Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons has invited viewers into his home as he and wife Justine raised their children, prepared Sunday dinner and even renovated their New Jersey residence.
Now, they want to take you along as they trot the globe in their new Travel Channel series “Rev Runs Around the World,” premiering Wednesday (Dec. 2).
The 16-part, half-hour series follows the co-founder of the influential hip-hop group Run-DMC, Justine, son Russy and daughter Miley as they take wing with around-the-world airline tickets to such destinations as Jamaica, Mexico City, Dubai, Bali, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo to take in the sights and get a little R&R.
“The goal for me was different from [those of] my wife and my children,” Rev Run explains to Zap2it. “My goal was to relax. Their goal was to do anything and everything in between. So as I am trying to go on vacation, they’re ruining it for me trying to take me basically on camels in Dubai, they’ve gotten me riding elephants in Thailand, they’ve got me in Iceland trying to go in a glacier, which turned out to be a complete, crazy disaster. … I’m trying to find a hammock and they try to drive me crazy.”
And therein lies much of the tension of the series. Rev Run and his family seem to have plenty of cause to lock horns, whether it’s over vacationing lifestyles, his attempts to lose weight in the chocolate and cheese capital of Switzerland or her shopping in the United Arab Emirates.
“I didn’t like Dubai for the fact that she wanted to buy everything,” he says, “so I kept saying, ‘Dubai or not Dubai?’ And I was like, ‘Why don’t we name this place “Don’t Buy”?’ She went to this gold place. I wish they had named this place ‘Don’t Buy’ because it was terrible when she saw all the beautiful things you could buy in Dubai.”
A big component of the series is the food. In the premiere episode, the family ascended a Jamaican mountain on rough roads to sample the native coffee, which Justine reports was “amazing.” In Rio, the food was so good that the Simmonses had uninvited dinner guests at an outdoor eatery.
“A monkey comes and grabs our stuff,” Rev Run says, “runs with it, looks at us, hides, makes jokes at us. Real-life craziness that they caught on camera, of monkeys doing what they actually did in (the movie) ‘Rio.’ And this guy said, ‘I’ve been living here my entire life, I’ve never seen that.’ “