Exclusive Interview: Carrie Keagan from VH1’s “Big Morning Buzz Live”


VH1 is revving up for the return of it’s morning entertainment show, “Big Morning Buzz Live” on Monday, October 17 at 9AM. Live from the lobby of VH1’s headquarters in Times Square, host Carrie Keagan will talk to and about all the biggest headlines, celebrities, music and hot topics of the day. Five days a week, Carrie gets up close and personal with the most buzzed about celebs and candidly discusses trending topics with pop culture experts.

Carrie, it’s great to see you back on VH1 with “Big Morning Buzz Live”! For those who may not know, tell us a little about the show.

This is Season 2. It’s all things pop culture and entertainment. I’m hosting and it’s a lot of fun. I have to get up reeealllly early since it’s a morning show and it’s the first morning show VH1 has ever done. We’re having a blast. We have huge names stop by the show. We have live music, which is huge. Some of my friends are coming on to talk about things they’re into: fashion, food, health related stuff. It’s a little bit of everything. It’s not an unfamiliar format as far as a morning show goes, but it’s not your mother’s morning show. It’s a new breed. A younger version!

It is exactly what we would expect from Carrie Keagan – minus a few f-bombs.

(laughs) Yes! But it is live TV so you never know!

Tell me how you first became involved with “Big Morning Buzz Live”.

Lee Rolontz, who is the Executive Producer, and Tom Calderone who is the President here at VH1 have had this idea to do a morning show for quite a long time. I’ve been working with VH1 for a long time and when I caught wind that they were trying to do this morning show I said, “Do you guys have a host?” They said “not yet” and I instantly said “Pick me, pick me!” (laughs) I threw my name into the ring and here I am.

What can we expect from this new season?

It’s just gonna get cooler. Last season we were getting our feet wet. We were feeling around, seeing what we were doing. There will be cooler people coming on, better conversations, we’re going to get into some more stuff that I care about personally. I would like to give more of myself this time around. It’s a lot easier now because I know what it’s like to get up a four in the morning! (laughs) I know how to make sure I’m in bed at a proper hour. That took a lot of getting used to last season!

What time do you go to bed?

Eight. Sometimes I didn’t get to bed until ten. Oy! I felt it the next day. I’m in New York City! It’s so hard to go to bed early.

So basically you just said the last season pretty much sucked compared to what you’ve got planned for the new season.

(laughs) We had a blast last season and it’s just gonna get better. Because our show takes place right in the lobby of VH1, our backdrop is the elevators. You just never know who is going to pop out of the elevators. We did have a few surprises last season and it’s just gonna be better this season because now people know we’re on and we’re live from nine to ten every day.

Pop culture covers so much. Tell me about your show prep.

I’m an entertainment junkie anyway so I read a lot of blogs and I flip through all the magazines. I see as many movies as I possibly can. I like all of this stuff so I immerse myself in it. Once someone is booked for the show I’ll research them and get to know them a little better and pinpoint what I want to talk about. We have a brand new team this season and I’ve been told the research department is awesome.

You caught the world’s attention by interviewing celebs on NGTV.com and eventually that led to people wanting to know more about you. Next thing you know you’re all over the press, featured in Playboy, making appearances in movies and television…

You have been looking! (laughs)

What kind of ambitions do you have now that you didn’t have five years ago?

Lots of things. When I got to be in “Superbad” and “The Hangover”, those were little tastes of what it could be like. I got to be in the middle of working on a film and I loved being on set. It’s a whole different environment. It’s a totally different way of looking at the entertainment industry. I enjoyed that process very much. I did a season of Reno 911 and that was absolutely amazing. It was all improv. They knew where they wanted the scenes to go but they didn’t tell you how to get there. Those guys are so great. They are so good at what they do. They make it look so easy and it’s not so easy! (laughs) I like doing all that stuff but first and foremost I’m a host. I hope to be doing this all the time for a very long time. If I could last as long as Jay Leno or David Letterman I would be so happy. I don’t have to pretend to be anybody when I’m a host. I can just be me.

That’s what is so appealing about you as a host. It looks and feels comfortable, like you’re just hangin’ out and having fun as opposed to some major quest for knowledge.

There’s a time and place for all of that. If you want a really serious interview watch the Inside The Actor’s Studio or something. If you want to just feel what it’s like to have a beer with a celebrity then come over and hang out with me! I’ll introduce you to a whole new world of people you maybe didn’t even realize you like. There are celebrities I’ve interviewed for the first time and then I’m like, “Oh my god, they are amazing!” The first time I met Kevin Costner – I’ve always been a fan – but I had no idea how cool that guy was! I heard him swearing like a sailor and enjoying the whole moment. He was great. I hope to bring things like that to people all the time. Celebrities aren’t always to hard to reach. Like my show on NGTV – so close you can touch them. That’s what I want it to feel like whenever I’m doing an interview.

Did you have any habits from NGTV – besides the obvious one – that were hard to break when it came to working on “Big Morning Buzz Live”?

It is network TV and I can’t be swearing, but honestly VH1 has embraced me for being who I am. Other than Standards and Practices telling me I can’t say “fuck”, I can pretty much do what I do all the time. They haven’t tried to change me. They knew what they were getting into when they hired me! (laughs)

I remember we had talked before about your interest in promoting bands. You’re doing that now, I guess. Is there any part of that you’d like to explore more?

It’s funny you say that because I started thinking about that last season. They were so excited to have live music on the show because of that reason. VH1 has a thing called You Oughta Know and we get those featured artists on the show. I feel like I am bringing the audience new artists and people that you should get to know. So I am doing that artist promotion thing I always wanted to do – I just get to do it in my own way. That’s way more fun!

So what can we expect next from you? A book, a comedy tour, what else is out there?

I’ve thought about doing all of the above. Stand up comedy scares the crap outta me. I think that’s the most difficult thing anyone could do. But – because of that – I keep thinking that maybe I oughta try it. Conquer your fears! I have started looking into writing a book about my celebrity experiences at No Good TV. I’ll get more into that when I actually have something to talk about but I have been thinking about it. In the maybe-no-so-distant-future there will be a few things coming. But for now my hours are 4AM to 8PM, working on this show, enjoying the crap out of every morning. (laughs)

Carrie, I appreciate you coming by to talk about “Big Morning Buzz Live”. What would you like to say to wrap things up?

If you like your morning TV without a net, please tune in to “Big Morning Buzz Live” October 17th on VH1!