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On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Kristen Bell talks The Good Place, hosting the SAG Awards, ALF

Kristen Bell, Jimmy Kimmel (Screenshot: ABC)

Human joy-battery and The Good Place star Kristen Bell stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday. As it turns out that she and host Kimmel are real-world pals, they started off by regaling each other with kid and vacation stories, including that time the Kimmels and the Bell-Dax Shepard clans went camping with a full-sized bouncy house in tow, which isn’t as awesome as it seems. (It’s still pretty awesome.) She also spilled some relationship secrets behind the couple’s enduringly adorable and hope-givingly successful marriage, her common sense talk of compromise backed up by an anecdote about how their first, fight-marred motorcycle trip to visit their respective parents was saved by a cooling-off period spent watching Bell’s mom’s VHS stash of old ALF episodes. That she describes the furious but forbearing Shepard’s demeanor during the marathon as being “fully outside of his body” isn’t exactly a compliment to the venerable puppet sitcom, but whatever it takes to keep these two crazy kids together is fine with the world.

But Bell, who is hosting the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, brought plenty of awesome herself, as she talked about her pride at being the first ever host in the SAG Awards’ 24-year history—of any gender. “My genitalia is irrelevant,” joked Bell, who, Kimmel noted, will also be presiding over a roster of all-women presenters on the Saturday awards show, a conscious choice, as Bell put it, representing a “nod to the changing climate and the celebration of women” currently making a long-overdue entrance into the discussion of workplace culture, both inside and outside the entertainment industry. Bell seemed revved up for the gig, telling camping buddy Kimmel that she’s excited to be part of the equally overdue celebration of people who’ve been “unrecognized and marginalized” in her chosen business.

Bell will also, no doubt, be hilariously passive-aggressive about the fact that neither she nor any of her The Good Place colleagues snagged a single nomination at the show (which will air at 8 p.m. EST on TBS and TNT on Saturday). Not even in the “Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Comedy Series” category, which is yet another gnawing hint that we actually live in the Bad Place. Speaking of The Good Place, Bell played it appropriately cagey about what’s coming for viewers of the sparklingly good NBC afterlife series after last week’s big reveals. (Unlike that loose-lipped Ted Danson, who, according to fellow stellar co-star Jameela Jamil, is the guy to go to if you want the show’s carefully guarded twists spoiled for you.) All Bell would tell us is that, after the show-redefining development that ended last week’s excellent episode, the fate of her terrible-but-trying Eleanor Shellstrop and company will be “very interesting and enjoyable in way that I think will be very entertaining.” SPOILER: In the interview, Bell does spoil the big reveal at the end of season one. But if you haven’t watched The Good Place by this point, that’s on you, people—as the series shows, we don’t have all the time in the world.


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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.