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  ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: UK MAXIM'S GREG GUTFELD.  
   
   
 

It's been so long, it seems, since we've had a real cantankerous mother effer at the receiving end of one of these little interviews. Today, thankfully, we've got a fiery little furnace from the land o' fish n' chips to participate. This fella started as an editor at Men's Health with its 8 percent body fat and tips for premature ejaculators. Then he moved on to Stuff, home of B-list bazoongas and poop jokes-with-a purpose. Now the man's HNIC at UK Maxim, stirring the laddie-mag crock pot and starting riots at rugby matches.

And he's a lonely American in rainy London town. Which gives him ample amount of time to rip up the RAAHP questions like a picture of the pope.

It's been seven hours and 15 days...

Somebody give Greg Gutfeld a hug.

 


 

Now, you used to work at Men's Health. That seems like kind of a pussy publication all about protein bars and tricep extensions. Doesn't seem your style. What'd you learn from that joint? Oh, and does every editor there get to bang Rose McGowan? Is that part of the deal?

I learned a lot at Men's Health -- especially that you only need six minutes a day to get rock hard abs. And when you do get them, it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for that horrible, gaping maw eating away at your insides. For that you need a colonic.

I also learned to take a job, whatever that job may be. You become a better writer by making boring stuff interesting, not by writing about your life or feelings. Also, my pecs are huge. By the time I'm 60, I will have gorgeous breasts.

Second question: If by "bang," you mean "tape a collage of her photos across your naked chest and jerk off in front of mirror," then the answer is, unequivocally, YES.

Why do you think you get away with more stuff in Britain than the U.S.? Is it easier to spike your circulation numbers because you get to show chicks with their bombs hanging out? Like, was that something that was easy to work with after coming from Stuff?

England is definitely racier, because it's newsstand driven. With the advent of the weeklies, which have lowered the price and piled on the flesh, it's gotten worse. Breasts are everywhere. You can't walk anywhere without stepping in a tit. Here, people are accustomed to seeing naked chicks in the dailies. But you won't see Maureen Dowd's yams in The New York Times. Sadly.

The problem with these mags, and mags in general, is the primary strategy for success is mimicry. If someone does something really well, you copy it. You can't tell most of these mags apart. I hate mimicry -- it's responsible for the three six packs of Vanilla Coke I have in my fridge. I buy Vanilla Coke because I thought I was buying regular Coke. I'm too lazy to return it, and I tell myself, "I'll keep it around for guests." But nobody drinks that crap. Its purchase is based on consumer confusion. It's like going out to buy "O" and coming back with "Your Big Backyard." An honest mistake.

At Maxim, we aren't as racy as our competition, but we're definitely funnier, smarter and more surprising. We engage on every page, as I tell our growing stable of advertisers, who get what we're doing. Have you seen our new strip "Dogbaby?" It's about a guy who reads in GQ that dogs and babies are great lures for picking up women. So in his basement he creates Dogbaby, an oozing, writhing creature he takes to parks and supermarkets. It works. He gets laid, but all Dogbaby wants to do is die. It's a commentary on life.

Anyway, Maxim's like a giant roast chicken. You can sit down and start picking away at it, piece by piece. Then you find smaller, juicier bits in various nooks and crannies. And you keep going at it, until there's no meat left. Maxim is a wonderful giant roast chicken. By comparison,

  • Esquire is a tub of nonfat vanilla yogurt (with carob chips)
  • GQ is a bowl of those ribbon candies your grandmother used to keep before she died in "the fire."
  • Men's Health is a bran muffin that's been eaten, digested and excreted so many times you can take it through a straw.

I apologize for writing at length, but it's Sunday, I'm alone and bored. My wife is away, and I basically have no friends.

Is bestiality bad for the magazine business?

There's a UK TV show where celeb D-listers come and live on a farm. Rebecca Loos, some girl who screwed David Beckham, jerked off a pig live in prime time. It was disgusting, but no worse than an episode of "According to Jim."

But, bestiality's a tough call, mainly because of PETA.

What would be their stance? Is it rape? Or is it reward? How can you tell if the animal really wanted it? If animals are equal to humans, as PETA believes, then animals should have power of consent. But if we say it's a crime, then we are saying that animals are incapable of making their minds up about their sex lives, which strikes me as out and out bigotry. Another thing about PETA: They never protest when ugly animals are killed. Vultures are an endangered species, because there's not enough roadkill anymore to keep them alive. PETA has been strangely silent on this issue. Why? Is it because you can't cuddle a vulture? Probably.

There have been no focus groups on bestiality, which is why you haven't seen any groundbreaking features on it in Teen People or Seventeen. Perhaps soon The National Magazine Awards will recognize bestiality as important enough a topic to create a category for it. Then Tom Junod will write 10,000 words on it.

Speaking of bestiality, why did you send Maer Roshan a box full of shit? Was it because he's gay or because of his weird hair? And would you subscribe to Radar?

I didn't send him any shit. I only joked that I did in Stuff. I am too squeamish to touch feces. I actually hire interns to wipe. But you raise a great point -- people love talking shit. There are eight types of stools based on appearance, which you can use to judge your overall well-being:

  • Separate hard lumps, like nuts.
  • Sausage and snake shaped, lumpy.
  • Like a snake or sausage but with cracks on the surface.
  • Like a snake or sausage but smooth and soft.
  • Soft blobs with clear cut edges.
  • Fluffy pieces with ragged edges.
  • Water, no solid pieces.
  • Cargo Magazine.

The healthiest stools to have are the third or fourth ones. The last one is the biggest piece of shit ever. And yes, I would subscribe to Radar, just so I can look at Maer's edit page photo.

Would you rather give Terri Schiavo -- while she was, ahem, "alive" -- a purple nurple in front of her weeping parents or have anal sex with an otter in the privacy of your own home?

Christ. Not this question again. Third time today.

What do you think is the most offensive word in the world?

Ignorance. Intolerance. Haahahah, just kidding.

I went to my first soccer match about six months ago. Millwall vs. QPR. It was a fun crowd with lots of police on horseback and drunken lads chanting and gesticulating wildly at frightened people like me. A little blonde kid with his dad looked up at me, and hearing my accent, told me to fuck off. I stood throughout the game among a pleasant group of fans, all chanting and singing. A nice middle-aged British woman stood behind me. Very quiet. Then a bad call goes against Millwall and out of the blue this matronly woman screams to the referee, "You… SHITCUNT!" It went quiet, and then everyone -- hundreds and then thousands -- started chanting "SHITCUNT! SHITCUNT! SHITCUNT!" Disturbing.

Is shitcunt the most offensive word in the world? No. Because shitcunt is really two bad words. Like…

  • "I hate"
  • "that pig"
  • "Frank Rich"

What's the dumbest thing you ever did as a magazine editor?

I got rid of the joke page in UK Maxim and replaced it with sad tales of woe. I did it because every mag has a joke page, and they're all the same stupid jokes you find on the Internet months ago. Plus I hate people who tell jokes. People who tell jokes are not funny. So, I thought, if you make a mag that is truly funny, a joke page would be redundant. Let Playboy and its team of 95-year-old joke writers pick up the slack. Come December, they can have a funny illustration of a naked girl sitting on Santa.

Anyway, it caused a pile of cancellations. In the end it turned out to be a good thing -- we were able to create our kind of joke page -- a sick little world populated by sexist puppies and alcoholic widowers. And we're getting smarter, younger readers who like that humor and abhor crappy jokes. But the lesson to all that is… you never know you've done something dumb until you've already done it. So it's really pointless to worry about doing dumb things. Those anguished thoughts that keep you up in the middle of the night end up never being about the things that gets you. It's always something you never see coming. So if you never see it coming, don't bother looking.

That is horrible advice.

Who was the bitchiest celebrity you've ever had to deal with? Is there anybody out there that just makes you cringe because of a personal experience you've had with them?

I'm not really great around celebs. If I really like them, I get nervous and say stupid stuff. If I don't like them, then I just sit there and think vile thoughts. I have interviewed all my heroes, and each time I had to be drunk. Iggy Pop. Mike Patton. Joe Strummer. Ricky Gervais. Before the Gervais interview, I drank a bottle of red wine. Then I could barely speak. I gave him a fresh pair of underwear as a gift. He seemed thankful, and maybe scared, but it turned out good.

There are many pleasant, down to earth stars, but in general, it's good to steer clear. There was a study that just came out on the top 10 desires of children. Number one: to be famous. Others on the list: to get free stuff like ice cream and presents, pets that would live forever, no war. This is exactly the same list you'd get from a Hollywood celebrity.

Stars are exactly like children, in that they play all day and never buy stuff like light bulbs. And that makes them susceptible to destructive stuff like new age religions and Michael Moore movies. It's why stars give their kids such funny names. Those are EXACTLY the names you'd give your kid, if you were, say, a kid! Naming a kid, to them, is like naming a turtle. A box turtle.

I have met many celebs, but I remember almost none, because I was off my face at every Stuff event. I remember Chris Kattan vomiting over a balcony in LA. But he doesn't really count as a celebrity. Patrick Swayze at a Sundance party, a few years ago, wasted, telling me he had to go home (I asked him how he arrived to the party, and he said "I flew"). Then there was the time, sitting with Pauly Shore and Bob Saget. Their conversation:

Pauly: Hey Bob, what's up?
Bob: Well, you know, working on some projects.
Pauly: Yeah…me too.

Do you think you make too much money? Did you ever think you'd be as wealthy as you are?

I wish I were as wealthy as you think I am. Then I would treat you right. First, we'd go to eastern Pennsylvania, where I have a house. In the backyard, I have a stone playroom, where inside I would dig out the ground, and within it, drop an 8' by 6' Groundsman Apex Double Door Shed, with sturdy tongue and groove cladding, double doors on top for easier access and applied base coat timber treatment. This is where you would live. I would drug you with propranolol to slow your heart beat. I would sit you down at a little desk and have you write out 120 postcards, some with different pens, detailing your adventures backpacking throughout Europe. I would bundle and send these letters to a buddy in France. He would then mail one out to your parents every month for 10 years. And I would take care of you in that special place beneath the floorboards. You would never go hungry. You will never be cold. You will never be missed. But you will shit in a bucket.

It sucks for you that I'm not rich.

Do you guys use the letter "z" at all in UK Maxim?

It is strange, the way the British mangle the English language. They think they invented it or something. In the UK, they spell theaters "theatres." That's the extent of my analysis.

What are two stereotypes about Americans and British that you can say are unequivocally true? And which are false?

One assumption about Brits is that they drive on the left side of the road. I found out, while driving recently, that this assumption is true. I sent a wreath.

As for Americans, Brits go on about our bigness. Brits say we have big food, big asses, big teeth. All true. The obsession about being small makes most European countries feel small and hate us for our hugeness. It's the whole point behind the EU. It has absolutely nothing to do with what America does. It's what America is. That's why it's completely pointless to apologize for anything America does. People hate apologists.

Another assumption Brits had about Americans is that we all hated Bush. There were plenty of Americans who don't like Bush, but the British newspapers exaggerated it. The fact is, we don't have strong feelings about politicians (or Britons for that matter) in general. We do detest however, emotional people who suddenly become "politically active." Michael Stipe. Green Day. Chris Martin. They require daily beatings.

Sorry I am ranting. I should go outside. Do you play racquetball?

I really love England, and London may be the greatest city on earth. The streets are cobbled -- like Disneyland! Every day you feel like you're starring in a wonderful movie because everything and everyone is so damn charming. You should see a Brit do an American accent. It always sounds like a redneck. In America, we were brought up on movies where the only people who had British accents were butlers. So when we hear the accent, we expect them to clear the table.

Anyway, a great stereotype about the Brits is they have bad teeth. They don't. They have bad dentists. They have to go to France to get their teeth fixed. It's true. There are ferries that take them to dentists. My poor assistant went to a London dentist on Thursday to get her wisdom tooth out. She is now in the hospital.

Everybody in London is sick. But with all sorts of weird crap you'd find in a Dickens novel. A while ago, one of my writers cleaned his oven without gloves and contracted a horrible disease. His hands swelled up, ironically, like oven mitts! He endured endless pain for NINE MONTHS. He went to tons of doctors, but free health care sucks. Next time some dick in America complains about health care, put him on a plane, and I'll take him to an NHS hospital. The NHS employed England's most famous doctor, Harold Shipman, who killed up to 284 patients under his care. You'd think someone would have noticed a pattern after maybe 10 deaths. But no. He was cremated the same day as the Pope's funeral, although Shipman killed himself 14 months ago. Brits can't take care of you, and when you die, they can't bury you either. I'm eating healthier.

Some guy fainted at airport arrivals at Heathrow. And he drew a crowd, including all those hired cabs with their little placards, you know -- the ones with their passenger's name on it. They were all standing around the body in a circle, still holding their placards up.

Why is that funny? It would make a good New Yorker cartoon. If they use it do you think I'll get paid?

Wooh. Sorry I dozed off. That was a long answer. Anyway, what the hell was I asking you?

You had just IM'd me about buying restrictive mouth gags. I would suggest the rubber butterfly gag and locking O-ring gag. Once stuffed in the mouth and inflated, you will be totally silenced. It comes with a steel 2-inch locking O-ring gag for maximum restriction -- just slide the O-ring over the latex rubber butterfly gag to ensure that it cannot be ejected from the mouth. The 2-inch steel locking 0-ring gag can also be used without the butterfly gag, but it's not as much fun. Trust me. Anyway, talk to you later!

 

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