Having a Blast with those Sitcoms Stars from the Past!
Transcript from October 14th, 1998; when Lisa Whelchel (Blair) appeared on the Jenny Jones Talk Show.
Lisa Whelchel played stuck-up Blair on "The Facts Of Life."
Dianne and Willie listening to Lisa.
Jenny Jones: Here's Lisa Whelchel. You still have that beautiful hair.
Lisa Whelchel: Oh thank you. It's from the same bottle.
Jenny Jones: Did you used to get mail about your hair because I imagine at that age.
Lisa Whelcehl: yes, it was histarical because it was all bought and paid for, I have very stringy brown hair, and it is amazing of what a little bottle can do.
Jenny Jones: so you were on the show for 9 years, the whole running of the show.
Lisa Whelchel: yes
Jenny Jones: How did you get the job?
Lisa Whelchel: I just auditioned for it, i was so nieive that uh i didn't even know what a pilot was, when i was auditioning for a pilot. I was actually offered at the same time a definite role on another show that was on the air. One of the girls had a drug problem and asked me if I would want to replace her, and I said no this Blair character looks like much more fun.
Jenny: so then you took a chance on a pilot than actually getting a paying secure job.
Lisa: Yes that's right.
Jenny: And you lucked out, because it was a very successful show. Do you keep in touch with other cast members?
Lisa: Yes, occasionally, but mostly i stay in touch with Nancy McKeon, she comes over and plays with my kids.
Jenny: How old where you when you started?
Jenny: So you also went through some of your teen years on tv.
Lisa: Oh yes that is pretty well documented.
Jenny: But they weren't your best years you say.
Lisa: No, no but for whom quite really, but for whom the best teen years.
Jenny: Are you out of television now?
Lisa: Yes, i am a full time mom, with 3 children, 6, 7, and 8, and i um home school them.
Audience member: Lisa what was the show that you turned down?
Lisa: What was the name of that show, it was with Kim Richards, ah Hello Larry. Which didn't run much longer, it went off the air the next year.
Jenny: Would you also tell the audience of the trip you are planning to take?
Lisa: yes i am very excited, we call it the family dream and we are going to leave in the year 2000, summer, and my husband is going to take a year off work, and we are going to take our kids around America, a history tour of America, and at the same time I will be promoting my book that I am writing, and really that is just to pay for the gas for us to be together as a family and learn about America.
Jenny: We went out in the streets, in Chicago, and asked some people about the show, let's see what they have to say.
Singing people: you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have the facts of life, the facts of life.
Person: The girls on the Facts of Life were in boarding school, but never went to class, did you ever goto school?
Singing People: When the world never seems, to be livin up to your dreams and suddenly your finding out the facts of Life are all about you.
Person 2: How much hair spray was used to make Mrs. Garrett's hair so big.
Person 3: Blair was so full of herself in Facts of Life, did you have a problem in real life that people were thinking you were stuck up.
Jenny: Oh, that's a good question, and you were really good, and that's probably how people think you really were.
Lisa: Yeah i think they did, and it didn't actually last that long, because i don't act like the character, look like her, she's is actually taller than me. I have brown hair and a texas accent. So it didn't take them more than five minutes to realize that I am not her.
Audenice member 2: I recall a period where several of you had a problem with your weight, and it seems that you where having it all at the same time, was there something with the show that caused you to go through that?
Lisa: No, it was adolescence, and we were all going through adolescence at the same time, and it was just video taped.
Jenny: These kind of shows have guest stars, I've read that some where George Clooney guested on your show.
Lisa: No, he was actually a regular on the show for a couple of years.
Jenny: Was he as hunky then as he is now?
Lisa: No no, he was not a hunky, he was cute, very cute boy, but it wasn't till later that he got a little older, rounded and grey hair then he became a hunk, but at that time he was just very fun.
Jenny: Who else guested on the show?
Lisa: It seems like almost everyone I see on tv I can turn around to my husband and say, oh they were on the show, and they were on the show, the website has a list of them, and it really even surprises me.
Jenny: What Website?
Lisa: for the Facts of Life.
Jenny: can you give us the address?
Lisa: oh, i don't know, probably the factsoflife.com
Jenny: If you want to find it, get on our website @ Jenny Jones.com and we will and we will link you on to that website.
Lisa: you know what, why don't you just link me on to my website at lisawhelchel.com, and have it go over to the Facts of Life, and we'll do this linking thing.
Jenny: We'll do like a web fest, we have tried to get this man to be on the show for years, when we come back, Gary Coleman from Diff'rent Strokes.
Jenny poses with the entire panel of former sitcom stars.