(Or “How To Shamelessly Suck Up While Publishing a Monday Filler Post” by The Hook.)
Either one is applicable. Here we go.
1) They have a name that’s easy to remember. Breakfast Television (Or BT for those who just don’t have the time to speak words in their entirety.) It rolls off the tongue. In this day and age people have enough on their plates without having to strain their brain-boxes recalling some wordy morning show title. What could be easier than two letters?
2) Frank Ferragine. Not only can he predict the weather with better-than-average accuracy (no mean feat in these days!), he can tell you how to deal with crabgrass in three easy steps. Let’s see Al Roker do that. Plus, he has a bad ass nickname; “Frankie Flowers” sounds like someone the mob sends after you when you bet everything you own on the Maple Leafs…
3) They have achieved that perfect balance between “These guys rule!” and “I have to shut this off. Now!” Many, many morning shows think that propping a bubble-headed-bleach-blond in a tight pantsuit up in front of a camera first thing in the morning leads to television gold. It doesn’t. It leads to a headache Tylenol won’t even touch.
You’re exhausted in the morning – to say the least – and you don’t do perky. You want to be energized by your morning show hosts, not driven to a murderous rage. The cast of BT gets that; they’ll get you moving, but you won’t get moving down to their studio to choke the life out of them…
4) Jennifer Valentyne. The Mary Tyler Moore of Canadian broadcasting (Trust me, this is a compliment. In her prime, Moore was the face of feminism in America.), Jennifer Valentyne brings three unique qualities to the screen:
- A smile that could disarm North Korea.
- Charm that should be transfused and force-fed to the Kardashians.
- A genuine sense of honesty; simply pit, you believe every word that comes out of her mouth. I’d hate to play poker against her.
5) Birthday shout-outs. They’re old school, yes, but old school is back in style. And besides, what kid doesn’t love to see their face on TV?
- Witty. You have to love a woman with a self-deprecating sense of humor.
- Intelligent. Far too many female morning show hosts subscribe to the Kathy Lee Code of Broadcasting: “Make Them Laugh At You, Not With You”. Not Dina Pugliese. She actually has something going on behind her eyes other than a hamster wheezing while trying to complete a single pass on a wheel.
- Easy on the eyes. The woman has gams that go on forever. As the late, great Leslie Nielsen said “She had a full set of curves and the kind of legs you’d like to suck on for a day.”
7) Free swag. Trips, iPads, etc. What else is there to say? Nothing trumps free. Period.
8) Kevin Frankish. The not-quite-elder stateman of BT, Kevin Frankish can switch from serious (but he won’t tell you ’bout the plane crash with a gleam in his eye) to humorous in a split-second. The average male newscaster/morning host simply doesn’t carry the humor gene in his DNA. Fortunately – especially on those mornings you just can’t suffer fools gladly – Kevin Frankish is the exception.
9) Above-average writing. I once spent a week attempting to watch a competing morning show: they devoted two hours trying to figure out which of their staff members left a pile of fingernail clippings under a boardroom table. It was an attempt to be witty while channeling CSI, but it came off as a successful channeling of Jackass instead.
(To be fair, it only felt like two hours.)
The cast of BT knows the secret to a successful morning show is to never mock your audience by insulting their intelligence with lazy writing. You can be foolish without being idiotic.
10) The Sally Field factor. People like BT. They really do. From the guests – many of whom have been answering the same boring questions for years – to the viewing audience – many of whom demand something more from their morning show than the same old tired song and dance – people simply feel comfortable making BT a part of their morning.
When the history of our age is written, television will no doubt play a pivotal role in defining our collective character. Our viewing habits define us as human beings (which is why I thank God every day that my daughter hasn’t caught Kardashian fever.) and if you really think about it, we usually switch the television on as a matter of reflex, rather than conscious choice.
I can recall watching BT when…
- I got dressed on my wedding day.
- The morning we traveled to the hospital to have our daughter (Okay, I was the only one watching, the wife was otherwise occupied.)
- The day I buried my grandmother.
Simply put, BT has become a part of my crazy life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And yes, this post is a departure for me, but it is a Monday after all…..