Although Chris Jericho finds himself in many outrageous situations in But I’m Chris Jericho! the inspiration for the show came from Jericho’s real-life experiences as a struggling actor.
“I was in Los Angeles studying acting, going to auditions, that sort of thing. I would show up at an audition with ten other guys that looked just like me to recite one line for ‘CSI Ciborski’ and I was thinking…That is all that I get? I am Chris Jericho. I have a fan base. I have some notoriety but it didn’t really matter out in that world. I just started thinking to myself what would happen if I did have notoriety? What would happen if I was black balled from wrestling and had to start all over in acting, starting at the bottom and working my way up? That is where the idea came from,” Jericho recalled.
In the CBC show (https://butimchrisjericho.com), Jericho plays a larger-than-life fictional version of himself trying to make it big as an actor while being hustled by his shifty agent, overshadowed by other stars and being outfoxed by his arch-nemesis: the diabolical Colin Mochrie.
“He (Mochrie) is great! He was in the first season and did a cameo for us, we were friends in that one, and now in the second season he is my hated rival, blood enemy. Of anyone in the world to be Chris Jericho’s rival Colin Mochrie was a perfect fit. I worked with him before on Whose Line Is It Anyway? He is a great guy, super funny, obviously very chill, and going out of his way to help us out. He is a vital part of the expanding universe of this show we have created,” Jericho said of working with the Canadian actor and comedian.
Mochrie isn’t the only Canadian comedy star to lend his support to the show though. Kids in the Hall alumni Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson have also made guest appearances.
“I felt like…Why don’t we Kids in the Hall appearances as kind of a tradition? Kevin’s name came up and he was so great. Scott was amazing; he showed up and was great at improvising the whole thing which was great. Kevin was the opposite. He knew every word for word and didn’t change a thing but made it his own. It was an amazing acting experience for me, both times. To go head to head with Kids in the Hall? These two guys are two of the funniest people in Canadian history. It was a really good test for me as an actor at this point in time,” said a grateful Jericho.
The connection between But I’m Chris Jericho! and Kids in the Hall is a purposeful one and goes beyond the guest-star roles. Jericho and the entire production wanted a show that took place in a universe where anything can happen and does.
“What I like about the world that we created is we have all these different weird people and wacky characters and there is a little magic in there. There really aren’t any rules. It is like Kids in the Hall or in Monty Python, there were no rules in those shows either. If we want to have a magic portal in a back alley, we are going to damn well do it because that is just the way it is,” said Jericho.
As a teenager, Jericho’s two goals were to be a wrestler and a rock star. Achieving those dreams, he has gone on to star in and host many television shows, appeared in films, produces and hosts his own popular podcast (Talk is Jericho at https://www.podcastone.com/Talk-Is-Jericho), has acted on stage and written several books. Why does Jericho push himself so hard? It is just who he is. He believes the sky is the limit if you have the ambition, the drive, the passion and the creativity to expand your limits and who you are as a person.
“I don’t do anything for the money. I don’t do anything I don’t want to do so it is personal validation when I get a chance to do something like But I’m Chris Jericho! You just want to do another season and another season. You want to make it bigger and bigger hoping people appreciate it and check it out. I feel like I have a personal responsibility to all the people who follow Chris Jericho to give them cool stuff, stuff that surprises them and entertains them.”