And now… Our Hero

* So here I am laying down the law on yesterday’s show.

Scroll through the previous days’ blogs to read the lead-up and behind-the-scenes shenanigans that led to that moment.

* Because Rob and Z conspired to flip off my prompter (ha ha, ho ho, hilarious, seriously) I threw down a little retribution today, forcing them to sit through two truly awful songs: Leonard Nimoy’s “Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” and William Shatner’s “It Was a Very Good Year.”  You can do a YouTube search if you want the horrifying full versions, or just wait until Monday and I’ll post the stunt to the blog.

In the course of this effort, I encountered several moments where I learned that either A) I am a huge nerd or B) I work with people who avoid pop culture like the plague.

spock-kirkOur director Nadine didn’t know who Leonard Nimoy was.  “A little show called ‘Star Trek’?” I prompted.  Nothing.

Highlander producer Carol didn’t know who Bilbo Baggins was.  “A hobbit.  ‘Lord of the Rings,'” I said.  Nothing.

I call shenanigans on Carol not knowing who Bilbo is.  I mean, she loves the freakin’ Highlander for Pete’s sake.  That is incredibly nerdy.  And lame.

Now that I think about it, earlier tonight, I handed my friend Angi a DVD I’d been carrying for her since July.  “Now I know how Frodo felt,” I said.  She looked at me blankly. 

“That reference is totally lost on me,” she said.

I guess that clinches it.  I’m a nerd.

* The terrifying tandem of songs  elicited a pair of interesting e-mails from viewers this morning…

STOP ALREADY!

and…

Please … loose Ben Bowmen or risk loosing viewers.  What a waste of time.  I get up at 4:30 to watch this?

No, just kidding.  Please feel free to keep wasting my and the anchors valuable time.

* Let’s get back to the matter that started this domino chain the first place: weather coverage.  Slow news day that it is, we told our only reporter this morning that his story would be the cold weather.  So Anthony went out and told everyone that it’s cold outside.  And then he tossed it back to the anchors.

Executive Producer Wendy looked to the assignment desk and said, “Can you help Anthony out?  That was a little thin.”

Really?  It’s cold.  Of course his report is thin.  Want him to stretch?  (Say it’s “really, really cold.”  Sounds more important than it is.)

Then again, I played like five minutes of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy singing this morning, so my news aim ain’t exactly sniper material.

franken* Rumors continue to swirl about the potential sea change at NBC5 coming in 2009.  It won’t be long before we’re all equipped with the Al Franken one-man mobile uplink unit.  God only knows what is going to happen to us in the new year.

* Remember that story about the pizza delivery guy who claimed some strangers strapped a bomb to his head and then made him rob a bank and when the cops surrounded him, the bomb went off, exploding his head, but later it turned out he was in on the plot the whole time?  That story is back in the news.

* Hey, pregnant lady who’s rushing to the hospital to deliver your baby… here’s a speeding ticket.

* Sorry you’re dead.  Here’s two traffic tickets.

* Today, Zoraida referred to “The Creature of the Blue Lagoon.”  My little nerd heart is all in knots.neptuneposeidon

* Man to girlfriend: “Will you marry me?”
Poseidon: “Not so fast.”

* Speaking of weddings derailed, how about the Salvation Army leader who’s going to be fired after his engagement to a woman who (gasp) doesn’t work for the Salvation Army?

Come to think of it, NBC should institute this policy.  If we have no lives outside the building, we’ll be less likely to seek joy elsewhere.  And single people have fewer children, which means fewer sick days.  I mean, I already work the overnight shift, so it’s not like I ever interact with any other humans.  Work is all I have.  And that’s exactly how NBC wants it.

watchmen-smiley* Researchers: Happiness is contagious.  Thankfully, the newsroom has been quarantined from the outbreak.

Older people tend to feel about 13 years younger than their chronological age.  And most producers feel like they’re going to die of old age within five years of taking the gig.  Seriously, I see pictures of myself before I started working in news and I have this strange, youthful expression on my face.  Other people tell me it’s called a “smile.”  I have no memory of this.

* The threat of punishment works.  So maybe the anchors will think twice before toying with me in the future.  There are more Shatner videos to be had!

* Whatever you do, don’t disturb a carton of eggs when in England.

* Australian lawmakers may have to pass a breathalyzer test before voting.  In Illinois, I’d settle for an IQ test.

* Now, 10 ways to avoid holiday weight gain.  Step 1:  Stop ladling gravy on your candy canes.

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4 responses to “And now… Our Hero

  1. That was hilarious! You guys are great!

  2. Ben,

    Your my new hero. I am going to send your video on weather to every weather wanker in North Texas. Every Spring the Dallas weathermen over hype the potential for tornadoes, hail and flash floods! Keep harasing the anchors.

  3. Your story made the homepage of Fark.com today (AND you got the Hero tag; congrats). Expect your logs to show a spike. Also, be prepared for some not-so-friendly language, especially if your anchors want to read it.

    For the record, I agree (with you, and with most of the commenters). Ratings have nothing to do with quality. I watch the show for Andy; what’s that say?

    http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=4068085

  4. Sir,

    I’m an NBC affiliate photog, and I just want to say after watching the clip, if you ever become a news director somewhere and I’m still in news, I will work for you. I really wanted to send the clip to my news director and EP, but I don’t think they would appreciate it, because they would say, “Look at the numbers.” And then I’d say, “Look at how stupid we’re making our audience.”

    -Taylor

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