Dispatches from the Control Room – December 27

* When your work day starts with a commute including a homeless guy nudging you for change on the red line, you know you’re in for a classic.

* I am intrigued by this story, about a Malaysian soccer referee who showed a player a red card, got mobbed by the team, then ran out to his car, got a gun and fired into the air.

In America, we don’t let our refs carry guns, unless you count NFL powerhouse Ed Hochuli. Look at this guy’s picture. He’s freakin’ huge. I won’t say anything else about him because he frightens me.

* We had a bevy of great stories to end the show today: a little girl who found a prison shank inside her Christmas Polly Pocket playset, some guy in India who brings poor kids on the plane in his backyard so they can pretend they’re flying, and a band of roving fur-wearing Germans who shove people’s faces into snow as part of a ritual to “wake up nature” every December. I wish someone would run around shoving Chicagoans’ faces into the snow to wake them up in time to watch our show. 4:30 a.m. – That’s insane.

* Yesterday, the anchors touched on this, but it bears further exploration. The last week of the year, no one wants to work. Everyone’s fried from 360 days of hustle and we all want to relax. A lucky few may get time off between the holidays, but that’s rarely (read: never) the case for folks in the TV biz.
To combat the overwhelming boredom and depression this brings on, some genius decided it would be a great idea to generate a ton of pre-taped pieces looking back on the previous year. I could kiss that guy. It allows you to burn precious minutes with very little work. And very little work is all I’m capable of at the moment.
Today, we ran a package on the year’s most memorable quotes. (God bless you, Miss Teen South Carolina, and the Iraq and such as.) But whoever made this thing has a weird sense of history. It’s basically several minutes of soundbites from witnesses to terrible crimes sandwiched between six bites from the befuddled beauty queen. There’s no flow to it at all.
And worse, they don’t even include, “Don’t taze me, bro!” That was chosen by the Yale Book of Quotations as the phrase of the year. So someone was asleep at the wheel when they chose the soundbites for the package. But at this time of year, you’re lucky if someone with a pulse is manning the lighthouse.
For the record, “having a pulse” is the only job requirement to produce a 4:30 a.m. newscast.
* NBC5’s own Dick Johnson expressed interest in attending one of my upcoming improv shows. You’ll know when that happens because the next morning, he’ll be unable to read the news due to his mind being blown.

One response to “Dispatches from the Control Room – December 27

  1. Miss Teen South Carolina answered that question badly, but she’s still got her looks to fall back on…

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