Interview with Zane Lamprey
Drinking in Aspen:
It was on that powder day last month, where I skied alone on Aspen Mountain. I had asked my new gondola buddies if they had ever watched HDNET’s series, “Drinking Made Easy”. The adorable one sitting next to me replied, “Sounds like my kind of show. I sure made drinking easy last night.” But of course he did. This is Aspen, the land where die-hard athletes reward themselves after playing outside all day by diving into one of the most amicable apres ski/bike/climb/sky dive/dirt bike etc, etc…scenes in the country.
On Wednesday, April 4 at 8:00 p.m. ET, all the local hot spots and cool drinking customs unique to Aspen take front and center in a new episode of the HDNet series Drinking Made Easy – hosted by cult sensation Zane Lamprey and his “buddy” and Stunt-Drinker Steve McKenna.
In this episode, Zane visits our, “glitzy yet charming” town of Aspen where he stops by Ajax Tavern to check out the aprs ski scene and samples their Hot Drunken Pumpkin, sips on some Aspen Crud at J Bar in Hotel Jerome, participates in the Beer Slalom at Aspen Brewing Company, and slurps down a Dolce Caliente at Jimmys .
When I received an invitation to interview Zane I grew curious. Who was this man who was making a sensation out of a drinking show and how did he keep up with that kind of lifestyle?
In preparation for the interview, Wade and I became one with Zane and his team of professional drinking connoisseurs as we embarked on a? “Drinking Made Easy” marathon viewing of past episodes. When we were finished we weren’t sure whether we needed to sober up or go downstairs and mix ourselves up a cocktail. We chose the latter.
It makes sense to do a show on the “culture of drinking” for, while traveling, it is in the bars where one truly bonds with the locals. Most of us have been there, right? I personally remember many a night where after a long day of hitchhiking and backpacking across a foreign country I ended up in some bar arm in arm with twenty new best friends, singing their local songs, without a care in the world, or winning a rafting trip down some Australian river for singing the loudest on stage in a concert hall, unaware that there was actually a contest going on. Admittedly I miss those care free days.
Zane is quite the entertainer as a comedian, a TV host and a musician, where he gets on stage and sings songs with humorous drinking lyrics; “A couple shots of whiskey and I’ll get frisky; A couple shots of gin and you’re blurry, but you look thin; and baby, you’re beautiful when I’m drunk”.
But what about the Zane who is not in front of the camera or on stage, what’s he like? Grab a cocktail and a bar stool and let’s get to know him better:
An Interview with Zane Lamprey:
Jillian: I’m thinking that most people tell you that you have the best job ever, getting to travel all over the world to educate fellow drinkers about the differing drinking cultures and informing them that there is life past their favorite bar.
I’d like to dig a little deeper into those drinking cultures.
In your experience, what bar or region has had the happiest, most friendly drinkers?
Zane: Internationally, I’d have to say South Korea. I had so much fun over there. The North Koreans don’t know what they’re missing! Seriously, I don’t think they know I’ve found that the more highly wound a culture is during the day, great work ethics and personal price, the more they unwind with a few drinks. The Japanese, South Koreans and Germans were the most fun to drink with– and conversely the least fun to be sober with!
Jillian: What do you think it was that made them so happy?
Zane: Having a drink is a great excuse to being silly. If you act like that when you’re sober, you are quickly branded a “goofball”. If you act that way when you’ve had some drinks, you’re branded as “fun to drink with”.
Jillian: You obviously take care of yourself while traveling…and drinking…what is your regime to stay fit so that you can show off those nice “Guns” of yours?
Zane: Haha. It’s either everything in moderation, or everything in excess. I try to stay active, eat smart and not drink too much. But when I do drink too much, I eat too much, and I exercise too much. It’s a nice unhealthy balance.
Jillian: Tell me more about your buddy Steve. Was there a moment in history where the two of you realized you were drinking soul-mates? Can you tell me the story?
Zane: Steve He’s fun to drink with. He’s fun to be sober with, too. He’s a pain in the ass to be be drunk with, but it makes for good television!
Jillian: Is it possible that The Beer Hunter is your alter-ego?
Zane: Are you talking about Michael Jackson (not the singer) or Logan Perkins? I’m honored to be mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jackson. And as far as Logan being my alter-ego, I’d say he’s more like the bizarro Zane Lamprey.
Jillian: If you were deserted on an island and were gifted the ability to have one bottomless drink, with?all the ingredients included, what drink would you choose?
a) Survival Mode
Jillian: b) Survival isn’t an issue
Zane: If it had to contain alcohol, I guess I wouldn’t be upset if I had to drink Mojitos all day!
Jillian: Yum, Mohitos. My husband said he would just want a cooler filled with ice and an endless supply of beer. I guess you could melt the ice cubes for water and be buzzed to help alleviate the loneliness and the anxiety. Ok, moving on…
Jillian: Your humor really comes out in your writing. Have you ever scripted a show?
Zane: Nothing that’s sold! I have three movie scripts collecting dust. One about guys who wake up to find that male and female stereotypes are reversed, another about two losers who work for parking enforcement, and an edgy one about two kids that grew up in the San Fernando Valley and started a porn company They’re all eloquently written, with just the right amount of intelligent humor, hijinks and interesting plot points Or so says I.
Jillian: What are your plans for tonight?
Zane: Truthfully, I’ll be at the office until late. I have a rum coming out, a new season coming up, a weekly podcast, and an event in two weeks. I’d like to tell you that I’ll be at the pub with my mates, but somebody’s gotta keep the machine going!
Jillian: You have had some very colorful and interesting local characters on your show, like Logan, do you seek them out before you get to a town?
Zane: We definitely look for personality! If someone is boring or reserved, it takes a lot more work for me to extract the interview. Even if the location is amazing, or the drink it extremely visual, it’s important for the person I’m talking with to be the star of the scene. For that reason, I keep Steve McKenna on hand to spice things up. And, if need be, my monkey.
Jillian: When I go out drinking with my friends I have a few mantras that run through my head to keep me from getting the spins like, “Liquor than Beer Have No Fear” type thing.What about you, what are your top 3 drinking rules/phrases?
Zane: Don’t leave your credit card at the bar. Don’t leave your jacket at the bar. And don’t leave your friends at the bar.
Jillian: Our buddies at The Hotel Jerome want to know:
a) What was your favorite bar in Aspen?
Zane: Well, this is a loaded question! Because of the people asking, I would say FOR SURE it’s the J Bar at the Hotel Jerome.
b) What was your favorite aspen drink?
Zane: Aspen Crud, for sure! (same reasoning)
Jillian: Have you ever skied before? If not, would you be willing to come back to Aspen to try?
Zane: Hell, yeah. Ski, snow board, SLED! I’d sled down Ajax and make that mountain my bitch! Just make sure there is an ambulance and a hot apple cider at the bottom. I mean “an Aspen Crud”!
Jillian: What is the most unique drink you have experienced on your show?
Zane: We had shots of rum in Milwaukee with dead scorpions in them. THAT was unique!
Jillian: What has been your favorite show, and why?
Zane: I could never pick a favorite show. They’re like my babies. They’re all wonderful in their own way!
Jillian: What has been the most trouble you, or your buddy Steve, have gotten in to?
Zane: We do well at avoiding trouble. The only trouble we get into is when we say something stupid around the crew. None of us let anybody live anything down– Except when Steve almost got arrested for streaking in Aspen. We’re not supposed to mention that! Whoops…
Jillian: Do tell us more about your pole dancing in spacesuits in Aspen.
Zane: I’ll let my moves on the special speak for themselves…
Jillian: Drinking, peer pressure, disco music and costumes, is that all it takes to get you to strip?
Zane: You forgot “cameras”. I’m an entertainer. I’ll do what I need to do to make the show the best– or sexiest– that it can be.
Jillian: Please tell us the story of how you met your wife, Melissa.
Zane: We met at a bar.
Jillian: Did you really miss your flight for your own wedding?
Zane: Steve missed the wedding. “Claaaaasic Steve”!
Jillian: If you were to compare married life to a fine alcoholic drink, which drink would you choose?
Zane: Wine. It gets better with age.
Don’t forget to watch the Aspen episode of “Drinking Made Easy” that will be aired this Wednesday, April 4 at 8:00 pm ET/6:00 pm MT on HDNet with a repeat that same evening.
Drinking Made Easy Promo: The HDNet series features Lamprey and his drinking buddy Steve McKenna as they travel the U.S. in search of the local drinks and drinking customs that have contributed to the birth, growth and distinction of our great country. Definitely a road trip unlike any other, Lamprey and McKenna travel to Monterey, Miami, Tampa, Cape Cod, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Santa Barbara, Aspen and more.
Please find a link to the Drinking Made Easy website below:
*New Episode Guides for each city will be posted on the day that the episode airs on HDNet, so check back for more information about the show!
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