Kenny Hotz is a breaker of records in (among other things) octopus wearing, semen producing, bible peddling, and gas passing. Post Kenny vs. Spenny, he’s been covering new–equally gross– ground. There was Testees, a short-lived comedy about human test subjects, Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will, a reality series in which Kenny wanders a Nevada desert naked, tries to get his mother laid, and enlists a Jewish community to help him build a mosque. And now, for the first time in his career, he’s doing radio–with Testees actor, Jeff Kassel. Hotzcast, will debut this month on Sirius XM’s Laugh Attack (XM channel 160), live on Tuesdays at 5 PM ET. Kenny and Jeff will be covering politics and popular culture, with the occasional guest (including, he hopes, Martin Short some day.) Here’s Kenny Hotz on life without Spencer, Hebrew school, the NHL lockout, and his new “no mandate” radio show.
Q: Hi Kenny, how are you?
A: Surprisingly well. Still relevant, thank God. How are you? How is everyone at Maclean’s?
Q: Everyone’s fine, I think. We’re all in cubicles, so I can’t see anyone right now.
A: Yeah that’s good. You don’t wanna see those people.
Q: Tell me about your new radio show.
A: It’s funny because I’m not really a radio guy and my fans have been bugging me for years, telling me to do a podcast, but podcasts are stale and they’re dying now. But I’ve always been a really big fan of radio and I grew up with it. I’m 45 and the early part of my life I spent with headphones on in my basement listening to radio.
Q: What kind of radio?
A: Brave New Waves, 102.1, a lot of CKLN, you know, Ryerson. And then when I moved to Los Angeles I lived in a garage for five years, and it was Howard Stern every morning.
Q: Have you ever met Howard Stern?
A: No, but I heard he liked the show [Kenny Vs. Spenny].
Q: You’re working again with Jeff Kassel, one of the stars from your TV show, Testees. How did you guys meet originally?
A: Well, he and his friend auditioned for the lead role on Testees, for FX. I was casting in Toronto. It was so funny because he was the very last person to audition after an onslaught of failures. I was literally going to lose my show if I couldn’t cast it. And it was just a f–king gift from God—him and his childhood friend walked in and they got the part and I thought they were amazing.
Q: Who do you like more? Spencer or Jeff?
A: I like Dr. Mengele more than Spencer and I’m Jewish. Jeff all the way and I think Canadians like Jeff more than Spencer too.
Q: Where is Spencer right now? What do you think he’s doing this minute?
A: Well hopefully he’s folding my underwear because that’s what I pay him for. Where is Spencer? In my nightmares. I think he lives in Kingston now.
Q: Is he in prison?
A: No CAMH. The rubber room in CAMH.
Q: You put him there.
A: CBC and Showcase put him there.
Q: I read that you’ll be covering political topics on your radio show, but I also remember reading a magazine interview in which you say Canadian politics is boring and people should stop making comedy about it. Do you plan to cover Canadian politics at all on your show?
A: No. I’d actually like an audience. I hate Canadian politics. You know what: I think Canadians are very isolated and my show is going to have a worldview. I have fans all over the world and I can’t talk about Rob Ford. What do Germans know about Rob Ford? That’s one of the unique things about this show. You know, I’m not really a f–king radio guy. I have no mandate or agenda unike other radio hosts who actually care about their jobs. I don’t care if I get fired or if this thing fails. I’m really the antitheses of a radio host and I really just want to be funny and have cool people like me. I’ll cover everything.
Q: Even the Ikea monkey?
A: I’d like to eat the Ikea monkey with some black bean sauce, but that’s basically it for the Ikea monkey.
Q: Where is your biggest fan base outside Canada?
A: They gave us the Holocaust, we gave them Kenny vs. Spenny. I think we’re practically even.
Q: Which South Park character do you most identify with?
A: Terence and Philip. You know, we were the real Terence and Philip. It was art imitating life.
Q: I just saw an episode of Triumph of the Will in which you tour a pig farm. Did you ever genuinely consider not eating bacon?
A: When I was a kid, I was a vegetarian for about six years. I was a little stoner and smoking so much pot, and drinking. We were all a bunch of waistoids. And so I thought not eating meat would counteract all the terrible things I was doing to my body.
Q: Do you go to Shul on the high holidays?
A: No! You ever want to turn a kid off Judaism you send them to Hebrew school—or you send them to my Hebrew school. Judaism for me was homework, I went to day school [Jewish private school], and it was horrible. I thought all the old Nazis went to Argentina. They didn’t. They went to my Hebrew school.
Q: If you had to convert, what religion would you convert to?
A: Probably Budhism. I think they’re cool. I think the Hindus are cool too.
Q: Are you happy the NHL lockout is over?
A: Well I opened a pub [in Toronto] and the lockout was not good. I lost my treating privileges with my friends because there were no Leafs games. I own The Hoxton and The Dog and Bear. Whatever you do, do not open your own pub in your own neighbourhood, because it’s very hard to not go there and drink scotch every night.
Q: What did you think about the lockout, personally?
A: I don’t know enough about it to know who’s the asshole in that situation. But people are eating their children and walking on landmines. Like mellow out. How many friggin Picassos do you need?
Q: You think there are a lot of NHL players collecting Picassos?
A: Well there are a lot of hockey players collecting a lot of things. Mostly supermodels and Bentleys.
Q: Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
A: Martin Short is probably one of them. Everyone from SCTV, the greatest show in the history of the world.
Q: Would you like to have him on your new show?
A: I would love that. That’s a 100 per cent open invitation.
Q: Do you think you’ll ever reunite with Spenny?
A: I’d love to. I’d love to do 500 more episodes. I personally think that was the funniest show in the history of Canada. People think it was Jackass. It wasn’t Jackass. It really was the first reality sitcom. And it was highly moralistic. It was educational. It was a microcosm of the male psychosis and it was an international success. And we were diplomats of Canadian content. I had people come up to me from Namibia, hardly speaking English, freaking out, and they wanted me to sign their papyrus.
Q: You said you used to live in L.A. Do you think you’ll ever move away from Canada again?
A: You know what, I am a Canadian. I love Toronto. I think this is the greatest city in the world. I’ve been all over the world, but I’m a Toronto boy. I get free desserts on the table. I don’t wanna sound like a cheezer, but we’re f–king famous here, it’s crazy. I’m really humbled by it. I am very lucky. I’m a bit of a narcissist and I love being loved. And people love me here.