In Tales of Television: An Easter Bunny Tale, I told a story of a would-be artiste going overboard on doing take after take to get every nuance exactly right. Well, that sort of dedication to perfection can sometimes be sorely lacking, especially in small market television at the tiny tv station. Now and then it can start to seem like a private, in-house television channel and a true dedication to quality can start to slip. Sad, but true.
This little tale didn’t occur during my watch but was told to me. It seems this little tv station would record a minute long “news update” to air in the afternoons and early evenings, about the times the network tv stations were doing their local newscasts. The news story usually was ‘written’ by the receptionist; cribbed, in reality, from the newspaper. Whoever really wanted to be on television became the news anchor (also usually the receptionist). In this case, however, it was a young man who came to do these news updates on a regular basis.
Being a major news anchor apparently was not in his list of career aspirations as he did not devote himself to producing high-quality resume-tape material in these news updates. The story told to me was one day he was reading his story on camera and his nose started to run. He didn’t stop reading. This wasn’t live. It was being taped so a take 2 was entirely doable. His nose continued to run as he doggedly read on. A giant gob of snot suspended itself from his nose until it leisurely dropped down onto his chest as he continued to read the news.
“You’ll want to do that over, right?” the director suggested when the update was completed.
“No, it’s fine,” came the reply.
Yes, indeed, that’s what they aired.