Is there anything New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski can’t do?
Win a Super Bowl? Check. Host your own party cruise? Check. Grace the cover of “Madden NFL 17”? Check. Pose nude for ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue? Check. Write a New York Times bestselling memoir? Check.
Now, one of the best all-around players in the NFL is taking his fun-loving personality, childlike sense of humor and his SpongeBob SquarePants backpack to Nickelodeon to host the upcoming viral video series “Crashletes.”
Showcasing the most epic sports fails from around the world, Gronkowski and co-hosts Stevie Nelson and Brandon Broady serve up their own in-depth analysis of sports bloopers and blunders, with goofy categories such as “Tree-jected,” “So Proudly We Fail” (a tribute to those who cannot remember the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”) and “Animal Interference.”
TheWrap caught up the 6-foot-6, 265-pound powerhouse, who is as famous for his celebratory Gronk Spikes and endless party rocking as he is for his football prowess, on the Los Angeles set of “Crashletes” to chat about his transition from the gridiron to kids’ TV. (Full disclosure: The author is a friend of Gronk’s. We hang out.)
TheWrap: How did you get involved in the show?
Rob Gronkowski: The producers were looking for a host, and when they came to me, I thought it would be a great idea. Hosting for Nickelodeon, hosting for the kids, just doing silly things on the stage for a TV show — I thought would be pretty cool.
(The match made in heaven was actually coordinated by Rob’s longtime manager, Henry Penzi, a member of Mark Wahlberg’s real-life entourage, who’s appeared in “Ted,” “Lone Survivor” and the “Entourage” movie.)
What’s the craziest skit you’ve done so far?
Probably when we were showing a video of some guy faking an injury, and then he proposed to his girlfriend when she came out to see if he was OK. So then I faked an injury on the set, and Stevie [the female co-host, pictured above right] came over and tried to help me. … Then I proposed to Stevie.
Did she say yes?
Of course she did! Are you kidding me?
You’ve had your dad, Gordy, and four brothers (Gordie Jr., Dan, Chris and Glenn) all come on the show as special guests. Why is this concept so perfect for the whole Gronkowski family?
It was like everything we did growing up. We used to fight and get in trouble all the time. We had two rules in our house that my parents created: no hitting in the face and no hitting in the gonads. On the show, when we get to imitate a clip, that’s the best part, and sometimes it’s stuff that we did growing up before. It’s all mess-ups — we are celebrating epic fails in sports.
What was your biggest epic fail as a kid?
My biggest epic fail was not on film, but it was me doing extreme bike riding — jumping big ramps, wiping out and scraping my face everywhere.
You seem to have the hang of this TV hosting thing. If you weren’t an NFL player, what would you be doing?
I would probably be doing something that involves physical activity, being active … a personal trainer. I can’t go back into male stripping, as I don’t have my partner anymore, so I’m out of that business. [Editor’s note: He is joking.]
You proved that you have pretty smooth dance moves when you performed on stage at February’s Gronk Party Cruise with the likes of Flo Rida and Redfoo. Is more dancing in your professional future?
When the time is right, it’ll happen. I probably wouldn’t have these dance moves if I didn’t play football! [Instead of another cruise], I think next time we should just rent out a whole island and go party — with everyone bringing their own tents, sleeping bags and zebras to hang out on.
We’ve also seen you show off sweet wrestling skills with your friend, WWE wrestler Mojo Rawley [pictured above, second from left]. Is the WWE in your future?
I would totally get in the ring and tag team with Mojo, he’s about to be a superstar. My wrestling name should be Teeny Cat.
Your little brother Glenn has just signed with the Buffalo Bills. What advice did you give him when you were training together in Miami before the NFL Draft?
I gave him no advice before the draft. He had it all done. Glenn is a smart kid. He just needs to get to the grind.
“Crashletes” premieres on Tuesday, July 5, at 7 p.m. ET on Nickelodeon. Click here for a sneak peek of the first episode. Gronkowski will also play himself in the upcoming Ed Helms and Tracy Morgan comedy “The Clapper.”