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LL Cool J Of NCIS LA Charms Bonnie Hunt With Stories

I know I've said this before but I adore Bonnie Hunt.  There are so many reasons including our Midwestern, Irish Catholic common background, but she is so grounded yet funny.  I never miss her show thanks to the help of my Tivo.

In fact, when push comes to shove, you could catch me watching Bonnie before I catch up on Ellen or the big O.

(Image of LL Cool J - as Special Agent Sam Hanna, in NCIS: LOS ANGELES the Office of Special Projects (OSP), a division of NCIS, on Tuesdays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: JOSEPH CULTICE/CBS ©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved).

Introduction of LL Cool J

Recently Bonnie had LL Cool J (James Todd Smith) on her show to discuss his new acting work in NCIS Los Angeles.  LL Cool J (born January 14, 1968) stands for "Ladies Love Cool James" and he is an American rapper known for romantic ballads such as "I Need Love", "Around the Way Girl" and "Hey Lover" as well as pioneering hip-hop such as "I Can't Live Without My Radio", "I'm Bad", "The Boomin' System", and "Mama Said Knock You Out".

LL Cool J is one of a few hip-hop stars of his era to sustain a successful recording career for more than two decades, with more recent singles like "4, 3, 2, 1", "Headsprung" and "Rocking With The G.O.A.T" and "No Crew Is Superior".

LL Cool J resides in Manhasset, New York with his wife and four children and although he has appeared in films in the past told Bonnie about his NCIS acting gig "it's a whole new chapter in my life and I'm really enjoying it."

(Image of LL Cool J - as Special Agent Sam Hanna, in NCIS: LOS ANGELES the Office of Special Projects (OSP), a division of NCIS, on Tuesdays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved).

LL Cool J On American Bandstand In 1985

Bonnie told LL Cool J "it's so nice to meet you in person.  I love your acting."  She said you have "always exuded confidence" and she showed a clip from American Bandstand, 1985, with LL Cool J.   Bonnie pointed out in the clip the rapper/actor was 17 years old.  He seemed tickled that Bonnie had found the clip to show to her audience.

Cool J said "oh really? Oh man...1985"  He told Bonnie he was "16-17 years old when he made the clip."

After he saw the clip where he was singing and dancing dressed in red while on stage he said "that's funny, that's funny."

Bonnie said "so, you know I got into this business much later in my life, I can't imagine being 17 and being on American Bandstand, something we all grew up watching."

LL Cool J Passionate About His Music

LL Cool J told Bonnie "yeah, you know I got started off, I got in the business at age 16 and you know, it's been a lot of fun for me and you know I've been really blessed, really lucky, very passionate about what I do, I feel real connected to the people who enjoy what I do.  You know it's a good feeling, a good vibe."

(Pushback" -Special Agent Sam Hanna (LL COOL J ) discovers a murdered woman on, NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Tuesday, Nov. 11 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS. ©2009 CBS BROADCASTING INC. TELEVISION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Bonnie agreed "yes, it is.  It's intoxicating isn't it when you know you can bring so much joy to people."

LL said "when you can dig down deep into someone's soul with your art and touch you know their inner life and play with...it's a good thing.

Bonnie "Oh my goodness, I don't know....wow....you might want to consider that for a pickup line.  Wow, wow, wowwieee."  While LL cracked up at Bonnie's reaction, she fanned herself.  The two enjoyed her joke.

("Predator" - Special Agent Sam Hanna (LL COOL J ), and the team are assigned to track down a missing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) after it is compromised during a training exercise killing a marine before it disappears, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Tuesday, Oct. 6 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved).

Surrounded By Musical Family

Bonnie said "but when you were a kid growing up you were surrounded by people that loved music and people played music in your family. And it's not like you grew up in a privileged lifestyle at all."

Cool J said, "no not at all."  Bonnie said "just the opposite but creatively, there was a lot of inspiration around you."  Cool J said "yes, my grandfather was in a jazz band, he played the tenor sax.  My Uncle Bobby played every instrument and wore a beret, he was the coolest guy. Oh he was the coolest guy ever.  My mother played the accordion, wrote poetry.  My grandmother sang for the Pope when he came to Shea Stadium.  She was in the choir, the Catholic choir."

He continued "my family is pretty musical. My granddad was in a band like Temptation After Taxes type of band and singing.  You know what I'm saying?"  Bonnie was laughing and said "exactly."

Bonnie "was there some point in life where you were begging your grandpa for the turntables?"  Cool J said "yes"  Bonnie said "and he was like...not right now, but you figured out a way."

("The Only Easy Day" -- Special Agent Sam Hanna (LL COOL J ) during an investigation on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Tuesday, Sept. 29 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved)

Family From Barbados

Cool J said "yes my family's from Barbados and my grandfather's real cheap.  Anyone who knows Caribbean people knows they're very cheap, you know.  He didn't want to buy turntables.  That wasn't his thing soooo he was saying no, no, no, no, no."

Cool J explained "but one day I got on my friend's motorcycle and rode around the neighborhood.  He had a little shoestring tied to it and it made a bllllrrr, bllllrrr, blrrr, sound and he said 'everything's fine just don't stop because it will cut off, so just keep going.'

And Cool J said "so that was his instructions to me.  So I drove down the street,and I saw a car coming but he said...don't stop...I saw the car coming, he said don't stop, I saw the car coming, he said don't stop.  I should have stopped and DING..I'm gone" he slapped his hands together to indicate him flying up in the air.

Cool J said "it ended up my grandfather heard about the story and decided "maybe we should keep this kid in the house and get him a turntable for mixing, keep him safe...you know, you know."

Bonnie asked "and what was that like when you got those?  Was there just something inside of you that you just started creating?"

Kids Following Their Dreams

Cool J said "Oh my god....it was the most incredible feeling in the world, I mean you known when you're really passionate about something. You know, I'll even tell you one better. There's nothing better than supporting a kid when they're trying to go for their dream and when they believe in something and when they love something and when they are passionate about something. So many times as adults and parents we get caught up and start like wanting certain things for our kids and we forget that we need to support them in their dreams.  And what they want to do."

Bonnie agreed and she said "wow."  The audience applauded.  Bonnie said "what do you do with your kids though?

LL Cool J's Family

Cool J said "I support my kids."  Bonnie said "you have four kids?"  Cool J said "yes, I have four.  Two in college and two younger ones."  A photo of Cool J with his family was shown on the screen and Bonnie said "wow, there's your beautiful family."

Cool J said "yeah, there's the crew.  We were at DJ practice at my house."  He and Bonnie both laughed.  The rapper/actor said "yeah, they're great kids.  A great family."

Investing In Dreams Of LL Cool J's Kids

Bonnie said "but it must be hard though, even though you felt like you knew what you wanted to do at a young age.  Do you ever think when your kids come to you sometimes that maybe it's a passing phase?  But you still want to invest in it.  Do you think? You know, not so much financially, but emotionally."

Cool J said "I think, you know there's a saying 'what you do speaks so loudly that I can't hear what you're saying.'  You know, and what that means is that like yeah, my kids may talk about certain things but when I see posters on the wall and when I see evidence that's there's passion there beyond (and he clicked his fingers together) lip service, then I have to pay attention."

Parents Need To Go Into Their Kid's Room & Pay Attention

Cool J said "and I think as parents all of your guys, when you go in your kid's rooms. like I don't know if I necessarily want that on the wall, but this looks good and then you kinda start like (he move his head back and forth) you can learn a lot about their lives by looking at their rooms and what's going on.  And I support their dreams.

Bonnie "by paying attention?"

Cool J said "yeah, pay attention to them."  Bonnie asked him "what about Boom Dizzle?  Could you tell us about that because I love the idea."

Boom Dizzle To Help Young Artists

Cool J said "Boom Dizzle was a digital distribution network that I set up.  And I have thousands of young artists like everyone here probably has, like my nephew Johnny plays the guitar and he wants to be in a band and you know, whatever, soooo.  Boom Dizzle is designed and set up for those kids who are trying to make it, to allow their dreams to come true.

Squeak Discovered By LL Cool J

LL Cool J said "I have a young kid who just performed with me at Universal in Florida and he was discovered and his tunes are on iTunes and now his name is Squeak and his song is called 'My Dreams'. I want to help others."

Bonnie was incredulous and said "his name is Squeak?"

Cool J talked about the young artist he just discovered "his name is Squeak.  But there's a story,  there's a reason why (his name is Squeak).  He was born with one ear and he has a squeaky voice.  And he hears music differently.  He's incredibly talented Just like, I don't know, Stevie Wonder.  You know, ears instead of eyes, you know, I'm not trying to be funny.  I'm just saying.  You know like the ear thing.  It's different.  You know?"

Bonnie teased Cool J and said "I think it's awful you're making fun of blind people."

Cool J was horrified and said "nooooo, oh my god...Jesus, nooooo."  He covered his face while Bonnie laughed and teased him.

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