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Friday, April 27, 2012

Dream Job

I started thinking about it again when Dick Clark recently passed away.  I always wanted to host a game show.  If my fairy godmother bopped me on the nose with her magic wand and said "pick one," it would likely be Pyramid.  Clark and Bill Cullen made it look easy and fun.  But then again, they made everything look easy and fun.  John Davidson and Donny Osmond also did passable jobs as Pyramid hosts.  Unfortunately, they weren't at the Clark and Cullen level.  Not even close.

While I love "To Tell the Truth," there really isn't much for a host to do.

Let me digress for a moment and discuss Dick Clark's work on Pyramid.  My favorite part was the end game, where a celebrity and contest would attempt to go up the pyramid for the big money.

Clark would get the studio absolutely quiet.  He'd say "Here is your first subject" in that magnificent voice of his.  Then, another pause.  Finally "Go."  It's classic TV.  You'd hear the clock tick away.  You'd see and hear the boxes flip to the next category and a "ding" for a correct answer.  Dick Clark and the producers knew drama.  Drama sells.

Of course, a win meant flashing lights and music.  Great stuff.

You have to remember, the first Pyramid made its debut in 1973.  The theme was out of this world, and the giant pyramid was visually stunning.  It was unlike anything on TV at the time.  By the way, the first Pyramids were taped at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, now home to Late Show with David Letterman.  Mike Gargiulo directed.  I worked with his son, Michael, in 1990 and 1991, at the old WYOU.

Part of the reason, I think for the Donny Osmond 2004 Pyramid failure was a lack of drama.  Flat screens mounted on a metal frame, and new age beeps and chirps couldn't match the noise of the flipping boxes on the big pyramid.  You have to pay attention to sound.  Why do so many in TV forget that?  High tech works on Jeopardy.  Not Pyramid.  Sometimes, old school is best.

At one time, I would have killed to do a network morning show.  Those shows have passed me by.  Fluff overload.  I couldn't handle it.

Several years ago, I got together, informally, with some members of our programming department.  We kicked around a magazine show.  There was some interest.  On the other hand, all the good time slots were taken, and staffers were all tied up on other projects.

There are times I think returning to my DJ roots would be fun.  After some contemplation, being stuck in a little room all day, playing "Bette Davis Eyes" and "The Pina Colada Song (Escape)" gets old fast.

I dabbled in talk radio for a bit.  The problem there is you have to tap in to listener anger to generate calls and heat. I'm not sure fielding calls, from disgruntled Americans, for four hours a day is my thing, either.  Maybe, once in a while...

I loved doing radio news, especially field reporting.  At least in this area, radio reporters have become extinct.

So, that brings us to where we are now.  I do enjoy getting to a story, boiling it down to its essence, getting it on the air fast, and making it understandable.  As soon as that's done, I'm off to another assignment.  When I feel the itch to do more, I have my camera and the blog.

Maybe I'm already living the dream.

Good night, sweet dreams, and God bless.