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The Martin Short Show. March 27, 2000
Host: Martin Short


MARTIN SHORT TELEVISION INTERVIEW

Richard Dean Anderson appeared on Martin Short's talk show to promote Stargate SG-1. The interview was probably taped in February, just before returning to Vancouver to begin production on the fourth season of Stargate. In the promotional bumper, Richard was seen carrying Wylie down the hall from the dressing room, talking to her as they walked.

RDA and Wylie RDA and Wylie

Martin Short:
We all know my first guest from the seven seasons he spent saving the world as MacGyver. He's currently starring in the popular series Stargate SG-1. Please welcome Richard Dean Anderson!

[Cheers and applause from the audience as Richard enters. As the offstage door first opens, Richard uses his hands to mime a wall in front of him, and then a doorway to enter. He greets Martin and his co-host, and turns to wave to the audience. Martin brushes something off Richard's shoulder, and Richard responds by using both hands to brush off the front of his shirt. He makes a comment to Martin, possibly having to do with his clothes, but only the last word is heard as the applause dies down.]

Richard Dean Anderson:
[Concluding his comments to Martin] ...everything.

Martin Short:
[Agreeing with the comments Richard had made] Oh, yeah, no, no, it's money well spent.
[Directing Richard to a chair.] Sit down. I get to be...

Richard Dean Anderson:
[Slowly easing himself down into the chair, accompanied by a rim shot from the band.] Oh... Martin.
[Referring to Martin Short's signature catch phrase] Oh, I must say...

Martin Short:
Oh, I must say. Hi Rick!

Richard Dean Anderson:
How are ya, Marty?

Martin Short:
[Explaining to the audience] Friends call him "Rick."
[Back to Richard] I know you from the gymnasium, don't I?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, we have a mutual friend. Well...

Martin Short:
Sally was on the show.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Get out... Really?

Martin Short:
Sally, yeah, she taught Pilates. Among other things.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Very nicely. I've recently been introduced to Pilates. Just because it's low impact, and I have many the injury to attend to.

Martin Short:
And you just turned... You had kind of a big celebration, didn't you?

Richard Dean Anderson:
I turned... fifty!!

Martin Short:
Fifty?!

[The audience cheers and applauds as Richard shouts out his age. He turns toward the audience and smiles and nods, acknowledging the applause.]

Martin Short:
Listen, I'm right behind you. March 26th.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Get out. Seriously?

Martin Short:
Big 4-0. No, I kid. 5-0. Yes, absolutely.

Richard Dean Anderson:
[Laughing at Martin's adjustment of his age] I don't think so...
Yeah, I survived it okay.

Martin Short:
I would imagine you got very very drunk. But it's just a theory. You know, on your fiftieth birthday, you have to celebrate.

Richard Dean Anderson:
You know, like, in my 20's, and I had turned 50, I probably would have gotten very drunk. But no, I don't drink anymore, thank God. That era's over. But no, I actually was...

Martin Short:
But you did some partying in your day.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Oh, God yes. Oh, good Lord. Oh yes. Oh, oh...

Martin Short:
[Agreeing with him as he speaks] Oh yeah, I think, oh sure, oh yeah, oh, no denying that...

Richard Dean Anderson:
I don't have the police record to prove it, but I certainly did skirt a lot of danger in those days.

Martin Short:
What did you do on the big, big, big, big, big day?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Well, the actual day was January 23rd, and as a symbolic gesture of the adventures to come for the rest of my life... I'm a big skier, I'm just a fanatic about it, and I wanted to be skiing on that day. I'd just spent two weeks in Vail with my family, had a glorious two weeks. But the 23rd was a week later. Went to Kansas City, came back, and I had hurt my back. I had been doing a little... I guess we'd call it "out of bounds" skiing. Oh, of course we would - [turning to look directly into the camera as he clarifies] - we were out of bounds.

Martin Short:
Yeah, 'cause you're out of bounds. Hence the name, "out of bounds skiing."

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah! It's illegal, and I didn't want to say that on the air, but...

Martin Short:
No, is that illegal?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, for a responsible...

Martin Short:
I thought it's just kind of daring and reckless and nuts, from my perspective.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, and if I had learned some lessons of the past, I would have made it illegal for myself to do something like that, but...

Martin Short:
So you go off, out of bounds...

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, and I don't consider myself an extreme skier anymore. I have to get that out of my vocabulary, because, [shouting toward the audience] I'm fifty!!

Martin Short:
[Laughing with him] Calm down. Come on, come on.
[Reaching for his water and taking Richard's by mistake] Oh, that's yours...

Richard Dean Anderson:
And I have a little bit of a history of some injuries that are... that tend to haunt me.

Martin Short:
Let's list them. You've broken your knee.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Both.

Martin Short:
Both knees. You've had surgeries. I know you've had surgeries on your knees.

Richard Dean Anderson:
All right. We'll start from the bottom up. Both my feet have been reconstructed, kind of. Both knees have been... one of which has been...
[Turning toward the audience] I'm getting booed! What is this? I got hissed.

[The audience laughs and "awws".]

Getting booed How 'bout those thumbs?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Both knees, I've had a double laminectomy, back surgery, two concussions, two broken arms, five broken fingers, and... [holding up his hands to the camera] how 'bout those thumbs, huh?

Martin Short:
Well, it's too reckless.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Well, no, it's just ludicrous...

Martin Short:
So you're out of bounds skiing, you're going down this slope...

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, so anyway, long story way too long... I step out of bounds and I hurt my back, again, and it turns out that I couldn't be skiing on the 23rd of January. So as a symbolic gesture, I slapped on my wet suit and jumped in the ocean on a cold, rainy day in northern, well, mid California. I want to say Malibu, but we're north of there. And it was just a symbolic gesture.

Martin Short:
Truthfully, when I turned 30, I wanted to be in the best shape I had ever been in. And the day before I completely pulled my back. And that day I was like a 90 year old man. And these milestones are goofy. They really are. They're silly.

Richard Dean Anderson:
You know what? You know, all modesty aside... [grinning into the camera] Easy for me to say... I'm kind of proud of myself, only in that I've survived. And, I have friends...

Martin Short:
You think you're wiser?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Much. In fact, I've been blessed with the most glorious woman imaginable, and the most glorious baby imaginable.

[The audience "awws."]

Martin Short:
We saw on the bumper, little Wylie.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah?

Martin Short:
Yeah. How old is she?

Richard Dean Anderson:
She's 18 months. But she lies about her age.

Martin Short:
She lies about her age.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah. We're not quite sure.
But I have now... The fruits of all that, or at least my survival instinct has led me to a point in life now where, at fifty, the nice round number, I'm launching into, like, the newest adventure, the newest and what I hope to be the greatest adventure.

Martin Short:
Well, it's kind of symbolic, you settle down, once you start raising a child.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, I've got the reigns a little tighter now.

Martin Short:
Do you feel differently? I must admit, I do not feel terribly, like, "Oh, yes I remember the energy of when I was 33." I don't feel that. When I look at myself naked, I'm frightened and I have all the mirrors blacked out, don't get me wrong. But I'm talking about energy-wise.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, I'm only hampered in that... Because, I mean, a lot of it's mental. I mean, I would be jumping off cliffs and doing all those things that I used to do when I was younger. But I know now that, you know, I'm not bending the way I did. I have X-rays and MRIs and CAT scans to prove that.

Martin Short:
Well, 'cause you jump off cliffs, that's the mistake you're making.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, those are just the reminders that, you know...

Martin Short:
As someone who usually has someone to carry him from the car into the house at night, I never understand, what are you trying to prove by jumping off cliffs and doing all the daredevil stuff?

Richard Dean Anderson:
[Laughs] This is all...

Martin Short:
You are a daredevil guy.

Richard Dean Anderson:
It's all born of...

Martin Short:
You macho types.

Richard Dean Anderson:
I survived the 60's... well, I mean, we're of the same era... the 60's, the 70's, and most of the 80's. There's a part of us that is all left there, blessedly so. But I stopped doing all the things that were going to destroy me if I continued them, in my 20's, basically. And got rid of my need to destroy myself by ingesting elements. So, ostensibly the route that I took was to do things that excited me, and got adrenaline... I don't want to throw out the cliché "adrenaline junkie"...

Martin Short:
No, that's what it is, absolutely, adrenaline, yeah...

Richard Dean Anderson:
But things that interest me, or pique my interest to the point of being genuinely exciting. I race cars, I jumped out of airplanes...

Easy for me to say. I survived the 80's.

Martin Short:
But I think that once you have kids, truthfully, you have to reevaluate how important all that stuff is, because you're now... Everything you do, is now, you're acting on behalf of not just yourself. You can't just do that anymore.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, completely, yeah.

Martin Short:
You have to jump out of that car and say, you know, "I'm going to race this car, and maybe I'll be killed. And then my daughter won't have a father."

Richard Dean Anderson:
Virtually everything... I mean, I swear I'll get all misty about this, but... My baby has altered the course of my life in the most positive way imaginable. [The camera shows Apryl standing offstage, holding Wylie, and watching as he speaks of them.] And the relationship I have with Apryl is blossoming in probably the apex of my life, in relationships, and in life in general. But you're right, the baby, now, is holding one of those reigns. It's all very symbolic, and almost cosmic, to me.

Martin Short:
It's wisdom, my friend. You're 50 and you're wise.

[Richard gives a grin toward the camera and a gasp at the idea of growing wise.]

Apryl and Wylie You're 50 and you're wise.

Martin Short:
[To the camera] And we're wise to have more of Richard Dean Anderson when we return right after this.

[Cheers and applause and music as they go to a commercial break. The monitor shows Richard turning back toward where Apryl and Wylie are standing and calling "Hi Wylie!", and blowing her a kiss as the camera fades.]

Martin Short:
[Returning from commercial] Richard Dean Anderson, everyone!

Richard Dean Anderson:
[In his Ernest Pratt voice] Thank you!

Martin Short:
You once told me, actually a few years ago, because I'm Canadian and you're not, that...

Richard Dean Anderson:
I'm an honorary Canadian, though, I'm from Minnesota.

Martin Short:
That's true, that's pretty close, that's pretty close, eh?

Richard Dean Anderson:
[In an exaggerated Minnesota accent] Oh yeah, oh yeah... take off, eh...

Martin Short:
You don't say "eh", though, right?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Well, actually that far north, up in the Iron Range, they do say "eh," so I grew up...

Martin Short:
[Imitating his Minnesota accent] Iron Range...

Richard Dean Anderson:
[Continuing the exaggerated Minnesota accent] In the Iron Range, up there, up there near Duluth. You know, you go northeast outa there, and it's just south of Winnipeg, eh? Kinda?

Martin Short:
Yeah, so kind of, you're like an honorary...

Richard Dean Anderson:
[Still imitating the accent] The boathouse, yeah...
[Returning to his normal speech] So I'm an honorary Canadian, an aficionado of sorts.

Martin Short:
But you told me that you took this bike trip at 17 across Canada.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Oh yeah. Yeah yeah. It uh... [pausing to turn to the audience] This is "Expose Richard Dean Night." Yeah, that event altered the course of my early years, my history. I was 17 years old...

Martin Short:
Because there was no seat on the bike. Isn't that what you told me?

[There is laughter from the audience as Richard reacts to that visual image.]

Martin Short:
No, why... No, what was the point?
[Turning toward the audience's laughter] No, no, no, please, you make your own thoughts on that one.

Richard Dean Anderson:
[Laughs, and adds as an afterthought] From alto to soprano...

Martin Short:
No, but why did it alter your life?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Well, I was on the verge of being... I had a great potential of being a phenomenal juvenile delinquent, at 17. Oh, I just had... I was prime.

Expose Richard Dean Night I was prime.

Martin Short:
By the little thread, you could be in prison now, couldn't you?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah... One way or t'other. But I took this bicycle trip when I was 17, and it really did... It was a three-month, 5,641 - but who's counting - mile trip through Saskatchewan, Alberta, Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and southern Alaska.

Martin Short:
And you told me you met bears.

Richard Dean Anderson:
My encounter was at night, I was camped and I was alone, and I heard, I'm sure a grizzly, just push down a dead tree, seemingly right outside my tent. So it...

Martin Short:
A tree...

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, and it... and I did, I peed. I'm sorry to have to say this on national television. [Adding, as the audience laughs] Well, I got up and I went outside.

Martin Short:
Yeah. Just by the bear. So you just played dead?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah. I mean, I was as quiet as I could be, because you're helpless. What are you going to do to, you know, a half a ton bear?

Martin Short:
I don't know. I find it the most terrifying real thing that could happen.

Richard Dean Anderson:
They were telling me. You have a real strong phobia about...

Martin Short:
I do have a phobia about bears.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Man-eating animals.

Martin Short:
Well, because I have a cottage in Canada. And I walk in the woods, and "Isn't this lovely?... Where's the bear??" And then I call, you know, I call Jeeves, and he escorts me back.

Richard Dean Anderson:
[Smiling at the name] Jeeves, yes...

Martin Short:
'Cause you know, I get scared, locally.
The other frightening thing that I find about you is that you're the only mime I've ever met, a professional mime. I've avoided mimes...

Richard Dean Anderson:
Ah, crap! [Laughing] I so thought we were going to skirt it.

Martin Short:
No, no, we're not going to skirt this.

Richard Dean Anderson:
All right!

But who's counting? I'm not a mime!

Martin Short:
You're a mime! You were a mime!

Richard Dean Anderson:
I'm not "a mime." I did "some miming" back in the... when I was trying to...

Martin Short:
Stand up and lets see a little bit of mime.

Richard Dean Anderson:
No, no, but preface this, now, because I was...

Martin Short:
This was two years ago.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, I'm sure! It was twenty...five... at least twenty five years ago I did my last wall.

Martin Short:
[Laughing] "Did my last wall..."

Richard Dean Anderson:
My last stair climb. I was a bad mime. My own admission, I was terrible, just absolutely...

Martin Short:
As opposed to all the great mimes that we know.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yes, right, yes... very redundant. But I was so bad I had to actually talk. I had to explain what I was doing. [Martin and the audience laugh as he demonstrates with his hands] "Yes, this is a wall..." My walls were like, just, different angles...

Martin Short:
Stand up and show me a wall! Come on! Let's see Richard Dean Anderson!

[The audience cheers as Richard agrees to stand up with Martin to demonstrate.]

Martin Short:
Okay. I'm going to call certain things out to you.

Richard Dean Anderson:
No! Wait!

Martin Short:
What?!

Richard Dean Anderson:
Let's walk against the wind, together.

Martin Short:
Okay. Where's the wind?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Where's your camera?

Martin Short:
Okay. Which camera? Two?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Well, we have to be going in at an angle.

[They stand side by side, aligned to the camera.]

Martin Short:
Okay. So, there's a big wind coming this way.

Richard Dean Anderson:
[To the audience] Everybody blow...

Martin Short:
Yeah. Okay ready?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Okay, you ready?

[The audience blows, the piano plays a little accompaniment, and together they mime walking against the wind.]

Let's walk against the wind, together. You're moving through space!

Richard Dean Anderson:
You're moving through space. See, there I go, talking again!

Martin Short:
Now. Okay. Now, there's a wall! There's a wall right here!

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah??

[Together they put up their hands in front of themselves to mime a wall.]

Richard Dean Anderson:
Here's how bad I was.

[Richard demonstrates placing his hands at entirely different distances from the imaginary wall, then tries to realign them.]

Richard Dean Anderson:
And pulling a rope!

Martin Short:
Pulling a rope!

Richard Dean Anderson:
Oh wait, this should be together.

[Together they mime pulling a rope, Richard deliberately mis-aligning his hands at exaggerated distances as he pulls.]

Here's how bad I was. Pulling a rope!

Martin Short:
What is the point of being a mime? I never understood the point of it!

[The audience cheers and applauds as they complete the demonstration and return to their seats.]

Richard Dean Anderson:
I was so desperate as an entertainer in those days, I was so desperate as an entertainer to feed myself that I would actually humble myself to the point of trying mime, to the point where I had to create bits that would work. And they were dirty. I mean, they were like... I mean, one of the titles was, uh... [looks off to the side with an embarrassed expression before continuing]... "Little Boy With Big Penis." You know, it was like, this was the title of...

Martin Short:
So you were working blue as a mime.

Richard Dean Anderson:
[Laughing] Yeah. In white face, yeah.

Martin Short:
None of it makes sense.

Richard Dean Anderson:
It was very embarrassing. And so was that [referring to the previous demonstration]. Thank you very much.

Martin Short:
But not anymore. You have a hit new show.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yes.

Martin Short:
You're the legendary MacGyver, of course.

[The audience cheers and applauds, and Richard turns to them smiling and acknowledging the response by mouthing the words "thank you."]

So you were working blue as a mime. You're the legendary MacGyver.

Martin Short:
And you know normally most stars just have this one period of success. You are now... you have a... first of all we've discussed your little MacGyverette over there. And you now have, it's "Stargate SG."

Richard Dean Anderson:
SG-One

Martin Short:
SG-1.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah.

Martin Short:
What does "SG-1" stand for?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Uh, "Stargate One."

Martin Short:
So it's called "Stargate, Stargate One."

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah. It's a redundant title.

Martin Short:
I don't see why you say that.

Richard Dean Anderson:
But it's... Essentially MGM stole... er, bought, let's put it that way...

Martin Short:
No, they bought, they didn't steal...

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, in this day and age, who knows?

Martin Short:
Yeah, they bought, they paid a contract, they purchased...

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yeah, apparently.

Martin Short:
Based on the Kurt Russell film.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Yes, exactly. And we've developed it into... and Showtime bought four years worth, and I think they just picked up a fifth season. We're starting our fourth season. We're in syndication on the FOX stations primarily.

Martin Short:
FOX stations, and it's on Fridays on Showtime.
[Reading from the cue cards] Plus reruns are in syndication all across the country.

Richard Dean Anderson:
You read, boy.

Martin Short:
Yeah, I can read.
Richard Dean Anderson! Thank you for stopping by our little home.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Thanks, Marty!

Thanks, Marty! Apryl and Wylie

[They shake hands, laughing, as the audience cheers and applauds the end of the segment. Richard reaches for some small snack food from a dish on the table in front of him, takes a few and attempts to juggle them. The camera pans to show Apryl and Wylie once more, standing just offstage, applauding and watching the monitors. The interview concludes as they go to commercial.]

____________________
The Martin Short Show. March 27, 2000.


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