Film and TV

Erica Cobb, Alice host, talks about getting spanked by The Marriage Ref

On Monday, Alice 105.9 FM morning-show host Erica Cobb raved about the experience of appearing on The Marriage Ref. And she still feels that way, despite guest judges Demi Moore, Kelly Ripa and Jim Breuer deciding against her and in favor of her husband, Jesse Lehman, on last night's show.

"It was such a great experience," she says. "I knew we were going to be the butt of quite a few jokes, and I definitely took some."

Such as? "Jim Breuer called me the female version of Tracy Morgan," she recalls. "And he also said that my issue might be my inflated ego."

The disagreement between Cobb and Lehman centered around her decision to stick with her maiden name rather than adapting his -- something that bothers him when they go on vacations she booked and he's referred to at hotels as "Mr. Cobb." She thought she'd have natural allies in both Ripa and Moore, who are not known by their husband's last names. However, they both revealed that legally, they are Kelly Consuelos (Ripa's husband is Mark Consuelos) and Demi Kutcher (for, of course, Ashton Kutcher).

"Kelly said she felt it would be doing a big service to my marriage and my relationship to change my name legally, but still professionally keep my name as Cobb," Erica points out.

Nonetheless, host Tom Papa was ready to side with her -- until the audience booed him, at which point he flip-flopped. "They took back my win and gave me a loss," she mock-complains.

The couple watched last night's show at Earl's downtown with thirty or forty friends and a slew of Alice fans who turned up as well, eagerly cheering for one or the other when points were scored. Then, this morning, Cobb's Alice co-hosts, B.J. and Howie, good-naturedly raked her over the coals. "They thought it was hysterical -- especially the fact that I got so much crap from the panel," she says. "And they got a couple of seconds of airtime, too, so they were definitely pretty excited about that."

Also on hand this morning was Breuer, who, by coincidence, is in town for a series of stand-up gigs. "He was the one who was the hardest on me," she maintains, "so when he came in, he was pretty mum. But I made it seem like everything was cool, and it was."

No wonder, since the couple wound up with an all-expense vacation to Curaçao. As a bonus, a neighbor of the couple's who just happens to be a lawyer has offered to help Cobb go through the name-changing process. She now feels that continuing to use her last name professionally but making the switch to Lehman's when the microphones are turned off may be an okay idea after all: "It could work out for everybody."

In the meantime, she admits to an unusual discovery.

"I didn't realize we were such cartoons," she says. "I've never taken myself very seriously, and now I'll be completely incapable of taking myself seriously."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts