By: Denise Warner
Meet your new best friend, Bridget McManus! From The Jeff Probst Show to her current gig on The Queen Latifah Show, this grounded, multi-talented and hilarious comic sat down with us to chat about her amazing career, her adorable relationship with her wife and why Queen Latifah is the coolest celeb on the planet.

Bridget, it's been so long! I'm so excited to be talking to you! Can I just tell you how awesome it was this past March when I was back in Florida, to turn on the TV and see you there, right in my living room where you should always be?
I know! It's been forever! And aww, that's so sweet of you to say, thank you! I just love my job. It's fun and exciting and unpredictable every day. What more could you ask, right?
You're taking the "talk show sidekick" to a whole new level. You started out on The Jeff Probst Show and now you're on The Queen Latifah Show. How did you land such a sweet gig? Did you audition?
I did have to audition, but some of the people from Jeff's show actually transitioned over to The Queen Latifah Show, so they threw my name in a hat, which gave me the opportunity to be considered. However, being the warm-up act - which I did for The Jeff Probst Show, and I do for Last Comic Standing - the producers allow you to make a taping of your act. They watch to see how you vibe with the audience and jive with the show. So, I did that, sent in my stuff, they went through their process and they finally picked me. Now, I get to do it every day and it's just fantastic.
That's so great! As usual, you are so "off the cuff" funny, so I'm wondering, do you have to prep or prepare jokes and lines for the live tapings or is it really as off the cuff as it appears?
Yeah, so much is playing off the audience. It's a bit off the cuff and because it's daytime TV, your material has to be clean because you never know what kind of audience you'll have, depending on the guest scheduled, so there could be families or older people. But every day we have morning rehearsals and I get a script, so I know if there’s going to be, say, a disco segment and I know I'll have to get everyone out of their seats dancing.  Oh, like wearing an elf costume to distribute gifts that Kathy Griffin was giving the audience! I swear it was a child's costume that they squeezed me into! As far as the warm-up gig before the show, I do a little prepping. I try and keep it different every time. Sometimes I bring candy to throw out into the crowd, sometimes, I'm rolling around on the floor. In my prep I have to include some stretching! Don't want to pull anything!
It sounds like the best gig because it really allows you to be you.
It is. I love that they give me that freedom to keep developing my voice. I've always been good at emceeing and hosting different things, like I did the Sweet Cozumel trip and hosted The Gay Games in Cologne, Germany a while back. With this, every single day, I have another group of 200 + people from all over the world to entertain. It's not the same thing as working in a comedy club, where the lights are dim and you're doing your routine night after night. This is so different! The lights are up, you're very exposed, and every day, it's like, "Let's just have fun, pure fun!" and that tone is set by Queen Latifah. She's all about having fun, having a good time, making people smile.
I read somewhere that The Queen Latifah Show has been renewed for another season, which is fantastic. What kinds of things can we expect to see this year?
Yep! We got renewed for a second season and we start shooting in September.
Can you share anything that may be new, or something we can expect?
We're kind of having a new production team over there and a new show runner, so things may be a little different, but I'm sure it's going to be cooler and even more Latifah...

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    _JULY 14 issue  

“I feel comfortable watching myself on screen being funny or making fun of myself. I mean, maybe it’s because I was mocked as a kid for being overweight so I got really good at picking on myself before anyone else could.”

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