We love the jovial, devil-may-care and knowledge-thirsty attitude of “Three Sheets” host Zane Lamprey, so we jumped at the opportunity to interview him. As the star of one of the most ingenious television concepts ever, comedian Zane travels the globe to learn about the drinking customs of different cultures around the world. And it is really fun to watch.
“Three Sheets” was almost lost a year ago when Mojo HD went off the air, and on December 18, 2008, the above rally was held in New York City to save the program. Looks like fun, no?
Zane answered our questions on his way back to LA from a photo/promo shoot he did at FLN headquarters in Knoxville. Read this interview to learn more about that now internationally recognized burp game, the little toy monkey he brings everywhere, and to find out some of the craziest things Zane’s had to drink (hint: dead stuff).
Gadling: Do you really get drunk? Like, do you ever watch the footage and go “I have no recollection of that?”
Zane Lamprey: No. If I really drank as much as many people perceive that I do, I would not be the right person for the job. That’s not to say that I fake it, or “call it in,” I just know how to pace myself. It’s probably a good reason why a kid fresh out of college would not be suited for my job. I know I wouldn’t have been!
G: Tell me about the monkey.
ZL: He smells like the floor of a dive bar … He was the first rule of the drinking game: “The first person to spot Pleepleus gets to make someone else drink.” I hid him in the very first episode that we shot (Ireland) and he’s made it through four seasons. The name is made up. I wanted something that sounded like a bizarre Greek name. The funny thing is that people who watch the show can pronounce his name. And people who read it, or hear it in conversation, have a hard time pronouncing it or recalling it. It’s pronounced “Pleepleus” … Oh, I guess that doesn’t help.
G: What’s the craziest thing you’ve had to drink? Have you ever refused anything?
ZL: Well, I’ve had a lot of alcohol with dead stuff in it. Those were all bad in their own right. So, I’d have to say the worst one was the very first one I had. It’s the first time I’d had booze that tasted like roadkill. It was in Belize at the Maruba Spa. They make something called Viper Rum, which is overproof rum with a dead snake in it. Don’t ask how it tastes. Use your imagination. If you didn’t feel like vomiting, imagine harder …
G: Is there a clause in your contract about whose fault it is if you drink something that kills you?
ZL: Okay, that’s a first … No. But I’m going to call my lawyer.
G: How did the burp-thumb-to-forehead game get started (and does it have a better name than that)?
ZL: It’s the German sign for “good burp.” In the third episode that we shot, back in March of 2006, we were in Belgium at Delirium Cafe, a bar that holds the world record for most different beers available — at 2,006 beers. I burped, and François, the bartender I was interviewing, made the “good burp” sign. The rest is history. You can see it in the Belgium episode.
G: What’s your favorite place you’ve been to visit with “Three Sheets”?
ZL: Every place that we go was chosen because we thought people would like to see us go there. We haven’t really gone anywhere that I wouldn’t want to return to. But, if I had to pick a place to go tomorrow, I’d go to Dubrovnik, Croatia. I left my wallet there.
G: Who decides where to send you? Anywhere you’d particularly like to go?
ZL: I give my two cents when the production company asks me, but when I see the list of where we’re going for the season, I’m like “Looks good to me!”
G: We’re all jealous of you, so what’s the hardest part of your job?
ZL: Well, no one really wants to know the real answer to that. It would take away the allure of what I do. It’s like pulling the curtain to reveal the wizard. Obviously my job is amazing. Sure, the traveling can be a bitch sometimes, but it’s not really that bad. I go to the left when I enter the plane — think about it — so I’m a little spoiled. The jet lag can turn into getting sick. But the worst part of the job is what I leave behind. I love my crew, Eric, Curtiss Christina, Bert, Mike, and they’re the only reason I haven’t gone crazy on the road. But it can be extremely lonely and frustrating to be away from loved ones.
G: What else are you working on? What’s next?
ZL: I always have plenty of balls in the air … Um, that didn’t sound right … I always have plenty of things going on. There are a lot of other projects in the works. As for “what’s next,” it’s the project that gets legs. Only time can tell.
G: Which has been your favorite episode of Three Sheets and why?
ZL: Hmm … I like the episodes that I’ve brought my friends and family along on. I brought my mom on a few episodes and that was amazing. Experiences are best enjoyed when they’re shared. My crew and I have seen the world. It’s nice to let someone else in for a change. It also give us a renewed energy. A friend along for the ride gives all of us a little more pep in our step — like when Steve McKenna came to Amsterdam with us. He went to the red light district and became a prostitute for the day. He was very popular with the sailors and made enough money to buy drinks for the rest of the trip. I wish I was kidding.
Click here to read our previous article on “Three Sheets” and see more videos, and check out Fine Living Network’s “Three Sheets” site for more info about the show. You can follow Zane on Twitter.