This is Valerie Cherish* (Lisa Kudrow).
Valerie used to be a big TV star in the '90s.
Nine years ago, Val attempted to reclaim her fame with Room & Bored — a new TV show — and The Comeback — a companion reality show following her attempts to regain her fame.
Val played Aunt Sassy on Room & Bored. Initially conceived as the hard-nosed landlord of the building her niece Cassie (Malin Akerman) lived in...
Sassy quickly descended into parody, because Val couldn't stop offering suggestions to the show's creative staff, who quickly grew to hate her.
Room & Bored was created by Tom Peterman (Robert Bagnell) and Paulie G. (Lance Barber).
While Tom tolerated Valerie, for work's sake, Paulie G. could never hide his disdain and that led to a historic altercation.
Tom had fallen ill*, leaving Paulie G. as the sole creative voice to oversee an episode that Val was particularly excited about because it gave her a major physical comedy moment.
There was only one problem with the pratfall.
A fact Paulie G. exploited when Val looked for validation following her first attempt.
So Val took the hit over, and over, and over again.
To the point of injury.
Ever the people pleaser, Val still turned to Paulie for approval. That's when weeks of her sublimation and his antagonization came to a head.
And. Val. Snapped.
She also puked.
Adding insult to legit injury, the incident became the focal point of The Comeback's first episode.
Much to the horror of everyone at Valerie's chocolate fountain-themed premiere party.
But no one was more horrified than Val.
Because Valerie had, from the very beginning, tried insanely hard to control how she was portrayed on The Comeback.
Val mistakenly assumed she had any control over the final edit, which is why she would call "time out" or tell her producer Jane (Laura Silverman) to "flag" scenes.
She'd confused their friendly working relationship for a genuine friendship.
So Val loaded up her Lincoln Navigator* and brought the cameras to confront Jane at her house.
*In one of the many hilarious cross-promotional tie-ins Valerie was forced to integrate into her reality show (like The Amazing Race's Charla Faddoul becoming her assistant), she is given a Lincoln Navigator and repeatedly told to refer to it by its full name every time she uses it.
That's when Valerie decided to quit The Comeback during her planned post-premiere appearance on The Tonight Show.
Creepy sound guy Sean (Jon Sklaroff) had a good point.
Before going on stage, The Tonight Show's producer Zoe (Misi Lecube) came in to talk about the cupcake scene with Valerie.
"Valerie, I'm sorry you're upset, but people are talking about it," Jane said. "There's a good way to get back on The Tonight Show and a bad way — this is the bad way," Valerie later clarified.
Much to Valerie's chagrin, Jay also found the moment amazingly disgusting.
Jay loved the moment so much he even had funny air sickness bags made with Valerie's face on them!
And, suddenly, Valerie didn't care if people saw her as a joke because she was a joke they liked.
So by the time Jay pulled out the cupcake gloves for a little boxing match, Valerie was more than happy to play her part.
Because this truly was Valerie's comeback.
And the on-screen triumphs kept coming. As Valerie exited The Tonight Show stage, she was informed that The Comeback had been picked up for a second season after only one airing.