This week, Shepherd is in New Orleans, host city for Super Bowl XLVII, to co-host “The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration,” the only concert officially sanctioned by the NFL. The show will be recorded live Friday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of New Orleans and syndicated to hundreds of television stations around the country. The concert is scheduled to air Sunday, Feb. 3 at 3 p.m. on WBGR in Bangor and on WAGM in Presque-Isle.
Shepherd: I am very excited about this concert. I’m co-hosting with Kirk Franklin who will also perform. There will be inspirational messages and singing by Bishop Paul S. Morton and Donnie McClurkin. Fantasia will be headlining this concert, and if you remember Fantasia from American Idol, you know you’re going to have a good time. This concert is in its 14th year and it show always sells out. People come because they want to be inspired. They love faith-filled music and there’s something about getting inspired and then going to root for your favorite team.
Dow: You’ve been outspoken about your faith, and that has led to a few tense moments over the years among some of the panelists on “The View.” Has that been a tough situation for you at times?
Shepherd: That’s a fair way to phrase it (laughing). The thing that I love about my job is that we’re not trying to change each other’s opinion. As for me and my household, this is the way we do it, but it’s always nice to hear another side. It is like a family in that we get into arguments and we’re very passionate about our side and our stance, but when those cameras cut off, we can still go out and have dinner together. I have a great deal of respect for those ladies. Our table is like the regular world in that not everybody is going to agree with your view, but can you still operate and work together? It’s been pretty successful for me for the last six seasons.
Dow: You can be straight with me. I won’t tell anyone. There must be some days when you finish a show and walk down to your car and you look over and see Joy Behar’s car and are seriously tempted to let the air out of her tires. Am I right?
Shepherd: (laughing) Honestly - there has never been a day where I leave that building mad at those ladies. Now, sometimes, when we finish, we need to take about 20 seconds to calm down. It’s like being married. You have these arguments and you say, “Oh my gosh! What am I going to do with you?” But you come back because you love them, and that’s how I feel about those ladies. We only have 14 minutes at that table, and I share so much with these women. If I disagree with Whoopie (Goldberg) at the table, this is still a woman who is a mentor to me and gives me great advice, and she’s someone whose career path I would love to follow. If we don’t agree on a particular issue, that’s not going to trump everything I feel about Whoopie. You asked if we leave the building angry – that happened way back when and you saw the implosion that happened (a reference to Rosie O’Donnell’s acrimonious departure from the show). You can’t keep working together if you don’t have respect for each other.
Dow: You are everywhere these days. From “The View” to “30 Rock” to the new version of “The Newlywed Game.” Do you ever sleep?
Shepherd: Everything I do is so different. If I’m hosting “The Newlywed Game,” I’m totally committed to that and learning about these quirky couples. If I’m filming a movie, that’s a different ballgame. Do I sleep? Absolutely not. That’ll happen when I’m dead. I get a few hours of shut-eye but not much. You’re a morning guy – how much sleep do you get?
Dow: For years, I’ve been averaging about five hours. My brain is now the size of a dish sponge.
Shepherd: (laughing) Remember when you were 19 and would stay out all night and then take a quick shower and go to work? That doesn’t happen anymore! If I’m not in bed by 10, you might see me zone out in the morning at that table.
Dow: And somehow, you find time to keep your standup comedy going.
Shepherd: I love it. I’m filming a comedy special in Phoenix on Feb. 9. Standup is my first love. Just getting up there talking – no script – making people laugh.
Dow: One final question. Ravens or 49ers? Who’s going to take the Super Bowl?
Shepherd: The Patriots! To love, honor and Patriots - that’s the way my family is. We are so disconnected. We’re still second Patriots. I’ll be standing there screaming, “Tom Brady! Get the ball!” Ride or die – Patriots!
For more information on this weekend’s Superbowl Gospel Celebration concert, visit www.SuperbowlGospel.com.
“The Big Morning Show with Mike Dow” can be heard each morning on Big 104 – The Biggest Hits of the ’60s, ’70s & ’80s - airing on 104.3 FM, 104.7 FM and 107.7 FM.