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Not only was Courtney Thorne-Smith not mad at Norm Macdonald for making a mockery of her upcoming film Chairman of the Board during a classic 1997 interview on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, she was grateful.
The actress was a recent guest on an episode of Inside Conan: An Important Hollywood Podcast where she was asked about the moment, since it had gone viral after the shocking, heartbreaking death of Macdonald in September.
The late comic-actor had everyone in hysterics while a guest on O’Brien’s show along with Melrose Place star Thorne-Smith, who was there that time to promote the soon-to-be-notorious Carrot Top bomb Chairman of the Board. Macdonald had a field day mocking Carrot Top and the film with one zinger after another.
Thorne-Smith told Conan writers Mike Sweeney and Jessie Gaskell on the podcast she knew at the time that the film was going to be a dud and was not sure how to sell it while a guest on the talk show.
“So when Norm started going, it just felt like a relief to me … because that was not a project of great pride for me,” Thorne-Smith admitted on the podcast. “And I had to promote it. I was so happy when Norm took it and ran with it because I didn’t know what to say. It was a gift. I was beside myself I was so happy.”
One such Macdonald quip was, “If it’s got Carrot Top in it, do you know what a good name for it would be? Box Office Poison. I’m going to go see it for Courtney,” he said, along with another clever jab at the title, “I bet the ‘Board’ is spelled ‘bored.'”
On the podcast, the actress explained that she took the film because she wanted to do comedy after the heavy character drama of Melrose Place. And Courteney Cox had done the successful Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which she considered to be just as silly as Chairman of the Board.
“It is one of those things — [the script] read as funny. I had high hopes for it,” Thorne-Smith said. “The experience wasn’t great, and I thought, ‘This is not going to be what I hoped.'” She added that the O’Brien interview was the high point of her Chairman of the Board chapter.
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