Radio personality Cat Noel, half of the popular morning radio program, The Darwin & Cat Radio Show, displays her unexpected domestic side on ABC’s hit reality program Wife Swap airing Wednesday March 5. Pink haired, tattooed disc jockey Cat switches places with a workaholic 56-year-old traditional wife who runs a pet crematorium.
Darwin and Cat’s listeners, who are used to the DJ’s frank, comedic personality, will be startled to learn that Cat has been married to graphic artist for almost fifteen years and is the mother of a 12-year-old son. But they won’t be surprised that Cat’s sense of humor shocks her “new family” and clashes with the very serious business of their pet funeral and crematorium business. But as her listeners know, Cat has the wit and charm to save the day: Recognizing her host family’s lack of communication, she strives to bring the father and daughter closer together using the improv comedy skills she honed in Los Angeles theatre and brought with her to the Darwin and Cat Radio Show, which airs mornings on Albany Broadcasting’s WMZR 104.9 The Edge.
Helen Yu, the Los Angeles entertainment attorney who has represented Cat Noel for the past decade says, “Cat is one of the most innovative and funny comedic actresses and on-air personalities in the marketplace today. She has been honing her skills practically since birth. I know her episode Wife Swap will be one of the funniest and most memorable in the show’s history.”
Reality shows can be challenging for the participants. In Cat’s case she was away from her family (“the punk rock Cleavers,” as she describes her home life) and job for two weeks and had to live a very different life than her own. Plus she had to reveal parts of her life that previously she had kept private from her audience. As Cat writes in her blog, “Wife Swap chased me down. When do I talk about my home life? What do I do? I decided to keep the family thing under wraps until the show was about to premiere.”
Cat’s entertainment attorney Helen Yu, who represents talent on reality shows as well in other capacities, recommends the following points remember when contemplating appearing on a reality show:
1) Make sure you understand what all the legal terms mean. There may be words like “force majeure,” “indemnity,” “representations” and “warranties” that you should be aware of. If you don’t understand ask–preferably a lawyer;
2) Understand that any show will have carte blanch to check into your background, including typically financial, criminal, and even medical records;
3) If you are on a “game show” type reality program, you must make sure to keep up the confidentiality provisions of the network, or they may be able to pull the fees paid, prizes won or other remuneration received for your participation in the show;
4) Producers have the discretion to edit you and your situation and may portray you in a way you were not necessarily expecting.
Cat’s audience and fans of Wife Swap will have to tune March 5 to see how she handles the rigors of working in the pet funeral business and if she can make her host family as happy as she makes her own family and her listeners.