Life is tough, especially when the Republican National Committee forces you into a makeover and Playgirl invites you to pose naked.
This was the tragic fate of 21-year-old Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol Palin’s precious toddler Tripp. The author of a newly released book, “Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin’s Crosshairs,” Johnston sat down with CNN host Joy Behar Wednesday evening to promote the memoir.
During their odd and sometimes uncomfortable chat, Johnston gave Behar a little insight into sheep hunting, an activity with which she was wholly unfamiliar.
Alluding to the book’s title, Behar inquired about the first “deer in the headlights” moment the young man faced when his pregnant girlfriend’s mother announced her vice presidential candidacy in August 2008. Johnston, who had to prepare for the GOP convention in St. Paul that month, told Behar that he had been sheep hunting with his dad prior to the big event.
“A sheep hunt? What do you mean a sheep hunt? They’re sitting there waiting for you to shoot them?” Behar asked. “You were going to kill a ram?”
“For food. It’s a sport,” Johnston said.
“That’s crazy,” Behar replied.
“We get back and I get a phone call, Sarah [Palin is] nominated for vice president … We get back home, thrown into the RNC gear, we get on private planes and we land down,” Johnston said. “I [had a] mullet. The first thing they do is chop my hair … They weren’t going to allow it.” (RELATED: Levi Johnston won’t run for mayor, will focus on book instead)
Johnston also dealt with RNC stylists asking him to shave, use “the spray tans, and [take care of] the fingernails.”
“They wanted me to get pedicures and stuff — I said ‘no, no,’” Johnston revealed of the traumatic grooming expectations.
Levi, of course, refused the makeover demands but agreed to retire his mullet.
“[I had] the haircut and then I put on the … $80 socks and the fancy clothes and I shut up and smiled and waved and did what I was told [at the convention],” Johnston said.
Behar, who watched the televised convention, said Johnston appeared out of place.
“I agree with you, you did look like a deer in the headlights,” Behar said. “But you also … you don’t even look like you; you look like a Republican senator.”
Glancing at a photo of Bristol and Johnston together at the convention, Behar commented that the two parents-to-be looked scared in the snapshot, as though they were thinking ”‘what the hell are we doing here?’” Behar said.
Behar also asked the “most unpopular person Public Policy Polling has ever polled in any state” why he frequently sets himself up for insults and embarrassment.
“Why do you open yourself up to scrutiny so much? Why do you do that?” Behar asked.
The tongue-tied Johnston replied, “I tell everything in that book … I kind of got tired of people talking about me my family … It was time for me to … lay it all out there for everybody.”
“And make a few bucks while you’re at it, right?” Behar interrupted.
“That’s always good,” Johnston conceded.
Watch: Behar and Johnston’s uncomfortable interview