I don’t know if I’m the reason for its’ demise but on March 22 I made my first and last appearance on RedEye on Fox News.
It was a blast.
Like many comedians, I found myself awake and channel surfing at the ungodly hour of 3 am. I often saw great comedians like Jim Gaffigan, Jimmy Fallon and Jim Norton (& some not named Jim) interacting with news personalities in a looser setting. When I got a chance to be one of those Jim’s, I jumped at the chance.
I was on with my good friend hilarious comedian Tom Cotter. I was also on with the very nice and knowledgeable FoxNews contributor, Jessica Tarlov, and conservative theater critic, Michael Riedel. Of course Tom Shillue did a great job hosting RedEye. Andy Levy served as the “ombudsman,” correcting mistakes and offering his own perspective on issues in his “Halftime Report” segment. Needless to say, this comedy road warrior was really excited to get a chance to appear on national television, even at this DVR dominant hour.
On the day of the show the writers and producers decide and disseminate the topics to be discussed. My job as a panelist was to email back my general talking points on each topic. I was driving down from New England to NYC so I stopped at an overcrowded Starbucks to get the email and fire back my response.
As a stand-up, I bounced my ideas and got some feedback from my friend and fellow comic, Matt, who was a great help. I should also say they did not expect you to stick to the script, and actually encouraged the panelists to be conversational to the extent that they did not allow notes on the set.
This was a Godsend.
By the time I met Tom Cotter, took the ride to the studio, and changed into something more telegenic, I had pretty much forgotten most of what I had come up with.
As they applied make up, got us ready, and walked us up to the studio, I was getting a little nervous. The presence of Tom Cotter and Tom Shillue helped me relax. I’ve known these guys for years and decades from the Boston comedy scene.
I felt the show was going well at first, and, as the show taping went on, I felt more and more relaxed. As we cruised to the halftime, when Andy Levy encouraged me to make apparently appreciated but now forgotten points, I was still able to make the studio laugh with my completely earned self-deprecation. For that bright and shining moment, I felt at home.
I must admit I was looking forward to trying again and I will miss this show that gave so many comedians a chance and place to get on national TV.
RIP RedEye: 2007-2017