Pittsburgh — the little city that almost did and still might — has served as the launching pad for the careers of former Extreme Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas, comic book publisher Jim Shooter, retired federal judge Robert Bork, and the jam band Rusted Root. Susie Meister, a Pittsburgh native and multiple-time winner of assorted duels and challenges held on the MTV cable television network, continues this tradition of excellence.
Because Meister has achieved such a high level of fame, the Moustache Club of America arranged a meeting with her at a local watering hole. In these turbulent economic times, we believe that young people could learn much from her example. As always, we held nothing back. We asked her the toughest questions imaginable, and the result was an interview for the ages.
Q: So you got your first taste of fame on Road Rules, a TV show where people competed for fabulous prizes while driving to different locations. What was that like? Do you ever wish that you got your first taste of fame on a different show, such as the big singing contest or that one with the sassy, tan fat girl?
A: No, but I would watch the people from my show take on the fat girl and her friends. We would probably win, since they’re not as interested in strategy. They are tough, though. That fat girl can really take a punch.
Q: Now that there aren’t as many jobs due to global warming and what have you, do you think that fame is a good option for people who don’t want to work so hard?
A: Sure, but it’s harder to get fame in 2010 than it was in 2000. I got my fame when you didn’t have to lower your standards. These days, as a girl, you’ve got to be willing to show something. It’s not something I did or would do, but I say go for it if fame is what you want.
Q: You’ve changed your hair color from blonde to dirty blonde or brunette or something. The change was so dramatic that we didn’t recognize you. Do you think the fans will?
A: Well, you’re not normal. I’m pretty sure viewers will know that I’m the same person. You stay the same person even if you change your hair color. I’m sorry I tricked you.
Q: How do you handle your fame? We don’t have any of that, but maybe some of our readers do. We’re sure they’d like to hear your thoughts about it.
A: Whenever people recognize me, they ask me the same questions. “Was it fun?” “Was it hard?” “Are you guys still friends?” It’s weird that these are the only things they want to know. I wish they would ask more substantial questions, like “How did it feel to do that challenge while wearing a microphone?” But they don’t and they never will. The answers to the questions they do ask are sometimes, it depends, and some of us are. Write those down.
Q: As far as our top celebrities go, who is your biggest inspiration? Who should the youthful up-and-comers look to as a pacesetter?
A: I’ve appeared on the Soup, so I don’t have to answer this question. It does seem that the new “We are the World” video is a real who’s who of the big names, though.
Q: Do you have a favorite product that you’d like to lend your fame to by way of an endorsement deal?
A: I’m a fan of Old Spice. They had an uphill battle with that name, and they’ve done a great job with it. I might be persuaded to endorse Farmville, if I could figure out why anyone would want to play a game like that. Is this what you want to hear?
Q: How do you stay in peak condition for your physical challenges? Do you do CrossFit like those studs in “300”?
A: I don’t work out at all, but in spite of that I’ve never been voted off. You have people on the show who are 250 pounds and ripped or whatever, and that doesn’t help them do most of these things.
Q: How do you feel about not having a Wikipedia entry?
A: I don’t know what I’d put on there if I did. I have three tattoos, but other than that I haven’t really done anything exciting or scandalous with my life. I don’t have a tattoo of dolphins, so I guess you could write that on the page: “Susie doesn’t have a tattoo of dolphins.” That’s pretty rare in this day and age.
Q: Since you’ve started work on your Ph.D., is it still possible for you to relate to the other people on your show? There’s that other show with the fat girl, and she’s a total disasterpiece. We doubt she could survive in a Ph.D. program.
A: Do you even know who the fat girl is? For that matter, have you ever watched my show?
Q: Our watching or not watching your show doesn’t matter, because we at the Moustache Club of America think you’re really awesome. So here’s one last question for you: Do you think we’re really awesome?
A: I did this interview as a favor to you, so yes. I’m not sure why you get to do this, but I think it’s great that you do. You’re a miracle to me, you truly are.
Susie Meister hosts WQED’s OnQ Magazine, performs stand-up comedy, and is a Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh. Her website is www.susiemeister.com. You can see close-ups of her feet by clicking here.