Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Not My Job: We Ask Football And Old Spice Star Terry Crews About Cruises

Before he was the star of a hilarious series of Old Spice commercials, Terry Crews played for the championship Western Michigan University Broncos in Kalamazoo. Originally broadcast March 22, 2014.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

In March of 2014, we went to Kalamazoo, Michigan to do our show at Western Michigan University.

BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: It was Kalama-magical.

SAGAL: Along with Carl Kasell, Brian Babylon, Amy Dickinson and Bobcat Goldthwait, we got a chance interview one of Western Michigan's famous alumni, actor Terry Crews. He lost no time in reminiscing about his college days.

(APPLAUSE)

TERRY CREWS: I lost my virginity right there in the Zimmerman Hall, man.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So you're a Michigan guy. You grew up in Flint, right?

CREWS: Flint, Michigan, all the way, brother, born and raised.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: And you came to Western Michigan. And you were a football player on the team that went all the way to a championship season, right, back in what was it, '90, '89, around there?

CREWS: Yes, 1989. You know, first of all, I walked on in '87 and finally got a scholarship and the whole thing and worked my way on the team. And we were one of the first championship teams to ever hit Western Michigan.

SAGAL: So really, you were not recruited? I mean, this is a football school, but, I mean, you just walked on and said I want to be on the team, and they said ha, they laughed at you.

CREWS: I had an art scholarship. I actually had an art scholarship.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Wait a minute.

BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT: That's how you lose your virginity here.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Now I want to ask you, it turns out different people know you for different things. There are like fans who know you from the movie "Idiocracy," where you play the president of the United States. There are people who watch "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," and there are a lot of people who know you from this amazing series of very funny Old Spice commercials.

CREWS: It's so weird because I have - I do, I have fans in different areas, it's so crazy. I go to the mall, it's "White Chicks," you know what I mean, and I'm like...

SAGAL: Oh yeah, the movie, it's not like you're saying white chicks are your fans; you were in the movie "White Chicks."

(LAUGHTER)

CREWS: Yeah, yeah. I'm like no, the movie, the movie. But the thing is that, you know, I get fathers coming up to me. They're like how do you - how does my daughter know you? I'm like man, I'm in a movie, brother. Look, I don't know your kid, OK? The Old Spice thing has become a phenomenon. We literally have changed advertising forever. You may not like it, but you'll never forget it.

SAGAL: Right, I just saw one that just came out in which you play yourself about to shave yourself, and you play one of your own hairs.

(LAUGHTER)

CREWS: Denzel can't do that. Denzel Washington can't even do that.

SAGAL: You're right. You were actually - you've become, among many other things that we've been discussing, a legitimate action star. You're in the "Expendables" movies.

CREWS: Yes.

SAGAL: With Stallone and Schwarzenegger, among many other guys. Did you like compare body-building notes with them?

CREWS: No, you know what? Let me tell you the highlight of my professional life period was to have Arnold, Arnold was on one side of me, and Sly was on the other, and Sly was like look at his arms. His arms are amazing...

(LAUGHTER)

CREWS: And Arnold, (unintelligible). Incredible arm definition. And I'm going oh my God, this is the two - these are the reasons why you're working out. Both of these guys launched 10 million workouts, you know what I mean.

SAGAL: But before we go to the game, we have a question. We understand that you have a nickname for yourself.

CREWS: I call myself the Amusement Park. That's because I'm funny and scary at the same time. That's...

(LAUGHTER)

CREWS: I like that.

SAGAL: Now I like that, too, but in what context do you use that nickname for yourself?

CREWS: Well, you know, it's funny because I used to use it in auditions, which was crazy, because what they would do. You know, first of all when you're black in Hollywood, you know, your first role is going to be on a crime drama. That's - everybody knows that.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Right.

CREWS: And half of my role, when I started my career, was all intimidation. And then what would happen is I got on the set, and then I would flip it and be funny. So when - I use both as needed, you know what I'm saying. It's one of those things that I realize that was my way in, but what was going to keep me here was the funny. I still do it on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" all the time.

SAGAL: Sure, absolutely. I mean, it's also good - you can use that nickname. You're like - I know you're a happily married man so maybe on a certain evening you might say, hey, feel like a ride on the Amusement Park?

CREWS: She's got the lifetime pass.

GOLDTHWAIT: How tall do you have to be to get on...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Well, Terry Crews, we were delighted to talk to you. We've asked you here to play a game we're calling...

KURTIS: They're having all you can eat shrimp cocktail buffet on the Lido Deck.

SAGAL: So your name is Crews, but what do you know about cruise ships, the floating behemoths that bring all the comforts of Short Hills, New Jersey, mall to the world's waters? We're going to ask you three questions about cruise ships. Answer two right, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners, Carl's voice on their home answering machine. Carl, who is actor Terry Crews playing for?

CARL KASELL, BYLINE: Meg McCollister of Waterford, Michigan.

SAGAL: All right, Terry, you ready to play?

BRIAN BABYLON: She's probably right here.

CREWS: I'm ready.

SAGAL: She's a home girl. First question, the Crystal Cruise cruise ship line out of Japan has a special class of employees. What is their job? A, to stand on fake crows nests, pretending to scan the Caribbean sea for icebergs - B, to dress up really nice and dance with the lonely rich old ladies - or C, to randomly check toilets, wastebaskets, and other receptacles for any sign of intestinal illness breaking out.

(LAUGHTER)

CREWS: Wow, that's a tough job. I've got to go with C because there have been so many of those lately. They've got to make sure that, you know, there's no big-time disease about to happen on the ship.

SAGAL: It would make sense, but actually it was B, to dress up nice and dance with the lonely old rich ladies.

AMY DICKINSON: Aw.

SAGAL: They are called ambassador hosts - this is a wonderful thing. They're usually retired gentleman who are excellent dancers - that is the first requirement. And they are supposed to provide elegant companionship, conversation and dance for the single ladies. Tipping is optional.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right, you still have two more chances. You can still win this. It's not only humans who have to endure cruises. Which of these is a real headline that proves cruises aren't safe for any species? A, ghost ship crewed by cannibal rats presumably sunk - B, tragic end to shipboard aquarium as passengers mistake it for sushi buffet - or C, dolphins bruise themselves on cruise ship hulls as they try to flip it up in air?

CREWS: Oh wow, oh, I'm going with A, the ghost ship in and the cannibal rats.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: The Western Michigan community agrees with you, and you are all right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: You may remember this was the abandoned ship , this is this old hulk of a ship that got loose from its tow and was floating toward Great Britain in January. Everybody was freaking out because people were speculating that the rats onboard had turned cannibal. This cannibal rat ship was going to hit England.

BABYLON: So are they eating other rats, or you can't - cannibals eat each other, right?

DICKINSON: Right.

SAGAL: A cannibal rat would presumably eat other rats.

CREWS: Yeah, they're probably eating each other.

SAGAL: A rat eating a human is just a lucky rat.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: You've gotten one right with one to go. Last question. While getting violently ill may seem to be the worst thing that can happen on a cruise ship, not to mention falling overboard, one passenger had to deal with something far worse. What was this passenger's complaint to his cruise line? A, that the cruise's standup comedian made jokes about dumb people, and as a dumb person, he was offended - B, that it was too cold and cloudy to get a tan on his cruise to Alaska - or C, that the ship tilted to the right just as he was to finally beat his wife at shuffleboard.

CREWS: I'm going with B, it's too cold on his trip to - it's too cold to get a suntan.

SAGAL: They like it, and they're behind you, and you're right. That's what the complaint was.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

CREWS: I know people. People can whine. They do that.

SAGAL: The man complained but all cruises are meant to be hot, that was his logic as to why the...

BABYLON: No, no, Peter, they're meant to be hot, hot, hot.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Carl, how did Terry Crews do on our show?

KASELL: He had two correct answers, Peter, so he wins for Meg McCollister of Waterford, Michigan.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Terry Crews stars in the Golden Globe Award winning series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and the movie " Single Mom's Club" out now. Terry Crews, thank you so much for joining us.

CREWS: Oh, thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

CREWS: Love you guys.

SAGAL: When we come back, the very worst of our listener limerick rhyming previews. And actor Tony Shalhoub pays tribute to his much smarter brother.

Support for NPR comes from NPR stations and Angie's List, connecting consumers with user-reviewed contractors and online marketplace and concierge support for home improvement services - angieslist.com. Arizona State University, with more than 70 campus degrees now available 100 percent online at online.asu.edu. And Progressive, offering policy holders the option to bundle home and auto insurance coverage. Learn more at progressive.com or 1-800-progressive. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT, WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME from NPR.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!