Veteran stand-up comedian Marc Ryan, drinkin' buddy Steve McKenna, and Zane Lamprey. Photo by: Melissa Schilling
I was excited to talk to Zane Lamprey. Not in that cliched, every interviewer has to love the interviewed, type of way. I'm a bit of a drunk. I appreciate drunks that can hold it together and function in society. As sad as it sounds, I appreciate high functioning addicts. They need what they need, and they still get done what needs to get done. Zane Lamprey is a man that hosts two different drinking shows. Three Sheets finished filming some time back and has been picked up by the Spike Network. In this show, Zane travels the world and drinks what the locals drink, wherever he happens to be. In his newest show, Drinking Made Easy, he travels the US with two comic buddies, Steve Mckenna, and Mark Ryan. They travel to different parts of the US and tell people about drinking in those areas. Hosting either of these shows sounds like dream job for me and 85% of the people that I know. I also know that I don't function well with a hangover. It's a consequence of the lifestyle, and I'm fine with that. I was hoping to interview a kindred spirit—an irritable man, with interesting drunken stories, and a very clear sense that he didn't want to be talking to me. A sort of Hank Moody meets Ernest Hemingway character. I would have liked that. What I got was the exact opposite. Lamprey came to Utah to film Drinking Made Easy not too long ago, so we wanted to catch up with him and see what he thought of our fair state.
SLUG: Where's your favorite place to drink, and why?
Zane Lamprey: I get asked this question a lot... A question that I got asked a few times was "Where did I go in Three Sheets that I didn't like?" The point of shooting that show was to go places that I liked. I never went to any places I didn't want to go, and when I'd get to that place I want to drink whatever they drink.
SLUG: I'm sure you're aware of all the shitty stigma about the laws in Salt Lake, what did you think about drinking in Salt Lake City?
Lamprey: You know it was interesting. I wanted to spend my time there getting to the bottom of it, and we sort of geeked out about those laws the whole time I was there. We let the bartenders kind of tell us how the laws work, and even with the bartenders we got some conflicting info... We wanted to figure out why 3.2 beer, and private clubs... as soon as we thought we got to the bottom of it, we were wrong. We tried to look up online, even on the government website... we didn't get that clear cut of an answer. Squatters was our starting off point, then we went to the Shooting Star, then The Bar in Sugarhouse, and got conflicting information everywhere."
SLUG: So you went to High West Distillery up in Park City, how was that for you?
Lamprey: David [Perkins] takes extreme pride in what he does, he's an awesome personality and clearly a very intelligent person. We both were of the same mind that, it's still easy to get drunk in Utah.
SLUG: So what do you do in your off time? Is it 50% withdrawals?
Lamprey: Well, I’m not a alcoholic, I'm a workaholic. I've got a screenplay that's pretty much sold. I have an album coming out in a month, I wrote a book last year, and I'm the Executive Producer of Drinking Made Easy. When we're not filming, we're constantly scouting locations and so forth. So I'm always busy. I make a joke and say, I'm only drinking when I'm working. When the cameras are rolling I do my job and drink. But when they're off, there's business to be done. Not to say that I don't like to go get a drink with my friends.
I didn't get from Zane Lamprey at all what I was expecting. Zane knows he had the best job in the world, and isn't taking it for granted. I can respect that a hell of a lot more than the guy I was hoping for. Check out Drinking Made Easy on HDNet at 8:30 p.m. ET and Three Sheets on Spike TV.