Saturday, January 19, 2008


Working on Best Week Ever has afforded me a number of rather bizarre faux-celebrity encounters. Among the people I've met and "worked with" over the years are Chris Hanson, Tom Bergeron, Kevin Federline, Martha Stewart, the J. Peterman guy from 'Seinfeld', and Mr. Chocolate Rain himself, Tay Zonday. But perhaps none of these encounters prepared me for this past Monday, when I was asked to do a comedy bit with Wolf, one of the new 'American Gladiators'.

First, enjoy the actual bit in question:

Now, a few things that deserve mention:

* In person, Wolf is exactly like you'd imagine him to be. Friendly as hell, as long as you pretend you're interested in his many tales of ass-kickery and can resist the urge to blurt out "You know dude, you're kinda sorta a tool".

* Wolf wears a lot of awful silver and turqoise jewelry, the kind of stuff you'd see in a Santa Fe display window underneath a sign reading, "Created by Local Artisans". Wolf's skin is a shade that can only be described as "Oompa Loompa Orange" (strangely, he kept complaining about how pale he was) and, despite his name and rather hirsute face and head, 'Wolf' appears to be pretty much hairless from the neck down.

* Most importantly: Yes, I was genuinely getting my ass handed to me. I don't know if it was to maintain his Alpha Male cred, but Wolf seemed wholly incapable of going half-speed. We didn't choreograph anything too specific, but I kind of expected that we'd goof around a bit and 'play-fight'. Um, nope. You can tell from his first hit, which nearly causes me to fall back on my ass. What you see in this clip is only about 1/3 of the footage we shot and in all of it, I'm being knocked around like I'm in a Popeye cartoon. In the climactic shot (inasmuch as a one minute VH1 bit can have a 'climactic shot'), Wolf boffs me in the face with his padded shield thingy. This was probably the only thing we blocked, because it was supposed to set up the fact that I got my teeth knocked out. So Wolf and I spent a few seconds deciding how it would work and at one point I think I even said "But you know, you don't really have to HIT ME hit me..." Well, as you can probably tell, he definitely HIT ME, hit me. Watch closely and you can actually see the silly wrestling helmet thing spin around on my head! I had a ring in my ear for about an hour and even now, five days later, I have bruises on my arms and legs. This is what happens when you work on a non-union show, folks! But honestly I had no problem with any of it because I knew the footage had to be pretty funny. At the end of the day, you've gotta go where the laughs are. That said, I really should look into getting some health insurance.

* I've asked the Best Week Ever people for all of the raw footage of My Date with Wolf. If/when they get it to me, I'll post it.

That is all, people.