Theo Von during a mission of "Road Rules: Maximum Velocity Tour" in 2000, and now, as a comedian.
He was the funny Southern boy on "Road Rules: Maxiumum Velocity Tour" in 2000, and now he's the funny Southern boy that leaves audiences in stitches in comedy clubs across the country. Theo Von, a "Challenge" champ twice over, may have been missing from MTV since his first-ever elimination from "Fresh Meat" in 2006, but he's been keeping audiences smiling all the same.
Von was a 19-year-old college student when he first auditioned for "Road Rules," and when we spoke with him today, he told Remote Control he was in a bit of a funk when producers set up tryouts for the show at Louisiana State University. After surviving a series of cuts, he was one of six strangers selected to drive the famous longhorn skull-adorned RV across the Southern United States, which ultimately earned him a ton of dough.
Since his time as an MTV go-to, Von has been performing at comedy clubs like Los Angeles' legendary Laugh Factory. After earning the "Fan Favorite" title on NBC's "Last Comic Standing" a few years back, he finally earned his first Comedy Central special, which he said he'll film early next year.
So, what else is Theo Von up to these days? Besides founding CrankTexts.com, a project featured on CollegeHumor.com through which he carries out text conversations with random numbers, he's just wondering what happened to the good ol' "Challenge" days.
On showing up to "Road Rules" and finding out he had to walk on a beam from one hot air balloon to another
I was definitely nervous, scared, excited--all of that. I grew up in a busted-ass area and didn't have a lot of crazy exciting opportunities. I just remember thinking, "If I die, at least I got to do this."
A favorite "Road Rules" memory, and if he'd return to the "Challenges"
I loved our trip to South Africa. I loved going through all the different villages and playing with the kids. I also got to swim with some Great Whites and touch them--that sh** was pretty gangster.
At this point, I'd never go back [to a Challenge]. I've got a career in comedy now, and the last "Challenge" I did was a little bit too wild--they were [partying] every night, and I was like in my room reading books.
How he got into comedy
There was a "Road Rules" season where they went on Semester at Sea, and some of the show producers told me they thought it would be good for me, like just as a life experience. So I did, and there was an open mic one night. I remember like 11 days in, they were serving us "fresh milk," and we were in the middle of the ocean. And my jokes were just like, "Where is this fresh milk coming from?" You know? Like I don't think we had just passed a buoy full of livestock.
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Photo courtesy of Theo Von