ELLEN, TRANSCRIPT OF MARG’S INTERVIEW
December 7, 2005
Ellen: Our first guest plays crime scene investigator Catherine Willows on TV’s number one drama, CSI. Please welcome back Emmy winner, Marg Helgenberger!
Marg: I love your set!
Ellen: Thank you!
Marg: My husband’s Jewish so we have the menorah and some Christmas stuff.
Ellen: Do you have something that size? (points at a giant menorah)
Marg: No, but you know, maybe this year.
Ellen: I have more.
Marg: Side by side.
Ellen: Yeah. Now, so you don’t do wreaths or anything like that?
Marg: Ummm. No. I do a tree and some of the decorations inside the house. I don’t do lights out front.
Ellen: That’s…it’s a hassle.
Marg: It’s a hassle and he thinks, you know, I think it’s a little bit too carnivalesque for him. You know. Not me. I love them. I think they look fabulous.
Ellen: Well, I appreciate it, but it’s a lot of work to do it and to take it down. Same with the trees.
Marg: I know. It’s always kind of sad..
Ellen: You know, they should make disposable ornaments so that they kind of –
Marg: They probably do.
Ellen: So you can throw everything out at once.
Marg: Some people get new lights every year. Do you?
Ellen: Uh, no.
Marg: (laughs) Why?
Ellen: Yeah. And I love your husband, Alan, who’s a really great guy.
Marg: Thank you. Thank you. He says ‘Hello’ to you.
Ellen: Hello back to him. The last time I saw you was at the Emmy’s.
Marg: That’s right. Yes. Which you were great…
Ellen: Thank you.
Marg: You do such a great job of hosting all of those shows.
Ellen: Thank you very much.
Marg: Are you doing the Oscars this year?
Ellen: Not this year. Maybe next year.
Marg: Yeah. I’m looking forward to that.
Marg: Yeah. Backstage actually. You were getting ready to do a little bit outside the ladies room (laughs). And your peeps were keeping everybody back because of the bit or something, and you saw me standing there waiting and you said ‘Marg! Come on through!’
Ellen: “Well, it’s the middle and everybody’s trying to rush. The only time you can get in and out is at a commercial break and the bathroom is like a mile away.
Marg: Yeah. Yeah.
Ellen: And so all these women were just stuck outside while we were about to shoot and I saw her (points to Marg) go ‘I just need to use the bathroom really quick’ and no one was letting her in. I was like ‘Let her in! Go to the bathroom!’
Marg: Well, I was presenting with Quentin Tarantino that night and prior to the show, we had been backstage and we had a couple of beverages so…he’s…he’s a good time.
Ellen: Uh huh. Yeah.
Marg: He’s adorable. I really like him.
Ellen: Yeah. And when you say beverages…
Marg: Um…there was some, a little imbibing…
Ellen: Like a Pepsi or something.
Ellen: Yeah, right.
Ellen: And, um, when did this happen that…It didn’t happen very recently, but the plane scare that you uh…
Marg: Uh, that was about a month ago. Yes, I was going back to Omaha – I’m from that area – to do this benefit for breast cancer and um…you can’t get to Omaha on a direct flight, nonstop flight. So we had to change planes in Dallas…yeah Dallas. Got lost in my own story here. Um anyway, the plane was taking off on the runway and the two tires on the right side burst. Yeah. It was a little hairy, but only hairy for about 10 seconds because there were just rims so we were skidding to a stop off…
Ellen: So, you just felt yourself go …(makes a tilting motion)
Marg: Yeah, it burst and then like a couple seconds later, the other one burst because the impact caused the other one to burst. And anyway, I was traveling with this friend of mine, Robert, and he at first said, ‘Oh my God’ and then after we stopped and everything was cool, he said ‘ I wonder if they’re going to send out the little exit slides’. You know, the blow up kind. They didn’t. We had to wait for stairs and the old-fashioned way.
Ellen: Is your friend ten? (audience laughs)
Marg: (Laughs): At heart he is. Yes.
Ellen: He just wanted to slide.
Marg: It’s be kind of fun, wouldn’t it? Bouncing around…
Ellen: It sure would. He can go to one of the places outside of McDonald’s. You can bounce around on those things all you want.
Marg: (Laughs). He’s going to kill me for telling the story probably.
Ellen: Well, that’s good that his attitude went right to ‘It will be fun to slide down a plastic slide’
Marg: After being, you know, kind of terrified. Yeah, absolutely.
Ellen: And so then it was the hassle of trying to get on another flight…
Marg: And then it became just a colossal pain in the you-know-what. (Audience laughs). Yeah.
Ellen: So, your show is on…is this…
Marg: You can’t escape us, I know!
Ellen: Is it on in 177 countries?
Marg: That’s what they tell us. Yeah.
Ellen: And there are – what – like a hundred and (gets drowned out by applause)
Marg: Thank you. Thank you.
Ellen: How?….So that’s like 16 countries that it’s not on in.
Marg: I guess. That’s what….yeah.
Ellen: Where are you not on?
Marg: We’re not on in the Middle East and Cuba, I think, is the only country in the Western Hemisphere that doesn’t have CSI.
Ellen: That’s amazing. So everywhere you go, you must get recognized.
Marg: Yeah, pretty much. That kind of trips me out from time to time. We were in Paris this last summer – with Alan, Hughie, and one of Hughie’s friends and were at the Musee D’Orsay, which houses some of the most magnificent, impressive paintings that you can have and umm, it just always freaks me out when people just stop you and want to take your picture as opposed to looking at a Van Gogh or something. And I actually got chastised by the janitor because I was blocking a hallway or something. And I can’t speak French but it was like (says something loud and unintelligible that is supposed to be French). Like I had something to do with it!
Ellen: Oh! He didn’t say that to you, did he? (Repeats it) How dare you, sir?!
Ellen: Wow, yeah, well I guess that is a little weird when people are going crazy over you and there’s a Van Gogh behind you that uh…
Marg: Pop culture. Seems to reign.
Ellen: Well, no, congratulations though. That’s huge for you.
Marg: Oh no, I’m not complaining. Really, I’m not. It’s a great problem to have.
Ellen: It’s a wonderful problem to have. Yeah.
Ellen: We have to take a break and we’re going to come back and play a game or I’m going to quiz you on something. I’m not even sure what I’m doing. But when we come back, I’ll know.
Ellen: We’re back with Marg Helgenberger and so you’re going to…I’m very impressed with this. Have you been a fan of the World Wrestling Entertainment for a while?
Marg: (Laughs) I have to give you my gift first though.
Ellen: Oh, you do have a gift for me?
Marg: Yeah. I know it was on your wish list. Just what you wanted, the CSI Board Game.
Ellen: Yes, I did! Thank you!
Marg: The reason I brought this to you – other than giving you a gift – is today, starting today on eBay, you can bid online for this particular game, the one millionth copy of this game, which is signed by the cast and the proceeds benefit the Star Light, Star Bright Foundation, a children’s (applause drowns out the rest).
Ellen: Oh, that’s great. Thank you. Thank you!
Ellen: And I would like to give you my one millionth tissue.
Marg: Thank you! (Laughs, blows her nose, and stuffs the tissue in her jeans pocket)
Ellen: You’re welcome! Take it!
Marg: Thank you!
Ellen: You’re welcome! One millionth…
Marg: Yeah, one million…
Ellen: That (referring to Marg’s used tissue) will be on eBay later also, if you’re interested. All right so…
Marg: I interrupted you. I’m sorry. WWE, you were saying…
Ellen: Yeah. No, you can always interrupt me to give me a gift. I don’t mind. WWE, is that what it’s called?
Marg: Mmmhmm. World Wrestling Entertainment. Well, let me clar…I’m not really, well I shouldn’t say that. I’m a fan, sort of, by osmosis, because my 15-year old son is, you know, completely enamored with it. I even took him to Wrestlemania 21 down at the Staples Center. Can you believe that? (laughs)
Ellen: No. I can’t. It’s very popular, I know that. So, we’re going to quiz you. We’re going to show you a wrestler and you have to guess who it is. Okay?
Marg: All right. I’ll do my best.
Ellen: So, this wrestler won the World Tagteam Championship earlier this year with his partner, The Hurricane. Who is he? Is he Batista, Rosie, or The High Pressure Cold Front?
Ellen: He is Rosie! That’s right! All right. Originally from San Diego, this wrestler debuted in the WWE in 2002. Who is he?
Marg: Oh, I know who that is.
Ellen: Oh. Tell me.
Ellen: Yes, it is Mysterio!
Marg: He’s fun. He does a lot of flips and stuff.
Ellen: Yeah, he looks fun.
Ellen: When this lean and mean ice machine isn’t kicking butt and taking names, he loves chestnuts on an open fire. Is he Lil’ Snow, Big Jin, or Fluffy? (a picture of Ellen’s cartoon snowman mascot is shown)
Marg: What was the last one?
Marg: Lil’ Snow, Big what?
Ellen: Lil’ Snow, Big Jin, or Fluffy?
Marg: (Laughs). Uh, Fluffy?
Ellen: No. Tell her who it is.
Audience: Lil’ Snow!!!!!
Ellen: It’s Lil’ Snow!
Ellen: (laughs) That’s all right. We’ll keep him away from you. He’ll very very mad. He’ll be very disappointed.
Ellen: CSI airs on Thursdays at 9:00 on CBS. Everybody in the audience is getting Season 5 on DVD.
Marg: Merry Christmas!! Happy Chanukah!!