A hilarious import from Canada, this weekly reality show documents the histrionic and immature challenges waged between two roommates: Kenny Hotz and Spencer "Spenny" Rice. And though they claim to be lifelong friends, nothing will keep them from their ultimate goal--victory for the winner, and abject humiliation for the loser.
The competitions are exceptionally simple, but difficult to accomplish: "Who can stay awake the longest?," "Who is the best figure skater?," "Who can survive in the woods the longest?," "Who is the best actor?," and "Who makes the most convincing woman?" These are just a few of the battles Kenny and Spenny undertake. And while both are completely devoted to winning and annihilating their opponent, their ethical approaches to the competitions are wildly different. Spenny approaches these contests with a wide-eyed enthusiasm for fair play, while Kenny--well, Kenny cheats. He cheats like a motherfucker.
In "Who can put on the best concert?" the hard-working Spenny forms a talented punk band, while Kenny leads an adorable choir of children in order to sway the judges. However, when Kenny leaves a voicemail for Spenny's bandmates--telling them not to show up because the competition is off--Spenny is not only defeated, but is forced to suffer the weekly consequence for losing their contest: the dreaded "humiliation." Depending on the episode, the humiliation could be anything from running down a busy street naked, to chewing the opponent's filthy toenails.
It's competition at its most primal--intense, hilariously vile, and no-holds barred. I spoke with Kenny and Spenny about their new season of competitions (seen on the Game Show Network, plus Season One on DVD is coming out in October), and unsurprisingly, their weekly battle spilled over into real life.
WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY: So have you guys been competing since you were kids?
Kenny: In the competition for the love of Spenny's mother, I've been winning hands down.
Spenny: Don't listen to him. When we were kids, it was normal guy stuff: Who can throw the furthest… who can run the fastest. Now we marry our comedy skills with competitions that are funny. But they are still competitions. They still require us to…
Kenny: They still require Spenny to do a humiliation--EVERY WEEK.
Spenny: Ironically, everyone thinks I lose all the competitions, but if you look at the record, I don't. It's just that this loudmouth won't shut up about it.
How did the end-of-the-show humiliation come about?
Kenny: We never had enough money for prizes for the winner, so we went the opposite route. Besides, the motivation of not being humiliated on national television really ups the ante. We'll fuckin' do anything not to lose.
So what's the worst humiliation you've experienced?
Kenny: Working with Spenny was mine.
Spenny: For me it was being tied up and whipped by a cross-dressing dominatrix. It was just awful. I'd never been tied up before, and it was a guy doing it. It was horrible.
Worse than when you had to chew off Kenny's toenails?
Spenny: Yeah. Much worse.
Kenny: Spenny chewing my toenails was worse for me. He was gnawing my feet, and I'm like, "What the hell am I doing?"
Spenny: I'll gnaw off Kenny's toenails any day of the week.
Kenny: My worst humiliation was… fuck, there's so many. Peeing my pants sucked. But they all merge into one huge humiliation disaster.
Tell me about the competition entitled, "Who can sit on a cow the longest?"
Kenny: Basically we both tried to do the "Spock Mind Meld" with our cattle. Spenny wanted to get into the head of the cow, and I just wanted to find out what I could do to get Spenny kicked off. I asked a farmer, and he told me, "Cows hate loud noises." So I got one of these electronic barking dogs and set it off next to Spenny's cow's ass. BAM! The cow takes off at 40 miles per hour. Spenny fuckin' got nailed on that one.
Spenny: I was expecting to sit on the cow for two days. The whole competition lasted less than 30 seconds. Dairy cows are a lot faster than I thought they were.
What was your most difficult competition?
Kenny: There's a lot. "Who could lose the most weight?" Or maybe, "Who can stay awake the longest?"
Spenny: Five days. That was tough. The worst for me was, weirdly enough, "Who could be a more convincing woman?" I found that to be very difficult.
But you won that one, right?
Spenny: Yeah, I did.
Kenny: It's amazing how he wins all the lame ones.
Spenny: There's nothing lame about that. What's wrong with women, Kenny? You have a problem with women? Are women lame?
Kenny: No, I just have a problem pretending to be one.
Spenny: I'm not ashamed I won that one. And brilliantly, I might add.
Kenny: You shouldn't have won. The judges for that competition were fucked. You never know who's going to win when we have a judge.
Spenny: That's code for "he can't cheat."
Kenny: It was too subjective! Even Spenny said I made a better woman. But the judges picked him. What can I do? They're all idiots.
Let's get philosophical. Do you see your show as a physical manifestation of the battle between good and evil?
Kenny: A lot of people see that in the beginning, but the real question is "what is good and what is evil?" Spenny is a paranoid, neurotic freak with pedophilia instincts, and the reality is I'm smarter than him. He says I cheat, but really I'm just devious.
Spenny: Steve, I'll tell you what "evil" is: Kenny saying I'm a pedophile and claiming he has sex with my mother. We live in a society that lionizes cheating and people who take shortcuts. My ethical makeup is against that. I'll continue to compete in a way that I think is fair and good. If you want to say I'm "the good guy," that's fine. I don't claim to be, but I do play by the rules.
Kenny: Look, in a lot of shows I don't cheat. I'm just trying to enjoy myself and the competition.
Spenny: See? He doesn't feel bad. He's a sociopath.
Kenny: That's right, Spenny. I don't feel bad. Spenny hates our competitions, I love them. I don't give a fuck about anybody. I just want to enjoy myself and have fun.
Spenny: And THAT is the problem with society, Steve. Right there. Kenny just wants to enjoy himself, have fun, and not take any responsibility for his actions.
Kenny: Oh, come ON! Spenny's naïve and gullible. Are those traits of goodness? What about using your brain and having the ability to enforce the art of war? Is that evil? That's the gladiator ring. We're gladiators for the new millennium! Our viewers may cheer for Spenny in the beginning, but then they realize he DESERVES TO LOSE.
Spenny: That's not true! Our fans break down into two groups: people who root for me because they know I'm decent, and the scumbags of the earth who don't care about any kind of ethical behavior…
Kenny: Don't insult Steve. Don't insult Steve, Spencer.
Spenny: I would rather lose a million times, than…
Kenny: …Than win by cheating. I know! I know! He read your bio. That's why you're going to be chewing my fuckin' log like a quiche next week.
ENOUGH! Next question. What can we expect from this coming season?
Spenny: Oh, we love this next season!
Kenny: Yeah, it's hardcore. We did "Who can drink more beer?," where Spenny has a nervous breakdown and almost dies. We did "Who can be naked the longest?"--the first one to put on clothes loses. We did "Who's the better rapper?"
Spenny: "Who could stay silent the longest?"
Kenny: The first one to talk loses. There's tons, and it's so fucking good. If Spenny says so, then you know it's good, because he'll never admit anything is good.
Spenny: That's true.
How do you come up with the ideas for the competitions?
Kenny: We have like 500 of them. But there are certain ones the broadcasters wouldn't let us do. Like we wanted to see who could be homeless the longest.
Spenny: And they wouldn't let us do "Who can produce more semen in a week?"
Kenny: Spenny wanted to see who could entice more children into a van, but I'm like, "There's no way I'm doing that competition."
Spenny: Whatever. Steve, tell me you know he's lying…
Kenny: He also wanted to see who could enslave more black people. I'm disgusted by that idea. There's no way I would ever consider doing it. You're disgusting, Spencer.
Spenny: I believe we're all equal. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Kenny vs. Spenny can be seen on the Game Show Network, Monday through Thursday at 1 am. Season One of Kenny vs. Spenny will be released on DVD on October 4.