In 1996, when “Road Rules” was still in its infancy, only five thrill-seeking strangers had taken the journey through the show’s second season. And through a Civil War reenactment, fighter jet dogfighting and…singing the national anthem (things were a liiiiittle less cutthroat then), MTV got one of its first and favorite goofballs, Timmy Beggy.
The last time we saw the guy who famously mocked Aneesa for her “Gauntlet 2” freakout was on “Inferno 3,” which he left in atypical fashion. Beggy was eliminated (which we think is crap…just sayin’) after being disqualified for letting a piece of glass he was supposed to break in the air topple to the ground, unscathed. After discovering his fate, Beggy gave one of the most inspiring swan songs we’d heard on reality TV, which chronicled the adventures he’d had for the preceding decade as a “Challenge” veteran. With his humility considered, it comes as no surprise that his balance as an articulate but self-deprecating funny guy translates so well into recent gigs as host and producer for Fox Sports reports, PBS specials and the History Channel’s “Guts and Bolts.” Now, he’s the head of development for a company that produces content for Nickelodeon.
From uncovering the mystery of how the light bulb works to sitting atop a field goal post to cover a Florida State University football game, Beggy has been all over the worlds of sports, history and, most recently…martini bars. Check out what Beggy told Remote Control below, plus watch his firsthand account of the history of the hover craft.
Why did you decide to try out for “Road Rules,” and can you describe what was going on in your life at that time?
I was sneezing question marks. I had just finished college, just got fired from my Pittsburgh Pirates mascot job and was working part time in the steel mills and bartending at night. I knew I wanted to work in TV or radio, but was scratching my head as to the best next steps.
Favorite moment from “Road Rules” or “The Challenge?”
Stealing the 8-ball from the “Real World: Miami” house, riding in the Mardi Gras parade and dressing as Elvis in Memphis. If I got paid per laugh I’d be a multibillionaire.
What was that moment like of letting it all go after being DQed on “Inferno 3″? And how are your knees after all that broken glass?
You know what I say: If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you walk with a limp and really pissed off ha. The knees took many years to heal. Total hamburger meat. Even 12 months later, I would pop a knee pimple and glass would come out.
In my mind, I had already retired before that “Challenge,” but I have a terrible condition called “If you’re buyin’, I’m flyin.” When production called and said it was South Africa, I couldn’t resist. And I really wanted to smuggle home a baboon.
It was a BS disqualification, and I had two choices: Pointlessly complain and be a bad sport, or take in the real essence of the moment. My time on “Road Rules” was over, a show which provided the exact the kind of thrills I wanted in life.
We’ve seen you on Fox Sports, PBS and “Guts and Bolts”–what was your path into that side of TV?
I studied broadcasting at Duquesne University and played football there, so covering sports was a perfect fit. Fortunately, the hosting continued with the History Channel and beyond for many years. I’m lucky to have such a deep trunk full of memories and amazing experiences, which somehow probably manifested from a powerful desire to get the most out of life. “Road Rules” was the absolute perfect springboard to allow my adventures to progress.
What was a day on something like “Guts and Bolts” like, and have you always been a history buff?
That show had me rack up more miles than Marco Polo. I remember in just one week I broke the speed of sound, rode a bull in the oldest rodeo in America and did formation skydiving with the Air Force Wings of Blue. The better part of my life has been living like being shot out of a cannon, and I loved conveying those experiences to the audience.
What are you up to these days, work or otherwise?
I have the extreme pleasure of working as head of development for a thoroughbred and pioneer executive producer in reality television, Clay Newbill at 310 Entertainment. Most recently, we have a great kids game show on Nickelodeon called “Brain Surge,” which I help produce. I look forward to making more creative, outside-the-box programming with positive, aspirational and comedic elements.
I’m happy as a puppy with two tails. You only get one life to live, and if you do it right, one is all you need.
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Photo provided by Tim Beggy