In The Mix

Mad Cap

Stars come out to poke fun at the late-night scene.

Mike Flaherty
  • Brandon Schulman

Ali Wentworth’s star-studded Rolodex is coming in handy on Nightcap, her Pop TV spoof of late-night talk.

The creator–writer–executive producer also stars as Staci, the head booker at the show-within-a-show, “Nightcap with Jimmy.” She’s kept frantic amid a whirlwind of celebrity egomania and the idiosyncrasies of her coworkers.

So far, the guest list has come largely from that Rolodex. “Mariska is one of my best friends, I know Gwyneth very well, I know Sarah Jessica very well,” she says, referencing some of the first season’s standout performers. “It was me calling on all my girlfriends.” (If you need to know, that’s Hargitay, Paltrow and Parker, respectively.)

Paltrow’s episode was an exercise in riotous self-ridicule, in which she lampooned her reputation as a purveyor of self-help products (as Wentworth puts it, “her thousand-dollar smoothies and vagina steaming”) and indulged in some casual kleptomania for good measure.

Wentworth has been pleased and relieved to find that, far from having to be persuaded, her guest stars have been “absolutely” game to poke fun at themselves. “They’re so used to talking about the same things over and over. I let everybody play and ad-lib a little,” she says.

Season two, which bowed June 7, features the likes of Alec Baldwin, J.J. Abrams, Debra Messing, Rachael Ray and Brooke Shields. But the show’s actual talk-show host will remain unseen — at least until the series finale, Wentworth says. “But that’s not going to be for a while.” 

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine, Issue No. 6, 2017