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Kelly Rizzo, TV personality and entrepreneur who is the wife of the late Bob Saget, is launching “Comfort Food,” a new weekly podcast in which she hosts intimate conversations with guests about life, love and loss — while tucking into emotionally comforting food.
In January 2022, Saget died at a Florida hotel at the age of 65. The comedian, known for his starring role on “Full House,” had just kicked off a new comedy tour.
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Rizzo, who married Saget in 2018, said the inspiration for the podcast came from her experience in the devastating days after his death. “I just remember being acutely aware of, ‘Wow, what this person did for me really made my day better,'” she told Variety. “I had never gone through the loss of a close loved one before. I started thinking, ‘How have I been helpful to people over the years?'”
The first two episodes of “Comfort Food” premiere Sunday, Nov. 19, and will feature Rizzo’s and Saget’s friends John Stamos, who co-starred on “Full House,” and Katie Couric, whose first husband, Jay Monahan, died in 1998. New episodes are slated to drop weekly on Sundays across all major podcast platforms.
Rizzo said the three main things that have helped her deal with Saget’s death have been good food, laughter and bonding with loved ones over memories. In each episode of “Comfort Food,” she hosts one guest who joins her to discuss their journeys with grief and life’s hardships, while they both partake in her interview subject’s comfort food of choice.
‘I figured, ‘Hey, if we’re having these difficult conversations, how can I make it as approachable as possible?'” Rizzo said. “I don’t want it to be a downer. I don’t want it to be a bummer. So let’s introduce my guest’s favorite comfort food.”
So what do Rizzo and her guests eat on “Comfort Food”? She said her favorite comfort food is pasta (“I grew up in a very Italian household”). The Chicago native declined to reveal the menus requested by her individual guests at this point. But she said some of the foods picked so far have included chicken pot pie, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, grilled-cheese sandwiches, lasagna, pasta Bolognese — and, in one case, an entire Thanksgiving dinner. One benefit she’s observed is that comfort foods tend to be “soft, mushy foods, which work well when you’re recording into a microphone.”
“Comfort Food” is produced by Wheelhouse DNA, the digital division of Jimmy Kimmel and Brent Montgomery’s Wheelhouse, for independent podcast company Acast. Fanny Baudry, Cassie Berman and Leah Sutherland serve as executive producers for Wheelhouse DNA. Rizzo also serves as executive producer. Wheelhouse DNA’s other productions include Spotify’s “Internet Urban Legends” and Discovery’s “Curiosity Daily.”
So far Rizzo and her team have recorded seven episodes, with another seven interviews scheduled over the next couple of weeks. She’s been most surprised at how willing her guests have been in sharing the most difficult experiences from their lives.
Some guests on “Comfort Food” have also been through the death of someone close, like Amanda Kloots, a co-host on “The Talk,” whose husband Nick Cordero died in 2020. Others have encountered a painful period in their life, such as a divorce or recovering from an addiction, Rizzo said. Among her first guests is JoJo Siwa, who hasn’t lost someone to her close “but has struggled a lot in her very young life,” Rizzo said. Guests on “Comfort Food” will also include “a ton of comedians,” Rizzo said, as well as some of her former cast members on Season 2 of Fox reality series “Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test.”
Rizzo said she is still mourning the death of Saget. “I don’t think it ever really stops,” she said. “It’s just evolved from this kind of pain and pit in your stomach to more of an acceptance. For me, the entire focus has been gratitude. From very early on, I felt immense gratitude that I got to be in his life at all. People said, ‘Kelly, it’s unfair — you got robbed.’ I refused to think of it like that. I feel so lucky I got to be in his life for six years.”
Rizzo is the founder and host of Eat Travel Rock, which started as a blog and was later made into a web series featured on the Food Channel. She has also hosted radio show “Rocking Right Now” and is a contributing host at NBC5 Chicago and VH1, and she appeared in a music video for Florida Georgia Line’s “Get Your Shine On.”
Listen to the trailer for “Comfort Food”:
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