Thursday, June 14, 2007
TALK BACK LIVE HOOLIGAN
I think it's pretty safe to say that Talk Back Live was horrendous programming. Irredeemable, actually. Boring guests, lackluster audience participation, ugly set, terrible locale, unlistenable theme song.
As such, when I came across Rob Lathan's blog on a friend's website, I had to share his story with you. The YouTube links are included. The best part of the story is that the man was simply delivering a cake to a CNN conference, and they seized the opportunity to hold him hostage to that awful show. I mean, how often did that happen? How many Fed Ex guys, Jehovah's Witnesses, dog walkers, and singing telegram people did they trap in this same manner? Check this out:
"I finally uploaded the footage from my Talk Back Live appearances on YouTube. The footage is from 1997 - when I was crazy. Now I’m completely sane. (Yeah right.) The first vid is from my very first appearance - which also happened to be my TV debut. At the time I was working as a cake deliverer in Atlanta for a company called Piece of Cake. After dropping off a cake at a CNN conference, a producer asked if I wanted to be an audience member for a show they were taping called Talk Back Live. The producer explained that audience members could ask questions to a panel of experts about a certain topic and that day’s topic was the OJ Simpson Civil Trial. I said yes. Before I went on the set I called my college buddies and told them to tape it. The footage is a little choppy now and the sound goes out at one point, but you should still get the idea. Let’s see if I ask an intelligent question.
At the next commercial break two security guards tapped me on the shoulder and informed me that I was being kicked off the set. And so I went back on my route delivering cakes. But that was not the end of it for me. I went back to CNN Talk Back Live a few days later - this time in disguise. Of course one of the producers recognized me and said under no circumstances was I allowed back on the set again. But after pleading with her for several minutes, she finally relented but said I was strictly forbidden to ask any questions. And so I sat through the entire show without asking anything. But at least I got to express myself with my awesome costume. Let’s see if you can spot me in the audience.
I kept going back to CNN Talk Back Live every single day - each day in a new crazy costume and each day while I was supposed to be out on my route delivering cakes. But I think after a while I just wore everybody out who was involved with the show. On my final visit, I was told that I was officially banned from ever setting foot there again. If I stayed any longer they would call the cops and have me arrested. After a long back and forth of this, I finally agreed to leave and we parted way forever. I went back to delivering cakes without visiting any political talk shows. And CNN Talk Back Live went back to airing programs with mostly normal people in the audience. Eventually CNN Talk Back Live was canceled. And eventually I stopped delivering cakes. But I’ll always look back on those days with fondness. Of the few TV appearances I’ve had since, nothing has been quite as sweet as the time when somebody finally put “The Juice” in his place."
As a side note--does anyone who had the misfortune to work on this show remember this guy and his crazy costumes?