Kevin Sorbo dominated syndicated television for ten years — first as Hercules in "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," then as Captain Dylan Hunt in "Andromeda." Since then, he’s been working steadily in television, film, and video games and has at least a dozen projects slated for 2014. On Feb. 6, he will be a guest judge, alongside cosplayer Yaya Han and "Napoleon Dynamite" star Jon Heder, on TBS’s "King of the Nerds." Hopefully, the nerds have boned up on their knowledge of Greek mythology (or, at least, the TV version of it).
Sorbo tells us about his pop-culture obsessions which include the his favorite century, which celebrity he was excited to meet, and why he’s never voiced a character on "Family Guy" or "The Simpsons."
Kevin Sorbo, Yaya Han, and Jon Heder
1. What was the first movie you saw? Oh, gosh. What was one, two or three or four? I’d say the first one I can remember is "Yours, Mine and Ours" with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. I think it was a drive-in movie theater. My mom watched a lot of movies. I remember sitting on her lap and falling asleep when I was one, two, and three, but I have no recall.
2. What movie do you absolutely always stop and watch if you see it on cable? Boy, I have a lot of those! But the the first one that pops to mind is "When Harry Met Sally…"
How many times have you seen it? From beginning to end or just catching the last hour or ten minutes, probably 30 times.
Do you tend to stop for romantic comedies, then? There’s another one — I like "Jermiah Johnson" with Robert Redford from 1972. That’s just a great, a great movie. That’s another one that’s totally the opposite of a romantic comedy. "The Godfather." Like I said, there’s a number of them.
3. What movie makes you cry? I’ll say … "The Way We Were." Going back a long way again.
4. Who is your TV crush? Elizabeth Montgomery from "Bewitched." A close second would be Barbara Eden from "I Dream of Jeannie."
5. What movie or TV character would you hate to be trapped in an elevator with? Gilligan, because we’d be in there forever. Every time we had a chance to get out, he’d find a way to blow it.
6. If you were kidnapped, what movie or TV character would you call to save you? James Bond. MacGyver would be a close second.
7. What’s your TV guilty pleasure? Probably "Family Guy."
Have you been watching that from the beginning? Yeah, pretty much. I’ve turned a few people on to that.
Why haven’t you ever done a guest voice on the show? I’ve met them before. I’ve met Patrick Warburton as well, who does the voice of Joe, the guy in the wheelchair. But no, never got in there. "The Simpsons" have promised me a lot too, but that’s never come forward either, so… What are you going to do?
8. What was your first concert? It was Chicago or the Doobie Brothers. And the warmup band was Kansas —that I remember. Kansas was an unknown group, and my older brothers took me to it and I was wide-eyed, staring around. Couldn’t believe I was at this place.
How about recently? On the Fourth of July, I took the family to see Josh Groban and the L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. It was pretty impressive. I used to go to lots of concerts, but I’m old now.
9. What is your karaoke song? "Bohemian Rhapsody."
You do that solo? Don’t you need a posse for that? Yeah, you gotta get a posse for that. OK, Englebert Humperdink, "After the Lovin’."
10. The Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles.
Favorite song? "Yesterday." I’m not a "Helter Skelter" guy. I like their mellower stuff.
11. What song did you play for your wedding’s first dance? It was Clint Black. "Something That We Do."
12. What song should they play at your funeral? Prince’s "1999." We’re past that date, but what the heck? I enjoyed the 1900s.
13. Have you ever done a choreographed dance from a music video? I have! I did a movie called "Meet the Spartans," a spoof on "300." We shot the movie down in New Orleans, but after they cut it together, they realized that it would be hilarious to put in a scene where we sing, but also choreograph a dance to Gloria Gaynor’s "I Will Survive." It was pretty ridiculous.
Harder than your "Hercules" fight choreography? No. Nothing was harder than that. No, but those fights were always a lot of fun.
Sorbo opens up about the life-threatening strokes he endured while filming "Hercules":
14. What book changed your life? John Jakes’s "The Bastard." That was a long time ago. He wrote a whole series of books, "The Bastard," "The Rebel," "The Furies," "The Titans." I loved American history, and this guy made a fictional book that was definitely non-fiction as well. He followed what went on during the American Revolution and all that kind of stuff, but he put in fictional characters. I remember, in high school, I was just hooked on them — read one right after the other.
15. What website do you visit when no one is watching? The Weather Channel.
What? You live in Southern California! The weather’s always great here! It’s better than most places. L.A. has plenty of problems, but weather usually isn’t one of them.
16. Who is the most random person you follow on Twitter? Stephen Colbert.
17. Did you have a poster of a celeb on your wall as a kid or teen? Wow. As a kid? Yeah, Farrah Fawcett.
18. Has another celebrity ever made you starstruck when you met them? Tom Hanks. I remember 1996, I was at an Academy Awards party, and I’ve bumped into him a number of times since then and he’s always been very kind, very nice. He actually approached me. Telling me how big a fan he was of "Hercules." Yeah, nice guy. Down to earth. Very approachable, very chatty.
19. Have you ever dressed as a celeb for Halloween? The Mummy. They used to do a lot of movies with him.
20. What’s your favorite quote from a movie, TV show, book, or song? My favorite quote from a movie would be Clint Eastwood’s "The Outlaw Josey Wales." At the end of the movie, he’s got all of these people after him. He’s like an earlier "Dexter": he goes after and kills all these bad guys. Ends up, these bounty hunters are chasing him down because he’s still killing people. And the bounty hunter walks into the bar and looks at Clint. And first, Clint says, "You don’t have to do this," and the guy says, "Yeah, I’ve gotta make a living." And the quote that I love is, Clint looks at him and says, "Dying ain’t much of a living, boy." I would love to say that to somebody someday.
21. What was the best birthday present you’ve ever received? A Gibson guitar.
22. What did you collect as a kid and do you collect anything now? As a kid, I used to collect baseball cards, that’s what I did all the time. I had some great baseball cards; I had rookie cards from all around the National League and American League. Then, when I went away to college, my mom threw them all away. And she called me a month later. I looked at her and said, "What?" "Well, I was just making room." I said, "Mom, you have no idea what those are worth. Those are mint condition rookie cards of a lot of players!" Just gone. And at that time, during the early ’80s, it was just ridiculous what people were paying for them. That was a bit of a bummer. She threw out a lot of money.
Now, I collect golf ball markers. Nice ones, not the plastic ones. If they don’t have them there that they just hand out when you’re playing different courses, I’ll buy whatever they have, but they have to be metal. I’m a big golf nut, so I’ve got a big old box of these things from different golf courses around the world.
"King Of The Nerds" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on TBS.
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