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KEEP TALKING NANCY
February 21, 2014 8:59 AM   Subscribe

When audio failed on the WGN Morning News today, the intrepid anchors persevered with pen and paper.

More legends from Chicago's Very Own:

The great live implosion of 2010
A plane crash at 29th and King Drive
Hanging up on Oprah

And previously:
What the weekend anchors do doing commercials
posted by Iridic (44 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
A plane crash at 29th and King Drive

This one is especially hilarious, and I love the "digs at Channel 7 (ABC)" leitmotif running throughout all the clips.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:16 AM on February 21


BOSS SAID HEY - LET'S GET CHEAPER AUDIO BOARD... NO ONE WILL NOTICE

Internet! Stop bleeding over into my real life! (Multiple audio hardware failures and a camera pedestal blowing its hydraulic seals just this week!)
posted by jason_steakums at 9:27 AM on February 21


WGN Morning News experiences possibly the biggest technical meltdown ever – no audio!

WGN has had bigger meltdowns. Remember the Max Headroom incident?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:30 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Hah! I enjoyed those. Thanks!
posted by onlyconnect at 9:36 AM on February 21


It's almost sad how refreshing it is to see news personalities, have.. well, personality.

Good on them, though, and the Direction/Production team that are on board with it. Stuff like this gives me the warm and fuzzies.
posted by Debaser626 at 9:55 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


"...faaake plaaane craaash.."

You stay classy Chigaaaago.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:57 AM on February 21


This is sort of like the opposite of those Conan supercuts where it's 20 different anchors reading the same lame AP headline.
posted by codacorolla at 10:02 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


"how refreshing it is to see news personalities, have.. well, personality. "

This should basically be the tagline for promoting the WGN Morning News. It's typical "soft news" but just made so much better by having the people who are reading it seem like they have opinions and understand it, fake plane crashes notwithstanding.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:02 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I also enjoyed Robin's meltdown.
posted by Benway at 10:05 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


> Plane crash at 29th and King Drive

They reported the news, then apologized to the audience and admitted they made a mistake. That's cool on its own right. But laughing at themselves with that other 'news story' is awesome
posted by andycyca at 10:09 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


This makes me weirdly nostalgic for Chicago. Thanks for posting!
posted by DingoMutt at 10:28 AM on February 21


Teenage Dream (With Me [Keenan Cahill] and WGN Chicago Morning Show)
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:30 AM on February 21


I like this, more anchors who don't take themselves too seriously.

I caught NBC's Olympic morning show while staying in a hotel last week, that team just made me want to punch the TV, I could sense brain cells committing seppuku.
posted by arcticseal at 10:41 AM on February 21


Oh man, I do not like TV news but I *MISS* watching WGN's news!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:42 AM on February 21


One of my favorite things that's happened since I came to NPR was the day all the computers went down when All Things Considered was about to go on -- most significantly, the entire system that holds audio files. As I recall, they did everything from paper scripts, couldn't access any tape, replaced everything that was pre-taped with live interviews ("2-ways") with reporters, and shuffled people in and out of the studio to replace their existing reports with live explanations of their reports. It was actually kind of awesome.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 10:57 AM on February 21 [24 favorites]


Still better than Channel 7. I love the channel 9 morning news. I watch it every day. Of course I missed it today.
posted by AstroGuy at 11:13 AM on February 21


I just wish Robin and Larry would admit they spend the commercial breaks surfing Facebook on those laptops instead of slamming the lids shut every time they return from a commercial break. We totally notice, guys!
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:17 AM on February 21


WGN has had bigger meltdowns. Remember the Max Headroom incident?

According to the wikipedia summary of the Max Headroom incident, WGN was able to switch transmitters and sidestep Max while WTTW (Channel 11 / PBS) was not.
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:20 AM on February 21


Catastrophic equipment failures suck, but at the same time it can be a really really fun rush to figure out a quick fix on zero deadline. Once, our video switcher failed completely about 10 minutes to show, and it was a mad scramble to reroute studio camera cables to the tiny, ancient switcher in the live truck outside (luckily the cameras were still SD at that point), point the truck's mast at the tower miles away and set up a weird in-studio remote live shot, then take that live shot to air directly in master control, running the show with the director in the live truck and everyone else in the control room and on the floor. No graphics, and no video clips until we were able to reroute those cables during the show, and a rush to get the weather graphics rerouted in time for weather so we could at least take them fullscreen with the meteorologist doing voiceover. It was actually a blast! Luckily we were able to replace the broken equipment before the next show, but just in case we couldn't fix it I spent the time between shows setting up an alternate graphics package with every graphics template on a chroma green background, so we could put graphics through an old external keyer into the truck's switcher.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:21 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]


Can't believe I missed this. I watch these guys every morning!
"OH LARE-REE" is a constant refrain in my house.
posted by bleep at 11:26 AM on February 21


I favorited this post so I can have something to point people to when they say "You watch local morning news? Really?"

WGN does have its flaws - Valentine's day this year was so overfull of annoying gender stereotypes I had to shut it off (and they tend to have that problem a lot). But even if some days they're not striking the right note for me, they are still miles better than the fake-smiles and boring non-personas of other local newscasts.
posted by misskaz at 11:28 AM on February 21


WGN's superstation status means that we get it here in the New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia. Sometimes we'll be watching How I Met Your Mother reruns and all of a sudden the 9 o'clock news will switch on (at 10 PM of course) and start talking about Chicago stuff that is totally unfamiliar to us. It gives the evening a very surreal feeling, like you just fell into an alternate universe.

So this feels about par for the WGN course.
posted by graymouser at 11:41 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


WGN has had a weird vibe for a long time. Ray Rayner, Bozo's Circus, Garfield Goose, Tom Skilling. Haray Caray. Eccentrics.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:43 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


The bridge implosion is too much! I want to believe that the trigger person was watching WGN and hit the button right when they cut away.

I'm reminded of why I haven't watched WGN's morning news since Roseanne Tellez left. These clips were funny, but I still don't see much of a rapport between Larry and Robin.
posted by payoto at 11:47 AM on February 21


I thought the charm was that none of them have much of a rapport but don't try too hard to fake it.
posted by bleep at 12:03 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


One of my best friends is actually a director for this show. Conveniently, he's out on vacation this week so he missed out on all the "fun" this morning!
posted by dnash at 12:23 PM on February 21


Catastrophic equipment failures suck, but at the same time it can be a really really fun rush to figure out a quick fix on zero deadline.

One of my best backstage stories came when a show I was working on had three of our 20-or-so stage lights short out in the middle of the show, about 20 minutes into Act II. They were hanging from a grid attached to the 20-foot ceiling in the exact dead center of the house in the theater where we were.

Fortunately, the light board operator had been the lighting designer's assistant, so he knew how to reprogram our light board. So we coped with it by redesigning the lights for the entire rest of the show, on the fly. He went through the list of cues, asking me what the stage action was in each one; he'd check the remaining lights and adjust them, rewrite the cue, and save it; move on to the next one, and the next, and....and I'd stop him if we actually needed to run one of the cues, and he'd pause, run a cue, and then skip ahead to where he was redesigning. I think it only took us about ten minutes and a scene and a half.

Talk to theater techies. We have all sorts of stories about this kind of coping with equipment failure ninja shit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:28 PM on February 21 [9 favorites]


I grew up in IL with WGN (anyone remember Ray Rayner or Garfield Goose & Friends)?

Their news was Very Serious (from a kid's POV, at least) back then. This reminds me of the "news" in L.A.

I like that "news"woman, though, her reactions made me laugh out loud. Get her a talkshow pilot! Stat!
posted by MoxieProxy at 12:28 PM on February 21


I grew up in IL with WGN (anyone remember Ray Rayner or Garfield Goose & Friends)?

Ray Rayner is our shibboleth.

If you encounter someone that claims to have grown up in Chicago just say "Ray and Bozo amiright?". If they look confused, they're lying through their Clutch Cargo lips.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:49 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


When I wuz a kid, I though Frazier Thomas was a normal grown-up. Now, I just wish he was.
posted by cookie-k at 1:04 PM on February 21


It's so hard to find old SNL videos from the 90s, even though that was a Golden Age, so I present you with this SNL transcript.

We must use the furniture to build a barricade!
posted by radicalawyer at 1:06 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


@radicallawyer, I think this list of Adam McKay's favourite SNL sketches has the sketch you're looking for.
posted by GamblingBlues at 1:08 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


If you told me Frazier Thomas lived and died in a house full of overly groomed cats and child-sized mannequins dressed in costumes, it just would not surprise me.
posted by MoxieProxy at 1:33 PM on February 21


The cry of ARE YOU KIDDING ME? when they cut back to the bridge that had been imploded the moment they cut to the weather guy felt very much like the Chicago I visit infrequently but admire greatly.

(And the "That interview on osteoporosis on Good Morning America is looking pretty good right now" in response to the same debacle... *love*.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:48 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


o/t for the WGN flashback. Frazier Thomas.
posted by MoxieProxy at 2:35 PM on February 21


Kept waiting for one of those signs to say "SILENCED ALL MY LIFE."
posted by ambrosia at 5:29 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


WGN Morning News promo: "We put the suck in succeed."
posted by bentley at 7:29 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


If you encounter someone that claims to have grown up in Chicago just say "Ray and Bozo amiright?". If they look confused, they're lying through their Clutch Cargo lips.

"Are you a friend of Chelveston?"

Another good test is to see if they know all the lyrics to "Hardrock, Coco, and Joe" or "Suzy Snowflake."
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:58 PM on February 21


WGN Morning News promo: "We put the suck in succeed."

That is amazing.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:08 PM on February 21


Traffic Reporter sings "Let It Go" from Frozen as "Please Don't Go ... Schools out or at least on a delay ..." (Not WGN but still amusing.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:08 PM on February 21


WGN Morning News promo: "We put the suck in succeed."

Oh dear me, that's some un[bleep]ingbelievable comedy gold. I used to catch the WGN Morning News once in a while as part of my ongoing Chicagoland nostalgia trip, and it's clear that I need to start tuning in daily.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:29 AM on February 22


KRON4 Classic Moments
posted by eddydamascene at 8:15 AM on February 22


I was working on a show that lost power dead in the middle of taping, between acts 2 and 3. The entire control room went down. There was no power for anything....no cameras, no coms, no video. We still had lights somehow. So we finished act 3 with little mini dv cameras, loaded out the audience and as the last person left the studio, we lost the lights too. The lighting board was on the same tech power as the control room, and when that UPS failed, bye.

Interesting night.
posted by nevercalm at 6:33 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


"Another good test is to see if they know all the lyrics to "Hardrock, Coco, and Joe" or "Suzy Snowflake.""

Or Two-Ton Baker's "Has Anyone Here Seen Bubbles?"
posted by Chitownfats at 7:21 PM on February 22


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