If you were a young man in the early 90s, then you no doubt tuned in to the warm glow of the of the boob tube on Friday nights — your dial locked on the USA Network. The program was Up All Night. It was a racy show featuring a sexy host named Rhonda Shear.
Up All Night consisted of low-budget films intertwined with comedy skits and commentary by the hosts. These B movies were the best of the best and vice versa, yet considered “classics” to fans of the genre. Even more importantly to those like us we got to hang out with Rhonda Shear.
All these years later the show is still talked about. It was too edgy for the time and that’s why it worked.
Is the era of B movies and late night television hosts officially over? We needed to know.
So we asked Ms. Shear if she’d like to answer the barrage of fanboy questions brewing in our ever present 13 year old minds. Here’s what she had to say in this exclusive interview with 40oz. Of Horror.
Rhonda, you have an incredible list of credits in numerous movies and television shows. Can you touch on what film or part has been most memorable to you?
Basic Training was a lot of firsts for me as a film actress, so I’d say it was pretty memorable. I actually got topless in a couple of scenes and had to call my parents to make sure they were ok, everything was written out in contracts after contracts, so I learned a lot about how things come together in the movie business. I ended up having a great time making that movie and appearing in many others over the years! Of course USA: Up All Night was me, being me and I had a blast every episode!
We are so excited to have this opportunity to contact you — we were huge fans of USA: Up All Night. How did you originally get involved with the USA network and get that hosting gig?
Well, my agent got me to the casting, I guess USA was looking to make the show edgier and funnier to attract more viewers… The casting was packed out and I knew it would be a tough crowd with so many incredible women gunning for the part….. So instead of showing up in a business suit with a resume like the other girls, I showed up in a bright red spandex dress with a blowdryer in my hand. I always say, get their attention, then show them your talent, and that day it totally worked!
Did you have any idea how popular the show would become or of the cult impact/following it would have all these years later?
Yes, knew it would be hit! People needed something to watch besides news and cartoons to relax after a long work week. Pretty quickly the show was paying the bills at USA and we were getting thousands of fan letters, so we knew we were doing something right! I guess I got a few guys through puberty, but seriously I love all my fans; you guys have been so awesome throughout my career!
What was your favorite movie you showed as host?
Basic Training was fun to show because I was in it, not sure what was the worst (there were certainly a few that were so bad- they were good)
I guess A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell because the name was hard to say…
What are some big differences in the 1980s/early-’90s film industry as compared to today?
I guess today is different just because the world is so small, everything is available on Nexflix or Vudu or Hulu or Roku + online. Movies also make a lot more and cost a lot more to make; it is a huge industry! There will always be comedies, dramas, action films, but I guess we got away from the B-movie genre a little- I also think its coming back! I hear all the time, especially from people who grew up with my show, and they are now producing/ writing and directing the types of films we watched on USA: Up All Night!
What made films from that era so distinctly special? Or is it just in our heads because because we’re total fanboys?
Mindless entertainment! Because they were not too serious, you could walk away for 15 minutes, and come back without missing anything + girls in binkinis every other shot-why not? I think these types of films give people an escape – the technical expectations are low and you can just have fun watching, like background conversation pieces! There are some real entertainment gems in the b-movie world, and I loved watching them while frolicking in lingerie and talking about them to my fanboys on set!
USA network was really pushing the envelope showing sexploitation flicks on Up All Nite. Did you guys receive any backlash or praise for showing these flicks?
No real backlash, and I think the fans were always happy! Because it wasn’t primetime we could get away with a lot (the network shotcallers were probably already asleep when we were on air) + most of the actual nudity was edited out, we just showed enough to get viewers thinking then let them take it however they wanted. I don’t think I could get away with a lot of those shows today, but I had a blast on the show!
How much input did you have with the skits on the show and which was the most memorable?
I had as much say on episodes and costuming as I wanted which was fun. We had great writers and an amazing crew so we just went with it and tried to keep people entertained and tuned in!
Is the era of the late-night movie host officially over? Why?
I don’t think it will ever go away! I really think there is a resurgence of those late-night/ raunchy/ slasher type movies some are even more mainstream. I am actually working on a few projects now, one of which is bringing UP All Night back on my Roku channel, RhondaShearTV…. Stay tuned!
Do you still keep in contact with Gilbert Gottfried?
Yes, actually I just sent him some panties last week…. Heehee! Gilbert is great though and we have continued to run into eachother over the years.
What are you current passions? What are you working on?
Thanks for asking! I have a lot going on right now- my line of lingerie/sleepwear/shapewear/
Thank YOU and Sizzle Kisses!