He’s grumpy. He’s funny. He’s the only geriatric person worth watching on TV. Rudy Boesch — the blunt-tongued 73-year-old ex-Navy SEAL-turned-”Survivor” finalist — shoots for another 15 minutes of fame as ”Camp Commander” of USA’s ”Combat Missions” (premiering Jan. 16), a new reality series from ”Survivor” executive producer Mark Burnett in which military and law enforcement elites compete against each other in operations like hostage rescues and tank takeouts. Rudy’s first mission? Survive a round of stupid questions.
”Combat Missions” takes place on a secret military base. Where is it?
It’s in the Mojave Desert — the high desert — and that’s about all I can say about that. The name of it is Camp Windstorm.
Not so good with the secrets, are we? Anyway, the contestants are pretty tough dudes — Delta Force, Navy SEAL, SWAT. If you had to, though, could you take them in a fight and do one-armed push-ups on the pile of their unconscious bodies?
I don’t think so anymore. I wish I could. One of the biggest things that hurt me during ”Survivor” was I found out girls can run faster than I can. That really burned me up.
What’s in your pocket right now? Knives? Grenades? POWs?
Uhhh, a half-dirty handkerchief.
How did it make you feel inside when People magazine voted you one of the sexiest men of 2000?
It was hard to believe. I said, ”What’d you do, get a bunch of 90-year-old women to vote?” They must have really been hard up for a sexy man that year.
You strike me as the type of guy who doesn’t need Viagra. Am I right?
Yeah, you’re right.
Now, we know you’re not gay, but if you were, could something have worked out between you and Richard?
[Chuckles] I don’t know how to answer that question. And I’m not going to answer it.
Can you bust out a few thoughts on kids these days?
Well, I think one of the big things wrong with kids these days, a lot of them don’t have a family. A lot of them got one parent and there’s quite a few that don’t have any parents and that’s where the whole problem is. There’s no family life, no father to slap ’em around when they need it.
You’re, like, old. Do you have advice or something?
Get into a physical program and stay with it. Keep yourself healthy. If you got your health, you can do anything. You don’t need no money, you don’t need nothing.
If I were doing this interview in person, could I give you a hug right now?
No. Don’t even try. I’ll give you Richard’s phone number.