The astrophysicist, once an active dancer while at the University of Texas at Austin, told the talk show host that he was a performing member of three different dance companies before opening up about the career path he took into consideration.
“I was still studying astrophysics, and I had fellow dancers who were making extra money — ’cause I needed money, ’cause we weren’t paid much — and one of them said, ‘Why don’t you come down with us?’ because some of them danced at a strip club, a guy’s strip club,” Tyson said.
“So I went and I was cut and flex— I could do a full split ... but I went to just investigate, I wanted data first.”
Tyson added that he was watching dancers come out with “asbestos-lined jockstraps that had been ignited with lighter fluid” before performing an iconic ’50s rock song: Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire.”
“Let me just say, I’m embarrassed that only in that moment when I saw their genitals on fire did I say, ‘Maybe I should be a math tutor,’” he said as Clarkson’s audience laughed.
“I’m just sayin’, at that point I had other thoughts about how to earn money,” he added.
“You’re like, ‘I’m gonna keep this junk safe,’” Clarkson quipped.
Tyson has previously opened up about his strip club outing during a 2017 episode of Pitchfork’s “Over/Under” where he described himself as being in “very good shape” at the time.
You can check out Tyson reflecting on his dancing past in “The Kelly Clarkson Show” clip below.