Larry Olson: We are joined by the one and only Bruce Jenner. Hello there, Bruce.
Bruce Jenner: How are you doing today?
Larry Olson: I’m excellent, my man. So for those of us in my age range, Bruce, we know you as our hero who set the world record in the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, but to people perhaps of a lesser age, we’ll say that, you’re the guy who’s lost in the Kardashian circus.
Bruce Jenner: Yes I am. I am.
Larry Olson: You sort of live like a dual persona, don’t you?
Bruce Jenner: I do, actually. You know, it’s been…actually, for me…you know, I grew up with the baby boomer generation. I mean those are my people, you know? I mean they saw the Wheaties commercials and the Games and all the things that I have done for so many years. The audience for the Kardashian show is really young women. I mean that’s our primary audience, eighteen to, like, forty-two. I mean that’s our biggest audience and it’s kind of fun for me because now I have all these…you know, you go through an airport and all these young girls, “Oh, I want a picture with Kim’s dad.” I mean it cracks me up. It’s fun. I mean I love it. It’s good.
Larry Olson: Okay, so it’s a reality show. Does it ever just drive you crazy?
Bruce Jenner: Well, it does. It wears on you. It takes us about three months, somewhere in there, give or take a little bit, to shoot a season and so far we’ve done I think 107 episodes. It’s that amazing?
Larry Olson: Wow.
Bruce Jenner: Yeah, and…but it takes about three months and at the end of three months you’re just ready for all these people to leave, just because it’s an intrusion on you. Not that I don’t enjoy it. I mean I got the best job the world. I get to work out of my house and I get to work with all my kids, you know? You can’t ask it for any better than that, but after a while it does kind of drain on you. You’re just like, “Oh, my God. They’re still here. We’re still shooting,” but the overall it’s been just wonderful for my whole family.
Larry Olson: I would say the only exception being that Ryan Seacrest is your boss.
Bruce Jenner: Yeah. I know I’ve got to put up with Ryan. I saw him the other day. I got to put up with Ryan, you know. He started the whole thing and Kris, my wife, Kris, and Ryan had a meeting and Ryan says, “Well, we might have something here. Let’s try this.” Little did we know…in fact, they’re going to change the E! Network to the K! Network now, I think.
Larry Olson: [LAUGHS] You had to work as an insurance salesman while you were preparing for the 1976 Olympics, right?
Bruce Jenner: Yeah. Yeah. I worked for good old New England Life. They’re not even around anymore. So I sold a few policies here and there and, yeah, it kept me alive. I lived on, like, $10,000 a year.
Larry Olson: The reason I bring that up, Bruce, is that obviously you worked really hard for that 1976 Olympics. Your kids now are almost famous for just being famous. Like, what words do you impart with them because you’ve had to work so hard to get where you are?
Bruce Jenner: Well, yeah. It’s a different world. In my world of athletics, you don’t get anywhere unless you start really young and work your little butt off everywhere, but then, on the other side, there is this thing called…well, I kind of consider it the business of being a celebrity. I mean it’s a business and that’s the way you’ve got to look at it and my girls because of the exposure of the show, have…I am just so proud of them because I told them at the beginning, “Here’s an opportunity. See what you can do with it.” You know, you go on camera…I mean they’re not…to be honest with you, they’re not really just…you know, people think of them as, “Oh, they’re reality stars on the television,” stuff like that. No, they’re entrepreneurs. They’re businesswomen. They’re smart. They have enormous work ethic. The reason they are so successful is because of their work ethic, not because just they’re on TV.
A lot of people are on TV and don’t do anything after that. You never hear from them again. You know, my girls have taken this opportunity of being on TV and started businesses, clothing lines. They’re into the fashion world. They’ve got a clothing line with QVC. They’ve got this deal with Sears. Every Sears store has its own Kardashian section with all their clothes and they design them and they work with it and they work with the manufacturers. These are really smart entrepreneurial women and it’s been great to watch them grow and I couldn’t be prouder of them. I mean they don’t…there’s no drinking. There are no drugs. There are none of that kind of stuff. They’re nice to people. They always have a smile on their face even though they’ve been working for fourteen, fifteen, sixteen hours that day and they show up on time. They do their job and they do it well and that’s all you can ask for and I’ve been very proud of them, extraordinarily proud of them.
Larry Olson: The one and only Bruce Jenner hanging out with us on the JOB. Of course, he is the star, whether he wants to be or not, as the Kardashian’s….
Bruce Jenner: Yeah.
Larry Olson: The Kardashian’s dad on the E! Channel. So my brother is my step-brother and whenever anybody asks me I just say it’s my brother because I don’t say he’s my step-brother.
Bruce Jenner: Right, yeah. Right.
Larry Olson: And a testament to that relationship is my dad was the best man in his wedding.
Bruce Jenner: Right.
Larry Olson: It’s tough to be a step-dad, but you’ve sort of really embraced that role for these guys, right?
Bruce Jenner: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. When Kris and I got married twenty years ago and we just celebrated twenty years of marriage, she had four kids and I had four kids and they were all about the same age. She had three girls and a boy. I had three boys and a girl. Being a step-dad is a different set of rules and at first you think, “Okay, well, now I’m the dad. They’re living in my house.” No, no, no, no, no, no, no! That doesn’t…you’ve got to learn how to play this step-dad game.
Yeah and how to communicate with…at that time their father was still alive. Fortunately, their father, Robert, we always had an extraordinarily good relationship. I always had a very good relationship with Robert and it’s a growing process, but the bottom line is here we are, all these years later. I have a very strong relationship with all my step-kids and, in fact, in a lot of ways, I’m a lot closer to them than even my own kids because my kids, I see them all the time and I do things with them, this and that, but my step-kids grew up with me. I mean they were living in my house all the time unless they were at their dad’s house and then when he passed away, obviously, they were with me all the time. Where my kids were in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out. So I built a very strong relationship with all of them.
Larry Olson: Okay, my last three questions and the hardest ones for the end here.
Bruce Jenner: Go, go. Let’s do it.
Larry Olson: Was there ever a beef between you and Eric Estrada because you replaced him on CHIPS, Steve McLeish?
Bruce Jenner: Very good question. So I did probably eight episodes while he was kind of on his own little strike and then I did a good job so they said, “Oh, when Eric comes back we want you to stay,” and I thought, “Oh, man, okay.” He was so nice to me.
Larry Olson: [LAUGHS] Okay. Okay.
Bruce Jenner: I was pleasantly surprised. He came back and I was kind of his strike-breaker, you know? So NBC could keep the show going and I was wondering…and I’d never met him, didn’t know anything about him. I was wondering how he was going to react to me and he came up when he first saw me, said, “Hi”, told me I was doing this great job. “Let’s go to work together. This is going to be fun.” He was nothing, but great. It really told me a lot about him.
Larry Olson: This is my second most important question. Silver Spoons, good or bad career move for you?
Bruce Jenner: [LAUGHS] Well, here I am today, so it couldn’t have been too bad a move, huh?
Larry Olson: Okay, very good. Of course, yes. Ricky Schroder. Are you and Ricky keeping…?
Bruce Jenner: Absolutely, me and Ricky Schroder. I’ve worked with him before doing some other things and he’s really a great guy.
Larry Olson: Okay and, of course, my last and most important question. How often do you still eat your Wheaties?
Bruce Jenner: Every day.
Larry Olson: [LAUGHS] Bruce, you really are…
Bruce Jenner: Good answer, huh?
Larry Olson: Yes. I mean you really, like, are a nice guy like you are on the TV, as you are on the show.
Bruce Jenner: [LAUGHS] I tell me kids that’s the way you get through life, you know? Be nice to everybody.
Larry Olson: The one and only Bruce Jenner. Of course, the center or the eye of the storm on the Kardashians. Thank you so much for your time today.
Bruce Jenner: My pleasure.