July 15, 2014 8:55am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Kids' Choice Sports Host Michael Strahan Previews Inaugural Awards Show: 'It's Jeans and Slime' (Q&A)
Nickelodeon is bringing the slime out once again — but this time, athletes are the target.
The cable network's inaugural Kids' Choice Sports Awards are set to air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Thursday from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. Live With Kelly and Michael's Michael Strahan — a former NFL pro player himself — is set to host, while David Beckham will be presented with the Legend Award. Among the performers will be Pharrell Williams and Florida Georgia Line.
Ian Stewart and Hamish Hamilton of Done + Dusted, who teamed up for the 2014 iHeartMusic Radio Awards, will serve as executive producers of Kids’ Choice Sports 2014, with Hamilton also serving as director of the show.
Ahead of the show, Strahan took some time out to answer The Hollywood Reporter's questions about what viewers can expect, how the show is different from other sports awards and what exactly is in that slime.
How did you get involved with the Kids’ Choice Sports 2014 awards?
Nickelodeon approached me about being a part of the first-ever Kids’ Choice Sports awards and I jumped at the opportunity because it’s groundbreaking for them and me. I have kids and I know they are going to love it as much as I will. So I wanted to be involved in something that my kids could also be a part of.
How did your kids react when you told them you were hosting?
They’re excited. They wanted to be a part of it, which is one of the best reasons for me as host. The kids are all overly excited about me being there, but their biggest request is that they want to see their father get slimed.
The ESPYs takes place the night before the Kids' Choice Sports awards. What sets Kids’ Choice Sports 2014 apart from that show and other sports shows?
We have slime! Kids’ Choice Sports is not your typical awards show. What makes it so great and different is that the talent is willing to do anything, so their fans get to see them in a different light. It’s not a suit-and-tie event; it’s jeans and slime.
What can we expect to see from you as host?
You can expect to see me have fun and be excited and energetic. I genuinely love being around kids and watching them have fun.
How do you feel about hosting a live event in front of thousands of screaming kids?
The energy, the excitement and the innocence of kids who are genuinely excited to see their favorite athletes get slimed and accept their awards. I think there is something great about that, and I can’t wait to hear all the screaming kids because it reminds me of being at home every day.
Is there a show secret you can share with us?
I can share my game day ritual: I will look at my socks and let them tell me which foot they should go on. I will also listen to the same music that I listened to when I got ready and hyped to play in the Super Bowl. There will be over 8,000 screaming kids at Pauley Pavilion and the secret of getting through the night? Relax and embrace the chaos.
Are you excited to be slimed?
Being slimed is the ultimate Nickelodeon honor. It gets to the heart of what it means to be a kid. Also, I’m joining the ranks of celebs that’ve been slimed through the years including Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Hugh Jackman and many more.
If you could personally slime any athlete on earth who would it be?
If I could slime any athlete, I think it would be a toss-up between David Beckham, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. And Peyton Manning -- he seems like he’d look good getting slimed.
Nickelodeon is notoriously secretive about what is in the slime. Have they shared that with you? If not, do you have any guesses?
Trust me, I asked and they said, has your grandmother ever given up her famous secret recipe for meatloaf or apple pie? They like to keep the mystery, the fun and the surprise of slime alive.