Seth Rogen and James Franco continued their shameless and seemingly incredibly enjoyable promotion of their new movie The Interview on Sunday night by appearing on the Discovery Channel’s survivalist reality show Naked and Afraid. It quickly became apparent, however, that Rogen and Franco would not be completing the show’s normally rigorous challenge of lasting in the wilderness without food, water, shelter, or, of course, clothing. Rather, the two participated in a clever spoof of the show’s overly serious and die-hard tone.
Things took a turn for the ridiculous from the beginning: while the traditional format of the show pairs one man and one woman together for the 21-day challenge, Rogen and Franco were both disappointed to learn that they were not going to spend the better part of a month traipsing through the woods with a naked, sinewy female companion but rather one another. (“You’re supposed to be a hot Australian survivalist!” says Franco upon seeing the naked Rogen.) Franco assures us that if he weren’t famous, he would be naked all the time. After taking what they determined to be the necessary, requisite minute to get all the looking at the other naked out, and learning to love and embrace their respective body types, the real “challenge” began.
The problem being, of course, that neither actor had the survivalist skills necessary to compete on the show like a real contestant. Rogen’s qualifying experience was noted as having attended Jewish summer camp and learning traditional Hebrew songs will sleeping in a comfortable bed, while Franco asserted his own abilities based on the types of roles he has played: “I’ve played a knight, I’ve been a boxer, I’ve cut my own arm off, I flew around on a glider and fought Spider-Man. Like, I am well, well equipped for this thing.” For their one survival item each, Rogen brought a role of toilet paper, while Franco brought sunglasses and mugs continually for the camera, giving his best Spring Breakers faces while in the buff.Advertisement
The brief mini-episode, clocking in at under 15 minutes and serving as a glorified lead-in to the network’s Eaten Alive programme, in which a man promised to be swallowed whole by an anaconda on live television, kept things light and laughable, subsisting mainly on scatological jokes ranging from insistent diarrhea to the risks of drinking “poo water” (which, predictably, causes the former). They cuddled to stay warm at night, they failed to build a fire from toilet paper and sunglasses, they broke the fourth wall and constantly begged the cameramen for food, fire and advice.
On their special episode of Naked and Afraid, Rogen and Franco did what they did best, which was bro it out together and mock their own carefully created slacker personas. Though predictable, it made for entertainment infinitely more satisfying than “drinking the poo of many animals”.