There are many ways to spend a rainy afternoon. In bed with Scott Baio is a nice one.
Last week, I met the star of VH1's Scott Baio Is 45… and Single at a suite in the W Hotel in Times Square. Since TV's Extra was busy setting up for an on-camera interview with the legendary lothario in the living room, we retired to the bedroom for some sweet privacy which was ultimately interrupted by two VH1 publicists and Baio's buddy Jason Hervey (Wayne from The Wonder Years).
Like Baio, Hervey serves as an executive producer on the reality show, which finds the man who cheated on Pam Anderson and Heather Locklear working with a life coach to determine why he's never been able to commit. Sensing my willingness perhaps from the subtle ''Can I please sit on the bed with Scott Baio?'' I uttered at the sight of the king-size Baio quickly hit the sheets with me for some pillow talk. He wouldn't comment on the rumor that he's now expecting a child with former Playmate/stuntwoman Renee Sloan, the ultimatum-giving girlfriend he wasn't allowed to see during the eight weeks of filming. (The show wrapped three months ago.) But he did answer so many questions about his playboy past that he felt the need to leave me with these words: ''When you write this, know that a lot of it was tongue-in-cheek, and that I'm not a complete ass.''
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you do the show?
SCOTT BAIO: I was kinda going through this anyway in my head [asking] what was I thinking and feeling, because I could not commit to anybody. I was talking with Jason Hervey, just in conversation, guy s---. And awhile later he came back to me and said, ''I have this idea for you.'' I said, ''That sounds very interesting. Here's the thing: I don't want to do a reality show. I've been asked to do a lot of them. And they just seem to be...pathetic. If I could do this where it doesn't quite look like one [if] it's about something real as opposed to me getting laser-eye surgery and walking around with a patch for the whole episode bumping into things, if when people watch it they're not quite sure what it is I'll do that.'' I've heard a lot of people saying, ''Is it real?'' and that, to me, is a victory, because I didn't want it to be like anything else.
What shows had you been offered?
[Thinks] Oh, I was offered Dancing With the Stars in the first season. I'm a really good athlete, but I don't have a stitch of rhythm. I said, ''You know what, I can't make a complete ass of myself on television.'' [Pauses] I can tell you that I'm an ass, but I can't actually show you that I'm an ass.
What do you hope the show leads to professionally?
Martin Scorsese watches and goes, ''Hey, that guy's a really talented actor. I want to put him in my next film with De Niro and DiCaprio.'' Only my name would have to be De Baio. No. What do I want to happen? Honestly, I just wanted to do a good show. I just wanted to play some golf. Whatever happens next, I don't know. [His voice softens, which right or wrong, makes you believe him.] And I care a little bit. If this goes another season, then I'll go another season.
What's the most interesting phone call you've gotten since the show premiered?
[To publicist] Naomi, what do you get? You get some interesting stuff. You get marriage proposals and stuff. [Naomi's answer: ''Marriage proposals. Head shots. Links to MySpace pages. A lot of letters that say, 'I can relate to Scott.' Women giving him in advice. People are very sympathetic toward his situation.'']
Are you reading those letters?
Yeah. She sends them to me. I had one person tell me, ''Now I know why you're an a--hole.'' It was a girl I went out with, and she sort of forgave me. So I got one good thing out of the show: A girl that I'll never see again doesn't think that I'm an a--hole anymore. Don't write a--hole, say jerk. A--hole will look stupid: a blank blank h-o-l-e.
NEXT PAGE: ''If somebody's gonna call me Chachi to break my balls, then I got a problem. Otherwise I don't care.''