Scott Baio talks about working on ''Before They Were Stars''

By Kristen Baldwin
Updated April 19, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

Scott Baio knows that all actors have projects they’d like us to forget (three words: Joanie Loves Chachi), but that doesn’t stop the 34-year-old Brooklyn native from exposing the embarrassing early jobs of his peers on Before They Were Stars. The host of the ABC show, which has given the network its strongest ratings this season against NBC’s Must See TV 8:30 slot, agreed to embarrass himself again with these rather silly inquiries.

1. What’s the appeal of Before They Were Stars?
People like to watch celebrities doing stupid things. There are times when I’ll catch an old Happy Days, and I remember how cool I thought I was. I was an idiot.

2. Do you worry about running into people whom you’ve featured on your show?
You know what? If you don’t have a sense of humor, buzz off.

3. If you had your own series, Baiowatch, what would happen in the pilot?
That’s funny, that’s what people used to call [Baywatch], because I went out with pretty much every girl on that show. I’d probably be sitting down drinking a beer, just watching women go by.

4. If you could guest-star on any TV show right now, what would it be?
Murphy Brown, to work with Garry Marshall [who created Happy Days].

5. What was it like kissing Kristy McNichol on The Love Boat?
Well, it was sort of like — and I’m sure it was the same for her — kissing a wall. It was the first television kiss for both of us, and we were nervous as hell. I remember my lips were really tight, and so were hers.

6. What was your favorite episode of Joanie Loves Chachi?
I would say the very first episode that I did. It was us moving to Chicago. It was fun because it was my show and it was really exciting. Then it went straight downhill.

7. If you hosted a talk show, what would be the first topic?
”Why Are There So Many Goddamn Talk Shows?”

8. What was the craziest fan letter you ever got?
I got a girl who sent me her underwear. She worked out in them and didn’t clean herself for a week so I could have her natural body odor.

9. Are you and Tony Danza actually the same person?
I’ll deny it to you. There are times if I turn the TV on, and he’s on, for a second I think it’s me.

10. Who made better burgers on Happy Days, Al or Arnold?
Al. They were thicker.