I love my job, because it's live TV. There is no second chance. You have to just muddle through the stuff that happens, and do your best. And, most of the time, we do okay. But the oxymoron of the TV business is that when things go wrong, well, that's what people love to watch the most.
When you're on live TV a lot, the things that happen in normal life that are kind of embarrassing, are bound to happen while you're on live TV. And most of the time, it's hilariously funny to watch.
I bring this up today because the first thing I saw on the internet this morning was a clip of a guest on the Glenn Beck show just ... passing out. Cold. And not only did he pass out, but he warned the host that he was about to. Twice, maybe three times.
The story is on the Huffington Post this morning, as is a link to the video. And yes, you can laugh, because the guy in the video, David Buckner, is just fine ... and it's funny, because he tells Beck "I'm gonna pass out." then, "I'm passing out."
The Huffington Post story included some back-story, with a quote from Beck after it happened:
"Everyone thought it was part of the show because this show, you never know what to expect..." he added. "He apologizes, and I'm like 'Are you kidding me, the ratings will be through the roof!'"
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Well, we're watching! Here's the video on YouTube.
So, what would you do in this situation? It's easy to say you'd probably do better than Glenn Beck, but when you're live, and things take a hard left turn from talking about the economy to "I'm passing out," it might not resonate with you right away.
(What do you mean you're passing out? Am I being punked? Would be top of my mind, for example.)
Critics are pretty brutal though -- here's a comment from a website called infoaddict:
David Buckner, a guest on Glenn Beck’s show, was either too nervous being in the presence of Glenn Beck, was nervous being on television, or isn’t used to standing up under bright lights. Whatever the case may be, he at least knew he was about to faint, as he proclaimed as much to Mr. Beck. Glenn’s response? A futile attempt to lay-on hands by way of a handshake. Last time I checked, shaking hands wasn’t listed on the Top 10 Things to Do When Someone Is Fainting.
I want to take this opportunity to pull out a few oldies but goodies from the hallowed archives of YouTube. Have you seen this one?
I love this guy because he's such a knucklehead -- again, he should have seen it coming. If not the first time, at least the second time.
After all, the bird DID fire a warning shot.
Some of the comments after this on YouTube are particularly funny.
Aside from the giant debate on whether the video is real or fake, the comments like, "Infestation, huh? I'll show you!" or the birds conspiring to get the guy off their turf are kind of amusing.
The stuff that happens out in the field is funny because of all the outside factors that can jeapordize your report. But in the studio, there are different elements at work. This Bird Poop clip was up there next to another one that made me laugh so hard the first time I saw it, that I also have to include it here.
(again, this column is called "What's Jen Clicking On," not "What heady stuff Jen wants you to THINK she's clicking on.")
Okay, so after a long day of reading awful stories about bad things happening to people, when something sort of bad happens to someone, and it's also kind of funny, how can you resist laughing? It's one part punch-drunkeness, and maybe two parts of that thing in your head that says "I must not laugh. I must not laugh" that makes NOT laughing, impossible. And once it's out, there's no getting it back. Laughter, as they say, IS contagious.
I had a director once who, seeing that laughter train coming down the tracks, shouted into our ears (camera crews, floor directors, anchors, all:) "You GUYS!! DO NOT look at each other." That was enough to cut us all down to tears. It was quiet because no one could catch their breath enough to speak...
I love this clip because the guy is so serious, and then when he starts laughing ... well, let's face it, he has a funny laugh.
I'm all about videos today, but the funniest one I've seen in the last 24 hours is from the Onion, and I won't link it here because oh my goodness, my mother might be reading this and she'll come wash my mouth out with soap. But it's worth looking up if you've ever screamed at a piece of electronic equipment and wanted to throw it against a wall.
I would recommend Googling the words: "Sony releases new stupid piece..."
But you didn't hear it from me.