In my book, comedian Jeff Dye already won this summer’s celebrity talent challenge on NBC, I Can Do That, since the network announced last week that Dye will join another all-star group for NBC’s Better Late Than Never this August.
Dye sees it differently.
“I’m very happy that you just brought that up, yes. I’m excited for that show,” Dye told The Comic’s Comic during a conference call on Friday. “But no, I don’t feel like this show has like winners and losers, which I really enjoy about it. Like we don’t – we’re trying really hard to like impress everyone and do a good show. But I don’t feel like it’s that competitive. Like I don’t really – like the people that I’m rooting against each episode are later my partner on the next episode.”
“And so it’s kind of like we’re all just a bunch of friends trying to put on like a really fun show. And so I’m – I don’t have really a competitive bone in my body. I’m just kind of happy. And that’s why there’s not a lot of negative feedback from the couch either because we all like each other and just kind of happy that the other person’s doing good, you know.”
Cheryl Burke added: “And we’re not being judged. There’s no paddles being held up. There’s no elimination. So it’s just like a feel good comedy variety show.”
Dye and Burke teamed up for this week’s challenge, televised tonight, replicating the modern dance techniques of Pilobolus. They previously hooked up to perform with the Harlem Globetrotters in week one.
He said this week’s was his favorite. “When I saw the Harlem Globetrotters, I knew what they were and I knew what to expect for the week and all the different stuff,” he said. “But with Pilobolus, I’d never heard of that dance company. I didn’t even know what I was really looking at. So it kind of surprised me when the week went on and I grew this like kind of respect for it and liked it a lot. So this week was definitely the one for me because in my brain it was kind of a sleeper.”
Last week, Dye and singer Nicole Scherzinger learned the dangerous art of crossbow shooting from Ben Blaque.
Before that, Dye teamed up with actor Alan Ritchson to work with dogs on an acrobatic routine.
The other participants are singers Joe Jonas and Ciara, with comedian/actor Marlon Wayans hosting the proceedings.
What has Dye already learned about himself taking on new challenges onstage that don’t involve telling jokes into a microphone?
“It kind of gave me like a little bit more confidence,” Dye said. “Like if you just – if I work on something no matter how uncomfortable, I’m with it and just try really hard that I’ll be able to do it. Because I think – I don’t know. I think we always like romanticize about stuff. Like oh man, I wish I knew how to play piano or I wish I knew how to skateboard.
“We always say things like that but we don’t actually ever just try and do it. And on this show we have to – we’re forced to do it. We’re being paid to do it. We’re made to do it. We’re being filmed to do it. So it kind of gave me confidence. I’m like wow, after working really hard at this for so long, you can do stuff.”
Here’s more with Dye and Burke explaining the show, in case you need catching up.
NBC’s I Can Do That airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.
In August, Dye will join Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw, George Foreman on production of NBC’s Better Late Than Never. The five guys will travel to Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Chang Mai — along the way balancing the logistics of traveling overseas with a need to check off their personal “bucket list” items. No air date has been announced for it yet.