Before Ryan Lochte caused an international incident with Brazilian police in Rio, he was just your average Olympic swimmer … and reality star.
Let’s rewind and remember that era right after the London 2012 summer Olympics, when Lochte — who had won 11 medals in his career — was embracing his public persona as a “sex idiot” (a character he enthusiastically played during a cameo on “30 Rock,” described as a beautiful-but-dumb person who is only good for one thing). The E! series, which aired eight episodes and was soon canceled for low ratings, featured Lochte at his Lochte best: swimming, partying, dating, hanging out with his family, yelling “Jeah!” and hanging out with his Lochterage.
But where “WWRLD” really struck gold was the on-camera interviews. Producers didn’t care if Lochte actually made sense — the more stuttering or blank looks or long pauses, the better. “Being Ryan Lochte is . . . fun,” he thoughtfully says at one point. He also has trouble remembering words.
The series halfheartedly tried to humanize him by showing him buying a car for his mom and participating in charity events. But mostly, it highlights his … lack of intelligence. During a visit to Washington, he meets a group of women who grill him about current events.
“D.C. girls are straight to the point,” Lochte marvels. “Politics, politics, politics, and more politics.”
“What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” airs on Esquire from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.