Has Your Bestie Done Something Whack? Don’t Worry! We’ve Got Your Back (with Aminatou Sow)

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Aminatou Sow, host of the popular podcast Call Your Girlfriend, joins Ricki and Kalen to talk about growing up in Nigeria, where The Ricki Lake Show was her first introduction to American culture. She tells them about the impressions of African-American culture she formed from watching American television, and how her expectations compared to the reality she experienced when she moved to the US at age 19. Then, the friendship expert educates Ricki and Kalen on what she calls “Shine Theory,” why she doesn’t use the term “best friend,” and why friendship breakups are equally (if not more) brutal as romantic breakups. Plus, Ricki opens up about breaking up with a longtime friend.

Please note, Raised By Ricki contains mature themes and may not be appropriate for all listeners.

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Ricki Lake, Kalen Allen, Aminatou Sow

Ricki Lake  00:13

Hi everyone. Welcome, welcome. Welcome to another episode of Raised By Ricki. I am Ricki Lake.

Kalen Allen  00:18

Hey, y’all. I’m Kalen Allen.

Ricki Lake  00:22

I’m dying to know what’s on your mind. What you thinking about right now?

Kalen Allen  00:27

Well, you know, somebody’s before we got on here, you know, I was on the Google. And I was reading up on news, and we have not really addressed this and talked about it. It is given scandal like this would have been something that was good, like so. But we need to talk about TJ and Amy from GMA.

Ricki Lake  00:50

The thing that’s so scandalous to me, and I’m not you know, whatever, is it a scandal, she left Andrew Shue, I loved Andrew Shue from Melrose Place so much like, such a crush on that guy.

Kalen Allen  01:04

Apparently they both left.

Ricki Lake  01:08

Yeah, you’ve read everything I’ve read a lot, too. But what do you do you think? Do you have a problem with it, that they fell in love while working together?

Kalen Allen  01:16

Well, you know, I, this is the thing about it, that unfortunately, we don’t know all the details right? Now, if it is the case, that they ended up, you know, getting together or found that there was chemistry and they felt that chemistry was stronger than the relationships they were in. So they decided to then leave those relationships at the end to pursue something. Okay, I get it. You know, that’s fine and dandy. I don’t think you can control where you meet the love of your life or have a connection to somebody. Now if it’s the case, the job was doing stuff with you know each other while you were still married and window by telling them by now, that’s when you get a little tricky. You know what I mean?

Ricki Lake  01:57

What about at the workplace, like do you have an issue with the fact that they have been taken off the air? Here’s the thing. I’ve met them both like I’ve done to GMA a lot. And I do you know, I’ve met them. I mean, the last time I was on, they both were on with me. And I liked them both. Like I think they’re really good at their jobs. They’re really likable. I mean, do you think that they, it warrants them being terminated or whatnot?

Kalen Allen  02:21

I don’t think that they needed to be taken off the air. If anything, I felt as though GMA could have used the death angle to almost like get more views, you know, or something like that. You know what I mean? Now, I know that there were also congregate because apparently this was a common thing for TJ around the GMA office. You know what I mean? But I mean, now, personally.

Ricki Lake  02:44

You know what they say back on the Ricki Lake Show, they say once a cheater, always a cheater/

Kalen Allen  02:50

It’s true. And I can say TJ is a very good looking man. And I can’t say that if I was presented the opportunity, that I wouldn’t have taken the bait myself.

Ricki Lake  03:04

See, you would have done the same as Amy, huh? He’s got those green eyes.

Kalen Allen  03:09

That’s a fine man. That’s a fine man. You can tell by the way, he said the way he talks the way he act. That’s the kind of man that gets you in trouble, girl.

Ricki Lake  03:16

Yeah, but he has a 10 year old daughter, he broke up the family. I mean, I just I think it’s hard when you’re like public figures. And something like this, you know, happens?

Kalen Allen  03:30

Well, I think the hard part about it is like for instance, now being fired from GMA, and now apparently they want to sue. But the only issue with that is like, the only really way to come back from that now in the future, is to do with just have like, You got to create a YouTube channel, because ain’t nobody else gonna hire you at that point. You know what I mean? That’s the tricky thing about it. So it’s like, what do you do now? And I think that’s probably the reason for the lawsuit to be like, well, maybe we can get enough money to sustain us for the rest of our lives. You know what I mean?

Ricki Lake  04:02

You’re gonna end up back on the air in some capacity. I don’t think their career do. I think they’ll absolutely have a career for sure. They’re not canceled because of this. I don’t think wow, I don’t know. I don’t know. I just like him. I really like him. Well, speaking of liking we have a really amazing guest today. Aminatou Sow is so interesting. She hosted the podcast, call your girlfriend and she wrote the best-selling book, big friendship with her friend, Amy Friedman. And I’m so excited to talk to her because she grew up in Africa, but yet she was a huge fan of the Ricki Lake Show and Mrs Winterbourne.

Kalen Allen  04:39

Right and I know people probably listening right now how to heal we just cut a corner like that. But I think the relation here is about friendships, you know, because I know that TJ called Amy his best friend.

Ricki Lake  04:53

Oh my God, way to tie it together. Well, it’s a lot we talk about a lot, and I’m so excited to have her and wait a minute. Do you hear what I hear? Come in.

Kalen Allen  05:15

Hi Aminatou, thank you so much for talking with us. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Aminatou Sow  05:23

Oh my God, I’m such a big fan of the both of you. So I like first of all, I’m so excited that you’re doing a podcast together. It was a genius idea. Whoever audio God engineered that genius, genius. And thanks for having me.

Ricki Lake  05:37

It’s such a pleasure and your just your journey. And just I’m just learning about you. I have to be honest, and the last couple of days and I was so excited to talk to you. Where did you grow up exactly?

Aminatou Sow  05:47

In Nigeria, that’s where they had you in syndication all of the time.

Ricki Lake  05:52

So how old were you during those days in Nigeria watching my show?

Aminatou Sow  05:56

I was I believe your show came on. Probably around the time it was like eight is when it started. But I in earnest did not start watching it until much later because I was learning English. And also we were big Mrs. Winterbourne fans in our house.

Kalen Allen  06:14

Okay, these two things are so specific. Isn’t that amazing? So like in Nigeria on TV at this time growing up? What was the landscape of American television like what other stuff was on TV?

Aminatou Sow  06:27

It’s so fascinating, because now that I’ve lived here for so long, and I’m doing the math backwards. I’m like, I don’t understand how, like media travels, but we definitely watch a lot of like the Black sitcoms were on TV. That was like a given. It’s like we grew up watching Cosby’s, Fresh Prince, like pretty much Fresh Prince. Everything that was on UPN was on. UPN we love to see it. WWWB we love to see it. And then the talk show stuff was weird. It was like Oprah was on for sure. And there was no Jenny at all because Jenny was like we had to watch that in America. But Ricki Lake was huge. And it was huge like in Nigeria, it was huge in like Lebanon also because it’s a big Lebanese community. And so our friends would watch and then when they went home in the summer they would watch and what’s his name, the bad man that none of us were allowed to watch when we were kids. Jerry Springer. Yes, Jerry Springer. But Jerry was like, it’s like our parents would never let us watch like it was so it was like.

Kalen Allen  07:37

Well, if I’m putting it together from what you said, especially when you say UPN, which back in the day, UPN was notorious for having all the black LED sitcoms like girlfriends and all those. It seems as though because it was in Africa, you were getting all the content that featured Black people on it.

Aminatou Sow  07:56

100%, we would get a lot of that. But I mean, we also got a lot of very, yeah, it’s like a lot of like, very White shows, like Melrose Place was huge when I was a kid. Yeah, we got all the soaps, like I remember like Santa Barbara was huge. But there was no rhyme or reason. The thing that I remember about like, we can like those specifically, is that our parents, was watching it, which I grew up in a very, like Muslim conservative home. So that was already it was like, okay, so it meant that my mom was down with it. Because my mom like loved Oprah. And then everything else was like, she was just like, how close to the gospel of Oprah can you get? And I remember, like, Ricki was not a problem. It was not a problem. And we loved it. And if anything, I would say that like most of the like, the different kinds of Americans that we met, were probably through that show, because everything else felt very much like a monoculture. And then you’re like, oh, like, there are gay people. There are like people who have like heartache and are really open about it. There are like kids who are fighting with their parents, and they’re talking about it. I just remember that that was never like, no one would like yell at you in my house for watching it. And if anything, like everyone watched it.

Ricki Lake  09:06

Do you think it started conversations for you with your mom?

Aminatou Sow  09:09

It definitely did. But you know, not in the sense of like, um, I don’t know like, I was not a rebellious kid in the sense that I like literally could not be like, I had cousins who were like very much the troublemakers and I was like, this is not worth it. It’s just not worth it in this in this religious household. But I think that if anything it like there was a lot of compassion. I think it’s also why the you know, like your other like cinematic work like mattered because I think that there was something about like, how young you were that was relevant. It was like, oh, here’s a younger person, talking about like, younger things in a fresh way. But also, it’s like, here is a White person who talks to all kinds of people and they’re not the butt of the joke. Like I think that that was like very much like came across. Because they think that like, you know, it’s like in Africa. race relations are obviously like very different than in, in America. But there is still this thing of like, you like, just, you know, it’s like everywhere it’s like, it’s like the White person is having a little bit too much fun at the expense of everyone else. You’re like, I see what’s going on here, and I’m not down for it. And I remember with your show that that was like never, that was never the case. I remember a lot of just like seeing a lot of different, like slice of life in a way that did not feel, you know, like Jerry Springer, like trashy.

Ricki Lake  10:30

And how old were you when you moved to the States?

Aminatou Sow  10:32

I was 19 when I moved here.

Ricki Lake  10:35

So what was that like? I mean, growing up watching American television and my show, was it what you thought it would be after? You know, having this perceived idea?

Aminatou Sow  10:44

Yes or no? Right. Like, in some ways, I like I obviously learned all of my English watching American television. So it’s like, we watched a lot of Friends, like Friends was huge. That’s true for anybody, like, around the world, and a lot of like daytime TV. So in some ways, it’s like I was from a language standpoint, like fully, I was like, okay, I got this, I got the lingo down. I know, like some of the inside jokes, you know, even when I was like, in college, and people would have, you know, like an 80s party or like a 90s party. And I was like, here’s what you do. It’s like, I was like, okay, I know the shorthand for that. And in other ways, it was like, no, this is insane. This country is too big. And it doesn’t boil down to like, whatever you see on television.

Ricki Lake  11:26

But did you love it? Did you love America when you got here? Or was it was really hard to adjust?

Aminatou Sow  11:32

I’m gonna say something controversial, I still love America.

Ricki Lake  11:38

I’m gonna be there with you. I still do. Is that controversial these days? I mean.

Kalen Allen  11:42

Well, I mean, I think it’s more so it’s like, for most people that do come from a different place into America have that perspective. So I do want to give you a little bit of grace, you know, I understand it.

Aminatou Sow  11:56

Fully, fully, fully. And I think also, you know, some of it is just this, um, I think if you talk to a lot of immigrants, it’s very true. But I think that I think about me, like a kid who like I grew up in West Africa, a lot of my family ended up in France, because we’re actually from Guinea, that’s like, the country France is the country that colonized us, that’s like, where you’re supposed to go for school and like, do a lot of stuff. And there was something very restrictive about that life for me. And America was just, it was freedom, you know, and it sounds ridiculous to say now, like, knowing fully what it’s like to live as a Black person in America, but back then it was like, oh, Black Americans are just allowed it kind of life that like the rest of us are not allowed, you know. And so, there was something like very freeing about that. And I know that that’s like, such a huge paradox, you know, but I, I still am like, you know, my life and the life of a lot of people who look like me who live in America, I was like, was only possible in America. And so there’s something very bittersweet about that.

Kalen Allen  12:57

Okay, so I have another question to that. So speaking of like, shows, like the Ricki Lake Show, especially watching shows that have this depiction of African-Americans, what was your initial perspective of African-Americans in comparison to the Black people you were used to?

Aminatou Sow  13:15

Well, here’s the thing, I did not know, a Black American person personally, until I came here for university, like I just did not know, a Black American, I knew a couple of Americans. They were most they were all white, the Americans that we know, because they were all either in like Foreign Service. Or then I went to this American school, that was like, run by missionaries, like all White people. So the first time I met like, an African-American person that was not on the […] was here. So you know, so in some ways, my idea of what being a Black American is very much like shaped by television as well. But I have to say that the shape was like, it was pretty three dimensional, it was like, Okay, you could be a doctor. You know, like, with this, like, cool kind of conservative family on NBC. You could be, you know, like, you could be Martin, you could be like, the people who go on the talk shows, there was really a, there was a large swath of that. And I think that that left me actually, you know, and I recognize now that a lot of those things are like stereotypes, you know, like, even the depictions that are bad, but there was something for me about seeing depictions that were positive and negative at the same time, that just cancelled each other out and I was like, oh, black people are full human beings in America, which as I say it now I’m like, that is so ridiculous. But that’s what we that’s what we got overseas, you know, and we definitely did get a lot of the stereotypical you know, like the depictions that you see on TV of the like, oh, like a baby mama drama and this and that, but like, to be fair, we got a lot of like, also, you know, like, kind of the White equivalent of that or was like, oh my god, like there is this kind of like, um, I remember being very struck by like, what is like, you know, deemed like White trash culture because that was not something that we got a lot of, unlike European TV was like Europeans are all like very noble people. And then, you know, it’s like everyone’s, you know, like related to the Queen of somewhere like stupid. And then here comes America being like, no, everybody has problems, everyone is weird. People will go on television to talk about their weirdness, like yell at each other. And there was something about that, for me also that like, it felt very freeing, you know, and I again, I like fully recognized that, like, some of those depictions are not great. But there was something about seeing, like, all of it, right? He’s like, Okay, this is an exciting place, like you could be anything.

Ricki Lake  15:40

Okay, we’re gonna take a short break. But there’s more Raised by Ricki coming up in just a minute. Tell us about your book about girlfriend.

Aminatou Sow  15:57

Yeah, I wrote a book with my best friend and collaborator, Anne Friedman, we still host a podcast together for nine years, called call your girlfriend produced by our friend […]. Anne Anna and I wrote this book about, it’s called Big friendship. And it’s really about this concept of like, what does it look like when your friendships are at the center of your life? You know, and we couldn’t find a term that really defined that like, you know, it’s not a best friend, because something about best friend feels a little infantilizing. Also, best friend implies that there’s only one of them, you know, and we’re like, we’re grownups. Like, we have a lot of, you have a lot of like, very important friendships that transcend all of that. And so we coined this term, big friendship. And, you know, and the book is like part research and like, some social psychology about how friendship works. And then the other part is our own relationship. We met in Washington DC, in 2009, at a Gossip Girl viewing party and immediately became like, very close friends.

Ricki Lake  16:54

Wow. Is it like soulmates? Do you think?

Aminatou Sow  16:58

You know, I’m not an especially religious person. But it’s funny that you say that, because I think I remember my dedication to her in the book being like, I hope that I know you in every lifetime, because there is just something. You know, I think that people have these, like deep friendships that really imprint on them that are, you know, like, not, we don’t recognize them. Like in society. Nobody’s ever, like asked you how your friends are doing. But people always ask you how your partner is doing or how your family is doing. There’s just this way where we, we really diminish the value of friendship. But I think that for a lot of us, our friendships are where we learn how to love, it’s where we learn how to be a full person, it’s where we learn, you know, we really learn how to be like humans. And so I, you know, I was like, some people call that soulmates some people, I was like, call it whatever you want. But the thing I think, for me is just really wanting some sort of like social recognition to, like, important friendship in our lives. It’s like, what would life look like? If your friend like, it’s like, the government recognizes your friends, as people who mattered or you or even like your other, your closer community did that, you know, instead of like, relying on these kind of, like, very old fashioned ideas of what family is.

Kalen Allen  18:11

Now, I know, you went and came up with shine theory. So can you explain what that is?

Aminatou Sow  18:17

Yes, Shine theory is the operating principle of our friendship, I would always tell her I don’t shine if you don’t shine, which was a very tacit way of being like I’m on your side, you know, and we very much alike do the same thing. We’re in the same industry. And there was never really a moment of jealousy for us. I think that we had ingested a lot of like social messaging that women are very catty, or competitive. And I think people of color get this also, we’re like, like, there’s only room for one of us. And, you know, and I’m like, maybe that’s true for other people. But when I really looked at my career and my life, I was like, actually, the people that everyone says that I am supposedly in competition with, those are the people who have been the kindest to me, you know, and those are the people that have been like, really good at, like, pooling our resources. And so, so much of shine theory is that is, you know, really recognizing that like, you can build power among your peer group that you can be supportive of people and it doesn’t take anything away from you. And you know, also recognizing that white hetero patriarchy loves to tear people down, the more marginalize you are and so not buying into that for us has been like really life changing.

Ricki Lake  19:26

Do you consider your friends your, your dearest friends being like chosen family?

Aminatou Sow  19:32

Absolutely. My friends are my chosen family. I think in my 20s I focused a lot on you know, like, the chosen aspect of it. And as I’m older now, I’m like no, no family. I was like it is family in the sense that every dynamic that happens in your family of origin will also replicate itself in your chosen family. And, you know, and there’s huge opportunity there for growth. There is also like an opportunity like for healing, but I am really, I feel really lucky. You that my friends are my like, you know, I’m like, That’s my chosen family. And they really are. Our friend Beth Pickens always calls them your, she’s like, this is your logical family as opposed to your biological family. And I’m like, that is true for a lot of us.

Ricki Lake  20:14

Well, you know, with my old show, we did a lot of shows about friends and betrayal and what not? What do you think of? Do you think there are things that are just unforgivable in friendships?

Aminatou Sow  20:25

I think there was a time in my life that I would have said, Yes, but after this, like once in a lifetime global pandemic, and like, what it is that we’re living through, I was like anything as possible, like, Yeah, I think that people, people decide you decide what is acceptable, and what’s not acceptable to you. But I think that for me, the lesson of adulthood has been every day will humble you. Yeah, every day that you get older will humble you, it will surprise you. So, you know, so I want to say like, yes, sure, there are things that people do that are like, very despicable, you know, and at the same time, I was like, it’s really easy to points to those things without having some sort of nuance or understanding about what’s going on. And I think that, you know, time reveals everything. So, you know, that said, like, don’t do me wrong, because I will cut somebody, but also, I have really benefited from other people in my life for giving me and that has been really powerful, you know, so again, to people, I say, you don’t have to live your life by someone else’s standard, you know, it’s like, it’s really easy to point to a straw man, it’s like, see what this situation feels like to you. There are obviously things that are unforgivable. But I also think that sometimes it’s very easy. We’re very quick to like cut off situations and say that things are toxic. In particular, like, that’s a language I think that I, I think about all the time, and you know, and so much of like, what we write about in the book is that it was like, well, you know, is the person toxic? Or is this situation toxic? And if a situation is toxic, how are two people contributing to that?

Kalen Allen  21:57

That is a very mature.

Aminatou Sow  22:03

You’re catching me on a mature, you know, like, very therapy’s day. It’s like, come on Friday, I will cut somebody.

Kalen Allen  22:09

You better to me because I’d be like, bye, bitch.

Ricki Lake  22:12

I’m a really good friend. I’m just gonna say that. Kalen, you don’t know me that long. But like, like, you know, I have my friend, Mandy, who we talked to earlier when we were shooting doing the podcast, and she’s my oldest friend like 35 years, I think we met at an audition for silver spoons. If you remember that show. Do you remember? Yeah. Anyway, anyway, my point is that, like, I just, I don’t know, my friends are everything. And you’re right. Like, I so much of my growth has been my friendships, particularly with women, you know. And I think what’s also really great is like, Mandy has been a witness to like my experiences and like, held me accountable at times, you know, held a mirror up for me and I, it’s that’s been really, really important, I think, to my growth of where I am in my life. Now.

Kalen Allen  23:04

That’s so real. Kailyn, who’s your oldest friends?

Kalen Allen  23:10

I would probably say my oldest friend would actually be oh, so I would put two in that category. So one would be my friend Nikkia, we kind of related but not related. She was my cousin’s cousin. So like, we’re not actually related. But we’ve known each other since we were like kids, and now she has a daughter and like, The Godfather and stuff like that. But then there’s also my friend, Tory, and me and Tory are very close to where you and I went to college together and Tory lived with me while I lived in LA. And we have a very close relationship. Now there are certain relationships and friendships that I have that I’m always like, Okay, I’ll figure something out. or like we can work through it and solve an issue, right? But then there are some where I’m like, I think I base it off of, for instance, like you’re talking about a toxic situation. I think I’m the type of person if something wrong happens. But that something is something that I feel should have never happened in the first place. Because of as far as like, your care for me as a friend should not have like, you should have taken that into consideration before making this mistake. Then I’m like, you gotta go because I can already tell that you don’t use good judgment when you make decisions, especially when it pertains to me.

Ricki Lake  24:31

And are you direct when you break up with this person? No beating around the bush. Do you have any advice you talk about in your book about ending friendships, right, because you’ve also cut some people loose, right?

Aminatou Sow  24:49

I mean, I have done it every wrong way that you can like cut someone loose. It’s like I’ve done the slow fade out. I’ve done the like, ah, I’m just never gonna respond to this text. And now it’s been 17 years, you know, like, or the big fight, and then they never come back to talk about it. And I don’t have any regrets. I think about any of it, except for I regret not communicating better, you know. And again, I’m like, oh, that is the benefit of like, both therapy and time where I was like, you know what, like, I don’t want those relationships back in my life. But I can see how I could have done that differently. Or I could have done that better. Because clearly the dynamic was not working. You know?

Ricki Lake  25:31

you with age, I think you learned you get better at you know, being discerning, being setting boundaries. I mean, I’m really like, you know, I had to end two different friendships, dear one was my best friend. You don’t like best friend, but she was what I considered my best friend for like, 30 years. Wait, so

Aminatou Sow  25:50

Wait, so did you do it like officially?

Ricki Lake  25:54

I did. It was a situation that I didn’t feel safe. And I couldn’t trust her judgment was it you know, it had to do with her partner or her ex-partner. And, you know, it just was not at this point in my life. Like, I have gone through so much shit in my life. You know, and I’m in a place of, I don’t want drama, I will have zero drama. At this point in my life. I have no time for it. I mean, it’s a new marriage. I’m Yeah. And so you know, it was hard. It was really hard. And I think about her. And I miss her. And I love her. I send her love. I want only the best for her. And maybe we’ll come back into each other’s lives. But you know, it really was if you don’t feel safe if you can’t trust the person. And I don’t mean trust, like a betrayal. I mean, like, like, trust their judgment, you know?

Aminatou Sow  26:50

Yeah. Also, some people are in your life for a season, you know what I mean? Right? But we all have these very romantic notions of everything is supposed to last forever, and I’m like, life doesn’t even last forever. Come home. But you know, what really aggravates me about Friendship Breakups, it’s like, besides the breakup itself, is how not seriously other people will take that in your life. Like, if you were like, Oh, my marriage is falling apart, or I’m breaking up with my partner or whatever, you can take a couple of days off from work from that people will like send you some ice cream, they’ll like tell you, they’re gonna keep their car for you. Like, we have a whole social language for how we deal with these kinds of breakups. Whereas, like, if you break up with like, a very dear friend, the heartache is the same. And sometimes it’s even more painful, because we kind of have nowhere to go to, you know, like to express that or to talk about that. And that I have found to be like, very painful. You know, I’m like, trying to imagine like telling my boss like, Hi, my best friend in the whole world and are broken up. I need to go home early, because I need to cry. I was like, That’s it. Like, that’s not gonna fly. There’s not a social script for that. Yeah. And that makes me really angry.

Ricki Lake  27:54

I’m curious what happens you and your dear friend and like, when you get one of you has a partner? Or maybe you do have a partner but it does that change the dynamic of the friendship?

Aminatou Sow  28:03

Yeah, I mean, Anne has a long term partner that she’s written about, I am very single and mingling. And I, you know, I think a long time ago, maybe when we were younger, it, it changes the dynamic in the sense where I’m like, Okay, now, you can’t sit on the couch with me seven nights a week. What I mean, it’s like, the social dynamic has changed. But the whole point of like being, you know, friends that are that close, is also finding ways to like integrate each other’s lives. Because that, you know, because I think that also even just thinking about the partner as a threat is something that like, is a very immature in the sense that I’m like, your relationships are challenged in all kinds of different ways. Like your friend could like get a new job that has a new schedule, and I’m like data can rattle you the same way that like a new person coming in the relationship will rattle you, people will move away, people will have children and people will get caretaking responsibilities, or not like people will have jobs that are very demanding and so again, it’s like so much of like, opposing I think like platonic relationships or romantic relationships in some ways is like very lazy because the ebbs and flows of life are many you know, and I was like, if the drama of your life is that you don’t like your friend’s partner, it’s like wow, good luck to you like that’s like the least of your problems. So much is going to happen in that in the lifetime of a relationship with people and you need to learn how to roll with that.

Ricki Lake  29:28

Okay, we have to take a really quick break right now but we will be back before you know it.

Kalen Allen  29:44

I have a Ricki question.

Ricki Lake  29:46

Yes, my friend.

Kalen Allen  29:47

My question for you Ricki Lake is with being Ricki Lake. Have you found it to be difficult to find genuine friendships?

Ricki Lake  29:59

Not really because, I mean, yes, maybe the genuine part, but I’m like, you know, I fall in love with people immediately. Although I fell in love with you even harder than other people when I met you know, I do love Kalen, it’s like I knew him in another life. I feel like he’s like, I don’t wanna say my child, because, you know, he’s my contemporary, but he’s like, my child.

Kalen Allen  30:28

Does that make you feel good that there’s like, you can have new friend energy, like every different part of life. Because I worry about that.

Ricki Lake  30:36

I love, love. Like, I love. And so all kinds of love, and I love new people. And yeah, I’m a social. I mean, look, I did that show for so long. And it was so fascinating and fun and interesting for me to get to know people and to study humanity and see what people would say and do on TV. Like all of it. It’s like, I’m very curious. And so I constantly have people. I mean, I’ve had crazy shit you guys like where I’ve moved a family into my house for six weeks to take care of their sick child, like I’ve done really impulsive things for. I can’t say it’s for friendship, but for connection and for being of service. And, you know, so did I answer your question? I mean, I guess it’s hard. But it’s also not because I get to meet so many cool people. But I, like I said before I become more discerning. And I’m more protective of my sacred space. I used to be like a rolling like open door policy where I’d have all these not transients, but people like from, you know, not they didn’t know very well like moving into my house and stuff. So it’s changed a little bit. But no, I welcome meeting people and falling in love with friends over and over again.

Aminatou Sow  31:48

Imagine Ricki Lake calls you a transient, I would die. Because, listen, it’s beautiful, because I grew up in a house that had very much like this kind of open door policy where my parents would take this, like anybody that needed help in our community, whatever. In some ways, it’s like beautiful and great, but something about there’s something about like, also just closing up your circle and being like, Oh, my people are very important to me and making them feel like they’re very important. Yeah, no, that feels very good. Yeah, I don’t know. Thank you both for spending time with me. I can’t tell you how much joy you both like, bring me on screens and otherwise and in my ears. So I’m just really, really happy that you work together because this is it’s inspired.

Ricki Lake  32:45

It’s a really good match. And, and I’m so enjoying this process of talking about the show, because I haven’t really thought about it. I lived it. I do other things. Now I make documentaries. I’m just like doing on to the next thing. And it’s just been really, really a joy for me to meet people like you and talk about how that show back in the day impacted everyone. So thank you,

Aminatou Sow  33:06

Ricky like you’re an icon. You’re like an international global icon superstar.

Ricki Lake  33:13

It’s so weird.

Aminatou Sow  33:14

Nobody has worn a suit better. Like are you kidding me? Like unproblematic fav like that is so rare. It’s so rare. Kalen, it’s such a joy to like, hear your voice and to see you please keep winning. You’re doing all the things. Keep doing all the things please.

Kalen Allen  33:35

Thank you darling.

Aminatou Sow  33:36

Y’all are the best. Bye, y’all.

Ricki Lake  33:38

Bye, honey. Take care. She’s great, huh?

Kalen Allen  33:45

I loved it. We really get into the nitty gritty of friendships, I mean, even but what I really loved was actually talking about the international impact of the show, which is so ironic, because there is this. So a note was sent and Ricki, from Darren that lives in Australia, and I’m gonna read it to you. So this is what it says. And I’m a 41 year old Aussie guy who grew up watching Ricki show during my high school years and beyond. Her show opened my eyes to an incredible road I had no idea existed. For me, New York City seemed like the absolute center of the universe, home to the Ricki Lake Show. And from day one, I was the show’s biggest fan. And I just love the fact I think sometimes we get so caught up in our own worlds, that we forget how the content or the or the things that we do on a normal day basis, even though it’s so like normal to us and it has found its way to spread until the masses and it really differs as far as like the impact depending regionally. I mean, I think that’s what we’ve learned here you know, of just how impactful our everyday lives can be to so many people that live very different lives in us.

Ricki Lake  35:03

And how it translates like I, you know, my show was big in places like Israel, it was like the number one show for years and years and years there. I’d never been to Israel, you know, so why, why does it resonate so much. And so it was really cool to talk to Aminatou about her experience growing up in Nigeria, you know, the show was in, I went to South Africa once and it just like, all these people coming up to me, you know, I walked the streets, I live in LA, no one gives me no one fathers as Moses, sometimes I’ll say, Hi. But I remember going to these places. I mean, Israel was the one that jumps out more than anything. I was there working on my documentary. And it was, it was like, I was like, The Beatles or something. I felt like, you know, but why it really did, like, just pull people in, in a country in a place that I’ll never even end up going. I still don’t understand. But it’s awesome.

Kalen Allen  35:54

I think, especially back in the day, I look at TV, almost like it’s like Alice Through the Looking Glass. You know what I mean? I think it’s especially when you hear about America, you know, it’s just like we talked about today of what America is supposed to be the land of opportunity of freedom, of endless resources, and which is so very different than any other place. I think, TV, especially TV shows and talk shows specifically gave people a glimpse into a world that seems so far away. You know what I mean? And then, essentially, I think people watched TV and saw you and they created a friendship with you. You were their friend. You know what I mean?

Ricki Lake  36:38

Like that girl next door friend. Yeah, definitely that Oprah was like the mother who knew it all. You wanted to learn from Oprah and you want to hang with me. You know, I think because I certainly I certainly don’t have the answers. And I’m not going to tell you what book to read. But I’ll share what I’m going through and hopefully we can all learn from each other. Well, this was so much fun. I had a great time. I hope you at home enjoyed listening to us. If you did, what should they do? Kailyn

Kalen Allen  37:08

You better rate and review baby and leave a comment you don’t never know. We make tell the people what you say.

CREDITS  37:22

Raised by Ricki with Ricki Lake and Kalen Allen is a Lemonada Media Original. This show is produced by Claire Jones and Nancy Rosenbaum. Our associate producer is Tiffany Buoy. Our senior director of new content is Rachel Neill, VP of weekly production is Steve Nelson and our executive producers Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer and DeRay McKesson, and the show is mixed by Johnny Vince Evans. Music is written and produced by Jellybean Benitez, Jason Peralta and Jay Coos for Jelly Bean Productions.

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