TV Talk No Surprise: Bob Costas Goes Deep

April 01, 2002

The eponymous HBO interview show On the Record with Bob Costas
begins its second season on Thursday. In turn, we decided to get
the 50-year-old Costas on the record.

SI: Actress Marilu Henner told you in an interview that she lost
her virginity the night of Apollo 11's lunar landing. If you
interview Don Zimmer, promise us you won't ask him about his
first time.

Costas: Interestingly, Zim lost his when Lindbergh crossed the
Atlantic.

SI: In this era of cross-branding, will you do a cameo on Six
Feet Under or Oz?

Costas: No. I'm holding out for Taxicab Confessions.

SI: Is Fear Factor the end of civilization or just an
entertaining show?

Costas: Let's put it this way: Whatever it is, it isn't NBC's
best shot at a Peabody.

SI: How does an announcing team of Madden, Michaels and Costas
sound?

Costas: On one hand, I don't take up that much room in the booth.
On the other hand, there's probably not room in any booth for the
three of us.

SI: How much XFL memorabilia do you have?

Costas: Just He Hate Me's playbook--and I cherish it.

SI: Katie Couric is dating Red Sox owner Tom Werner. How involved
will she be in personnel moves?

Costas: It's common knowledge that she forced the Carl Everett
deal, and now she's demanding they go to a four-man rotation so
Pedro can get more starts. She's power mad. Simply power mad.

SI: Which is the better Bob Costas film, Pootie Tang or
BASEketball?

Costas: That's like asking Jimmy Stewart to choose between It's a
Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

SI: You're buddies with Billy Crystal. What would it take to get
you to replace Bruno Kirby in City Slickers III?

Costas: An ironclad guarantee that Jack Palance wouldn't beat the
crap out of me just for the fun of it.

SI: Who was the better interview, Ice-T or Al Haig?

Costas: They were both good, but the bonus with Ice-T was the
unbelievable rapport he had with Raymond Burr in the green room.

SI: You interviewed Bobby Knight and Vince McMahon on the same
show. Did you give your booker a raise?

Costas: I told Knight afterward that this was the first and only
time he was the most agreeable and genteel person in the room.

SI: Sport or not a sport: Olympic ice dancing?

Costas: Not only not a sport, but not a suitable human activity.

SI: You once called elevator races on Letterman's show. Who would
win an elevator race between Letterman and Koppel?

Costas: Dave. He's the Naismith of elevator races. He invented
the game, and he's got home-shaft advantage.

SI: You have a 66% recognition rating among American adults. What
does that say about our country?

Costas: That 34% need to pay closer attention.

--R.D.

COLOR PHOTO: DAN HERRICK/ZUMA PRESS Costas (left) with Yogi Berra

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