Human Termite, The

The showbiz nickname of young vegetarian, Joe “Iron Jaw” Interleggi, one of the strangest “Ripley’s, Believe It or Not” type personalities to surface on television during the 1950s.


Blessed with a powerful set of mandibles, he opened bottles with his teeth and ate wood on guest spots of the NBC’s THE TONIGHT SHOW with Steve Allen who referred to him as “The Human Termite.”

Interleggi also appeared as a contestant on YOU BET YOUR LIFE/NBC/1950-61 where he lifted host Groucho Marx off the ground with his teeth. Marx was seated on a piano bench at the time.


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Showbiz Nicknames

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: