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‘The Weakest Link’ host Jane Lynch doesn’t fault the cast of ‘Days Of Our Lives’ for not knowing that walrus teeth are called tusks

Just in time to save spring TV, The Weakest Link is back with more episodes! Hosted by the iconic Jane Lynch, the beloved game show returned with an epic crossover featuring the cast of Days Of Our Lives. DOOL fans got to watch cast members Lindsay Arnold, Bryan Dattilo, Galen Gering, Tina Huang, Victoria Konefal, Martha Madison, Eric Martsolf and Zach Tinker duke it out for their respective charities. Even though Tinker had no idea what a “sawbuck” was and Arnold couldn’t remember the word to describe a walrus’s’ long teeth (it’s tusks), the actors were more than willing to joke about their characters’ wild story arcs and poke fun at themselves. “It makes for really good television,” said Lynch. Ultimately, it was Madison who was victorious and emerged as the show’s strongest link. The soap opera vet was able to win $50K for World Central Kitchen, which impressed Lynch. “I thought she was classy, smart, and very self-contained,” said Lynch.

As an actor herself, Lynch appreciated the theatrics of the DOOL cast and their willingness to laugh at themselves and their characters’ wilder moments on the long-running soap opera. Lynch recalled: “Some of the snarky comments I made were things like ‘I hear you were in two comas,’ and ‘You are boyfriend and girlfriend, but aren’t you really brother and sister?’” Despite the sharpness of a few of Lynch’s jokes—which fans can’t get enough of—and the antics of the DOOL cast, Lynch insists it’s all in good fun: “It was a joy to watch them yell and scream at each other, and then laugh.”

Throughout her storied career, Lynch has managed to play a few larger-than-life characters herself, ones with sensibilities that could rattle even the most embattled soap opera figure. “Sue Sylvester married herself. That was pretty wild,” remembered Lynch. “Anything I did on Glee was pretty wild.” Recently, Lynch’s Only Murders In The Building character, stunt woman Sazz Pataki, became the show’s latest victim. Pataki’s death will be the catalyst for Season 4, which will take place in Los Angeles. “I’m dead, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be in it as a flashback or maybe a ghost,” teased Lynch.

Lynch stopped by the Page Six studio to talk to DECIDER about the fabulous cast of DOOL, gameplay she admires, and what show she’d like The Weakest Link to crossover with next.

DECIDER: You are considered one of the nicest people in Hollywood. Is it hard to put aside your natural instincts to host The Weakest Link?

JANE LYNCH: Oh, no. That snarky person is just right below skin level. Yeah, it does not take much for me to let that monster out.

The Weakest Link returns with a charity episode featuring the cast of Days of Our Lives. Were you excited to have the iconic crew on the show?

I don’t watch soap operas, I’m sorry to say. I used to watch Days of Our Lives when I was a kid though. What I love about having a cast play The Weakest Link is the camaraderie between the cast members. It makes for really good television. The actors in this cast really love each other, and they’re kind of tongue in cheek about their characters. They were great fun. They played along very well.

Speaking of fun, your opening monologue on The Weakest Link/Days Of Our Lives crossover episode (featuring your internal monologue) should earn you another Emmy. What was your first reaction when you saw what the writers had come up with?

Well, it was delicious. I got to say one thing and have my inner monologue say something else, à la a soap opera. To be perfectly honest, I think I overplayed it. I could have used a lighter touch, but it’s still funny.

What was it like to embrace the dramatics of the soap opera world with a cast of professionals?

I loved it. What was great is that the actors played along. Some of the snarky comments I made were things like “I hear you were in two comas,” and “You are boyfriend and girlfriend, but aren’t you really brother and sister?” They were ready to poke fun at themselves and the genre they love.

It’s widely known how demanding it is to work on a soap opera. The memorization and the long days required are notoriously difficult. Given all that, did you expect the cast to do better than the average Weakest Link contestant?

Yes, I was really surprised at the lack of common knowledge of some of the younger actors. However, the old pros were brilliant. I don’t think enough is said about how well Martha played. Tina played really well too, but Martha probably banked the most money and answered the most correct questions. It was only right that she won for World Central Kitchen. I thought she was classy, smart, very self-contained and deserved to be the winner.

What surprised you more: People not knowing what a “sawbuck” was, or not knowing that a walrus’s long teeth are called “tusks”?

Here’s the thing. I was struggling in my mind, as I watched the episode. I was like, “What are they, fangs? What are they?” I forgot what they were too. I’d cut Lindsay some slack on that one. The sawbuck thing too. I got to cut Zach, who plays Sonny, some slack because he didn’t know what that was. He’d never heard of it before. He’s a young guy. I myself thought, “Well, of course sawbuck is five bucks.” It’s 10 bucks. So, I didn’t know it either.

You mentioned this before, but the soap opera stars were so much fun. They wasted no time betraying their friends/co-stars to eliminate the weakest link in the chain. Were you surprised to see them go so hard, so early in the game?

Not really, because I’m an actor too. I know what ensembles are and how we can give each other a hard time. So, for me, it was a joy to watch them yell and scream at each other, and then laugh. Ultimately, they all went out for drinks afterwards.

The Days Of Our Lives cast members were truly having a blast out there, playing for charity instead of their own bank accounts. Do you like it when contestants don’t take it so seriously?

I have to defend the regular contestants right here. I don’t think we’ve had one sore loser. They’re just really great people who are very happy to be on the show, despite the tremendous amount of pressure. These are people who have never been on television before, and they’re getting rapid fire questions hurled at them and coming up with answers. Kudos to the civilian contestants.

What’s wonderful about the ensemble cast from Days Of Our Lives is they work extremely hard together. They’re kind of in the trenches together so it’s really fun to see them go at each other to try to win some money for charity. I would also say for the civilian contestants, they still have a good time and get into the spirit of the game. Our contestant pickers do a really good job getting really lovely people who also happen to be smart. Some are not so smart [laughs], but they still do well.

There seems to be a popular strategy on the show of eliminating the strongest link at the last round before the final head-to-head matchup. What do you think of that strategy?

I think it’s a great strategy. The players who have their wits about them often keep an eye on the board. Most contestants don’t bank a lot of money. So, my hat is off to the more strategic players because it’s tough to be there with the cameras and the lights while I’m hurling questions at you. The strategic players think, “Oh, I should bank” or “how much money is the bank worth right now?” That takes a wherewithal that not every player has.

We saw that strategy play out when the players chose to eliminate Galen, who was on the show 20 years ago when he was on Passions. Do you like to have returning players on the show? Do you think that gives them any advantage?

I doubt it. Every game is different. All the questions are different. The level of difficulty of the questions varies from question to question. Maybe being on the show before helps with your nerves. I doubt what happened to Galen 20 years ago on that show affected him this time around.

During the episode, you and the cast joke about their craziest Days Of Our Loves storylines. In all your 243 credits on IMDB, what is the wildest thing one of your characters has done?

Oh, Sue Sylvester married herself. That was pretty wild. Anything I did on Glee was pretty wild. There was one episode where I had to cut a student’s hair, and I actually cut the actor’s real hair on camera. We hired a guy with hair down to here, and they said, “Can we cut your hair?” And he said, “Sure.” He put it in a ponytail and I cut it. Those are some crazy things. Also being Steve Martin’s stunt double [in Only Murders In The Building].Where did that come from? I don’t know.

Deal or No Deal Island has joined The Weakest Link in NBC’s iconic game show lineup. If you could cross over The Weakest Link with any other game show or reality competition show, what would it be and why?

I would like to see The Weakest Link crossover into The Voice. Instead of singing full-length songs, the contestants would have to sing jingles. So, we’d get real singers and they’d be on the spot to remember jingles from the seventies and the eighties. We’d say, “Okay, do the Hungry Man jingle,” and they would have to sing it or be eliminated. I think that would be great.

Since you alluded to your role on Only Murders In The Building, is there anything you can tease about the upcoming season?

Well, I am in it [laughs]. I’m dead, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be in it as a flashback or maybe a ghost? I don’t know. That’s about all I can tease. They’ll be solving the mystery of my character’s death. I have an idea of the arc of it, and it’s very fascinating. It’s very mysterious and tricky. You’ll think you got it wrapped up and you don’t. It’ll be interesting, for sure.

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