Tony Robbins: best-selling author, master motivator…movie star? Yes, that’s the personal-power pitchman turning Jack Black into a half-decent human in Shallow Hal, just out on video and DVD. But can he provide some half-decent answers to a batch of stupid questions? — Dalton Ross
— I can’t seem to get myself properly motivated to do this interview. Any chance for a pep talk?
Ten cups of coffee is what you gotta start with, buddy, a little injection of some Coke directly into your heart, and we’ll be ready for this session.
— Now I’m jacked! From what I understand, you are a black belt in tae kwon do, so instead of all this ”personal power” mumbo jumbo, couldn’t you just slap some sense into people?
Who do you want me to work on? I’ll give it my best shot.
Canceled. Thank God!
— Tony, I’m losing my focus again. How many slaps upside the head do you want?
Just scream, ”Thank you, sir, I need another!”
— Will do. So, what’s up with all the firewalking? Are you down with the Jackass posse or something?
No, but a guy earlier in my career tape-recorded my seminar and decided to do it for somebody else, and he put 32 people in the hospital. That’s a true story. What a total idiot.
— Quarterback Fran Tarkenton was your celebrity pitchman for years. Did you ever consider using someone who, you know, didn’t lose three Super Bowls?
Oh, no, you’re terrible! I needed the model of someone who could come back and still have a smile.
— Speaking of sports, I know you’ve spoken to a lot of pro teams, including the Washington Wizards. But even with Michael Jordan, don’t they still pretty much suck?
Okay, [now] you’re putting me in trouble with people I know, buddy. I would say without Michael Jordan, they definitely suck. With Michael, they’ve certainly improved.
— At 6 foot 7, you’re a tall guy. Why don’t you just lace ’em up with MJ?
White men can’t jump. In my case, it’s absolutely true.
— When self-empowerment specialists get together, what do they talk about?
We don’t talk to each other. We don’t have those kinds of communication skills.
— Which is more emotionally taxing, conducting one of your seminars, or being stuck alone in an elevator with a pantless Jack Black?
That’s easy — the elevator. Because of the movie now, it happens to me on a regular basis. They think it’s my office. I take the stairs.
— Finally, what are the odds of me motivating you to lend me a couple million bucks?
None. Not gonna happen, especially after this wonderful interview. If you buy about 100,000 tape sets, I might consider it.