Life & Culture

Beware: the cult US mamas are coming

American comedy act Ronna and Beverly give the benefit of their wisdom.


Ronna and Beverly are two fiftysomething Jewish mothers from Boston (actually comic characters played by thirtysomething actresses Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo). The pair have become cult figures in Los Angeles with their celebrity chatshow and their self-help book aimed at divorcees, You'll Do a Little Better Next Time. We called them in the United States as they prepared to fly over for their London debut.

Are you looking forward to coming over to London?

Beverly: I can't wait. You have a king and a queen. It's so romantic.

Ronna: I got up at four o'clock in the morning to see Charles marry Diana. I could not watch Camilla's wedding. She and Charles look like two very masculine women.

You will be appearing at the Soho Theatre. Do you know much about this part of our capital city?

Ronna: I happen to know that it is located in the financial district. The neighbourhood is medieval so we'll be trying to avoid people throwing buckets out of the window.

What do you like about the English?

Beverly: I like those adorable words you guys use, like piccalilli, smash and banger and whatever it is you people call a truck.

What will you be doing in your show?

Beverly: We are going to be talking to people who have had experiences so that we can fix their experiences.

Ronna: Yes, we'll be telling them what they should be doing. Either they'll take our advice, or they won't.

Do you have a favourite British celebrity?

Ronna: I absolutely love Ralph Fiennes. I hate to tell you this but we were watching Schindler's List. I was completely captivated by the film and then Ralph Fiennes came on the screen. He had the most piercing blue eyes I have ever seen. I have never felt so conflicted. I should say that there were plenty of Nazis in that film but he was the only one I was attracted to.

Tell us about the guests you will be talking to?

Beverly: We'll be interviewing Trinny and Susannah and David Baddiel. I wish I had named my daughters Trinny and Susannah, it's the cutest thing I have ever heard in my life.

Ronna: And we're very excited to be meeting David Baddiel. His movie looks adorable.

Beverly: The Infidel reminds me of Fiddler on the Roof. It gives me the same feeling inside. It could be about my life.

Ronna: Yes, except you're not Muslim, you're not a cab driver, you don't live in England and you're not being humiliated by your own culture. Other than that, it's exactly you.

You will also be going to Edinburgh. Do you know anything about Scotland?

Ronna: I am an educated woman. Just because I have an American accent, it doesn't mean I have never picked up a book in my life.

Beverly: I don't like to read unpleasant things so I don't know much about Scotland. But I do look great in plaid.

Do you have any questions about London?

Beverly: In our country most of the people who do your nails are Vietnamese. Is it the same over there? They have very small hands so they can get into all the nooks and crannies.

Ronna: Beverly, that's enough.

Beverly: Why is it racist to give someone a compliment?

What do you like about the British?

Ronna: I like the fact that you are all old-fashioned over there until you go to a soccer match and start eating each other.

Thank you for speaking to us, ladies

Ronna: Thank you too. You mother should be very proud of you. You speak very clearly.

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