The folks at CNN caught the personality piece in the L.A. Times and called to see if I’d go on the air.
Well sure! But there was a hitch….
A funny story about my CNN appearance: the producer who booked it was in Atlanta, but they weren’t flying me there — I was to show up quite early in the morning at their Los Angeles studio.
“We don’t have any makeup people there that early,” she said, “so can you do your own?” Sure, I said, not knowing a thing about makeup, other than my ex-wife used it. But one of my female co-workers at JPL was a good friend; and after hanging up with CNN I immediately sought her out.
“With the lights, the biggest problem is shine,” Glenda said, obviously having a clue. “So you want powder.”
I asked what kind. “Doesn’t really matter what kind,” she said, “but make sure it matches your skin tone.”
How do I do that? “Put some on the back of your hand at the makeup counter before you buy,” she said. Seemed reasonable.
What about the dark circles under my eyes? I asked. Will powder help that? “No, for that you need ‘concealer’,” she said.
So off to the mall I went. I chose a cosmetics counter and told the gal there I needed makeup because I was going to be on TV. “Uh huh,” she said. “No really! The ‘CNN Morning News’ — you can watch me tomorrow!”
As Glenda directed, I told her I needed powder and concealer. “This should match your skin tone,” the counter gal said as she handed me a powder applicator. I brushed it on the back of my hand as Glenda had suggested. “Too chalky,” I said. The gal raised an eyebrow and handed me the next tone up. “Perfect!”
Then she handed me a tube of concealer, and I dabbed some on my hand. “Too pasty,” I said. She got the next one up. “Perfect! Thanks much.”
I paid and, while walking out of the store, started to laugh — not just at the absurdity at the situation, but also for the realization that I got to deduct the cost of the makeup from my taxes.
I think I turned out looking pretty good! Especially at that hour.
CNN wasn’t the only one to call. With the international success of True, I guess it’s no surprise that Toronto CityTV’s MediaTelevision program, which is carried in the U.S. on cable’s Bravo Channel, would run a segment on me and the newsletter too.
After that, a Japanese newspaper, Nihon Keizai Shimbun (The “Nikkei”) did a feature too. They all helped expand circulation.
Why the title (“I Like TV”)? It’s a nod to a bit on the short-lived SNL competitor Fridays. In one sketch, cast member Melanie Chartoff stares blankly into the camera saying, “I Like TV I Like TV I Like TV I Like TV I Like TV ….” Pretty much, that’s what I had to do on CNN: stare straight into the camera, pretending I could see the anchors in Atlanta.