Star Treatment on The Queen Latifah Show


Queen Latifah with Outfit Skaters

Chicago Outfit Roller Derby is currently in our “off-season,” meaning we take a couple months to rest, rejuvenate, and take a breather from our strenuous practices and allow our bodies to heal. However, last month, we held one last extra-special regulation scrimmage for the 2013 season. Why?

Because we had been invited to be guests on The Queen Latifah Show for a special segment on roller derby, female empowerment, and mothers who do more than just “mom." A film crew came to Chicago to tape our scrimmage. It was fantastic and they interviewed many of the skaters on the team, watched us play roller derby, and let our friends and family cheer us on from the sidelines. One week later, four skaters were flown to Los Angeles to meet Queen Latifah herself, and even teach her a few moves! Queefer Sutherland, Hero Shima, Pippi Longsmackings, and Busty Broke’her represented our league with sass, class, and dignity.

Outfit skaters in a limo for the Queen Latifah show

On the morning of October 22, 2013, these four lovely ladies were given the super-star treatment. They were flown first-class to LAX, picked up by a limousine, and driven to a first-class hotel. After filming some B-roll footage and doing a quick run through of the following day’s schedule, they enjoyed an evening exploring the UCLA area and having dinner on the show’s generous per diem food stipend.

Queen Latifah getting ready backstage

The following day, the girls were whisked away to the Sony Studios lot where The Queen Latifah Show is filmed. According to Pippi, “We quickly donned our skates and gear and met up onstage with the Queen herself! We were so excited - and I gushed and turned all fan-girl and hugged her uncontrollably! As we were introducing ourselves and chatting, we found out that her skates were still off-set being ‘blinged out,’ so she couldn't tell us if she could skate or not! Because we were nearly the same height, I offered to let her try my skates... so she slipped them on right away (CINDERELLA MOMENT!) and tried to skate around a little! I was chasing her, trying to get my knee pads, elbow pads, and helmet on her before she fell and hurt herself. It quickly became obvious to all of us that Queen Latifah hadn't been on skates for a while. She sort of rolled from holding one of our arms to the wall - but looked pretty shaky! We made a few quick decisions on what she might be able to do on camera, and then we did a rehearsal to test it out.”

Busty says, “Our first meeting with the Queen herself was so, well, normal. There she was…undone. Natural. No make-up, no fancy outfit. She was down to earth. Fun. Laughing. Human. Warm. She introduced herself to each of us as if we were long lost friends…’Hi! I’m Dana,’ she said, as she drew us each into a deep hug. ‘I wish I could hang out with you all…you are so much fun!’”

After being ushered to hair and makeup, the four skaters were introduced to the celebrity guests filming that day: Ellen Pompeo and Kevin McKidd (Grey’s Anatomy) and Anne Burrell (The Food Network). The girls were all very excited to meet them, especially Hero Shima, who is a doctor, and meeting “doctors” from Grey’s Anatomy was a dream come true.

Outfit skaters with Kevin McKidd for the Queen Latifah show

Filming with Queen Latifah can be a bit of a whirlwind and she likes to keep her guests on their toes. Busty noted, “She was game for a lot more than her producer was…the producer, like an overprotective mother, admonished Dana’s grandiose plans, although in the end, Dana ignored her and got away with more than was agreed to!”

For Queefer, it was a special experience because she had never been to Los Angeles before. “Going to L.A. and being on The Queen Latifah Show was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have never been to the west coast and I completely fell in love with California.”

The girls dubbed Queen Latifah as “Da Queen,” and after getting to know the QL staff and producers, came up with derby names for all of them: “Em is for Murder,” “Derby Hart On,” “Total Lee,” “Scorin’ Lauren,” “Laydrian,” “Bull Nelson,” and “Kelsey Slammer.” Chicago Outfit Roller Derby extends a huge THANK YOU to our newest friends and honorary Outfit members from the Queen Latifah Show. It was a pleasure to work with you and your staff and we hope you’ll come see us kick some roller derby butt in 2014!

In case you missed it, here is a short clip from the segment, which aired October 30, 2013.

The Queen Latifah show and The Chicago Outfit Roller Derby Skaters