There are few people who would argue that the words sponge bath evoke magic. But what if-just hypothetically speaking-a certain John Malkovich were at the business end of the loofah? Interested now? OK, probably not. Fair enough. But the first, uh, Webisode of "Bathing With Bierko" features just that: B-list celeb Craig Bierko ("Cinderella Man," "Scary Movie 4") soaping up and rubbing down the big A-list galoot in a tiny tub. Bierko squishes soapy water all over Malko's bald pate and offers him inanities like "Portugal is one of those words where if I repeat it over and over again it loses its meaning. Have you ever done that?" The result is a weirdly hilarious and discomfiting waterlogged spoof of talk-show culture-and viral video catnip. Bierko, a Tony-nominated Broadway star, promises more awkward fleshy chats to come. We're not convinced that's a good thing. He recently dried off long enough to talk to NEWSWEEK's Brian Braiker about "Bathing," which, to make things even weirder, was shot in Bette Davis's bathtub. Excerpts:
NEWSWEEK: So mostly I am a little disappointed not to be doing this interview in a tub.
Craig Bierko: [Laughs] Yeah. Well, I'm really good with it.
Why "Bathing With Bierko"?
That's a good question. It sort of takes that fake [talk show] intimacy of two men in makeup telling a fake story—one guy is sitting behind a desk for some reason that's never, ever been explained. What is it? Is it his office? It sort of turns up the fake intimacy to a ridiculous degree. It's never acknowledged, in the same way the desk thing is never acknowledged. This should be inane chatter, but with complete sincerity and never acknowledging the fact that they're in a bathtub.