Q: What are some of the recent projects that you’re working on?
A: I’m doing a humor column for “The Huffington Post” called the “The Boomer Monologues” which I’m enjoying a lot because it’s kind of original. Not too many other people are writing about the fact that the first batch of “baby boomers” is retiring this year, which means if you’re under fifty you’re running the world, so let’s screw it up.
Q: I heard you're working on the show “The L.A. Complex” as well, is that correct?
A: Yes, that debuts Tuesday night. In fact, my two-week visit here in Ft. Lauderdale was interrupted by two days, Monday and Tuesday of this week, when I went to Toronto to film four episodes in two days. Mine go on the air in July.
Q: Can you tease a little bit about your character or what we’ll get to see for “The L.A. Complex?"
A: I play a preacher, a minister, I’m evangelical, and all of these horny young kids are misbehaving, sleeping with each other and doing unimaginable things, and I’m trying to keep them in line. The irony of that is that I’m on television, and some of them are auditioning to be on my show and of course their lifestyle is inconsistent with my message.
Q: That sounds like a little bit ironic.
A: All kinds of irony between my life and the campers. In my ancient past I actually went to university, enrolled in a secular college, a divinity school for the Protestant Church of Canada, that was my first year of college.
Q: We know that you've been appearing here locally in Ft. Lauderdale for "The Price is Right - Live," how you got involved and what made you want to be a part of the show?
A: I’m a game show enthusiast. My game show connections go way, way back. I like trivia. I like playing those Q&A games especially. “The Price is Right” is just one of the legendary shows that, when I was invited to do it, I said yes. This is the third time that I’ve been booked to do this in various places around the country. I have a long history in game shows. I’ve written a lot of game show theme songs including the original “Wheel of Fortune.” I was also the producer who brought Alex Trebek to this country from Canada years ago. I created and produced a number of game shows for NBC especially. I’ve hosted a few game shows in the past, in fact I recently hosted a game show pilot and we’re waiting to see if that gets picked up. I have a long love affair and a lot of experience in the whole game show industry and when I get a chance to do this I love it because it's in my wheelhouse.
Q: You’ll be here this weekend doing “The Price is Right” live at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. What can viewers expect from the live show? Is it the same old games, is it something new?
A: I think it’s a nice mix of both. They’ll see some familiar things that they’ve watched for years on television, and a couple of new wrinkles, and people generally have a really good time. They jump up and down and scream and bounce and make their way to the front and make a lot of noise and it makes for a very enthusiastic audience. It’s a fun crowd when they know they might win a car.
Q: What are some of the specific games fans will get to see and possibly play?
A: We do play Plinko. We spin the big wheel. We do the big showcase at the end. We do the Cliffhanger’s game. They’ll see some familiar stuff.
Q: What kind of feedback from viewers have you been getting before and after the show?
A: I get a lot of great feedback. The feedback occurs during the show primarily because they’re pretty animated and excited to be there, but people line up afterward to say hello or shake your hand or take a picture or get an autograph, and it’s great to be in front of live audiences and not always in the vacuum of television or film where you’re on a restricted stage and there’s really no interaction.
Q: What do you think it is about the nostalgia of games like “Wheel of Fortune," “Price is Right," and “Jeopardy!” that has kept them going for so long?
A: I don’t know that it’s so much nostalgia because nostalgia would imply that these shows went away and then came back, and the ones you’re talking about never went away. I think that’s because there’s a wonderful simplicity to them. They’re easy to understand. The simplicity of the concept I think is a big draw. It’s who can guess the closest to the price of this item, period. That’s the show. “Deal or No Deal” is a spinoff from “Let’s Make A Deal” which is just about do you want to take what you see here or do you want to risk it on the unknown? They’re all pretty simple. The one exception would be “Jeopardy!” which has that cockamamie, twisted question and answer format, but it’s one that’s simply been around so long that I think it’s been allowed to get into the pop culture lexicon and everybody knows it.
Q: What would you like to say to your fans and supporters?
A: What’s been interesting for me is, I’m always happy to see people in my demographic, and the more interesting thing I suppose is to see people half my age, young people in their 20s and 30s who obviously grew up on me. There’s some residual fondness for that and a relationship, an unspoken bond that we have, and to see how those people turned out and to see the affection in their eyes and the warmth and the good manners, all speaks well for those of us who tried to raise a whole generation of kids on family television shows.