3. The fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda
They just told me, “We want you to kind of dance your way out,” and I go, “Dude, come on, I’m not gonna dance my way out. What does that mean? Am I moonwalking to my chair?” I just walked out, and Kathie Lee and Hoda started pulling out dollars, so it’s like, All right, I guess I’m lapdancing these two. Here we go. Then two girls that worked there came out. Everywhere I went, the girls that worked there would come out. [Laughs] It was kinda funny: I was always met by every girl who worked at whatever these companies were, and they’d be like, “Yeah, lapdance them, too.” It was like whoever’s birthday it was. I think it was after that show that I was in the elevator and turned to my publicist with my head in my hands like, “Am I doing the right thing? Who else can you think of that’s ever done a press tour like this?” It was so far out of the comfort zone. She’s like, “No, trust me. Just keep doing it. Keep doing it.” I’m like, “All right…”
4. Today flash mob with Channing Tatum
Channing called me the night before like, “Hey, I’m doing the Today show tomorrow with Ann Curry and Al Roker. We’re planning this flash mob. Dude, you gotta come and crash it.” I’m like, “All right, man.” Just say yes. “Sure, Chan.” I show up. We get these Magic Mike tank tops on. Chan goes up to talk to Ann and Al, and I’m sneaking through the crowd, crouched down, like military-style, to hide behind this banner. When Ann says, “So Channing, what’s next for you?”, that’s my queue to run out and go, “I’m what’s next, Ann” and start body rolling on her. I’ve been instructed not to touch her. We don’t know how she’d react to that, so just try to keep a little distance between us. So I come running out and start body rolling on Ann. Chan starts laughing. Ann’s face is priceless. She just froze up. I yell over to Al Roker, I’m like, “Al, get the other side!” Al looks at me — I wish I could have taken a picture. I don’t know how to describe it other than frozen terror. It was like this f— you, dude look. [Laughs] All the other dancers finally come running out, and they do this big flash mob, and the rest is history. But, the amazing thing about that was it was Ann’s last full day of work at Today. So the next day, The Wall Street Journal reports on Ann being let go from Today, and, of course, what’s the picture they print of Ann Curry’s last day on the Today show on the front page of The Wall Street Journal? Me body rolling on Ann Curry. So I have that picture from The Wall Street Journal on my desk at home, and I’m gonna get it framed. It was like an evil Forrest Gump, being at the wrong place in history at the wrong time. It was just this combination of wrongs that somehow made this amazing piece of entertainment history. I don’t know how Ann felt about it. She didn’t say anything afterwards. She probably has a hit out on me that I don’t know about. [Laughs] All these people online were writing like, “Man, if I knew that was gonna be my last day, I would lean into that body roll,” which I thought was actually pretty funny.
5. The True Blood panel at Comic-Con
Somebody started asking about Rutina Wesley’s character, Tara, stripping at Fangtasia, and then our moderator, [EW’s] Tim Stack, was like, “Speaking of stripping…” and the crowd was deafening to the point that I just couldn’t hear the rest of Tim’s sentence. They’re egging me on. “Come on, man, do a body roll or something.” I’m like, oh god, really? Okay. I thought I put this behind me. So I stand up and start doing a little body roll action with my jacket. Then Rutina starts body rolling. Then Alan Ball stands on top of his chair and starts body rolling. I run over in back of Alan, take out some dollar bills that I had, and start makin’ it rain over Alan’s head. We turned the whole Comic-Con panel into this stripping extravaganza. It was hilarious.
And then after Comic-Con, we had a big farewell dinner and said our goodbyes to Alan. It was really inspiring and very sweet and very heartfelt. Everyone basically got up and shared memories and said thank you to Alan. Stephen Moyer got up and said, “Alan, I don’t know how I could ever repay you. You’ve changed my life. I don’t know what I could ever do to show you my gratitude, except maybe getting Joe to give you a lapdance.” And he said this jokingly, like ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. And I was like, f— it. So I get up out of my chair [Laughs], walk all the way across this ballroom, and give Alan Ball a lapdance. Everybody was screamin’, and hootin’ and hollerin’. I went back to my seat, and Stephen just looked at me and was like, “You’re insane. I love the fact that you will body roll anyone at any time.”
EW’s complete Best & Worst of 2012 coverage
More Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage
Gallery: Inside the ‘Magic Mike’ stripper numbers
Joe Manganiello talks shooting David Ayer’s gritty ‘Ten’ (and why it’s already cut down on those body roll requests)