She's an Emmy Award-winning writer ("Win Ben Stein's Money"), an Emmy Award-nominated TV host ("While You Were Out"), was the co-host on "The Adam Carolla Show," published a book, and hosts the syndicated TV entertainment show "The List." Is there anything Teresa Strasser can't do?!
Here, we caught up with the Phoenix resident to talk showbiz, motherhood, and of course, her favorite spots around Phoenix.
You’re currently on "The List." What do you love about the show?
It’s not too serious. I’ve recently covered such topics as How to Dress According to Your Facial Hair and The Zodiac Signs of Cartoon Characters—so, obviously, there’s no concern about getting scooped by "Meet the Press." This show isn’t tackling social issues or dripping in any gravitas, it’s just a quick bite of light entertainment to catch you up on pop culture, life hacks and trends.
Any favorite story from it you can share?
One of my favorite stories was How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day at the 99 Cents Only Store—again, not something Christiane Amanpour is going to cover, but that’s why I loved it. I’ve always been obsessed with dollar stores and the random wonder of what you might find there, so the notion of getting everything romantic—from your nightie to your pregnancy test—at a dollar store was just rich territory. And Manuel Beccera, the manager of the store, was priceless in the segment. The piece was even nominated for a local Emmy, but we lost. I cried into my 99-cent tissues.
How did you break into being on television?
I started out as a newspaper writer and then attempted stand-up comedy for about five minutes. I was terrible, but a writer I knew saw me at an open mic night and recommended me for a job at Comedy Central. I’ve been working in television ever since. Thank you, Ed Crasnick.
You’re both an Emmy Award-winning writer (“Win Ben Stein’s Money”) and an Emmy Award-nominated television host (“While You Were Out”). Which do you prefer most—writing or being on-camera?
I get asked this frequently and you would think I’d have a snappier, wittier or more insightful answer. The truth is, in any endeavor, the joyfulness quotient is often a direct result of the collaboration, how talented is my director, producer, co-host or editor? If I’m on a team, even just a team of writer/editor, but I feel supported and nurtured and pushed, I’m happy. I love when I’m the dumbest and least funny person in the room.
Whew… you’re also a published author (and so much more too)! Can you tell us about your book?
It’s a pregnancy memoir called “Exploiting My Baby” that I wrote for Penguin, which was also optioned by ABC to become a sit-com called “Mother Teresa.” That never happened, but writing it was the best experiences of my professional life. I think ABC ended up producing a show that season about a veterinary office with talking animals, so there’s no business like show business and being a writer will break your heart. But there’s nothing better.
What do you love most about being a mom?
What I love is what any parent knows, that what’s to love about it defies words and transcends description.
What is your least favorite part?
Any favorite locations in Metro Phoenix?
Because I still work on camera, I have a deep, abiding and special love for skin care. I know that sounds crazy, but having struggled with terrible skin my entire life, I really appreciate having (mostly) clear skin now thanks to Jamie Comstock at MD Skincare Lounge in Scottsdale. I’ve inserted myself into her world so she doesn’t mind when I send her random texts about rashes! We also love World of Baseball for the batting cages (yep, I’m a Little League Mom), Dick’s Sporting Goods, Arcadia Park, and the Microsoft Store at Scottsdale Fashion Square. My kids love going there and playing Fornite and other games. Changing Hands is an amazing bookstore and AZ Pops makes the coolest summer treat in town.
Any favorite restaurants around town?
We love Pitch, easy to ride our bikes there and usually my kids find other kids for a rousing round of corn hole in their outdoor space. Kim’s Restaurant makes the best egg rolls in town, hand-rolled by the owner's parents!
If someone is visiting Arizona for the first time, what places would you tell them are a must-see?
Sedona. You want to judge it, with all the crystal stores and vortices and vegan restaurants, but you can’t. It’s just that wondrous. But I would skip the jeep tour. My cervical spine and bladder and nervous system are still recovering.