To say that Chuck Woolery wasn't exactly enthusiastic about turning his life into a Game-Show Network reality show would be an understatement.
"I really wasn't in favor of it because I was looking at the Osbournes and Anna Nicole Smith, and I don't have a life like these people at all," Woolery said in an interview with the Deseret Morning News. "I personally think watching me is kind of like having lunch with Pat Boone. It doesn't exactly rivet you to your chair."
But the longtime game show host is nothing if not a team player, so (in addition to his show "Lingo") he agreed to play along. The result, titled "Chuck Woolery: Naturally Stoned," premieres Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on the cable network.
"I told them, 'Maybe it will work if you edit it together and make it funny,' " he said.
Viewers of the series will see the Woolery clan at home right here in Utah. They moved from California this past August.
"My wife came home and said to me, 'Would you like to move to Park City, Utah?' And I said, 'Sure,' " Woolery said.
They put their L.A. home up for sale it sold in a day and moved here.
"We're very, very happy here. We really are," said Woolery, who commutes to L.A. a few days a month to tape "Lingo" and also spends time in Pennsylvania, where he sells his line of fishing lures on QVC.
"I think a lot of it had to do with children getting a more quality life for them," said the father of 13-year-old Michael and 7-year-old Sean. They're both featured in the show, along with Woolery's wife, Teri, and her two twentysomething daughters from a previous marriage, Jennifer and Courtney.
Woolery also said he wanted to give the kids a more realistically based life. "It's very difficult here in (Los Angeles). It's not real. It is for me because it's my life and what I do, but for your children, I think it's very hard for them to kind of get their arms around it. And I'm not sure that they even should be put to that test."
So the Woolerys have settled into Park Meadows. And opened their home and lives to GSN's cameras.
"Well, it's not very good in a lot of ways. It's very invasive," Woolery said. "Can you imagine getting out of your car in your hometown and walking around with people with cameras? I mean, I won't allow them to go into stores in Park City and stuff like that because it's where I live. I can just imagine some guy going, 'Oh, here comes Chuck with those camera guys. Close the door.' "
And the camera crews sometimes outstayed their welcome.
"There's no script. There's no beginning, there's no middle and there's no end. There's no plot. So when do you have enough? Never. It's the job that never ends."
Woolery's sense of humor and patience shine through, however. He's got a lot of both, even agreeing to go snowboarding for the first time "because they wanted to see me make a fool of myself."
"And I busted my rear end," he said. "It was humiliating. Totally humiliating. And on top of that you have cameras and people around you and everybody knows who you are and you're going, 'Oh, please. Gimme a break, will you?' "
An avid bass fisherman, Woolery went trout fishing on the Provo River "and we blank for four hours. They leave and I catch a 23-inch rainbow trout that is one of the biggest rainbows ever caught there and nobody's there!"
The "Naturally High" title comes from a top-40 hit Woolery recorded back in 1968 his one-and-only hit. And he's got a sense of humor about that, too.
"Roger Miller said to me one time, 'When you write your book and you get to the chapter on your musical career, I have the perfect title for you. . . . Riding the Crest of an Undertow.' " Woolery said. "My musical career really did start off kind of slow and taper. "
As for the trials of starring in a reality show, Woolery isn't really complaining.
E-MAIL: [email protected]