Donny Deutsch

It’s not every day a famed ad man becomes an executive producer and creator of a reality show about his own life, but Donny Deutsch did just that on the comedic series Donny!, which is airing now on USA, Tuesday nights at 10:30PM. Guest stars like Christie Brinkley and Regis Philbin float in and out of Deutsch’s crazy world that covers everything from sexting and manscaping to politics. We caught up with Deutsch on his love for New York, how he feels about reality TV and whether or not the customer actually is always right…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day? 

In the morning, five scrambled egg whites with cheese. For lunch, a turkey sandwich on rye with Russian dressing, cole slaw, and chopped liver. For dinner, veal Parmesan.

How do you always start your day? 

I always start my day by getting up and going to the same diner, and getting the same breakfast – egg whites at 3 Guys.

What is your personal definition of good content?

Good content is something that makes people either laugh, think, cry, or engage – it gives something to the viewer.

Do you personally like reality TV? Why or why not?

You know, it’s hard to put labels on things anymore. Overall, I can’t make a statement – there are some shows I think are great, some not. It’s like saying, do you like comedy? Do you like drama? You have to go show by show.

The best moment in your career…

The best moment in my career has been launching my new show, Donny!.

The most embarrassing moment in your career…

Having to take my shirt off and be in my underwear on the new show.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The worst? 

Best advice – go for the dream and never give up. I can’t remember the worst advice. I never remember getting terrible advice because usually I trust the judgment of the people I’m asking,

What’s your favorite thing about New York City?

My favorite thing about New York City is the overall energy when you walk out the door. You always feel it.

What’s your advice to those looking to start a business? 

Follow your passion. Never ever, ever be afraid of failure or give up, and surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.

The personal grooming item you can’t live without…

Hmm…that’s a great question. I guess I would have to say deodorant.

With the holidays coming up, what are three great gifts for the person who has everything?

I think the best gifts are always personal things. When I think about my daughters giving me something, it’s something that’s made or created. Obviously, I’m very fortunate. I don’t need people to buy me material things, so things that are personal and come from the heart are the best.

“The customer is always right.” True or false? 

False

What are your favorite New York restaurants? What do you order at each? 

Elio’s, Scalinatella and Polo Bar. At Elio’s and Scalinatella I’ll usually get a Chicken Scarpariello and at Polo I’ll usually get the filet mignon.

Your personal mantra…

Go for it.

If you could host a dinner party with any five people, living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook? 

Wow. I guess Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, JFK and I think I would have to have Thomas Jefferson. I don’t cook so I’d order in. I’d have to go with steak because I think across the ages that would probably satisfy everybody.

Graydon Carter told us all about his favorite New York restaurants. Also check out this interview with W’s Editor-in-Chief Stefano Tonchi

*Donny Deutsch, photographed at his home in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.