[30 March 2009]
McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)
LOS ANGELES - Interviewing Ozzy Osbourne is not the easiest task on the planet. If he hears the question - and more often than not he doesn’t - the answer can be mumbled beyond recognition.
Equally frustrating is that Ozzy can be a man of few words.
Members of the entire Osbourne clan - Ozzy, Sharon, Kelly and Jack - are at the Universal Hilton to discuss the family’s return to television.
You might recall that cameras followed the Osbournes from 2002 -2005 for the MTV reality show “The Osbournes.” This time they are the hosts of what appears to be a mix of the reality, game show, comedy and music television genres in the new Fox series “Osbournes: Reloaded.”
This show, more than the reality series, is light years away from the hard-rock life Osbourne lived for so many decades as he earned the title of Godfather of Heavy Metal.
When asked if he ever imagined a time would come when he’d do something as mainstream as television or commercials for cell phones, Ozzy just sits there.
Finally, Sharon leans over and repeats the question. Twice.
After a few more moments, Ozzy looks up and simply says, “No.”
There you have it. No explanation follows. Ozzy’s has said all he is going to say on the matter and is ready for the next question.
It doesn’t go much better.
Television has brought Ozzy into a whole different world. Where once he was legendary for biting the head off a bat during a performance, he’s now introducing musical acts.
So, how has he personally changed since he became a TV star?
Sharon leans over to repeat the question.
A deadpan Ozzy finally says, “I don’t know, but I put a different suit on this morning.”
So far, his answers have offered little insight into the new Fox series.
The next question tries to pins him down specifically about “Osbournes: Reloaded.” Since most of the Osbournes are on the show, does that make it a family program?
This time Ozzy doesn’t wait for Sharon.
“We’ve got a very disturbed, dysfunctional family doing a very dysfunctional show,” he says.
He continues. “It’s ....” The rest is unintelligible. He could be talking about nuclear war or carrots. Even the family can’t help.
So we go on.
When it comes to the new series, will Ozzy be the high-energy performer he is on the concert stage or the low-key dad he was in the reality show?
Before the question is finished, Ozzy turns to Sharon, “What’s he saying?”
Kelly tries to take the question.
She starts, “No. I think ...” but Sharon’s laughter interupts. She tries again, “You know ...” but is stopped by Sharon, who tries to explain the question to Ozzy.
“He’s saying: Is it different for you? He thinks that you’re more in performance mode in this show than you were in the reality show,” Sharon says to her husband.
Ozzy’s response is long and not entirely helpful:
“Well, it’s whatever you call performance. I mean, I - it’s a lot of work to go into this show that we’re doing. I mean, ‘The Osbournes’ was just me being me in my house with my family. But this has become somewhat organized to a point, because it - I mean, goes off the rails all the time, but we keep it going. It’s not just your variety show where, you know - but there’s a lot more to it than what you’ve seen. And people say, ‘Why did you choose this? Why did you do another reality series?’ Well, we’ve done that. We started that, so we have another go at something else.”
The interview continues with Sharon repeating each question.
At some points, even Sharon gets a little frustrated.
When asked about the public’s reaction to how she poured a glass of juice on Megan Hauserman, a “Rock of Love Charm School” reality show contestant who was talking bad about Ozzy, she says:
“I arrived back in California last night, and as I was going through immigration. The immigration officer said, ‘My wife and I were so happy that you did that to that girl. How dare she say that about our Ozzy. And Ozzy is our Ozzy. Everybody adores Ozzy.’ And that’s it.”
Immediately, Ozzy asks, “Why didn’t everybody adore me when I was (expletive) drunk all the time?”
Sharon responds, “See? You see how he hears what he wants to? That’s very convenient. He has selective hearing.”
What else would you expect from the “Prince of Darkness”?