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Jaw-dropping tales from the Discovery Channel guys

The stars of the edutainment shows ”Survivorman,” ”The Deadliest Catch,” and ”Dirty Jobs” share jaw-dropping tales from their brave work

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They’re not actors, but the tough guys behind three of the Discovery Channel’s most intriguing series are no less entertaining to viewers, who tune in to watch them cope with the world’s harshest environments (on Survivorman), navigate treacherous Alaskan waters (on The Deadliest Catch), or get just plain nasty (on Dirty Jobs). Here, in an online extra interview, the brave men behind these adventure shows talk about facing down Amazonian jaguars, working with broken bones, and very surprising past jobs (at QVC?!?).

LES STROUD, SURVIVORMAN

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In one episode of Survivorman, you suggested that your producers wouldn’t mind too much if you died while filming an episode. How much of a joke was that?
LES STROUD: Ask my producers! I think they’d wring their hands [with delight] at the thought of how much they’d be able to sell the show for after that! No, that was tongue-in-cheek. But in reality, in terms of dramatic television, if I actually did fall into real peril it would, in their eyes, make for better TV. Not in mine.

There is a new season of Survivorman starting on Aug. 10. What can we expect?
Well, you get a surprise ending in the Amazon jungle.

Can you give a hint?
I get chased out by a 250-pound jaguar.

What do you regard as the essential piece of survival equipment?
For me, a solid knife or a multi-tool is an obvious given. BUT I still really like a surefire way to get a fire going. Even in the desert, to me, that is Number 1. Because, if you have a fire going, it’s such a psychological boost and you can deal with everything else later.

In your youth you tried to make it as a professional musician. Which is more treacherous — the Amazon jungle or the record industry?
Oh, the record industy by far. There’s way more snakes.

What’s the worst-tasting animal you’ve ever eaten?
A turtle in the Georgia swamp. It was just kind of rank. It tasted not nice at all. Surprisingly one of the nicest things to eat is snakes. Snakes taste great.

Please don’t say they taste like chicken.
No, they taste like snake.

Do you ever watch Survivor and think, ”Pussies!”?
Yep.

NEXT PAGE: The Alaskan king crab fishermen of The Deadliest Catch