Good Morning America, The Today Show, and whatever they call the morning program on CBS, oh yeah, the Early Show -- you can pretty much switch back and forth between them and see the same kinds of features every day. Something about relationships, your finances or children. Maybe a celebrity interview. An author pitching his or her book. A political discussion. More often than not they also make you watch stuff about New York, from interviews with Mayor Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton [even though she grew up in Chicago] to cooking segments with New York chefs. All because they think the whole country wants to know what's going on in the Big Apple.
But here in Chicago we have WGN-TV in the morning. Only on WGN in the morning can you listen to people call in to complain about the show. Or have the sports guy make fun of players on the local sports teams. Or get to watch funny videos from YouTube or see embarrassing interview mistakes by Larry King when he called Ringo "George" and later he called George Harrison George "Hamilton." You don't get any of that on network television. Nope.
Not to mention getting to see an array of mini concerts by former A-list bands trying to resurrect their careers while sitting on uncomfortable stools and being interviewed by the weather guy.
In between reports about some state's Blueberry Queen losing her job because she missed some key events -- like the Apple Fritter Festival and the Cheese Sculpture contest.
Nowhere else can you hear about some guy in Ohio who got a message from God which told him to make wooden paddles so parents can discipline their children.
And there's always someone semi famous who's in Chicago to hype a movie and they make him get up early for an interview with the two anchors, without making an attempt to disguise his puffy eyes and pasty face.
This is all in between reports from the local reporter who's usually on location wearing a silly costume while she's mixing it up in the neighborhoods at a local play or at a factory that makes candy out of cicada wings.
Once they had Mel Gibson on a remote from LA and asked him why a famous person like himself was talking to local yokels in Chicago. Mel said, "Oh," and pretended to leave the set.
Today they announced stuff you won't hear anywhere else -- Hugh Hefner's life story is going to be made into a movie by Brian Grazier. Oprah is going to open a store next to her studio. And Jennifer Hudson got two BET awards.
That's because they're all Chicago people. And it's nice to hear about your peeps.
Speaking of Hugh Hefner -- I watched "The Girls Next Door" the other night for the first time, and I was totally fascinated by Hef's three incredibly blond and voluptuous girlfriends. I think he has to have three to get the IQ points high enough for a conversation.
I was at the old Chicago Playboy Mansion for a party years ago. Before they relocated to LA. Bill Cosby was playing drums with the band. Shel Silverstein, who wrote Where the Sidewalk Ends and other wonderful kids' books, lived there. He propositioned me within ten minutes of starting a conversation. Let's see, short, unattractive bald guy -- pass. Hugh showed up and looked more like a nerdy waiter than the mogul of a sex empire. At least the food was good.
This entry is so far off track I'll never get back. Might as well give it up.