The With Leather Interview: ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper Talks About The Klondike Challenge And More

Our friends at Klondike, along with Joel McHale, are currently taking some of our favorite celebrities and pop culture icons from the last 30 years and asking the question, “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” So far they have put pop singer Tiffany and Fresh Prince of Bel Air star Alfonso Ribeiro to the test, but Klondike didn’t make me fall out of my seat with pure childish excitement until they asked me if I wanted to talk to WWF/WWE Hall of Famer and Hollywood star “Rowdy” Roddy Piper about what he was going to do for his Klondike challenge.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I had a list of 46 questions that I wanted to ask Piper, ranging from his days as the most charismatic man in the WWF and his son’s future in MMA and wresting to his incredibly underrated acting career and one of my favorite movies of all-time, Hell Comes to Frogtown. Unfortunately, he had to eventually get off the phone with me to actually fulfill his fan-selected Klondike challenge, which we’re happy to be debuting today.

(Piper did promise me that if I ever bump into him that he’ll sit and chat with me again, so I may or may not be in full stalker mode now.)

WL: When I hear the phrase “online challenge” I immediately think of people chugging milk or snorting cinnamon to be as disgusting as they can possibly be. Were you nervous or reluctant at all when Klondike pitched the idea of allowing your fans and random people to vote for your Klondike Celebrity Challenge?

RP: Well, that’s a good question. You know what? I need to give you some points. I have never had anyone ask me if I was nervous. I fought Andre the Giant, and one time I even fought a 650-pound bear named Victor. But the Klondike challenge, I have to be honest, these fans have all kinds of imaginations and things that they can come up with. You can go to the Klondike Facebook page and see what they’re coming up with, but the thing is, whatever the fan comes up with, he’s gotta do it, too. I don’t know what they’re going to do to me, but that’s basically like any other day.

WL: Tiffany had to sing in a shopping mall and Alfonso Ribeiro had to show off his old dancing moves. Do you get the feeling at all that your challenge is going to be hitting people on the heads with coconuts?

RP: [laughs an evil laugh] Okay, let me ask you this – what would you ask Roddy Piper to do for a Klondike bar?

WL: My personal suggestion was going to be to challenge you to walk into random places and declare, “I’m here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum.”

RP: That’s a great one! You should have submitted that. Just so you know, I’ve got four of the most beautiful kids in the world, so I’ll just be straight up honest with you – it’s so nice to do this commercial and be a celebrity for so long, it’s just like a day off for me. I get to eat Klondike bars, have fun and do whatever they’ve got for me. I love it and it’s a lot of fun.

They’re also going to air what they’re calling the Klondys on the same night as the Emmys, and if I don’t get a Klondy, I’m gonna die. Come on, I’ve got Tiffany and Alfonso Ribeiro, but I’m a performer and I’m going to win, man. And that Joel McHale, you’ve got to be careful with him. I was having lunch with Jimmy Kimmel and Sal and they told me about Joel. They said he’s a really good guy, but to watch out for him. But you’ve got a singer and a dancer, and I’m a wrestler, so I should have it.

WL: You and Keith David provided some voice work for a parody of They Live in the new video game, Saints Row IV. What was it like reuniting for that and reprising those iconic roles?

RP: Keith David, it took us 20 years to see each other after we did They Live. When we were shooting that movie, Keith came over to me and he’s a schooled, Julliard actor – a professional – and he would help me with my script, while everyone else was saying, “This is just some dumb jock coming to act now.” But he stood up for me, and we had such a bond. It’s the 25th anniversary of it now, and in Philadelphia they had a movie theater that held like 500 people. But we had some wrestling promoters that got about 650 people in there, and they had a showing of They Live.

I’ve never seen a movie that packed, and I’m in the attic and I realize that as I’m saying, “I’m here to chew bubble gum” and all of that, these guys are shouting it out! And when there’s a suplex, the people would shout out the move, and I thought that was so cool. I came down there and said that I didn’t realize that people had this much fun.

WL: Hollywood has been remaking and rebooting movies from the 80s like wildfire. How would you feel if a studio decided to remake They Live?

RP: They’ve already been talking for a while about remaking They Live. Personally, I think it kills it, but it’s a business. From an artist’s point of view, leave the product alone if it works and stays contemporary. But from a business point of view, it would probably do pretty well.

WL: You’ve stated in other interviews that there are scripts out there for a Roddy Piper movie. What would you want the movie of your life to cover? Would it be a certain period of your career or would it simply cover the entire thing from start to now?

RP: I’ll tell you, it would be through the eyes of Roderick George Toombs, that’s about the only way it could be.

WL: What actors do you think could wear your iconic kilt?

RP: I’ve been asked by people who are trying to do my life story, and I’ve suggested Mark Wahlberg. I could see him doing it, and I’ve heard he’s a pretty decent guy, too.

WL: Next year, it will have been 30 years since your WWF debut in 1984, what is like to see this response from so many people on the Klondike Facebook page and whatnot, who are so excited to see you still doing the Hot Rod things so many years later?

RP: I’m just a dad. I ran away when I was 15, and I started wrestling professionally by accident and I made my own family. I think that I just wasn’t brought up under any rules, and I think that made me a little different and people wanted to look up to that or aspire to that, and that makes me very grateful. Billy Banks, who invented Tae Bo, his daddy raised 12 children in Chicago and he was a ditch digger, and he never missed a day. That’s the iconic guy you need to look up to. I appreciate it, and I love ‘em all. But I’m just a dad.

And, without further ado, here is “Rowdy” Roddy Piper performing his Klondike Celebrity Challenge:

Wouldn’t you know it? Chewing bubble gum, kicking ass and bashing coconuts. Looks like I didn’t have to submit my idea after all. But he still loved it, so I win.