inside. And yes, we have to make sure that we don’t hurt somebody and bully them, but we also want to make sure we’re not being retarded (laughs) about it either.
Mike Bocchetti: The great Artie Lange loves you as a person. You add so much to the show. Tell me more about what its been like being a part of his show.
I love doing the show especially because I do it with Mike Bocchetti. But I love doing Artie. Artie’s such a genius of a comedian and he’s so quick. It’s fun to be on a show when you’re laughing at what’s going on. The whole way it flows, it’s such a great flow of energy, and its one laugh after another just being on the show. And watching Artie work, and watching him respond in his quickness, that’s a gift to have that as a comedian.