Ricki Lake has served two stints as a syndicated talk show host — but when she was first starting out, she was so naive that she almost did the gig for next to nothing.
Ricki hosted her first talk show, Ricki Lake, from 1993 to 2004 before going on to host The Ricki Lake Show from 2012 to 2013. In a new interview with Paolo Presta for his YouTube show A Spoonful of Paolo, she says that she once was desperate enough to take almost no money her first time around.
"Honestly, I needed the money so badly when I got the original talk show, I was like, 'I'll just do it for $5,000.' I tried to negotiate my own deal at $5,000. I mean, seriously."
To answer the question you might be contemplating, yes, Ricki ended up signing a real contract with the help of a real agent. Her show went on to be a huge success for Sony Pictures Television, with ratings in the daytime talk field that were second only to Oprah's. And all this when she was only 23 years old and known mainly as the girl who first played Tracy Turnblad in John Waters's Hairspray.
When Ricki revived her show, it lasted only one season, but she went out with a bang. In June 2013, she was one of the biggest surprise winners at the Daytime Emmy Awards, where she took home the award for Outstanding Talk Show Host, besting the likes of Steve Harvey, Anderson Cooper, Dr. Oz, and Rachael Ray.
But she never had the chance to give an Emmy speech because she was traveling in Ibiza at the time and didn’t think she had the slightest chance of winning. So, in her interview with Presta, she finally gave the speech that she'd always wanted to give.
Now Ricki is returning to the work she's most passionate about — creating documentary films. She's currently working on Weed the People, a film that examines the medical usage of cannabis, particularly among families and children.
You can help Ricki finish the film and start this movement by donating on the Weed the People Indiegogo site.