Lisakudrow, Lilytomlin, Friends

Lisakudrow, Lilytomlin

A Truly Bonkers Conversation Between Lisa Kudrow and Lily Tomlin

Two comedic legends talk tests, antibodies, and getting that 'Friends' money.

7/30/2021 11:35:00 PM

Happy Birthday, LisaKudrow! Below, revisit her conversation with LilyTomlin where the comedic legends discuss everything from antibodies to Friends .

Two comedic legends talk tests, antibodies, and getting that ' Friends ' money.

Long Shot. In fact,Space Forceisn’t even Kudrow’s first Netflix show of the year. In March, she appeared as a series regular inFeel Good, an intimate dramedy about a recovering addict (Mae Martin) trying to gain back control of her life. Kudrow recently caught up with her friend Lily Tomlin to discuss their starts in show business, getting that

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Friendsmoney, and working together onGrace and Frankie. (She was in that, too.)———LILY TOMLIN: Hi, darling. How are you doing?LISA KUDROW: Good. It’s so thrilling to hear your voice.TOMLIN: Are you staying in and being healthy?KUDROW: Yes. Have you left the house?

TOMLIN: I go to the mailbox, and I’ve gone twice to pick up food, but I pleaded with the young fellow to come and throw it in the passenger side of my car.KUDROW: Did he?TOMLIN: Yeah, he was great. I have a lot of inner conflict about paying people to deliver to me. They do it because they’re young and they want the money, which is good, but the fact is I never know their history. I don’t know if any of them have contracted the disease. Anyway, Jon Lovitz talked you into going into show business. Is that true?

KUDROW: Well, he didn’t exactly talk me into going into show business, but after I graduated, I decided to give it a try. So I let him know, and he said, “Go to Groundlings [an improv and sketch comedy theater].” I called they up, and they said, “No, thank you!” That’s exactly what happened. I was at my dad’s office, and they said, “So when’s the last time you performed?” And I said, “I think junior high school.” And they went, “Uh-huh. Take some improv classes and then come audition.”

TOMLIN: I think I remember seeing you there. I had gone to see, who was a friend. Did you work there at the same time as him?KUDROW: No, I was just after him.TOMLIN: Didn’t you come out and do a thing? I remember a tallish blond, who had on a kind of prom dress, and you were very, very funny.

KUDROW: It wasn’t me.TOMLIN: [Laughs] It wasn’t?KUDROW: I wasn’t blonde.TOMLIN: You dye your hair?KUDROW: Yes, my hair is your color.TOMLIN: Oh my goodness! How have you dealt with the lack of someone to dye it? Do you dye your own hair?KUDROW: I’m wearing a hat.

TOMLIN: I have a couple of streaks of white, they’re just sort of peppered in there, because I don’t color my hair and I don’t have that much gray hair. I always wanted to have white hair like my mother. Her hair turned white in her 40s.KUDROW: My mom, too, but she colored her hair, so I never saw it.

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TOMLIN: Oh, did your mother pass away?KUDROW: She did pass away at the end of February.TOMLIN: No! This year?KUDROW: Yeah, just before the insanity.TOMLIN: The COVID.KUDROW: For all I know, that’s what she had.TOMLIN: Oh my god. Well in February, I got the flu. I’ve never missed a day of work, but I had the flu and I ended up missing three days of work on

Grace and Frankie. My assistant was sick about the same time, and he went and had the test, and he had COVID, and he had antibodies. But I don’t have any antibodies. When I got tested, I was negative. But that was a few days ago, so I could easily have gotten it since then. That’s what worries me about testing. You could easily have it the next day and not even know it.

KUDROW: You mean the virus test?TOMLIN: No, I had the blood test looking for antibodies.KUDROW: The problem is, those tests aren’t reliable.TOMLIN: So it may be that I have antibodies, and Paul, my assistant, doesn’t have antibodies.KUDROW: Or you both do, because you both had it.

TOMLIN: Or the tests got mixed up.KUDROW: [Laughs] Or you both do and you both had it, but the test wasn’t sensitive enough for you.TOMLIN: Well, has your father died, too?KUDROW: No, he’s alive and well.TOMLIN: Is this where you’re getting this specialized medical information?

KUDROW: No, I’m on the board of a hospital system—UCLA. So I’m listening to updates.TOMLIN: Well, how great. I’m so glad I found this out. Everybody will be calling you for advice and information.KUDROW: They’d be smarter not to, because I’m not actually a doctor, and I don’t really know anything. I’m, like, the “celebrity member.” You know everything, too. It’s in the news.

TOMLIN: I don’t know anything. I get a little bit of information from the news, but I have a friend who’s a doctor, and he fills me in on his own theory of things.KUDROW: Is that how you got the test?TOMLIN: No, no. I got that because I’m a celebrity.

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KUDROW: [Laughs] So you got it a while ago?TOMLIN: I was sick just at the time everybody started becoming aware of the coronavirus here in the States. And you know how there’s a show business doctor who does your tests before you sign onto a series?KUDROW: Right.

TOMLIN: So I’ve known the woman for a fairly long time, and she’s been very kind to me, so she came over and gave me the test.KUDROW: That was the blood test looking for antibodies?TOMLIN: Yeah. They drew my blood.KUDROW: Because there weren’t tests of the viruses in February.

TOMLIN: No, but this was about two or three weeks ago. That’s how I found out about Paul.KUDROW: Oh, so you had different tests at different labs, different everything, you and Paul? Okay.TOMLIN: Yeah, different labs.KUDROW: You might want to go to the same lab he went to, see what they find.

TOMLIN: [Laughs] Yeah, I will. Maybe I had antibodies. But by now, they’ve probably disappeared from my body. Anyway, this is—KUDROW: Fascinating! This is what the whole article’s going to be about.TOMLIN: Oh, I hope not.KUDROW: Did you have to shut down

Grace and FrankieTOMLIN: Oh, yeah. We shut down March 12th.KUDROW: You were in the middle of shooting.TOMLIN: We completed four-and-a-half episodes. And now we’ve started doing table reads to kind of keep the process of developing the scripts up to speed. It gives the writers something to do.

KUDROW: This is the last season, right?TOMLIN: Yeah.KUDROW: How do you feel about that? It’s now your interview.TOMLIN:Jane [Fonda]and I feel okay. They’re just hoping we don’t die before the season can get handled. I don’t feel like I’m ever going to do die. I mean, if you felt like you were really going to die, you’d be more mature than I am.

KUDROW: [Laughs] That’s what they say: “Lily Tomlin? She’s immature.”TOMLIN: I have to talk about all the shows you’ve done.KUDROW: No, you don’t. Just the ones you feel like.TOMLIN: Well, I want to talk aboutWeb Therapy, because I got to do that one with you. I just adored doing that show. If it ever gets resuscitated, I have my costumes. I’m ready to go.

KUDROW: Well, we’re trying to find a streaming home for it right now. And we may have.TOMLIN: If you do, don’t forget Putsy.KUDROW: [Laughs] You were unbelievable.TOMLIN: Here’s how it started out. I was onLaugh-In, and, god knows why, Ernestine [the Telephone Operator] became a huge character. But you, well, you started off on

Mad About Youas Ursula Buffay—who didn’t have a twin sister until you went toFriends, and played Phoebe Buffay. Then they folded Ursula in as Phoebe’s twin sister, which is the kind of thing I live for.KUDROW: You live for playing twins?TOMLIN: Well, I played twins with Bette Midler in a movie. But that’s not the point. The exciting part is that Ursula’s life continued between

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