“I read my name in the paper, and I read that I’m going back,” the Chicago native said last week. “But nobody has called me and said, ‘This is the time you show up. This is what’s going on.’
“The most important people who should be saying that, they’re not saying that. I called Whoopi [Goldberg] the other day and asked, ‘Am I coming back?’ and she said, ‘Child, I don’t know what’s going on!’
“It’s OKto print that. I’m trying to get in touch with Barbara Walters to find out.But unless you sign a contract, and you’re actually siting in a chair on that set — having been given a date to show up — then it’s all just talk.”
But it’s not as though thecomedian and entrepreneur will be off TV for long. As host of the Cooking Channel’s new “Holy & Hungry” show, debuting at 9 p.m. Sunday, the multi-hyphenate entertainer is combiningtwo of her greatest loves: God and good cooking.
“I love to eat and I love to experiment with food. When they approached me about it, I told [the Cooking Channel producers], ‘You know I don’t know how to cook, right?’ But then when they explained the concept of the show, I said, ‘I am so in! I get to watch other people cook, and get in there and let them teach me the rudimentariesof what they’re doing. Then I get to eat it!”
During her years on “The View,” Shepherd made no secret of her commitment to Christianity, “so the concept of faith coupled with people’s profound passion for food and cooking really worked for me. … Then, on top of all that, I can bring my funny to the equation. So faith, food and funny made it all work for me.”
The initial six episodes of “Holy & Hungry” findShepherd jumping into a wide variety of kitchens — representing the spectrum of the world’s faiths.
“We really mix it up and show how all sorts of people infuse their faith into their food,” said Shepherd.
“Wehad a Greek Orthodox couple. I definitely learned how to cook kosher.We had a Muslim man — actually the Muslim chaplain with the New York Police Department — affiliated with a halal butchery.
“In New York you’d see signs for halal meat all over the place, and I never knew what it was,” said Shepherd. “I learned how they kill the animals as humanely as possible and that halal is all about butchering meat that has no impurities or disease in it — so those impurities will not be passed on to their fellow man.”
One of Shepherd’s favorite episodes involved “a man who used to be a break dancer — before he became a Catholic priest! He did some dance moves for us, right in front of the church! … Then he went on and showed me how to make sausages before going back to the seminary and counseling people.”
Along with “Holy & Hungry,” Shepherd has quite a full professional slate. In October she is featured in her first dramatic acting role in the film “Woodlawn.” In January, she’ll appear in “Ride Along 2” with Kevin Hart, plus “I’m working on another book, I’m about to start my comedy tour and I’m always on QVC selling my wigs,” said Shepherd. “So, frankly, a part-time thing on ‘The View’ would be great. I could fit that in for sure!”