Jerry O’Connell is not pretending that any of his three dogs is winning Best in Show anytime soon, but the actor still says he had a blast hosting the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin.
O’Connell talked to CBS News about what he learned at the show, what it’s like to work on movie “Lock Locks” with wife Rebecca Romijn and his upcoming concert with Rachel Bloom.
How did you end up hosting the AKC National Championship?
I think I post a lot on Instagram with my dogs. I’m by no means a dog trainer nor do I have any experience. I have three really unruly animals. My dogs are the opposite of show dogs, but I think they just wanted somebody to bring the fun and they wanted a normal voice to come in and talk to the competitors, the owners, the people who showed the dogs, talk to the Royal Canin experts about nutrition. I admittedly knew nothing going into it but now I think I could show my dogs. They’re going to lose, but I can still show them.
What was the most interesting thing you learned from working on the show?
The most shocking thing, I think, is the fact that none of the dogs are fixed. They can’t be fixed. All my dogs are fixed and it’s like the first thing you do, so it’s crazy to see how well behaved the dogs are when they’re not even fixed. It’s really remarkable how smart these animals are and how talented their trainers are -- [a dog barks loudly in the background] -- that’s my dog barking right now. Hey! I’m doing a big-time interview right now! No barking!
What kind of dogs do you have?
Two German shepherds. One is a rescue. And we have a Saint Bernard that’s also a rescue, a Saint Bernard and Great Pyrenees mix. They’re very affectionate and nice but not the smartest.
[The competition] does not have a Knocking Over Garbage Can event, but if they did, our dog Phil would definitely win it. I’m going to talk about getting an event of Knocking Garbage Can Over or Interrupting Phone Interviews.
What was the most exciting part about being around these show dogs?
The most fun was doing agility training because they train those dogs to follow whoever is showing them, leading them. They’re trained to follow whoever is taking them through the course and oh man, I went with this [Border Collie] who followed my every move. It was the cutest thing ever and so amazing to see such loyalty and obedience.
That dog was so stoked to run that course with me. It was ready to go and we had to wait for lighting and that dog was like, “Come on, man. Let’s do this.” I wish my kids were half as motivated as this dog was. Literally, if I can get one tenth of the determination that this dog had before the obstacle course into my children -- I mean, math would be so much easier.
You also just finished working on a romantic comedy called “Love Locks.” How was co-starring with your wife, Rebecca Romijn?
It’s a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie and it was so cute. My wife got offered this role and there was a male lead and I read it because i’m nosy and I was like in my head, “Why aren’t they asking me to do this?” They were asking other actors and finally I was like, “Why aren’t they asking me to do this?” and my wife said, “Want me to ask?” and I said, “Yes, of course, come on!” And they somehow fell for it and it was so fun.
It’s pretty crazy working with your wife and staying in the same hotel room, dressing room, carpooling. We didn’t have a moment apart for the whole month that we shot but we got to go to Paris to shoot it. We went without our children. It was really honestly the most romantic thing to happen to my wife and I in a while, possibly since our wedding. It was great -- and only one fight.
Tell me more about “Crazy for You,” a concert you’re performing in.
I’m going to do that with Rachel Bloom. I’m super excited. Susan Stroman is directing. You know, hopefully it’s going to make the big leagues to Broadway at some point. It’ll be my third attempt at getting to Broadway and it’s just the company I really want to be with. It’s an honor to be on stage with all of those people. I’m such a fan of Rachel Bloom -- “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is so funny -- and I’m really looking forward to it.
Are you passionate about singing?
I’m not going to act like I’m the best singer out there but I will tell you, I go for it. And I will tell you if you’re having a karaoke party, you’re going to want me there because I go for it.
I read that your kids are big fans of John Stamos, who was married to your wife. Were they excited you were on “Scream Queens” with him?
Unfortunately, I did not have any scenes with him but listen, as you can attest from our DVR at home, they are huge, huge “Full House” fans and huge Uncle Jesse fans.
The AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin airs at 6 p.m. EST/PST on Hallmark Channel.