BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: The next interview we'll revisit is with a special guest, famous for being very, very easy on the eyes, and, of course, for a sex tape.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
We're talking, of course, about Rob Low. The actor/dreamboat joined us in 2014. And of course, I asked him about one of the rumors swirling around him that he used to look for women to date on C-SPAN.
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ROB LOWE: No, it wasn't C-SPAN. It was MTV…
SAGAL: Well, that makes more sense.
LOWE: Because I - you know, I wasn't necessarily looking for Mensa members...
LOWE: ...At that point in my life.
BRIAN BABYLON: But you're beautiful. How - why you got to do that? I mean...
BABYLON: ...I don't understand.
TOM BODETT: Yeah, we can troll MTV all day long.
BODETT: It ain't going nowhere, Brian.
LOWE: Yeah, it was - you know, it was - if I saw an interesting-looking girl on the latest, you know, Police video or Kajagoogoo extravaganza, I'll take girl in black dress, third one to the right.
LOWE: Whatever, yes exactly.
SAGAL: And did this work for you? Did you call them up - this - hello, I'm Rob Lowe, and I would like to go out with you, and they'd all say yes?
LOWE: In all truth, I only did it once. And it did work. And I ended up dating that particular young lady for about a year. So...
SAGAL: Oh, that's nice.
LOWE: I had quite – quite good luck with it...
LOWE: ...And maybe should've gone back to it, but never did.
SAGAL: So the C-SPAN thing was just a terrible rumor because I was excited about this.
LOWE: Yeah. I did – I did at one point watch Fawn Hall testify in the Iran-Contra hearings, and I tracked her down. That's true.
SAGAL: Did you really?
LOWE: Yes, it's true.
SAGAL: So the rest of America was, like, looking at the Iran-Contra hearings going oh, what a terrible extra-Constitutional potential crime against this country. And you're like, so she hid it in her underwear, did she?
SAGAL: We need to - and you probably have gone through this before recently - but you recently said something that got picked up about how hard it is for attractive people in Hollywood.
LOWE: Yes, it's a condition that affects worldwide at least 15 or 20 people a year.
SAGAL: I know.
LOWE: And it takes an entertainer and a - slash journalist of your stature to bring this out of the shadows.
LOWE: So first of all, thank you.
SAGAL: This is NPR. We tell the sad stories.
LOWE: That's it.
SAGAL: And I want to give you a chance to be serious if you want to. I mean, did you find - 'cause, let's face it, you're a good-looking fella - that you weren't considered for certain roles that you might have wanted?
LOWE: No. I think what it is, is that there is a certain irony when, you know, I will have finished coaching my kid's sixth-grade basketball team at the Y and a studio executive will say oh, this movie we're making about a sixth-grade basketball parent, nobody would look like you, so no. And, you know, that…
LOWE: That's - you go, wait a minute. I actually am in the PTA. What do you mean, you know, PTA dads don't look like me? I'm a PTA dad. So...
JESSI KLEIN: Rob, what time are your PTA meetings?
KLEIN: Cite where, when.
LOWE: You're welcome any time .You're welcome to come by, but they're boring…
KLEIN: All right, I'll just swing by.
SAGAL: One of the things I have admired, especially recently, is that you've played roles that, let's say, go against type or play up the type for laughs. You're hilarious and funny and charming in "Parks and Rec." And your role in "Behind The Candelabra" was scary.
SAGAL: But I want to ask, were there roles, you know, when you were absolutely the leading man, pigeonhole that you would've loved to play, some unattractive roles? Like, for example, you know, Sloth from the "Goonies." Is that a role you would've wanted to do?
SAGAL: Or the kid from "Mask." That would've been awesome for you.
LOWE: Don't laugh. I auditioned for the kids from "Mask." And they're, like, go out into the lobby and put on this stocking cap and cut eye holes and come back in. I had to wear literally, like, the unknown comic bag over my head when I auditioned for that movie. It's an absolutely true story.
SAGAL: That's amazing. So you have a new book out, which I enjoyed. It's called "Love Life."
SAGAL: You tell this story - you talk about how you did this show called "Lyon's Den."
SAGAL: It was supposed to be your big follow-up to "West Wing," I think.
SAGAL: And you play this lawyer in this law firm, and the show didn't go well for a variety of reasons. And they canceled it, but they allowed you guys to finish shooting the season so they could sell it on DVD, right?
LOWE: Yeah, this is - so the show is canceled. It's not on the air. It's over.
LOWE: But they say to me, you're still going to make 13 more episodes, but nobody's ever going to see them. Maybe we'll release them on DVD in, like, Bratislava.
LOWE: So with that as the backdrop, the writers and I decide, you know what? To hell with it. We're going to burn the bridges. We're going for it. And so we decided to write my character as a sociopathic maniac who is revealed to be a mass murderer.
And Kyle Chandler, right before "Friday Night Lights," is the mentor in the office who is always my rival. He comes in one night while I'm eating in the executive dining room and confronts me on evidence that I might be a mass murderer. I walk up, stab him to death with my steak knife, sit back down, eat my steak, wipe my mouth, go to the balcony and throw myself off. That's the end of the series.
SAGAL: You know, even though I had read that story in your book, a tear came to my eye when I read it.
SAGAL: That's so moving.
LOWE: Because - and this is how little the studio and the network cared about the show - when we told them we were going to write that, they were like that sounds great.
SAGAL: Well, Rob Lowe, it is a delight to talk to you. And we have asked you here to play a game we're calling...
CARL KASELL, BYLINE: Welcome to the BRAT-Pack.
SAGAL: You were famously a part of Hollywood's Brat Pack in the '80s. But what do you know about brats? That is, bratwurst, the famous sausage that often comes in packs of six.
SAGAL: We're going to ask you three questions about bratwurst. If you get two right, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners - Carl's voice on their home answering machine. Carl, who is Rob Lowe playing for?
KASELL: He's playing for Lily Alba of San Diego, Calif.
SAGAL: All right. You ready to play?
SAGAL: There are many types of bratwurst available for your very own sausage fest...
SAGAL: ...Including which of these - A, human flesh-taste bratwurst, B, gummy worm bratwurst, or, C, wood pulp bratwurst?
LOWE: I'm going with wood pulp bratwurst.
SAGAL: Wood pulp bratwurst sounds good, but it's gummy worm bratwurst.
SAGAL: And it's just what it sounds like - a bratwurst with gummy worms in it. I don't know why people want this, but they do.
LOWE: That is disgusting.
SAGAL: It is. Now, if you're a real bratwurst fan, you can go to the Bratwurst Museum in Germany - Thuringer of course - where you can enjoy what attraction at the Bratwurst Museum? A, the Bratwurst Hall of Kings, where they have bratwursts carved to look like every ruling prince of Germany; B, the Bratwurst theater, where you can enjoy a bratwurst-centered romantic comedy, or C, the gift shop where you can get all your purchases wrapped in a pig intestine just like bratwurst.
LOWE: I'm going to go with the Hall of Kings.
SAGAL: The Hall of Kings, where the ruling princes, the Herrenhausen (ph) done up as carved bratwurst.
LOWE: Yeah, I like that. That's intriguing to me.
SAGAL: You ever tried to carve a bratwurst?
KLEIN: I bet he has.
LOWE: I'm sticking with kings. I'm intrigued. I'd actually fly to Germany to visit a display of totems resembling kings made of bratwurst.
SAGAL: I like your spirit, and I like your bravery. But I wish I could like your answer. It's the Bratwurst theater. According to the Google translation of the museum's website, it is, quote, "authentic, unique, fascinating sausage theater, must have seen."
LOWE: Oh, so that's what they're calling it.
SAGAL: Yes. Last question, bratwursts have been known to show up in the police blotter as - when which of these happened? A, armed robbers stole a truck of bratwurst in Janesville, Wis., only to be found lolling around semi-conscious a day later around a greasy barbecue; B, a Des Moines woman was arrested for attacking another woman with a cooked bratwurst as a weapon, or C, police in Columbus broke up an underground bratwurst ring selling non-USDA approved pirate sausages.
LOWE: Listen, any time the phrase pirate sausage is used...
SAGAL: Oh, yes.
LOWE: ...I'm down.
SAGAL: I wish - I again, I like...
SAGAL: I like your choices. But in fact, it was the Des Moines woman who was attacked - she attacked her friend with a bratwurst. She was arrested. They took the victim's greasy, stained blouse as evidence. Carl, how did Rob Lowe do on our quiz?
KASELL: Rather lousy, Peter.
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
KASELL: Sorry, Rob. No correct answers.
LOWE: I'm so sorry. I let everyone down. I cannot tell you how - how demoralizing this is.
SAGAL: Rob Lowe's autobiography "Love Life" is out now. Rob Lowe, thank you so much for being on our show.
SAGAL: What a pleasure to talk to you.
LOWE: Thank you. Thank you.
SAGAL: When we come back, it's the sweetheart of the ‘80s and the soundtrack of the ‘90s, Molly Ringwald and Lance Bass. We'll be back with more of WAIT WAIT …DON'T TELL ME from NPR.
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