If you've ever considered the bizarre possibility of drinking and traveling the world and actually getting paid for it, you've wanted to be Zane Lamprey. The host of cult-TV favorite Three Sheets, he's already been to more than 50 countries sampling the best brews, meeting the most interesting people and running up quite the bar tab -- all in the name of his career.
Zane's show has been so popular that it's bounced around networks for four seasons, spawned a spin-off (Have Fork, Will Travel), and established him as the go-to guy for the best hangover cures.
But Zane's actually quite the comedian, too. He's scouting locations for his latest TV series, Drinking Made Easy, and stopping in at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale tonight to make you laugh, get you drunk, and hopefully teach you a little something about the art of boozing. New Times talked with Zane about his attention to detail with his various forms of social media and his two best drinking buddies: Pleepleus (the stuffed monkey) and Steve McKenna.
New Times: I have to admit, I'm a huge fan. I've actually been tempted to call that number you had on your site or email your gmail account. What inspired you to give away that info to your fans?
Zane Lamprey: Ohhh, yeah. Well, that voicemail I was using through a service and I think they decided to stop. I try to do what I can to keep in touch with fans through social networks and stuff like that.
I think you took down that number, right?
Oh, did they? Yeah, I wasn't able to keep up with it. I tried to stay on top of it, and the more I tried, the more calls I got. I got something like 5,000 calls.
I think you were even getting drunk dials, right?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
More with Zane Lamprey and watch a video of him taking a nose dive promoting Three Sheets after the jump.
How's Pleepleus handling all of this fame?
Fine. Him and Steve McKenna are doing fine. I'm the one that does all of the work.
Even your mustache's reached a certain level of fame, having over 400 followers on twitter. What made you kill him off? Any plans on reviving him?
Yeah, at one point. You know, it's a matter of having the time to fit everything in my schedule. The mustache had to take a backseat for a while.
What's the best party trick you've learned so far? I have to say, I'm quite fond of sabering (FYI: Sabering is when you get a large knife or sword and use it to pop open a bottle of alcohol).
Oh yeah, sabering is the coolest one. We do that in the live shows. People come out and we teach the audience how to saber. It's very easy.
An entire audience with sharp objects? Sounds dangerous.
It's dangerous, but we take precautions. I just do it towards Steve McKenna.
A lot of people think you have the greatest job touring the world drinking, but quite a few don't know that you were actually a comedian before it all.
Yeah, you know, it's all really one in the same. I'm just out there to entertain people and it's through drinking and laughing and having a good time and obviously being safe doing it, so that's really what the whole live show is about, too. It's about educating people a little bit, but it's more for laughs, more just to have fun.
You just put out a book, and I heard you're releasing an album, too?
Yeah. The book is sort of teaching people about alcohol as opposed to... not really just my stories. It's giving people a little bit of an education. And the album is just for fun. It's just songs to drink through, that's all. Just funny songs.
Are you singing the songs?
Oh, absolutely, yeah, definitely.
Do you know when that's coming out?
I think that at the show people can get some of that music. The whole album is coming out in the fall.
What's it called?
I'm not sure yet [laughs]. Probably Drinking Made Easy [laughs].
Can you tell me a little bit more about your new show Drinking Made Easy? Is that what you're filming it while you're on tour?
Yeah, we're shooting a new show for HDNet called Drinking Made Easy, which is traveling around the country, learning about drinking culture domestically.
So pretty much every city that you're hitting on tour you're taping in?
Most of them, definitely.
So I'm guessing South Florida has to be one of them.
Oh, absolutely. Oh yeah, yeah. We have to run off for a shoot today. We're shooting some stuff here [in Orlando], we're shooting some stuff in Miami, and we're shooting some stuff in Tampa.
What's in store for Three Sheets? Saw that there's a site -- savethreesheets.com -- with a petition set up to revive it.
Yeah, that has nothing to do with me. That's somebody else that started that. I dunno. I'm hoping that that revives Three Sheets. I'd love to go out and do a fifth season of that.
Is it all pretty much in the hands of the Travel Channel now?
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It is all exclusively in the hands of the Travel Channel.
So what can people who go to your show on Wednesday at the Culture Room expect? Any surprises? Will Pleepleus be in attendance?
I will tell you that Steve McKenna and Pleepleus will both be there. Absolutely. The rest of it is just having some drinks and having some fun.