Chris Jericho is a Renaissance Man. We all know Chris is a huge wrestling star, having won about every wrestling belt you’ve ever heard of. We know he’s a rock star - front man for his band Fozzy. We know he’s an actor. We know he’s a writer, author of the best selling book – A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex, available in finer book stores near you. But do know his innermost feelings about, say, nerds?
I met Chris at a fancy Hollywood party a few years ago. One of the things I immediately liked about him was that he was really comfortable chatting about anything. As result, I started talking to him about, well, anything. As the minutes flew by, I started to think to myself, “Wait, I don’t know this guy very well. Why am I talking about Woody Allen with a professional wrestler?” Then a mutual friend told me, “Oh, yeah, Chris is one of us. He’s a huge film buff. He understands you.” Now, again, interviewing is not my day job. I am neither a good listener nor do I know how to ask relevant questions. But I thought it would be fun for Geekweek to hear what Chris Jericho has to say.
JLD: I understand you won the heavyweight championship during the Unforgiven tournament. You were in a match in which there weren’t any rules. Do you think you thrive in that environment?
CJ: I was never any good at coloring in the coloring book because there already lines drawn. I was always better at drawing my own lines and then coloring them in myself. I’m not much of a rules guy. I’m still the type of guy who throws the gum wrapper on the floor of the rental car and leaves it there when I drop it off. I’m kind of a rebel that way.
JLD: You are lucky enough to be both a rock star and a huge wrestling star. Which one of these boyhood fantasies is the most fun to be living out right now?
CJ: Well, I’ve been wrestling for 20 years and I’ve accomplished everything you could ever accomplish in wrestling. I just won the world championship the other night, which is like winning an Oscar, so it’s like being a 6 time Oscar winner in wrestling. But the fact that I’ve been playing in bands a lot longer than I’ve been wrestling makes the fact that Fozzy’s been doing as well as we are so exciting. My biggest problem with being a musician is that I was born in Winnipeg. The music scene in Winnipeg Canada consists of the Crash Test Dummies and the Guess Who. And that’s about it. There weren’t a lot of options to get into music in Winnipeg. So I went into wrestling instead. Now that I am traveling the world with the band and our fans keep growing. It’s a lot of fun right now.
JLD: Okay, let’s switch it up. Which Sex and the City character are you? And why?
CJ: Probably Carrie Bradshaw because she’s
the only one that I know. I am a
heterosexual male and never seen an episode of Sex and the City. Ever. But I do like that she has cool hair even though it’s a
wig. And anyone who’s banging
Ferris Bueller is okay by me.
JLD: Who would win in a match, you or Ricky the Dragon the Steamboat in his prime?
CJ: Well if wrestling was real, which it isn’t, I’d have to say me because I’m from Winnipeg and we’re all crazy drunken psychos and we never lose fights. If it were put together by a promoter, than obviously Ricky the Dragon Steamboat because he’s Ricky the Dragon Steamboat. And he gets to carry the little Kimodo dragon with him. What chance would I have?
JLD: Okay, what if I was going to die of some horrible disease and for whatever reason, the only way to cure me would be for you to join the B-52s on tour for two months, replacing Fred Schneider and singing things like "Rock Lobster" and “Love Shack” EXACTLY the way Fred Shneider would. And you can't ever tell anyone why you are doing it. Would you do it?
Of course I would! It’s the B-52s, man! If nothing else, I’d like to try and
see if I could get into the beehive chick’s pants. And would it really be so bad to sing Rock Lobster when you
can sing “Dooooown, dooooown, dooooown” and everyone in the arena has to get
down? And then they jump up. It’s better than the Hokie Pokie.
JLD: You’re a huge fan of the movie King of Kong. What do you think Billy Mitchell is better at, making hot sauce or playing Donkey Kong?
CJ: Well, since Steve Wiebe is the Donkey Kong champion at this point. I think that’s why Billy started making the hot sauce. Billy never wanted to admit Steve Wiebe was better. It’s not in Billy Mitchell’s DNA.
JLD: Right. Of course not.
CJ: Billy just went into the hot sauce business as a diversion so he could say “Listen, I don’t have as much time to play Donkey Kong anymore because I’m too busy making hot sauce.” But a little known fact is that apparently Steve Wiebe is now manufacturing his own line of hot sauce and Billy Mitchell is scared. Terrified.
note: I am not sure any of that is true.)
JLD: Sometimes I look on the Internet and I see you've started some sort of feud with Mickey Rourke or you're fighting this person or that person. I’m worried about you. Are you going to maybe stop with all this wrestling and feuding and maybe have nice times with people?
Well, that’s the thing, I wanted to take Mickey out for a frappuccino and
scones and discuss the finer points of Barfly. But he wasn’t really interested. He was more interested in fighting me. And he knocked me out of Wrestlemania,
so Mickey Rourke 1, Chris Jericho 0, but at least I don’t look like Rocky
Dennis from the Mask.
JLD: That is true. I've always thought it would be really fun if you and I went to the Olive Garden together and took complete strangers with us and told them they can have anything they want but once they start ordering too much, we’d get really angry with them. Is that something you’d enjoy?
CJ: (Long pause.) I would do it just for the bread sticks.
CJ: I think those bread sticks are just exquisite. If I become drunk on breadsticks, I will pay the tab for everyone in the whole fucking place.
JLD: That’s really generous. Before I met you, I saw you on TV and you seemed so cocky and mean, but when I met you in real life, you were really friendly and humble. That’s not a question, I just wanted to say that.
CJ: Well, thank you. I’m an asshole in real life. I was just acting when I saw you. I knew you were a Hollywood scriptwriter. I was thinking, maybe someday there’ll be a part for me.
Oh, well now I know that. (Laughs)
CJ: Well, I think in the politically “uncorrect” 80s, the fact that he was a gay black guy did make him a nerd. You couldn’t be gay and black back in those days. “Hah, nerd! What a nerd.” Booger on the other hand was the opposite of nerd. In fact, Booger was kind of cool. He was the exact same character as Bluto Blutarsky in Animal House. They did the same things. They both picked zits. They both farted. They were both fat men with curly hair. They both had a devil may care look. They both could pick up chicks. So why was one a nerd and why is the other a renegade maverick college student that everyone wants to hang out with? That is my question to you, young Jonathan Davis.
JLD: Wait, is your question why is Booger a nerd?
CJ: No, my question is, why is Booger a nerd and Bluto Blutarsky considered cool? They’re the same guy!
JLD: I just thought Booger was placed in the wrong situation.
I agree, but I’m saying, why are the filmmakers saying that Booger is a nerd
when Bluto Blutarsky is so clearly cool.
I don’t understand the dichotomy there.
JLD: I don’t understand it either, and I think we should talk to some people.
CJ: I think we should. I think we should assemble a panel and bring it to Comicon.
JLD: We really should. By the way, one of the thing about Revenge of the Nerds that has bothered me for years, it’s the only movie I’ve ever heard of in which a woman is raped and it’s okay.
CJ: When Lewis is wearing a Darth Vader mask, do you mean?
JLD: Yeah, I mean Lewis has sex with her under the pretext that he’s her boyfriend and then reveals who he is afterwards. Is that not rape?
CJ: Yeah, she was totally raped. She was having sex during the rape but not with the guy she thought she was having sex with. And then when he took off his mask and laughed, she was like “Oh, Lewis!”
JLD: It’s so wrong. Okay, almost to the end here. How comes you didn't drive me home when I was drunk in a bar and I said, "Okay, which one of you god damn celebrities is gonna drive me home?" Did you think you weren't a celebrity?
CJ: No. Actually it’s lucky that I didn’t drive you. That same night, I got arrested for a DUI and spent the night in the Hill Street County Jail, famous for Hill Street Blues. Except there was no Joe Spano and Michael Conrad. There were only ten vattos who wanted to kick the shit out of me cause I’m a wrestler. So had you been in my car, you too would have been in that cell with me. I was able to escape, using my skills I learned from Clint Eastwood in Escape from Alacatraz.
JLD: Tell us about your new Fozzy album?
It’s the ten year anniversary and this is our 5th record. Chasing the Grail is our highest debuting
record. Like I said, it’s
fortunate that I get to live both my dreams to be a wrestler and be in a rock
band. I’m touring the world with
Fozzy. We’re excited to outdo
Crash Test Dummies as the second best band from Winnipeg.