– Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated recently interviewed Dolph Ziggler to promote WWE’s SummerSlam pay-per-view. Here are some highlights:
SI.com: You are a huge comedy fan. How did that start?
Ziggler: When I was 5 years old I wanted to be a WWE superstar. When I was 8 years old I watched Saturday Night Live and I always wanted to be on there and be an entertainer. I’ve be a student of comedy for 20 years now, I just study and watch and go to comedy clubs and open mics and write my own material and try out my material. I’ve actually done stand up a couple of times and I love it. Not only the challenge of it, but the entertainment aspect. I wanna study great guys and wonder why they got the reaction that they did when they did, why are they so successful. Why are guys who are kind of funny getting great reactions, but guys who are really funny not always getting them.
SI.com: Which is harder to do: Comedy or wrestle in the WWE?
Ziggler: I would say they’re both pretty cut throa,t and sometimes you’re not gonna hear any reaction and that’s the worst thing that can ever happen. But at least in the WWE, you have another guy out there with you who you can blame. Last year, 80,000 people at WrestleMania, I was having the time of my life, living it up, not nervous at all, just having a great time. A couple of months ago I did my first standup set in front of about 50 people and I was literally shaking when I went on the stage.
SI.com: Who is the funniest wrestler of all time?
Ziggler: Bobby “The Brain” Heenan was better than anyone else at making me laugh. He was sooo good. So damn good at this. He was “The Brain” because he was so smart as a manager, as a commentator as a performer. He could do it all. He knew what to do, not just tell a couple of jokes. He was smart, and that is such a turn on to me as someone you look up to. His job was almost always to make other people look better than they were and he did it better than anyone else.
SI.com: What do you think about the new Total Divas show? Would you want to do a reality show?
Ziggler: Even knowing all those people, I think it’s a very intriguing show. When I first watched it, I was like “Wow, I can get into this show.” I would think about doing a reality show. However, as much as I want to be in TV, movies and crossover, I saw those cameras around for a couple of months and it’s huge invasion of your privacy. I’d have to think about it. I wouldn’t mind being a guest star or a bit player, but I’d need 24 hours at home in silence sometimes.