September 11, 2008 / 11:17 PM / 10 years ago

Michael Phelps "nervous" ahead of "SNL" debut

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps on Thursday admitted to a case of nerves, but seemed confident he won’t be a fish out of water when he makes his acting debut on “Saturday Night Live” this coming weekend.

U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps walks on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange September 9, 2008. REUTERS/Chip East

Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals at the recent Beijing Olympics, will be the guest host of the popular TV sketch comedy show when it premieres its 34th season Saturday.

“I’m probably more nervous doing this than I was swimming in the Olympics,” the 23-year-old told reporters on a telephone conference call.

But Phelps said he can adapt to most everyday situations, and he hopes his real-life sarcasm will keep him afloat as he trades punch lines with the “Saturday Night Live” cast.

“The biggest thing I can tell you is that in my group of friends, I’m the most sarcastic,” Phelps said about his comedic abilities.

A fan of former “SNL” funnyman Adam Sandler, Phelps said he has collected acting tips from Hollywood A-listers like Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.

He added that the show’s writers “nailed every topic” when parodying Phelps, from his calorie count to his medal count.

At Beijing, Phelps beat Mark Spitz’s record seven golds for a single Olympic Games, which Spitz won at 1972’s Munich Olympics. Overall, Phelps has 14 gold medals including six from the 2004 Olympic games in Athens.

Reporting by Syantani Chatterjee; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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