'LATE'-BLOOMING | EW.com

TV

'LATE'-BLOOMING

YASMINE BLEETH'S RULES OF THE GUESTING GAME

Let Pamela Anderson Lee title her memoirs Pamdemonium. Fellow Baywatcher Yasmine Bleeth should call hers Born to Schmooze. As one of TV’s most prolific – and best – celebrity talk-show guests, Bleeth, 28, has stood her ground in sit-downs with everyone from Rosie to Howard Stern. One of the snarkiest of hosts, Bill Maher, even had Bleeth cohost his recent ABC special, Politically Incorrect’s Greatest Hits, after she had made a number of successful visits to that notoriously brainy show. ”You wouldn’t expect someone on Baywatch to be smart,” says Maher, ”but she is.”

”She’s attractive, and we both have our own line of swimwear,” cracks Conan O’Brien of Bleeth, who has become a favored Late Night guest. The actress (who really does have a bathing-suit line – Yazwear) chalks up her appeal to being born a ”blabbermouth,” and particularly prides herself on countering Stern’s Butt-head bravado, often with savvy and grace. ”With Howard,” she says, ”you have to be willing to make fun of yourself. You can’t be intimidated or take it personally. You have to know he’s going to talk about his private parts and what he’d like to do to you with them.”

Since her first guest gig a decade ago – when the then-teen soap star modeled prom dresses on Live With Regis & Kathie Lee – Bleeth has learned to steer clear of her personal life; after making a ”big deal” about her engagement to soap star Ricky Paull Goldin, the two broke up just after wedding invitations had been sent out. Here are some other Bleeth talk-show no-no’s and tips:

1. ”Don’t stick to the preinterview, where producers go over what you’ll talk about. The best way to be entertaining is to listen and interact with the host. That’s where the comedy comes from.” Like the time Conan leapt over his desk to join Bleeth in an impromptu hula? ”Yeah, that’s a classic.”

2. ”If you’re not a comedian, don’t tell jokes.”

3. Avoid celeb-dom’s dreaded famous-for-being-famous rep: ”I don’t go on unless I have something specific to promote.”

4. ”If you’re wearing a short skirt, check your cellulite factor when you sit down – that’s very important.”

5. ”Be familiar with the host’s style. I don’t understand people who go on Howard Stern, then say, ‘Oh, my God, he was so rude!”’

Bleeth admits she’s been a victim of bimbo bias, although, she says, ”when people expect nothing, I can only surprise them.” And being a babe’s not all that bad – especially when you fancy a fellow guest. ”The second time I did The Tonight Show, Chris Isaak was on. I went all goo-goo and said, ‘Oh, God, you’re dreamy!’ He went, ‘Right back at ya, babe!’ I’ll remember that forever!”