Oversexed, overbearing and over here, US duo Ronna & Beverly make the stars squirm on their new talk show
22:08 GMT, 28 September 2012
Ronna Glickman and Beverly Kahn are loud, opinionated Jewish housewives from the US, who fire questions and quips, and might even end up on a guests lap
David Walliams looks browbeaten, Sue Perkins is stumped for words, and Jon Hamm shuffles uncomfortably in his seat.
All have appeared exposed and vulnerable at the mercy of Ronna and Beverly, hosts of a new chat show.
Ronna Glickman and Beverly Kahn are loud, opinionated Jewish housewives from the US, who fire questions and quips, and might even end up on a guest’s lap. Jon Hamm obliged for Beverly.
Their disarming technique encourages
celebrities – Fern Britton and Michael Bolton appear in forthcoming
episodes – to often hilariously open up more than they expected.
‘We ask questions many people don’t ask,’ says Beverly. ‘That can put them on the back foot.
They don’t have to say anything they don’t want to, yet they always do.
‘We ask questions people really want to know. Do I want to know about their individual sexual interests Absolutely.’
Ronna chimes in, ‘People go on these
shows with rehearsed stories and their publicist approves what they plan
to say. We don’t do that. If you’re willing to be here, you have to do
it our way.’
Behind the clever disguises are
thirtysomething comedy actresses and writers Jessica Chaffin and Jamie
Denbo, who age themselves 20 years with wigs, wardrobe and make-up.
They stay in character for our chat,
and beneath the disguise I discern a good-looking duo who make
frumpiness strangely attractive for the first time since Mrs Merton.
‘I look good in every colour so I
like to wear every colour, at the same time,’ says Beverly. She’s a riot
of bad-taste patterns and sequined Uggs, while Ronna is fond of leather
trousers and animal-print tops.
Chaffin (Ronna) and Denbo (Beverly)
satirise Jewish neuroses and obsessions the wider world has always found
funny. But their fearless comic style can make for uncomfortable
‘Why is it racist to pay a
compliment’ pleads Beverly. ‘If I say a Vietnamese woman gives a better
manicure than a white woman, why is that racist Her tiny hands can get
in all the nooks and crannies.’
They have forthright views on British
dressing habits, too. ‘British men don’t have to be gay to dress gay,’
says Beverly. ‘They don’t mind wearing a pink sock or a pink shirt.’ As
for our women, ‘Would it kill them to try something on before making a
purchase’ asks Ronna.
‘English women buy what they want,
not what looks good on them. Many people want to wear a short skirt, but
should they No. They make inappropriate choices for their body types.’
The pair promise they do love us
though, especially our comedy. ‘It’s a more intellectual exercise over
here, more value is put on verbal sparring,’ says Ronna. ‘That’s fun for
‘Smartness and silliness are both a
priority for us,’ says Beverly. Now I get it. And the British public
will too… you don’t even have to be Jewish.
Ronna & Beverly is on Monday at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.