5 Questions With Lisa Whelchel of MeTV’s ‘Collector’s Call’

Lisa Whelchel MeTV MeTV

Former New Mickey Mouse Club and Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel returns to host Season 3 of MeTV’s popular original series Collector’s Call (airing Sundays). Almost all of the 23 new episodes find Whelchel back on the road visiting collectors across the country and, for that, she couldn’t be happier.

Here she took some time out from her other job as a life coach to answer our “5 Questions.”

1. Coming into this season, what collection really touched your heart?
Ironically, one of the shows that really touched my heart the most was one that we did remotely. Now, there’s only a handful of remote shows; I think maybe six of them are remote. But the one that we did for a Harry Potter collector in England, I was choked up the whole show. She had a learning disability as a child, and that’s when her collection started. The book that she started reading when she was kind of finding her way through discovering how to work with her learning disability was Harry Potter. Her mom was really involved, and then her mom passed away, so there were just so many touching points of reference to an absolutely incredibly vast and invaluable collection.

2. Anything this season that blew you away in terms of the items’ worth?
We have a collector who is a Lost in Space collector [April 3 episode], and he has transformed his basement into the Jupiter 2 flight deck, including a talking B-9 robot. You could film a series on this, in this basement. It’s mind-boggling how much he’s invested in his time, and his money, and his energy, and his heart. And it really is an experience. You walk in there and you feel like you are on the flight deck. So that, of course, blew me away. We also have another movie props and costume collector [March 27 episode], and that was not only just vast in its scope, but also in its value. There’s not one TV show or movie that the individual viewer won’t actually find something that he has in his collection that will make their jaw drop.

3. What did you find fascinating about Jack Condon’s Charlie’s Angels collection, which is featured in Episode 3?
I would have to say probably he was the most fascinating [thing] about his collection, which turns out to be true with almost all of these collectors. My favorite part of hosting the show is meeting these people because anybody who has a passion that runs this deep, is this invested, they’ve got a story. They’ve got heart, they’ve got passion, and it spills over and you can’t help but be affected by it. And the same was true with Jack, for Charlie’s Angels. It was his own story, and his own love for it, and what the Angels meant to him growing up, and collecting and getting the Guinness Book World Record [for the largest collection of Charlie’s Angels memorabilia], what that meant to him. And so the collection was great and fabulous, but what stood out the most to me was the collector, which is often the case.

4. I know you’ve said before you are somewhat of a minimalist and don’t collect too much of your own stuff. Looking back now, and after doing Live in Front of a Studio Audience, is there anything you wish you had grabbed from the set of Facts of Life or from your character, Blair?
I would say the uniform for sure. … After hosting this show, I wish I had grabbed just about everything, and had scripts signed, and all kinds of things. … Nancy McKeon got the sign off Edna’s Edibles, the open-and-closed sign that was kind of scorched because it was after the store burned, and she has that up in her kitchen. Every time I see it, I think, “Man, why didn’t I think to get that? That would’ve been perfect.” So if not that, I probably would’ve liked to have gotten an Eastland [Academy] pennant. And I know they’re out there, because we’ve covered them before, but that would’ve also been something fun to have hanging in my home.

5. Can you tell us about a time when you were starstruck?
My celebrity crush is Steve Martin. The first time I met him, I think I was 12. I met him in the airport, at LAX. I’d seen him a couple of times out to eat at restaurants I’ve been at. I actually did do an episode of his show Twilight Theater back in the ’80s, but he wasn’t on set at that time, but he’s my celebrity crush. So anytime I see him, I am just absolutely fangirling out.

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