Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! : NPR
The world has yet to come up with something that Michael Strahan cannot do better
The world has yet to come up with something that Michael Strahan cannot do better than everyone else. He was a Hall of Fame defensive end for the New York Giants, then when he retired from football, went into broadcasting and worked his way quickly to becoming one of the co-hosts of Good Morning America. Now, he’s launched his own line of skin care products, and somewhere, Kylie Jenner felt a cold wind…
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Peter Sagal: You were one of the greatest defensive ends to ever play the game, certainly in the modern era. We understand that your entry into football was a little different than most elite athletes were because first of all, if I understand correctly, you only played college football for one year.
Michael Strahan: I played high school football for one year. I grew up in Germany and my dad [before] my senior year of high school said “You wanna play football?” and I said “Sure!” And he put me on a plane, sent me back to Houston and I stayed with my uncle for five months. I played one year of high school football, had no idea what I was doing, ended up with a scholarship and I was drafted by the Giants and spent 15 years playing in New York.
And my understanding is that you weren’t playing football in Germany, but you were watching it with your dad?
Yeah, I was watching it with my dad. I was watching football, I moved [to Germany] when I was nine. And when I was thirteen, I started working out because my brothers gave me a nickname. They called me Bob[…] I’m the youngest of six and I thought it was cool that I had a nickname from my brothers. Then I realized Bob meant big old butt, booty on back. So it made me work out, I bought the Jane Fonda workout VHS tape.
Wait a minute, you’re telling me that if someone makes the biopic about Michael Strahan and knowing you, you’ll play yourself brilliantly, there will be a scene of a thirteen-year-old Michael Strahan in Germany, like with leg warmers, working out to the Jane Fonda tape.
So you took it to another level. I didn’t say the leg warmers and tights, I was doing the exercises! I was doing the leg lifts, I was doing the side lifts, I was literally trying to work my butt off because that’s what they were making fun of. So I worked out, I was thirteen and my dad saw how hard I was working at it and gave me an opportunity to play the game one year in high school. The rest is history, I guess.
I was going to ask if you knew that you were going to go into a career in broadcasting when you were playing.
You did not. Well, I’m surprised, and let me tell you why I’m surprised, because I happened to stumble across a video that was promoted on YouTube as the “Best of Michael Strahan Mic’d Up.” You were the greatest trash talker I have ever seen. There’s one moment where you tackle some poor ball carrier, couldn’t tell you what team it was, and you lean down on him and say, “Look, man, I’m trying to help you. Don’t run on this side.”
I can tell you exactly, that was Deuce McAllister for the Philadelphia Eagles. Yeah, he was trying to get a rushing record at something for that year, and I was like, “Dude, you’re not getting it over here. Run to the other side, those guys will let you have it.” But I only talk if you talk to me. I didn’t go out there with it and, like, harass somebody. But if you said something to me or if I felt disrespected, then you were going to get it the whole game.
You’ve got a number of products and things, you’ve got a menswear line and now you have a line of skin care products. Speaking as a man, I don’t normally use skin care products. How are you going to convince idiot men like myself that we’re wrong and we should use skin care products?
I believe that your skin is your confidence. We started our clothing line eight years ago, and that’s done incredibly well. And when you dress well, you feel good about yourself. It’s a confidence thing, but your skin is the one thing you don’t take off.
Did you read that Brad Pitt also came out with his own line of skin care products?
Yeah, I saw that, and I love Brad Pitt. I’m the biggest Brad Pitt fan in the world. But I love Brad Pitt and the way he looks, but I’m not paying like $300 for something for my face. I’ll be walking around here with bumps everywhere, looking awful before I did that. That’s a lot of money, man! But you have people who are gonna do it, so good luck Brad Pitt, I love you!
That ladies and gentlemen, Michael Strahan trash-talking skincare!
This is an excerpt from Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, NPR’s weekly news quiz. Have a laugh and test your knowledge with today’s funniest comedians. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or listen on NPR One, and you can find us on Instagram. Want to come out to our live shows at our new home at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, IL or on the road? Just check out nprpresents.org.