NEW YORK — Who hasn't rolled her eyes at her mother? Alexis Stewart certainly has.
The 43-year-old daughter of Martha Stewart and her co-host, Jennifer Koppelman Hutt, 39, earn a living by poking fun at the how-to queen both on television and on the radio.
"Whatever, Martha!" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the Fine Living Network. It was recently picked up for a second season. There's also a daily radio show on Sirius called "Whatever! With Alexis and Jennifer."
The pair talk about the half-hour show, their relationship and Martha misconceptions.
How did the TV show come about?
Stewart: "Martha can't sleep, which I think is common knowledge. So she's up in the middle of the night trying to use a television as a sleeping aid and she was obsessed with 'Mystery Science Theater' and she said, 'You girls should look at my shows and talk like those little guys.' And that's what happened."
It's funny you refer to your mom as Martha.
Stewart: "Yeah, I don't know why. It's not some Freudian thing. I feel like there was a moment in a crowd as an adult I felt weird yelling, 'Mom!' "
One reason the show is interesting is because it is about Martha Stewart, who has a reputation for perfection, and you're making fun of her. Do you ever have a problem with that?
Stewart: "I think at the beginning it was hard to let go. But now we do and we leave it to the editors to take out the stuff that's unacceptable. Anyone who pretends that they don't make fun of their mother is just not telling the truth."
What are some of your favorite Martha moments from TV?
Hutt: "There's one where she does a linen closet and tacks labels in tiny frames on each shelf. It's just so over the top. It was her dream to have this perfect linen closet. And there's an episode where Martha teaches somebody how to load a dishwasher."
Stewart: "I like when she demonstrates how to transport a potted plant while wearing Hermes pants and uses enough packing material to move a whole house. But we're just moving one plant. Really you just put the plant in a truck and go."
How do you think your mother got her reputation?
Stewart: "I think it's something that started without her. It started I think as an envy thing and she makes you feel inadequate, so it's easy to think that she doesn't have a sense of humor, and it has never been her intention to make anyone feel that way. It's only her intention to teach, which can be irritating. But if you're tuning in, that's what you're looking for."
At what point did you realize your mom was an icon?
Stewart: "It still doesn't register. She's the same person she always was."
Two episodes of "Whatever, Martha!" will air on the Fine Living Network beginning at 9 p.m. Wednesday.