David Spade returned to the Stern Show on Monday, checking in with Howard for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The iconic entertainer’s visit coincided with the release of “The Wrong Missy,” his Adam Sandler-produced Netflix comedy which spent much of the weekend resting comfortably atop the digital streamer’s most-watched charts.
“Your movie, now airing on Netflix, is number one worldwide,” Howard told David on Monday. “Thank God there’s a quarantine. You’re not even going to be able to leave your home right now.”
“I can’t step foot in Cambodia now,” Spade joked after hearing the news.
David told Howard he was worried at first because he couldn’t locate the movie on the Netflix platform, but within a few days fans from across the globe were sharing social media stories about how much they enjoyed the movie. “People from all over the world started sending a photo, saying it was number one wherever they were — Guatemala, Austria, Germany, Brazil, Japan. So, that was really fun. The whole weekend was all really good news,” he said.
As thrilled as David was to shoot “The Wrong Missy” with his friends in Hawaii and have it become one of the most talked-about movies on the planet, he conceded there is a downside to starring in a digital film. “The only not fun thing is you can’t go to a theater and watch with people,” he told Howard. “You can’t even celebrate or get excited and go out to dinner. You’re just like in your house going, ‘Hey, I got a text! Number one movie in the world? Holy shit!’ Anyway, I’m back eating my Trix.”
David offered up plenty of praise for his “Wrong Missy” collaborators, from Sandler and Netflix’s hands-off producers to the film’s talented cast. He co-starred alongside several known talents—including “Saturday Night Live” veteran Rob Schneider, comedian Nick Swardson, actress and model Molly Sims—as well as rising star Lauren Lapkus, an actress and improv comedian who played Spade’s love interest.
Lapkus has previously appeared in “Jurassic World” and co-starred on “Crashing” and “Orange Is the New Black,” but Spade admitted her part in “The Wrong Missy” might be her biggest role to date. “This was a full-lead movie, so the whole thing was riding on her. It was a bigger situation than probably she’s been in,” David said.
Howard enjoyed her performance and wondered what the casting process was like. “The focus was, if I’m the straight man in it, who is going to be Missy? Who is going to be the one who acts crazy? It’s very hard to find that because it all sort of rides on her,” David said.
He went on to explain that several established actresses vied for the role, but Sandler ultimately suggested going with a lesser-known like Lapkus. “With Lauren you don’t really know what to expect, so everything that happens is sort of fun,” David explained.
“She killed it. You couldn’t have picked a better person,” Howard said.
“She was very up for anything and really worked hard,” David agreed, explaining her performance borrowed from comedy greats ranging from Jim Carrey to Chris Farley. David also mentioned Farley while imagining what an “SNL” Dream Team might look like. He told Howard the starters might include Farley, Sandler, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Phil Hartman as a “utility guy.” Tina Fey and Norm Macdonald, meanwhile, could handle Weekend Update duties.
“What about Bill Hader?” Howard wondered.
“God damn, it’s too hard … Jan Hooks I love, too. She’s so good,” he said.
“What about poor Chris Rock? You left him out,” Howard continued.
“Chris might be hosting—you don’t know, we haven’t said it,” David laughed.
Keeping with the sports theme, Howard and David said they’ve both enjoyed ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance” which chronicles the career of basketball superstar and cultural icon Michael Jordan. While watching the show, David couldn’t help but remember working with Jordan in 1991 when he hosted “Saturday Night Live.”
“I did one sketch with him, but I was really new … He came in and he was very, very cool. I didn’t want to bug him—you know, he’s meeting 50 people,” Spade said. “I was in a sketch where we were all white guys and we didn’t want him on our basketball team because he was black.”
Looking back on that day recently, David shared a photo of him and Jordan on set. “It was really a fun one,” he told Howard.
Celebrity run-ins have been a reoccurring theme with Spade on the Stern Show. In past visits, he’s regaled Howard with hilarious anecdotes about everything from exclusive Oscar shindigs to running into the “Cash Me Outside” girl on the street. While the onset of the pandemic has made hobnobbing with Hollywood’s biggest stars trickier, Spade assured Howard he still chats with plenty of A-listers on Zoom. On Sunday night alone, he apparently connected with rock star Lenny Kravitz, Netflix head honcho Ted Sarandos, and actress Cameron Diaz, among others.
“Everyone just wants to look at everyone and see what they’re doing. Just voyeurism, I guess,” David said.
Spade said he’s also shared Zoom calls with stand-up stars like Dave Chappelle, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, and Sebastian Maniscalco, leading Howard to wonder if comedians were expected to entertain the other celebrities during virtual hangouts. “Do they put you on the spot?” he asked.
“Sometimes, you know, if it's Julia Roberts or Tom Hanks you feel bad. You feel like they’re sitting back going, ‘Hey comedians, do your jobs, clowns,” Spade said. “So, we sometimes do jokes.”
“Listen, you talk but you don’t want to talk over each other,” he continued. “I don’t talk that much. I try to wait to have something to say, but it’s fun—everyone talks about different things and then you just sort of fade out.”
Spade said they sometime talk business, too. In one recent conversation, drummer Lars Ulrich was intent on figuring out how he could keep Metallica going during quarantine. In another, several comedians bemoaned the fact their next booking was still months down the road. “Everyone is throwing everything out there to see how you can continue,” David said.
Howard could understand why. “People are hurting, there’s no way to make a living,” he said.
One of Spade's comedy pals has a gig in June and co-host Robin Quivers wondered if David would consider returning to stand-up so soon. “I don’t know. Tan Mom might open—this is what it’s down to,” he laughed. “I don’t know because you also don’t want to be the guinea pig that goes up there and goes, ‘David Spade did his show and everyone died.’”
David also opened up to Howard about the future of his late-night show “Lights Out,” which Comedy Central recently halted production on. “I started doing it in the, you know, pandemic in my place and was interviewing people and they said, ‘It doesn't look like we're bringing you back,’” Spade said.
Howard was dismayed by the development, but Spade said he’s shopping the show around to several other places and it may yet find a home.
“Listen, I like the show,” David said. “It was hard to do but I like it. If one of these two places wants to do it we will do it, but if not I might do some version on my own.”
Considering David has millions of followers online, Howard wondered if he could simply put his show on social media. His guest admitted it was something he has considered. “Most of the stuff on Instagram does better than a cable show because cable shows can get between 200,000 to 700,000 viewers and you’re like, ‘I can get that on a video … if that’s what they’re really after,’” he said.
Before letting his guest go, Howard did have one final question regarding the casting rumors he'd heard about a new series based on Netflix’s popular “Tiger King” documentary. “Do you want to play Joe Exotic?” Howard asked.
Instead of a yes or a no, Spade responded with a quick Joe Exotic impression. “Carole fucking Baskin!” he yelled, referencing the real-life tiger enthusiast who will reportedly soon be portrayed by Kate McKinnon.
In truth, while David said he did recently have fun interviewing several “Tiger King” cast members, he was less than enthusiastic about the prospect of actually portraying Joe Exotic on screen. “It’s sort of a hat on a hat,” he told Howard. “It’s already funny. How am I going to make that funnier than it is? Because they’re playing it like an ‘SNL’ sketch.”
Watch "The Wrong Missy" now available on Netflix.