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5:43 a.m. - 2001-08-22


So last night, Andy's playing quietly by himself and there's absolutely nothing on television.

"Should we turn off the TV and read a book?" Susie asked.

We both laughed heartily at that.

She suggested that we watch a movie we have on tape.

Y'see ... at one point, I had a sickness. And that sickness led me to tape damned near any movie that came on cable television. As a result, we have about 300 videotapes with about three movies on each tape. Tons of movies that we'll NEVER get around to watching.

So I start going through the tapes searching for something interesting when I run across "Uncle Bob-TV Star".

I'm not sure I ever mentioned it here, but in the 90's, I co-hosted two local TV shows here.

Let me rephrase that...two of the most gawdawful massively boring TV shows you could ever hope to stumble across.

And me...being Mr. Videotape at the time ... taped every episode of the shows so that if I ever had a child, I could force them to sit down and watch their pop when he was Mr. Big Time TV Star.

...If Andy ever sees these tapes he'll disown me in a heartbeat.

The first show I did was called "This Week". It was myself and a lady named Bonnie B. Bonnie B. had been doing local television for years and had established a niche for herself as being one of the premier nutjobs in the city. She was a very pretty woman for her age (late 40s) and INSISTED on wearing these wigs that made her hair look like a family of raccoons had made a home in her scalp.

I'll admit, before I started doing the show with her, I didn't care for the woman. I'd be flipping channels and I'd see her on my TV and I'd watch for a second to see how long it'd take her to say something ignorant.

It never took long. Trust me.

Then, one day as a newspaper reporter, I went to cover an event that the American Red Cross was sponsoring and Bonnie B. was there, lending her celebrity to the cause. She started talking to me and telling me how much she loved my column and wanted me to come on her show sometime.

I smiled and agreed to do it. Even though I thought her shows were ignorant, there was no way in hell I was going to turn down a chance to be on television and liven up her little dog and pony show.

So I went on the show and served as her co-host for the week.

I might have managed to sputter out three questions to whoever it was we interviewed in 30 minutes time.

After the show, Bonnie said she wanted me to be her PERMANENT co-host and asked if I'd be interested.

Hmmmm...lemme think for a se....SURE!!!

So each week, we'd interview some local people about upcoming events and during the last five minutes of each show, we'd have some videotape of some crazy stunts we had done beforehand.

We were both entered into a celebrity Hula Hoop contest for the State one week we went around to local dignitaries and people on the street and taped them hula hooping, trying to give us pointers on how to win the contest.

Then you'd see me, desperately trying to hula hoop which was about as funny as an ingrown toenail.

Har har har.

One week, we went to find the perfect Halloween costume.

Gawd. The jokes that went along with that skit were horrible. At one point, there was me, with a big ugly wig on my head, saying that I was going out as Bonnie for Halloween.

That was one thing about Bonnie...she made no bones about the fact that she wore a wig everywhere she went. She mentioned her wigs at least once during every show.

In time, I grew to like Bonnie. Sure ... she was a cornball who laughed way too hard at her own jokes. But deep down, once you got past all the fakeness that she kept up 99% of the time, she was a sweet woman. Scatterbrained but sweet.

I lasted as her co-host for six episodes before the show was cancelled. In my defense, the show was about to be cancelled when I came on board and I was kinda like the last hope to keep it alive, seeing as how I was regarded as the city's premier funny guy. They actually thought bringing me on the show would boost ratings.


I may be a funny WRITER...but once my ugly mug is broadcast into 200,000 homes...funny don't matter anymore. I have a face that scares little children. Televisions were being shut off in droves when I came on and families would huddle together and pray in the dark after seeing me on their screens.

For about a year, I was known as the FORMER Mr. TV Star.

I was washed up after six episodes. I felt like Emeril's going to feel this December after his new comedy is cancelled because his "BAM"'S frighten the heartland of America.

Then...a miracle happened.

Another woman who had been on local television for years named Bonnie C. (no...having the name "Bonnie" is not a prerequisite to have a show in this's merely a coincidence)stopped by the newspaper office to take out an ad in the paper for a new show she was working on.

The show was called "Focus". And she wanted ME to co-host the show one day a week with her to talk about the latest in entertainment news, both local and global.

I was floored. More importantly...I was MR. TV STAR once again.

I agreed to do it. Every'd be me and her. Cool.

The show was going to be on our local Fox affiliate, which meant more exposure than the previous show which was a local cable access show. And believe may be sitting there thinking "Local cable access show? Those shows SUCK!" never saw MY local cable access show. I made the shows you're familiar with look like Emmy-nominated material. My local cable access show stunk worse than the Humane Shelter's kennel on a summer afternoon.

Sooo...we're on 5:30 a.m.

You know...the one time of the day when absolutely positively NOBODY watches television. Our biggest fans were insomniacs and crack whores coming home from work.

The show lasted a year. After about a month, the other four co-hosts quit returning Bonnie's calls, leaving me as her sole co-host. I probably shoulda done the same because it was obvious that this show was going down the tubes quickly. Bonnie was a sweet woman, but it takes a lot of money to keep a show like this going and Bonnie's money dried up fairly quickly. After doing about 40 shows in six weeks time, she ran out of dough.

So the Fox station kept showing the SAME shows over and over again while she scrambled to come up with cash to continue the show.

So each morning at 5:30 a.m., there I was...talking about the marriage of Barbra Streisand and James Brolin...over and over again.

What few fans we might have had at that point dwindled down to one crackwhore named Teresa who emailed us constantly to tell us how great our show was and if we knew where she could score some crack.

Apparently, crackwhores have tiny attention spans and she couldn't retain information for more than 24 hours, so she was quite content with watching the same show over and over again.

The insomniacs? Well...they were at least happy that we helped cure their sleeping disorder. Our show would come on and they'd pass out like a coma patient.

I've got to admit...we had a great time doing the show. I ended up doing about 20 episodes with Bonnie that reran every single week.

We got onstage with the Dixie Chicks and interviewed them afterwards before they got to be big superstars.

The same with Phil Collins.

We did a lotta crazy stupid stuff on that show as well, although it escapes me at the moment just how crazy and stupid it actually was.

Because last night...when I stumbled across the videotape that said "Uncle Bob TV Star"....I buried it behind the other videotapes and we ended up watching "Forrest Gump".

...The horrors of my weak attempt at television stardom are still too painful and frightening to revisit.

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