Michele Merkin knows men. She teaches them how to be good cooks in Style Network’s Foody Call, she dodges their balls in Extreme Dodgeball, and she made their Top 100 in Maxim. And that ain’t all. She’s talked love on VH1’s Love Lounge, talked money on NBC’s For Love or Money, and is even the Nintendo videogame character Joanna Dark in Perfect Dark. So c’mon, does anyone know men like this gal. Plus, she’s smokin’ hot, super cool, really funny, and smart than you, me and your brother put together. So I thought I’d ask her some man-centric questions to see if she was really as knowledgeable as I hoped she’d be. And guess what? She is.
How are you at dodgeball?
Well, I’ve been dodging balls my whole life, which everybody has probably already heard.
I got to work with Zach Selwyn, who is on G4’s Attack of the Show, and love his work. As far as my dodgeball skills go, probably not so great. They were really great back in third grade, but I haven’t really gone out to the court and played since then. There’s a lot of diehard dodgeball fans though and, um, they really don’t have a lot going on in their life. What are they doing? But, hey, some people play basketball, some people play dodgeball.
Have you ever been hit by a a runaway rogue dodgeball related accident while filming Extreme Dodgeball?
No, I haven’t been in any dodgeball related accidents as of yet, but when I do you’ll be the first one I call.
Thank you. I’d like that exclusive. What do you do on Foody Call that turns these men around?
I take heroes and make them into zeros.
Does being a great cook really help a guy get laid?
That was the whole concept of the show but I gotta be honest with you, most girls I know don’t really eat. The way to a woman’s heart is definitely not through her stomach. Maybe through a nice gift? Flowers work better.
So money is the way to a woman’s heart?
I’m not saying money, but sentiment and thought. But the show was more about someone taking the time and effort to cook a meal for you, it’s not really the meal itself.
What is your favorite flower?
What is that?
It’s white and fragrant and very expensive.
You went to school in the UK as a kid, right?
I did, I went to boarding school there for two years and, yes, I wore a uniform.
Okay, well, that’s my next question.
Let’s just get that out of the way. Kilt, agile sweater, socks, saddle shoes.
Were there big differences between school in the UK and US?
Yeah. Like, Latin was part of the curriculum as someone who’s 12. Romance language, basis for French and Italian. It’s a dead language now basically, so it did me a lot of good. I think it’s something all kids should learn since no one speaks it. Unless you go into medicine, which of course I didn’t do.
You did the voice of Joanna Dark.
I was Joanna Dark. Chopped my hair off, dyed it black. I became Joanna Dark, it was my later ego. They had the game first, but for some reason they couldn’t find a brunette to play her. I mean, how many brunettes are there in the world?
I don’t have an actual number on that, but I’ll get back to you.
I’m not sure why I got the job but it paid a lot of money and I got to go to all these weird conventions, like E3, and sit and sign autographs as Joanna Dark. People would come and wait in line for two hours to get Joanna’s autograph. It’s like going to Disneyland to get the guy who plays Mickey Mouse’s autograph.
And you’d sign as her, not your real name?
Yes. And they’d say, “It’s so great of you to take time off your mission to be here today.” One guy asked me to sign his arm with a Sharpie and posted it online the next day: “Joanna Dark signed my arm.”
You did a lot of TV commercials. What is the most embarrassing commercial you appeared in?
There’s one but it’s so embarrassing I might not want to talk about it.
I did a Playtex commercial.
Ooooh. Do you remember your lines?
Yes! “Working out just wasn’t working out. I need a pad but Meg only had tampons. Playtex Gentle Glide. And I’m like, "Pads are like diapers.” And she’s like, “No, they are so comfortable you can’t even feel ‘em.” And you know what? She was right. They were so comfortable I couldn’t even feel it!
Who talks about a tampon like that? So comfortable you couldn’t even feel it! That’s like bad sex or something.
That commercial must have really scarred you since you remember every line from it.
Yeah, and I only had to say those lines 5,000 times. And then there were the shots of me in the gym punching the bag and doing fake karate.
If you had to do an advise column for men, what would you tell them?
There’s not really much you can tell a guy because you hear but you don’t listen.
And we know everything.
It’s weird, sugar, you know nothing. Not you specifically. I’m sure you know lots of things.