Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Attack Of The News Blooper

Working in radio for as long as I have, I can certainly empathize with good 'ol Jay Warren, a TV news anchor who just couldn't control his laughter while reading a hilarious story about a deadly car crash that claimed three lives. The video of the instant TV classic is at the end of this post.

Now, in defense of Jay, who knows what was making him laugh in the first place. If you notice, right before the footage from the crash site is shown, you can already see Jay start to smile, so I doubt it's the car crash video itself. That's good. We can probably rule out that he's just an insensitive jerk.

Maybe a previous story, or something funny that happened just moments prior is stuck in his mind and he can't stop thinking about it. Maybe his co-anchor just farted. Maybe someone in his direct line of sight is trying to make him laugh.

There were many times during the Dean Tambling era -- for those reading this that aren't familiar with the Morris, IL radio scene, Dean was the newsman during my morning show for eight years -- when either myself, or fellow cohort Kevin Schramm would do things while Dean was recording his news to try to break him up and get him to lose it on-air. Cruel, but just part of the wacky hijinks in radio.

Sometimes it would be disrobing in front of the glass window that separated his studio and mine. Other times, we'd sneak into his room while he was reading the news and breathe on his neck, or gently touch his hair.

Whatever you're thinking right now, trust me, we were doing it simply for the laughs. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

In a related story, our new newsman, Jay Capron, has just purchased a door lock and black drapes.

I remember a classic prank from my early days in radio. At my college station, a jock was on the air talking about some Psychedelic Furs song or something, when someone came up behind him, and pushed the lever on his chair, sinking it about two feet. The jock was so good, though, as he was sliding down toward the floor, he kept talking without missing a beat, even turning up his mic audio to compensate for the ever growing distance between himself and the microphone.

Trying to crack up a broadcaster is a long time running gag in radio, and I'm guessing in TV, as well.

When ever I would sub on WCSJ back in my early days, I'd usually have to read the obituaries -- gotta love small market radio -- and I said a small prayer each morning that I could get through that enjoyable task without getting a case of the giggles.

It's not that I'm insensitive, and the thought of someone's death would make me chuckle...but it could be something simple, someone's name, a funny word, a background noise, or for whatever reason, a random memory of something Homer Simpson did on an old Simpsons episode that would occasionally pop into my mind that would trigger a guffaw.

The mind can play some mean tricks sometimes.

So, maybe someone, or something else was making Jay Warren chuckle during this story.

Or, maybe he's just an insensitive jerk.

Let's see if you can keep from laughing while watching the clip...

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