“I’m so tired … so tired.”
Whitney Cummings may say it with a smile, but you can believe her. A creator and executive producer of the CBS sitcom “2 Broke Girls” — which premieres tonight (Monday, Sept. 19) — the edgy stand-up comic also is creator, executive producer and star of the NBC comedy “Whitney,” which launches Thursday (Sept. 22).
“I have no business being on television unless it’s exactly what I do on stage as a stand-up,” Cummings maintains to Zap2it. “There’s no reason for me to be saying anything or doing anything that I haven’t already tested out. All this material that I’ve honed and developed while touring, now it’s time to put it into a show. We know it’s good and real and honest.”
On “Whitney,” Cummings plays a woman trying to navigate the seas of commitment with her live-in boyfriend (played by fellow comedian and longtime friend Chris D’Elia). She knows much more about that in real life now, since it’s only fairly recently that she acquired a steady beau.
Cummings also knows that despite the following she has on the comedy circuit, she’s a new face to much of the broadcast-television audience. And she’s OK with that.
“Lisa Lampanelli, via maybe Sam Kinison, has this quote that’s something like: ‘I’d rather satisfy the five percent that knows me than the 95 percent that doesn’t.” I would rather the people who know me, the people who have supported me thus far, be proud of what I’m doing and let the new people kind of catch up.”
Excited as she is about her new television prospects, “Comedy Central Roast” and “Chelsea Lately” standout Cummings laments having to cut back on the live performances that brought her fame.
“I have not been able to perform that much over the last couple of months,” she confirms. “I had a couple of dates over the summer that I did keep, like charity stuff. Luckily, I live in L.A., and The Comedy Store is very close by … so I’ve been able to sneak down there on a couple of weekends.
“For the most part, though, I spend my days at the NBC show. I’m done about 6 or 7, then I go home and read the notes from the CBS show and send them jokes and ideas, and I talk to Michael Patrick King (the ‘Sex and the City’ veteran who is Cummings’ creative partner on ‘2 Broke Girls’). By the time I’m done with all that, it’s pretty late, but sometimes I’ll find an hour somewhere to work on stand-up.”
And Cummings doesn’t foresee that changing, since she vows she’ll always stay mindful of where her bread was first buttered: “The reason I have these shows is because of my stand-up, so if that goes away, I’m dead in the water.”