Kate's Notes

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy

Jennifer McCarthy’s (born November 1, 1972) boisterous frat-boy personality, and million dollar body gave directions to fame's easy street. From her first appearance in Playboy magazine in October 1993, and being named Playmate of the Year in its June 1994 issue, she turned her body into gold when she landed a co-host position on "MTVs Singled Out" in 1995. There she displayed her comedic genius and penchant for not taking herself, or anything else too seriously. This later jumpstarted her career in television and film, and most recently she’s displayed her talent for humor through several books about motherhood and the perils of pregnancy and motherhood.

Early Life

Born in Chicago, Illinois to a middle class Catholic family, to her mother, Linda, was a housewife, and her father, Dan McCarthy, was a steel mill foreman, McCarthy is the second of five daughters; her sisters are named Joanne, Amy, Lynette and Melissa. McCarthy lived on the Southwest Side of Chicago in the West Elsdon neighborhood, and she attended St. Turibius Grade School on Chicago's South Side. As a teenager, McCarthy attended Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School (whose school sweater she donned in the pages of Playboy) and was cheerleading captain at nearby St. Laurence High School, although she has referred to herself as an "outcast" at her school. Though she was voted the most valuable player of her high school softball & field hockey team.

After McCarthy graduated from high school, she attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale to study nursing. She needed money to pay for college, so she decided to submit her picture to Playboy magazine to make money. Her acceptance to the magazine would change her life forever.

Modeling and Acting Career

McCarthy was paid $20,000 for the photo shoot in October 1993's Playboy. In the months following her contract, Jenny won the Playmate of the Year title and $100,000 in cash and prizes. She left her hometown of Chicago in search of stardom, and landed in Los Angeles. McCarthy became the Playmate of the Month and later the Playmate of the Year. McCarthy immediately gained attention and popularity for the issue, and for a time, she hosted "Hot Rocks," a Playboy TV show featuring uncensored music videos.

In 1995, MTV chose McCarthy to co-host the new dating show "Singled Out" with Chris Hardwick. Her job as a host was a monumental success, and her fun-loving personality became the star of the show. In 1996, McCarthy landed a small part in the comedy The Stupids, directed by John Landis, which starred Tom Arnold, and Jessica Lundy. In 1997 McCarthy launched two shows. The first one was an MTV sketch comedy show called "The Jenny McCarthy Show," which was popular enough that NBC signed her to do a sitcom later that year called "Jenny"; however, "Jenny" was considered a disappointment and was quickly canceled.

With all the notoriety garnered from television, Playboy asked her back, time and time again. The Magazine wanted to further their relationship with McCarthy, and they offered her $500,000 for more of her nude pictures. She declined the offer, saying it wasn't the path she wanted to take. Playboy settled for re-run pictures of her for upcoming issues. In 1997, she appeared on one of two covers for the September issue of Playboy, the other cover had Pamela Anderson on the cover. McCarthy also released an autobiography: "Jen-X. McCarthy" and modeled for the shoe company, Candies. In one advertisement, McCarthy posed naked only wearing shoes and having her panties around her knees while sitting on a toilet seat; this created a media frenzy and a bit of controversy.

In 1998, McCarthy starred in BASEketball, which also starred Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame. She also starred in Diamonds, along side Kirk Douglas and Dan Aykroyd, and was directed by her husband John Mallory Asher. The next year, she starred in the popular horror movie Scream 3. Since 2001, McCarthy has guest-starred in many shows as "Stacked," "Charmed," "The Drew Carey Show," "Fastlane" and "Just Shoot Me!"

In 2003, McCarthy appeared in Scary Movie 3 along with model and actress Pamela Anderson. In 2005, McCarthy produced, wrote and starred in Dirty Love along with Carmen Electra. The same year, McCarthy hosted a new show on E! called "Party at the Palms." The reality show, which is filmed at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, features hotel guests, party goers and celebrities acting outrageously with McCarthy. In March 2006, she was given Razzie Awards for "Worst Actress," "Worst Screenplay," and "Worst Picture" for her work on Dirty Love, which also netted her then-husband, John Asher, a Razzie for "Worst Director."

Public Persona

Though McCarthy initially rose to fame because of her physique, her ability to outlast her other contemporaries is derived from her no-holds-barred toilet humor: particularly the shock of seeing a beautiful woman urinate, vomit, pass gas or pick her nose.

Another Candies ad which did not cause as much controversy found McCarthy passing gas in a crowded elevator. A sketch on her MTV show centered around her character, a well-coifed business woman, answering the question of "What did you have for lunch?" by forcing herself to vomit all over a table. The direct contrast of McCarthy's reputation as a sex symbol and this often grotesque humor is closely associated with her image. This image was taken to a new extreme in her film Dirty Love, which featured McCarthy's character sitting in a massive pool of her own menstrual blood.

However, McCarthy has used her image for not only her own good, but for the good of millions of women as well, through her series of books, which explains a very funny and factual account of what happens to a woman during pregnancy and while raising a child. Her inspiration for these books came with the conception and rearing of her son, Evan. Her books, Belly "Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth," "Baby Laughs: The Naked Truth about the First Year of Mommyhood," and "Life Laughs: The Naked Truth about Motherhood, Marriage, and Moving On" are a very honest look into what to expect with your first child.

McCarthy is also an occasional columnist for FHM magazine.

Personal Life

In 1993, McCarthy underwent breast augmentation to enhance her look as a model for Playboy, and in 1998 she took them out.

McCarthy dated her manager Ray Manzella for a short time in 1998. After breaking up with Manzella, McCarthy began dating actor/director John Asher. The couple got engaged in January 1999 and married that year on September 11. They have a son, Evan Joseph, born on May 18, 2002. In August 2005, McCarthy and Asher filed for divorce.

In a February 2006 interview with Howard Stern, adult actress Jenna Jameson said she had two sexual encounters with McCarthy. When McCarthy visited Stern's show in April 2006, she denied having sex with Jameson, but said she "made out" with her during the two encounters. McCarthy also took a lie detector test and passed the questions regarding Jameson. During the appearance, McCarthy also admitted to cheating on her ex-husband with men and women. However, in a later appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, she claimed they didn't cheat on each other.

In December 2005, McCarthy began dating actor Jim Carrey. They did not make their relationship public until June 2006, and they first appeared together in public at a media event on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2007 at the premier of Jim Carrey's film, The Number 23.


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