Clark Howard is the anti-Ryan Seacrest.
He wouldn’t know Speidi from Spidey.
But his wife Lane loves “The Real Housewives” series on Bravo. And she roped him into “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Yes, Clark is watching that trashy show and finds it just as appalling of a train wreck as the rest of us.
So he had new cast member and R&B singer/songewriter Kandi Burruss on air at 1:35 p.m. (heard locally on 750/WSB-AM) to talk about her finances. Howard said he chose her because she seems to be the only sane one of the bunch in terms of her spending habits.
“She actually earns a living,” Clark said today. “She saves the money she’s earned. The other women just live off the fat of the land and everything is flash and no cash. These women drive me bonkers. But it’s very entertaining.”
The consumer guru taped the interview on Tuesday and found her charming and down to earth. “I think they’re going to have to write her out of the script,” he said. “She’s too normal!”
In fact, can you imagine Clark Howard interviewing Kim Zolciak. That’d be way too hilarious to imagine. Here’s my imaginary transcript.
Clark: “So you just spend money blindly? Is that even possible?”
Kim: “Well, it’s just money!”
Clark: “What? Are you for real?”
Kim: “I can always get more!”
Clark collapses in shock.
His favorite silly quote from season one was when one of “characters” (I think it was Sheree) said, “It’s the party that everybody in Atlanta knows about!” And yes, he calls them characters because “they’re like cartoon characters.”
Kandi, he noted, seemed to know a lot about him, too.
Clark Howard seldom interviews anybody, much less a celebrity. The last time he did a celeb interview was Paula Deen, who he admired for her business smarts.
Here are highlights from the interview:
-Kandi confirms the other four are free spenders. Clark was especially appalled by Kim buying an Escalade last season without negotiating. Kandi says she still has the vehicle (purchased with Big Poppa’s money.)
-Her philosophy: “I have worked and made my own money. It’s not somebody else money or from my husband. I have to be careful. I’m the breadwinner, taking care of money for my family and stuff.”
-She’s made most of her money from royalties via songwriting, with the big payday from “No Scrubs” by TLC, her Grammy-winning tune.
-She says she has a life insurance policy that is like an investment policy that pays out later in life. It’s her retirement money since she didn’t have a 9-to-5 job to accrue Social Security or a 401(k).
-Kandi told the “Real Housewives” producers upfront she wasn’t going to be a conspicuous spender the way the others are.
-Kandi said she doesn’t like negotiating with car dealers. Clark suggested ways to do it online.
-Kandi’s recommendation: try to own a car and home in case your paycheck goes south. Pay principal off loans if you can so you can knock years off those loans.
-He does not bring up her fiance, A.J., who her mom does not approve of with his six kids and no obvious job that we know of from watching the show.
Tonight, the show has not only a “director’s cut” version of last week’s episode at 9 p.m., but also a “supersized” version at 10 p.m. I guess they’ll show some moments not shown last week from the “fight” at FAB.