10 Questions with Mark DeCarlo
TEN QUESTIONS (PLUS ONE)
Mark DeCarlo is an actor and talk show host extraordinaire, and a dedicated Chicago sports fan. Originally from Illinois, he grew up rooting for the Cubs in Wrigley Field, and developed a great impression of Harry Carey in the process.
"X Show" X-host.
Mark has spent years both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. It all started in 1985, when Mark won $115,576 and became the all-time champion of NBC's Sale of the Century. He hasn't had a "real" job since.
In the early nineties, Mark began hosting FOX's Studs TV comedy game show for a wild 580 episodes from 1991-94.
In the show, two men were sent out on dates with the same three women. They were then all brought to the show, where the men had to guess which woman was "more likely to..." with them. Ron Goldman, a waiter who gained notoriety by being murdered with Nicole Brown Simpson, was a contestant. The show was canceled, despite stellar ratings, to make room for the short-lived Chevy Chase Show.
DeCarlo then became a host on The X Show. The show's slogan was, "From hot stock tips to tipping a hot stripper, The X Show is for men and the women who put up with them." (Mostly for the men, though.) DeCarlo left the show in June of 2000 to pursue other projects through his television production company, GlugginMARX, with his partner, Mark Walberg.
Mark has also appeared on television in Seinfeld, Boy Meets World, The Ben Stiller Show and several episodes of HBO's Tracey Takes On... He also became a regular fixture in the animated world, voicing various cartoon characters on Duckman, Rugrats, Thumb Wars and Jimmy Neutron. In addition, Mark appeared on the big screen with a role in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
SportsHollywood: What's your favorite sports movie?
DECARLO: Brian's Song. Gotta love Brian Piccolo. It's a great movie, great football and a sad story. Slapshot number two. And any guy who doesn't say that Brian's Song is number one has issues.
SportsHollywood: What is the worst sports movie ever made?
DECARLO: The Tai Babilonia, Randy Gardner Story. I don't even know if that was a movie, but if it was I'll bet it sucked.
SportsHollywood: What is your favorite Harry Carey anecdote?
DECARLO: About five years ago my buddy Mike Maddocks and me were down in San Diego with a video camera, and we were there to hang out with Harry Carey and get him on tape. We had a little consumer video camera and we were posing as a TV crew. We got all the way up to the press box and were waiting for Harry Carey. He was in the bathroom so we stand outside the bathroom waiting for him to come out. Finally he comes out, I say, "Hi Harry, I'm Mark DeCarlo. I'm with (some made up cable name). I want to ask you a couple of questions." He goes, (In a stellar Carey impersonation) "Get out of here, that's a bullshit, I've never heard of it. Come on now, get out of here!" Then he walked away. He totally saw through us. He was a great guy!
SportsHollywood: Favorite Chicago sports memory?
DECARLO: It would have to be being at Bert Hooten's no-hitter at Wrigley Field in April of 1974. It was freezing cold and rainy and ugly. After about the third or fourth inning my dad and I realized he was pitching a no-hitter and my dad kept saying, "as soon as they get a hit we're leaving." Then it was the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth inning, no hits. A no-hitter! We ran down on the field. It was great . . . Also, every time I go to Chicago I sit in my buddy Ralph's first row, first base seats and drink beer and watch baseball. It's cool!
SportsHollywood: What sports do you play?
DECARLO: Ice hockey, roller hockey, softball and golf. But in my opinion golf is not a sport. It's only a sport if the ball is moving when you hit it. Golf is more of a pastime.
SportsHollywood: Which athletes or sports celebrities would you most like to have had on Studs?
DECARLO: Phil Esposito, because he was a huge hockey player from the seventies and he got more (sex) than his share. Cammi Granato, captain of the women's gold medal ice hockey team. Wilt Chamberlain, for obvious reasons. Someone from the pro bowlers tour to ask him if he ever had any! Plus I'll bet the kinky ones, they just have the girls blow on their hands.
SportsHollywood: You have the ultimate "cool" rep--because while hosting Studs you were called morally indecent by Kathie Lee Gifford. In the book, "Regis and Kathie Lee: Their Lives Together and Apart," you were reportedly the reason Kathie Lee came close to quitting the show, after her moral objection to your appearence on the show was overruled by producer Michael Gelman. Were you aware that Kathie Lee was upset?
DECARLO: Yes — and my only regret is I didn't go far enough to get her to quit and save America the extra six years of pain! She was a total bitch to me when I showed up on the set. I flew out there Christmas week just to do that show. I didn't want to go, but they wanted me to go, so I go. It's a live show and as they're putting the microphone on me — literally it was five, four, three, the sound guy goes, "Uh, I don't think Kathie Lee's too happy that you're here." So I went on the show and she was rude and snotty to me. It was an opportunity for her to grandstand and be so high and mighty. Yet the week after Hugh Grant got busted getting head from a hooker on Sunset Boulevard, he was on her show and she was just all about Hugh because he's a huge star. So anyone higher on the ladder than her, she'll have on. You could be a mass murderer if it would help her ratings. She'll have you on and kiss your ass. But because I was a smaller fish in her pond, she could tinkle on me.
But you know what? It was really fun because it was going to be one thing and then very quickly, within literally ten seconds of me going out there, it switched gears to this confrontational thing. It was live TV and I knew there was five minutes left to go. My publicist was in the corner freaking out, the network was freaking out. It was fun. I was just rolling with the punches and having a good time. I didn't get bitchy back at her and Regis was in the middle trying to referee. She's a hypocrite. She's shallow, has no talent, she got lucky with one show. She was the woman in America that everyone liked to listen to and not like. For someone who says she doesn't want her kids in the press and her personal life in the press that's all she does. She's a shallow publicity whore!
SportsHollywood: Of the following X-Show segments, which was the least memorable: the "Penis Genie" segment, the cooking demonstration involving mole ("The Mexican Treat"), or "Sexper-iment: Confession Booth"?
DECARLO: I can't remember them all. Probably "The Mexican Treat" or "Sexper-iment: Confession Booth" because I don't remember what they were. You know what the deal was with that show? Great people — fun people to work with — but I thought the final product left a little bit to be desired.
SportsHollywood: Which would you rather have: an acting role in a hit movie or a hit in Wrigley Field?
DECARLO: A hit in Wrigley Field. Wait, a hit or homer because I want a home run in Wrigley Field. I want an at bat — I'll get the home run on my own. If you get a home run in Wrigley Field you're just that much closer to getting a good acting job.
SportsHollywood: Do you remember Ron Goldman's appearance on Studs?
DECARLO: Sort of. He was nice, seemed like a nice guy. We did 580 episodes and would see 12 guys a day and tape 6 shows. They were all kind of a blur.
SportsHollywood: Do you have any favorite athletes who you would like to interview on your current show?
DECARLO: Todd Zeile is cool. Ernie Banks, that was probably my favorite. Phil Esposito. Gordie Howe. I heard him tell stories naked in the locker room one time in Pittsburgh. That was fun. We were playing a charity game at the Pittsburgh Igloo. He had just gotten out of the shower and everyone was sitting around and he just started telling stories. Totally naked!
Interview by "Lady Phardoe."
Mark lives in Los Angeles with his crazy dog, Groucho. Together, they share a love of Major League Baseball, hockey, blues music and attend music festivals across the country.
He can be seen this fall on Sunday Dinner, which is a celebrity-based talk/cooking show for the Odyssey Channel.
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