John Rich and Wayne Brady on 'Rich at Night' (TVGN)
"Rich at Night," a special premiering Monday on TV Guide Network, is a star-studded variety show filled with the Big & Rich crooner's friends in the country world and beyond. And it takes place right in the 39-year-old's Nashville home.
"I thought, man, it'd be cool to have my own show someday and have fun with that. And then I thought, hell, I should just have that in my own house," he told Yahoo TV. "And it just so happens that my house is a little odd as houses go. In Nashville, people come in and they say, 'John, I can't believe you've got a bar in your house!' And I say, 'Oh no, cousin, I have a house in my bar.' Sure enough, they come up through the third floor and there is a full stage, full bar, lights, PA, floor-to-ceiling glass looking right at downtown Music City, USA."
But the ambiance isn't all "Rich at Night" has to offer.
"Granny Rich is downstairs with her cigarette, Pabst Blue Ribbon, frying the turkey," he teased. "Upstairs, I've got Wayne Brady, Gretchen Wilson, Wynonna Judd, Kix Brooks. John Ratzenberger from 'Cheers' is actually at the end of the bar drinkin' beer."
"Cheers" isn't the only classic show to get a shout-out from the new special. Rich admits he looked to previous successful variety projects including "Hee Haw," "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In," "The Dean Martin Show," and even "Playboy After Dark." Getting stars to step out of their comfort zones is part of the key, Rich said. That's exactly how he got Wayne Brady to sing with him.
[Related: John Rich's Guide to a Country Thanksgivukkah]
"Wayne got serious talking about his music and his roots of music and all that. I said, 'Are you a country music fan?' He says, 'You know I am, John.' I said, 'Well, why don't you get up on the stage and sing a little something with me?' I made him sing 'Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy' with me. … It's stuff like that that happens when real life goes down. When you have a party or you're hanging out with people, the conversations are happening back in the corners. That's how this show rolls."
Similarly, Judd turns up to talk about her new line of shoes. But, rather than just showing off the footwear, "we actually pull women out of the audience and put the shoes on and do catwalks up and down my bar.
"This is like no other holiday special you have ever seen, I can promise you that, complete with bikini-clad girls on the roof of my house."
Speaking of things you're not likely to see anywhere else, check out John Rich giving us his 8 Tips to a Country Thanksgivukkah, along with a little ditty he wrote just for us:
"Rich at Night" premieres Monday on TVGN at 8 p.m.
- Arts & Entertainment
- John Ratzenberger
- Wayne Brady