Eminem has never been a fan of live interviews, and a bizarre appearance on ESPN’s Saturday Night Football proved why.
The Detroit rapper stopped into the booth during Michigan’s prime time matchup with Notre Dame, talking with broadcasters Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit to promote his new single “Berzerk.”
From the onset, Eminem seemed confused, standing with his mouth hanging open as if he were stoned. Musberger asked Eminem some questions (referring to him by his given name, Marshall Mathers), but the rapper looked uncomfortable throughout.
“Live TV freaks me out,” Eminem said, adding, “I’m really uncomfortable right now.”
Eminem would go on to tell Musberger that he was on his fantasy broadcasters team, and later said there’s nothing he needed fans to know about his upcoming album, the Marshall Mathers LP 2.
While there was a good reason for the interview — Eminem’s song “Berzerk” has become the theme of ESPN Saturday Night Football — the appearance has been described as bizarre and led to speculation on Twitter that Eminem may have been stoned. Sports Illustrated writer Zac Ellis said it reminded him of a Saturday Night Live skit.
“This wasn’t just an interview — it was performance art,” added Sports Illustrated writer Martin Rickman. “I thought I was watching Andy Kaufman.”
Eminem was prominently featured on ESPN Saturday Night Football, even outside of the bizarre booth appearance. Universal Music noted that “Berzerk” was featured “throughout the telecast in various capacities, including highlight packages and coming in from, and out of, commercial breaks.”
Though strange, the Eminem interview served an important purpose. His upcoming album is slated for release November 5, and already has quite a bit of buzz surrounding it.
Another song from the album, called “Survival,” has already been featured in an advertisement for the upcoming game Call of Duty: Ghosts.
It may be that for Eminem, the strange interview on ESPN Saturday Night Football could end up being a case of “no press is bad press.”