The Stacey Grenrock Woods Interview:

December 19, 2003

Today is the day to ask Santa.


Today is a day for kickass women on my website. First, interviewee Lynn Harris has a beautiful new book out called Miss Media which you should order.

Meanwhile, please welcome another fabulous lady on my site today. Today's interviewee is a correspondent on "The Daily Show," edits the sex column for Esquire magazine and edits the magazine L.A. Innuendo. She's funny, she's smart and you should stop idolizing Jon Stewart, who has gotten enough attention, and start slobbering over her, because she rules. And she instinctively called me "Zulk."

The Stacey Grenrock Woods Interview: Slightly Less Than Twenty Questions

How did you get the gig as the sex expert for Esquire? How were you qualified?
I used to run a little brothel outside Roanoke where some of the Esquire editors were regulars. One day, I impressed them by quoting an S.J. Perelman piece on rim jobs. The next thing I knew-contracts.

I know you've been asked this but do your parents give you crap for writing about sex? How do you deal with it?
No, it's fine. My parents are big pervs. They can't get enough of the dirty talk. Sometimes I'll even say to my mom, "You had enough, bitch? How about now?" but she'll still just beg for more jokes.

What have been some of the odder questions you've received for the column?
I got a very sincere letter from a guy in prison about penis enlargement. His dilemma was that, being is prison, his options were limited. I've also gotten a few letters from men posing as youth counselors. One asked for my picture for his "hero board." I said "Okay, as long as you salute!" (I didn't really say that.)

How did you prepare for the role as "Mindy the Quiet Pre-teen" on the Health Network's series, "Crisis Counselor"?
Thanks for reminding me-I need to update my bio. I landed that role because I cried in the audition. Kind of like Coco did in Fame.

This website dubs you "the anus chick." To what is that referring?
God, I wish I knew. Maybe it refers to the psychic ass-reading I got from Jackie Stallone. Still, I think the label is a little alarmist, don't you? You get one ass-reading, and suddenly you're the "anus chick?"

Based on your "10 Things Women Don't Know About Women" for Esquire, you correctly identify the way it's slightly emasculating for men to be vegans. But which is less macho, veganism or diet pop drinking?
I really wish I could go back and change that. Since writing it about a year and a half ago, I've become a vegan and animal rights geek and so has my husband. (Stop laughing, Claire.) I take it back! I take it back! Men eating Gardenburger Riblets are very sexy! (Not you, Woody Harrelson.)

You're a funny, smart woman who does a good job of bursting some stereotypes about women. That said, are there any girly movies that you're embarrassed to really, really like?
Why thank you, Zulk. Do you mind if I call you Zulk? Let's just say, if I'm alone in a hotel, and it's a choice between say, "Enemy at the Gates" and say, "How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days," I will stay true to my gender.

What are your thoughts on "Average Joe"? You may feel free to tell me that this is a stupid question but I just finished watching the finale and I'm so mad.
I didn't watch it. I'm only doing "Rich Girls" and "The Simple Life" right now. I wish there were a "Rich Girls" webcam. I'd watch those fuckers all day.

How did you come to found LA Innuendo?
Richard (co-founder and editor) and I have this whole story about how we met at a Lifespring seminar and broke off and formed a splinter group because we didn't agree with the way things were being run at Lifespring, but we've never had the guts to tell it. Maybe it's because it's not that funny. Especially when the real story is so much funnier: he said "We should start a magazine," and I said "sure."

What about the magazine is inherently L.A., and what about it can be read by someone from any city?
There are certain things about parking structures and tacos that only an Angelino would find amusing, but, luckily, our chief industry here is entertainment, (well, entertainment and textiles), so there's something for everyone.

What have been some of your favorite stories you've worked on for the Daily Show?
I once did a story on a guy who was trying to protest the war, but he chained himself to the wrong building. I have fond memories of the story about people who dance with their cats. I also enjoyed the story on the guy who claimed to be part of an alien population program and was forced to have anal sex with celebrities in a space ship every night. Wait, that's an anal story. Maybe that's why I'm the anus chick.

How do the stories get developed for it? Do you come up with the ideas and write them, or do you shoot and see what happens?
A little of both. We know what we want to get out of the people going in. Then, just too be on the safe side, we tell them we're going to kill their parents and we make them sign something that says "I won't sue you."

Have you had any failed stories due to uncooperative subjects or storylines that didn't go well?
I wish I could say "no," but the fact is, it happens all the time.

Do most people who appear on the Daily Show stories know that they're being made fun of, or do people take it seriously?
Because of the delicate nature of our subjects' psyches, it is impossible for them to know certain things. For example, if you are responsible for repopulating the earth with celebrity/alien hybrid anal babies, you do not have time for such nonsense. And just so there's no confusion about who the anus chick is: anal. anus. anal.

Will you be reappearing on "Arrested Development"?
Yes, Trisha Thoon will return.

How do you know when you've written something good and/or funny?
If it makes me a little nervous, then I think it's probably good. But I try not to include stuff I think is funny if I can't make it work within the thing. For example, just now I got the idea to say: "who's the anus chick here, me or you?" I scanned the document to see if there was a place I could drop it in, but there since there was nowhere that it could occur organically, I left it out.

It's hard to count on anything making a career as a writer, it seems. Have you ever had a 'fallback' career, or did you know this is what you wanted to do?
Hey, who's the anus chick here, me or you? But to answer your question, Zulker, I'm still not sure this is what I want to do.

You got ranked 10th out of thirty four in this blogger's ranking of people with rock-themed names. Does this seem accurate? Is there anybody that they left out?
That's pretty high. They forgot Dee Wallace Stone from E.T., who was the first person I thought of.

How does it feel to be the 85th person interviewed for
Eighty-five?! I'm number eighty-five?!! Forget it. I don't want to do this.