Zap2it: As NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night” premieres Thursday (July 11), are you surprised it fit so perfectly into your schedule, given your now-ending Broadway run in “Annie” and your return to start filming “Glee” soon?
Jane Lynch: It sure did, and “thank you” to Fox for letting me do it. That was pretty huge of them, and I love them for it. It is a labor of love, this show.
Sean Hayes (an executive producer of the game show) is a good friend of mine, and I’ve been to his Hollywood game nights. And they’re notorious. He plans them out meticulously. They’re always fun, and it’s always a mix of people, civilians and celebrities. You shake hands to meet, and then you’re in a blood battle, and that’s exactly what happens here.
Zap2it: Just how tough is the competition?
Jane Lynch: The questions aren’t about Tolstoy or any kind of literature or far-flung scientific theories. It’s all about pop culture. You need to be up on your Madonna and your Oprah and your Brad Pitt, your movies and your songs.
Zap2it: How do you find everyday people as they compete with familiar stars?
Jane Lynch: The funny thing is that the whole delineation goes away immediately. It’s about the game and about winning. I lead the game by asking the questions and telling what the rules are – and enforcing them. I’m a cheerleader and a shamer at the same time.
I’m not a big game person. I don’t sit down and play cards or Scrabble, but I love game nights, and I love to encourage the competition.