Please explain what just happened.

I’ve been trying to figure that one out myself for years…

What is your earliest memory?

Running back from a creek with tadpoles in my hands and getting yelled at. Slapped, too!

If you weren’t an adventure filmmaker/musician, what other profession would you choose?

I would pursue whatever profession would allow me to wander around aimlessly.


Describe a typical workday.

The day begins with emails — lots of emails. Then some time to receive and gestate new ideas. I’ll take some phone calls and quite often I’m off to catch a flight somewhere. I spend a fair amount of time crawling through mud and searching for food and I tend to eat gross slimy things in the course of a workday. I wind down by playing guitar and maybe writing a song. A typical day will end with me sleeping on a rock.

Is there a time you wish you’d lied?

Does “every day of my life” count? If so, then every day of my life.

What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age thirteen?

Don’t worry — it gets better. And by the way, you’re not crazy. Oh, and lose some weight!

If you could have only one album to get you through a breakup, what would it be?

Steve Goodman – Jessie’s Jig & Other Favorite.

What are three websites — other than your email — that you check on a daily basis?

As you read in my answer above, I have zero time for that!

From what or whom do you derive your greatest inspiration?

I find my greatest inspiration in Mother Earth and in The Great Spirit, through whom all inspiration flows. I am also inspired by people who live life to the fullest and who speak the truth.

Name three books that have impacted your life.

Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now, by Barry Miles.

The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth, by M. Scott Peck, M.D.

This Accursed Land, by Lennard Bickel.

If you could relive one moment over and over again, what would it be?

It would be receiving a standing ovation at my high school graduation show after singing and performing my own song. There’s also a handful of really great sexual experiences I’d relive as well…

How are you six degrees from Kevin Bacon?

I’m only one degree from Kevin Bacon because I know someone who knows him. I might be even closer because I sat behind him at his own movie premiere. Can we call that half a degree?

What makes you feel most guilty?

That’s easy — hurting someone’s feelings.

How do you incorporate the work of other artists into your own?

I don’t — I am a complete original! Heh, just kidding. Actually, I unabashedly steal, borrow, and plagiarize as much as I can in the process of formulating my own ideas.

Please explain the motivation/inspiration behind your many expressions of art — your multimedia productions, original music and live performances.

The motivation flows from my life’s journey. All forms of my art are reflections and extensions of my many years of spiritual searching. My adventures and experiences, along with my own unique set of skills, have lead me to this place, resulting in the stories I tell. I am motivated to share them with as many people as possible in a live setting because in that dynamic I can feel the energy reflected back from the people in the audience.

What is the best advice you’ve ever given to someone else?

Go after what you want in life — your job is to be happy.

List your favorite in the following categories:  comedian, musician, author, actor.

Comedian- Don Rickles.

Musician- Elton John.

Author- I’m a nonfiction junkie so I don’t have a favorite author.

Actor- Clint Eastwood.

Those were the most obvious choices for me — the ones that jumped right out. But there are hundreds more that I count among my favorites.

If you had complete creative license and an unlimited budget, what would your next project be?

I would continue to focus on combining my adventures and music, incorporating a great deal of world music into a great stage production. I would donate a considerable portion of the proceeds to both children’s and environmental charities.

What do you want to know?

How to live longer.

What would you like your last words to be?

“I feel complete.”

Please explain what will happen.

Whatever my imagination wants to happen.

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If you ever find yourself alone and defenseless in a remote jungle tucked halfway between Nowhere and Oblivion, you should promptly hit your knees and ask your Higher Power to send one man to come and save you- LES STROUD.

Best known as star of the six-time Gemini nominated hit TV series Survivorman (OLN Canada, The Science Channel US, Discovery Channel International, City TV (Rogers) Canada), Les Stroud continues to forge new pathways as a prolific, creative force. He single-handedly created, produced, wrote, filmed, hosted, edited and composed the theme music for the first two original, one-hour pilots that would eventually become the hit Survivorman TV series.

Basically Les Stroud is to survival what MTV was to music. The only producer in the history of television to produce an internationally broadcast series entirely written, videotaped and hosted alone, Stroud is credited with starting a new genre of television known as “Survival TV.” Survivorman became the highest rated show in the history of both OLN Canada and the Science Channel US and among the most popular and highest rated shows on Discovery Channel US.

Not only can Les survive on glaciers and in jungles, but he’s an accomplished musician as well. A true Renaissance man, Stroud has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon performing with Jakob Dylan and The Roots, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, MTV Live, The View, The Hour, and Larry King Live. In July 2010, Les was invited by the Prime Minister of Canada (The Honourable Stephen Harper) to meet the Queen of England and the Duke of Edinborough during their 2010 Royal Tour of Canada. Stroud’s commercial with the famous Geico Gecko was referenced by David Letterman, Howard Stern and numerous other media personalities, and he has been parodied on the hit TV sitcoms The Office and King of the Hill.

Stroud has appeared in and/or produced numerous television specials including hosting the 20th Anniversary of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week (2007); I Shouldn’t Be Alive: the Science of Survival (2008), Surviving Sharks (Shark Week 2008), Expedition Everest, Surviving Urban Disasters, After the Experiment (Discovery), Deadly Waters (Shark Week 2009), and the documentary feature Off the Grid with Les Stroud. In 2010, Les received his seventh Gemini nomination as Executive Producer/Host of the hit kids TV series Survive This and Survive This 2 (YTV, Cartoon Network) and made celebrity guest appearances on Extreme Makeover Home Edition and MTV Cribs. He continues to Executive Produce/Host the NHL celebrity survival series Survival Challenge (OLN), and just completed his latest Discovery Channel series, Les Stroud Beyond Survival which earned top ratings on both Discovery Channel US and OLN in Canada.

Celebrated keynote speaker, musician and author, his book Survive! – Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere–Alive! (Harper Collins) made the bestseller list for 20 weeks and broke the top 100 on Amazon.com. Les’ most recent book, Will to Live (Harper Collins), is also a bestseller. Musically, Stroud has worked with legendary icons such as Alice Cooper, Steven Stills, Tommy Shaw, Robbie Krieger, and The Roots.

A proud member of the Explorers Club, Les contributes to dozens of charities and benefits, and is a trainer for the Canadian Military Armed Forces.

One response to “21 Questions with Les Stroud”

  1. […] TV Les Stroud tells his Best Story Ever, the one about being stalked by a 1,500-lb. bull moose. Stroud, the star […]

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