Local comedian competes for Kelly Ripa’s co-host spot

Most well-known for her Broadway stand-up show “One Funny Mother,” and for the “Pokemon Go” spoof, “Chardonnay Go,” Blizzard began her career in comedy at age 30.

Mooorestown’s own comedian and former Miss New Jersey, Dena Blizzard, has already captured the title of “One Funny Mother,” but is now hoping for another title — co-host of Kelly Ripa’s “LIVE With Kelly on ABC.”

“It has always been my dream to be a talk show host. When the contest came up, I was so excited, so I sent in a submission,” Blizzard, a mother of three, said. “A number of people told me the contest was going on and contacted me. The first video introduced yourself and told yourself who you were. Second, teach people things and so I gave mom tips. Makes sure kids know where deodorant goes and arms.”

Most well-known for her Broadway stand-up show “One Funny Mother,” and for the “Pokemon Go” spoof, “Chardonnay Go,” Blizzard began her career in comedy at age 30 when her husband bought her entry to a comedy class. Since then, she has traveled the country making audiences laugh while explaining the hardships and insanities involved in motherhood. She also streams “Chardonnay Go Live” from her kitchen each Friday at noon.

While Blizzard has been constantly working to advance her comedy career, Ripa has simultaneously been without a co-host since ex-NFL star Michael Strahan chose to leave the show in May. His move came after ABC’s sudden announcement that Strahan would be repositioned on “Good Morning America.” Now, after months of searching, and various celebrities having filled in on Ripa’s show, the producers have remained undecided on a permanent replacement.

Ripa’s search for a co-host continued in September when she made the announcement on her show that a competition would be held for a non-celebrity to guest host the show for a day. She explained that to be considered, viewers should send in a video pitch explaining why they would be the ideal guest host. While the show’s producers narrowed the prospects to 40, the top 20 to the final decision was left to the audience’s discretion.

“This has been my dream for 20 years, and I became a comedian years ago. I think it would be great because Ripa and I are both from South Jersey and because the show has never had two woman,” Blizzard said. “There’s something that I think is very funny about Jersey, specifically South jersey, and we both have that South Jersey attitude.”

Additionally, Blizzard believes she would be a great fit because she and Ripa are both going through the trials and tribulations of raising children. Through this experience and contest, Blizzard also notes that while her children are so embarrassed by her, they are also feeling part true excitement for the contest results.

“I started doing stand up after my second child, so my kids’ whole lives they’ve watched me pursue this dream,” Blizzard said. “How many women in South Jersey, besides Ripa, can say they raised three kids and got to sit in a chair on LIVE with Kelly? It’s an exciting time.”

According to the official search contest rules, submissions were entered between Sept. 7 and Tuesday, Sept. 20. To be eligible, entrants were required to be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada. After application submissions were received, online voting for those in the top 20 continued through Sunday, Oct. 9.

“A lot of it relies on the videos we sent in, and I hope people think they are funny. Being in the top five is really the dream of a lifetime, so i’ve been saying lots of prayers,” Blizzard said.

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, the talk show host announced on her broadcast that Blizzard made it to the top 10 in the co-host search contest. Then, on Friday, Oct. 14, it was announced on LIVE with Kelly on ABC that Blizzard had made it into the top five. On Monday, Oct. 17 all five contestants were to travel to New York City to be on the show and take part in challenges, which the public can vote on, and after several days of challenges and rounds of voting, the grand prize winner will be announced on Friday, Oct. 21.

Regardless of the final outcome, Blizzard admits that after her long involvement in comedy, she believes things in her career are moving in the right direction, and her hard work is ultimately helping things fall into place.

“I feel like my whole career has always been ‘what’s next’ to get to that chair. The only things left on bucket list are to create a sitcom based on my Broadway show, and I would love to be a game show host,” Blizzard said. “I love them, and there have never been fabulous strong female hosts of game shows.”