Empty Nest is now on Laff TV! To celebrat
ENO: My favorite “Maxine” episode is the one where her mother, played by Marla Gibbs, visits. What was that like for you?
Marsha: I love Marla, and it was a great experience to work with her. When it came up who would play my mother, it was very interesting. A lot of names came up that I didn’t think anyone would ever consider. Ruby Dee. Della Reese. For some reason, it didn’t work out for Empty Nest, but Della did play Roz’s aunt on Night Court. But when Marla was available, that was great.
ENO: Do you have any favorite episodes or scenes?
Marsha: There’s the biggest laugh I think I’ve ever had, anywhere, and I didn’t really have it. It was Marty Pollio. He played a mime. I walked up to the audience, and I did something, and he did something. I don’t even remember what it was, but it stopped the whole show. The audience laughed so long, we had to retake it because no laugh could last that long on TV. Whatever it was, it just got the biggest laugh. I remember the laugh, but I don’t remember what I did to get it. Isn’t that strange?
ENO: I’m learning a lot of interesting stuff in this interview series with one simple question: Do you have any favorite behind-the-scenes stories to share?
Marsha: Well, there was never really coffee in my coffee cup. It was always Coca-Cola. And there was one episode I had to smoke, and I wasn’t smoking then, so that was pretty interesting. But it wasn’t a problem. For some strange reason, I managed to get through it, and it didn’t make me crave smoking or want to go back to it. Other than that, I don’t know. Nothing goes on behind the scenes!
ENO: In the finale, we didn’t get much closure for Maxine. So if the show were to get the reboot treatment that seems to be the trend today, where do you think she would be?
Marsha: She’d be Surgeon General. No doubt about it!
ENO: Let’s talk about the present. You’ve been away from the spotlight for a while, but you’ve literally stepped back into it recently and are doing stand-up once more. What made you decide to take the stage again?
Marsha: I want to. There’s never any good reason to get into show business except you want to. It’s just something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, so I decided to give it a shot.
ENO: And how’s it going so far?
Marsha: It goes like it goes when you’re new. Sometimes it’s great; sometimes it’s not so great. And you’re always your own worst critic. That’s just the process. It’s like asking how rivers flow. They flow like they flow, so you just ride with it or you get out of it.
ENO: So what’s next for you?
Marsha: Stand-up is what I do, so I’ll pursue that and let it take me wherever it will.
To see where stand-up takes Marsha, follow her on Twitter @MarshaWarfield.
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