The vivacious Jenny McCarthy wears many hats, but on Dec. 31, she will be reporting live from Times Square for Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for the seventh year in a row. The evening will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and include performances from DNCE and the legendary Mariah Carey.
For McCarthy, being a part of the televised magic on New Year’s Eve holds a lot of meaning, especially since it’s how she first met her husband, Donnie Wahlberg.
“My very first year, I was standing there with my microphone and the big performer we had was New Kids On The Block. I was standing in the street and I heard, ‘Hi, Jenny McCarthy,’" she remembers. "And I turned around and it was Donny and he was walking to the stage. He was 20 feet from me and just waved. I thought, ‘That was cute — he knew who I was.”
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She admits she wishes he had said something more that night.
“He could have said something like, ‘Could I kiss you?’ I ended up kissing a stranger that year – a cop,” she notes with a giggle.
Staying warm is less of a challenge with her husband around but McCarthy still has a system in place. Being outside in Times Square for five hours in the cold is not for the faint of heart:
“I wear those heat stickers around my neck and down my back. I have seven turtlenecks. Seven pairs of pants,” she reveals. “The problem is, my face starts to freeze. It’s hard not to sound slurred when your face is frozen, so I run to 54th Street to the space heater once an hour to warm my face.”
And what’s it like continuing Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve tradition?
“As a little girl in Chicago, I grew up watching Dick Clark. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be holding an ABC mic that says, ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” McCarthy says.
The best piece of advice the now-deceased television and radio personality had for her was to not act cold.
“'Don’t show how cold you actually are. You can talk about it, but don’t show it,'” she remembers.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve with Ryan Seacrest airs on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. on ABC.