Since mid-December, I’ve been appearing on CBS’s The Early Show more or less weekly. Strangely, I find it easier than my weekly segment on Fox Philly partly because at CBS, I can actually have a conversation with the person sitting across from me. Part of the reason is because the staff is truly nice, and I’m always at ease there. But it’s also because for the other kinds of interviews I do, which are satellite interviews, I stare into a camera and listen intently to the voice in my ear, so all the action is in my brain. For these live on-set interviews, I can read the face of the person talking to me — even if they’re lucky enough to have a script, IFB, and TelePrompTer. It’s more of an interaction, which brings out the best in me.
Here’s a weird thing that’s come out of my appearances: Two weeks ago, my brother, who lives in Florida, called me early in the morning. He was totally wigged out. He’d been filling up his car at a Shell station after dawn that morning, when, unexpectedly he heard his brother’s voice coming from the gas pump. “All of a sudden, I heard my brother’s voice talking to me!” he told me. It was like I was a ghost or something. Well, that’ll wake you up in a hurry!
He looked up, and there I was, on a little TV screen, giving him a few minutes of consumer advice while he filled his tank. Since then, reports have been filing in. I was last seen by a colleague dispensing consumer advice at Mobil station in Virginia, too.
Vaudeville may be dead, but I found an unexpected new venue: I’m a big star at gas stations nationwide.
Anyway, here are a few of my recent segments.
If you sit through this next one (you can do it– I had to walk through it and navigate a lawn mower while I was at it), you’ll hear the host call me “John” at the very end. She must have been thinking of the esteemed former NBC reporter, John Cochran. I’ll take it.
New light bulbs are coming! But not even the fanciest new TV could have picked up the fact that for this one, I was wearing cuff links shaped like little light bulbs. A web site that purports to be dedicated to combating media bias took me to task for, um, not complaining that the government was forcing people to adopt new bulb technology. Yes, criticized by an anti-bias site for not showing a bias. America!:
I was kinda proud of this next one, as silly as the topic is (“tree-mendous deals”??). That’s not only because it was the first time I appeared on The Early Show, but also because I was lucky enough to be one of the last people that Harry Smith interviewed in his final weeks on the show.
I’ll get some more up later. I don’t like doing it because it means I have to watch myself here and there.
No one likes listening to the answering machine and realizing what they sound like. So can you imagine facing yourself on national TV?