If you listen to Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho podcast, it’s not uncommon to hear the topics of Bigfoot or UFOs to come up in conversation. Growing up wanting to be an astronaut, archaeologist and a whole bunch of other things—a number of which he has achieved—the six-time WWE world champion has long been fascinated with history’s unexplained legends and the figures behind them.
Thanks to his latest gig hosting Travel Channel's new half-hour special The Legend of…With Chris Jericho, he gets to bring those interests to the forefront. During the program, premiering November 17, Jericho investigates the legend of Butch Cassidy and the facts behind his most brazen heist in Castle Gate, Utah.
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Jericho was joined in the desert for this summer adventure by professional treasure hunters in search of Cassidy’s lost loot. The episode also sees Jericho connect with an expert who provides information on Cassidy’s post-heist escape route, and they even re-create the effects of the TNT explosives once used to blow open bank vaults. If the show is successful, Jericho says he is open to doing more.
The Renaissance man of entertainment took time out while in Vienna, Austria, for a gig with his metal band Fozzy to reflect on the once-in-life time experience and to answer five legendary questions from TV Insider:
1. What do you believe classifies someone as a legend in your eyes?
Chris Jericho: The word "legend" is used so easy nowadays, like "awesome" and "genius"—"Oh, he’s a genius"; "Oh, he’s awesome." If you go to Australia, everyone calls you a legend. They go, “Can you get me a beer? Great, you’re a legend, mate.” You open the door for someone, you’re a legend. To me, a real legend is someone who has a story and a history that everybody knows about. Butch Cassidy is a legend because I think there are a lot of people who aren’t even sure he is real, but he is real. Someone who has a real history and story behind him that’s almost larger than life in many ways.
This is going to be SO fun! 🙌🙌🙌#LegendOf #Repost @chrisjerichofozzy (@get_repost) ・・・ Excited to announce an AWESOME new project called #TheLegendOfWithChrisJericho which debuts on NOV 17 on the @travelchannel at 11pm EST!! In this 30 min special, I travel to the deserts of #Utah to find the hidden treasure of #ButchCassidy! And you won’t believe what I found... Join me on Nov 17 to see the results and watch me blow up some TNT and dress like a cowboy! #TravelChannel
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2. You conquered wrestling, the literary world with your books and rock music with Fozzy. Do you consider yourself a legend?
I think I would be a pretty big a**hole to call myself a legend. Some people say that I have some sort of legendary status. And if someone says that, thank you very much. I’m more than happy to accept that. It’s hard for you to call yourself a legend. Although I did call myself the living legend in WWE. So, if you look back in 2004, my character definitely thought he was a legend.
Me, I’m just a guy who likes to do a lot of different things. I don’t put boundaries on myself. When I was a kid, I wanted to be in a rock ‘n’ roll band and a wrestler. I’ve done both those things at very high levels. That has enabled me to do other stuff like write books, do podcasts, YouTube shows. I have a great fanbase that follows me into whatever I do because they know I put a thousand percent into every project I’m a part of. And I turn down a lot of stuff too.
This Travel Channel show was something I was really interested in, and I knew I would have a lot of fun with it. I was right. Wait till you see some of the things we saw and things that we did. Some of the areas of the country we encountered. I never knew Utah was like Tatooine from Star Wars. If we were to break down there, you never would have found us. We could have made our own Blair Witch Project. That’s how desolate it was.
3. When was the last time you were starstruck by a legend?
I’ve met Keith Richards a couple of years ago, and that was big one. You just got to be cool and talk to them like they're normal dudes. I still have my heroes. I saw Wayne Gretzky a few months ago. He had a couple of cocktails. I was sort of starstruck, but he was going off on how much he loved me and my work. I was like, “Wow, Gretzky likes me. I don’t care if he has had a couple of cocktails. I am talking to Wayne Gretzky!”
I had a run-in with Paul McCartney briefly, and that was one of those starstruck moments. I find if you get a chance to talk to somebody for a few minutes and get through the outer exterior, like McCartney, he is just a dude with a really cool job. I’m the same way. Obviously, my job isn’t quite as legendary as McCartney’s is, but I still know how to talk to someone who has that type of experience and usually get along with guys like that, if you have a chance to shoot the breeze and not just have a random encounter to try to explain everything in 30 seconds, because that never works out.
4. You’ve been all around the world. In sticking with the travel theme, is there anywhere you haven’t been to yet that you want to go?
I’ve never been to South Africa. Other than that, I’ve been to most of the cool countries. I’ve never been to the continent of Africa at all. So, that would be fun.
'Man will always prevail,' declares the new host.
5. What are some mysteries or legends you want to investigate next if given the opportunity?
The Butch Cassidy thing was completely different than what I expected from the show, but I really enjoyed it. I know there is supposed to be treasure off the East Coast in the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve always been obsessed with lake monsters. Maybe a Loch Ness Monster or a creepy haunted house sort of thing.
Or there are a lot of different ones, too, that are real-life legends. Amelia Earhart, Mary Celeste, the eternal mysteries that people never really found out the answer to. The Bermuda Triangle. Obviously, I don’t want to get lost in the Bermuda Triangle, but I’d go and study it and do some filming with people who know about it and find out more. Is it coincidence or a magnetic field in there? John Dillinger, how did he escape? That sort of thing. All those ideas. If there is a mystery to be had, I’m there, or at least want to look into it.
The Legend of…With Chris Jericho, premieres November 17 at 11/10c on Travel Channel