You may have seen him on TV eating a zebra carcass in the African Savannah. Or maybe you've seen him willingly jump into a frozen lake in the European Alps. There was also that time he built a raft to escape from an Island in the South Pacific. His name is Bear Grylls. He's the host of Man Vs. Wild.
When CollegeHumor was allowed to interview Mr. Grylls, I jumped on the opportunity. Along with many of you, I am a big fan, and looked forward to asking him some geniune questions I had about the show.
We spoke at length about the upcoming season of Man Vs. Wild and how this season starts out with a two hour special called “Bear’s Mission Everest” which Bear himself described as “A million Miles away from Man vs. Wild.” It’s a two hour documentary (all episodes this season are two hours) on Bear’s mission to fly a powered paraglider over the summit of Everest (29,000 feet) facing 150 mph hour winds and minus 55 degree temperature – and raising over $1Million in the process for his charity Global Angels.
Then we talked about food.
Me: Can you rank for us the following foods that you’ve eaten on the show, from most to least delicious: Termites, a frozen sheep’s eye, and water from an elephant dung.
Bear Grylls: Termites are great I’ve had loads of those. Sheep’s eye was especially bad. I always thought it would be like a hard boiled egg but it was like puss and gristle and blood. Water from an elephant dung is above sheep’s eye, but below termites.
Am I leaving anything off the list?
Juice and rotting guts out of a camel that I was gutting and skinning.
Yeah, Camel hump was bad – they store 95% of their fat in their hump. I was getting the skin off so I could use it as a blanket, and I tried some of the fat and really it was the one of the few times I vomited on the show.
Raw goats testicles. They’re the size of baseballs but as soon as I put them in my mouth it just melted with cold sperm. It was one of my low points.
What is your least favorite food, aside from wildlife.
Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts are the devil.
Where would you rank them with the others?
Below them all. Way lower than cold goats testicles.
You prefer raw goats testicles to Brussels sprouts?
Wow. Well, steering away from eating goat testicles, what is the closest you’ve been to death?
Closest was probably my free fall parachuting accident with the SAS (Special Air Services) when I was 21. Canopy ripped at about 16,000 feet and I came spiraling down. Smashed into the desert, broke my back in three places.
That’s pretty close. What’s harder? To be Bear Grylls or to be his Cameraman?
Probably the cameraman. He is amazing. Simon (Reay) is doing about 90% of everything I do, while carrying my equipment. In my eyes he’s very much the unsung hero in all of this.
What happens at the end of the show? I always wondered what happened right after the cameras turn off while you are walking towards civilization.
Cameras off. Chopper in. Load of food. I’m out of here. I’m straight onto a business class flight back, nice hotel. I walk into these amazing hotels and I’m caked in blood and puss.
Where are you going this season that you haven't been before?
We were in the Saharah desert in July, the Panama Jungle, and Patagonia, remote ice caps. They are all two-hour shows now. Much more depth, much more behind-the-scenes stuff.
Back to the elephant dung, was that your first time?
It was my first time drinking from elephant dung. We were down in Africa one time and an old ranger told me “if you’re ever really thirsty you can drink the juice from the dung of the elephant because of how fast the digestion works.” And I always remembered it and when we were following these elephants in that Kenya episode I just thought, “Hey, this would be cool, let’s see if this works.”
How can you trust somebody that tells you to drink the moisture from elephant poop?
You have to trust people. I trust my life every day to other people and I develop a good instinct of what’s right and what’s wrong and where the danger is coming from. But what’s the worst that can happen from elephant dung?
Man vs. Wild season three is now airing. If you haven't seen an episode of Man Vs. Wild, do yourself a favor and check it out. (TV Schedule Here)