10/13/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
Washington, D.C., hasn't been the same since since Ali Wentworth married George Stephanopoulos and shook up the town's stuffy social scene. She has asked Henry Kissinger if he knew who Pamela Anderson
was (he didn't) and gleefully belted out the news of Julia Roberts
's nuptials during a somber 2002 dinner party. Says Wentworth: "I am a fun person to sit next to."
Now she's testing her quirky conversation habits on the rest of the country with her new syndicated daytime talk show, Living It Up! with Ali & Jack
. The comedian, 38, had a painful start, getting bumped by a car while taping a remote comedy segment. "But she just looked up," says her cohost, former 20/20
anchor Jack Ford, "and asked, 'Did that look good?'"
The daughter of Eric, a former Washington Post
reporter, and Muffie, Nancy Reagan's onetime social secretary, Wentworth attracted attention on In Living Color
and The Tonight Show
(as a road-tripping correspondent). In 2001 she wed Stephanopoulos after meeting him on a blind date. "She was so direct and quick-witted from the start," he says. Sometimes too direct: She recently bragged in print about her twice-a-day sex life—much to her husband's dismay. Wentworth, who shuttles between Manhattan and D.C. residences with her husband and their year-old daughter Elliott, promises to be more private but adds, "George knows he didn't marry the Duchess of Windsor."