Retta on Bringing Her Background in Comedy to HGTV’s ‘Ugliest House in America’


HGTV Retta hosts "Ugliest House In America" on HGTV.

Before Retta was hosting “Ugliest House in America,” she was a stand-up comedian and actress known for roles in “Parks and Recreation” and “Good Girls.” While speaking with Heavy, the 51-year-old revealed how she used that background on her new HGTV show.

“It lightens it. You face the ugliest house in America, you don’t want somebody who’s going to be solemn,” she told Heavy.

In the series, Retta tours homes across the country in hopes of finding one to receive a $150,000 renovation led by “Windy City Rehab” star Alison Victoria.

Noting the network’s hosts are “fun and lively,” she explained, “I bring a levity to talking about how bad your house is. And honestly, you submitted your home, so you know. So, we’re all on the same page, it’s okay to make fun of it.”

Donna, her popular character on “Parks and Recreation,” was a realtor who did not mince her words. Retta revealed to Heavy how she would react to these houses.

“Oh, she would tell them to burn every one of them to the ground,” she quipped. “Start over. I don’t think that Donna has the patience.”

Retta Wants to Return as Host if ‘Ugliest House in America’ Is Renewed

It remains unknown if “Ugliest House in America” will get a second season, but Retta reassured Heavy there are more homes to feature. As she put it, “There’s plenty. There’s plenty.”

“I feel like there was so much work being done on people’s homes because of being stuck inside and seeing what they don’t like that everybody wanted their house done,” she added.

And should the show be renewed, Retta hopes to return as host. As she told Heavy, “I’m hoping we get more seasons so I get to see more homes and watch a before-and-after, which is my favorite.”

Her love of “before-and-after” reveals is what drew her to the network.

“I’ve been working on my house, my yard and been in that mode, especially during quarantine,” she told Heavy. “It was, you know, the only thing going on. It just felt right, like it would be exciting to watch a house get renovated.”

Retta Called Acting Her ‘Joy’ & Revealed Dream Role

She may like hosting, but do not expect Retta to quit acting.

As she explained, “Acting is definitely my joy. It’s why I came out here. It’s why I started doing standup in the hopes of getting into acting.”

Retta’s NBC series “Good Girls” was canceled in June 2021, reported The Hollywood Reporter.

While her next role remains up in the air, she revealed her dream character to Heavy. As the actress explained, “I always say that I would love to play like a femme fatale, whether it be in a comedy or in a dramedy. So we’ll see if I ever get a chance to do that. That’s on the bucket list.”

The conclusion of “Ugliest House in America” airs on Friday, January 7, 2022, at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

READ NEXT: Retta Reveals Just How Ugly the Homes Are in New HGTV Show ‘Ugliest House in America’

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