Book Review: You Look So Much Better in Person by Al Roker

Al-Roker-min

You Look So Much Better in Person – For as long as there has been television and television news, the weather person has always been an integral part of any TV newscast. 

On the surface, standing in front of a blue screen making satellite images come to life, pointing out high and low systems, hot and cold fronts, heatwaves, rainstorms, blizzards, hurricanes and record temperatures can be mundane at best. But somehow, the TV weather person — now called a meteorologist — has the leeway to make their forecast more informative and/or entertaining to the viewers who rely on them to help shape their day with what the weather will be like the following day.

You Look So Much Better in Person book cover

Montreal viewers will fondly remember Don McGowan of CFCF-12, who injected a lot of humour and inside jokes with the studio crew (that elicited a lot of laughter in the studio and from the viewers), as he furiously scribbled temperatures and weather systems across the life-sized glass map of Canada with his black magic marker (and all from memory, too) during the 60s and 70s on the Pulse supper hour newscast.

Another firm believer of mixing humour with the weather is Al Roker, the jovial meteorologist who has been a regular fixture every morning on NBC’s Today show for a good 30 years. Although he takes his weather forecasting very seriously (especially when there’s a major snowstorm or hurricane about to strike the U.S.), Roker shows his non-weather person side throughout the year, whether it be as co-host of Today’s Third Hour, a celebrity interviewer, a BBQ grillmaster, doing his occasional “Rokerthon” stunts, or as one of the hosts of the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and Tournament of Roses Parade broadcasts.

Yet through a broadcasting career of over four decades that saw him ply his trade from Syracuse to Cleveland to New York City, Roker has learned many lessons from these past experiences that he has applied to his private and public life. It’s those lessons that he shares in his recently released eighth book You Look So Much Better in Person.

The book (in which its title is inspired by the phrase that many Today show fans tell Roker when he meets them in person on the Today Show Plaza) is a collection of 16 life lessons (which are labelled as “altruisms”) that he has learned and absorbed over the past 40+ years as a TV personality. 

Each altruism is accompanied by an anecdote or two from his life and career that directly applies to the lesson/altruism in question. For example, “If you’re gonna cry, know how to cry” relates to how a stunt Roker pulled in 1975 when he worked at a local TV newscast in Syracuse, in which he played the theme from “Jaws” whenever a newsroom staffer was called into the news director’s office to get chewed out, which backfired and led to an outburst of tears when it was his turn to get called onto the carpet; “get up an hour before you need to” recalls the time when he overslept an extra couple of hours and missed his then-early morning Weather Channel “Wake Up with Al” broadcast that certain day (for the first — and only — time in his career); and “you don’t need to be the top banana” which stressed the importance of TV sidekicks (also known as “second bananas”) during an interview Roker conducted with the late Ed McMahon at his luxurious mansion in Bel Air, and realized he obtained his wealth from his long career as Johnny Carson’s constant second banana on the Tonight Show.

The autobiographical altruisms are very entertaining to read and gives readers an interesting peek at what goes on behind the scenes at a live TV program and/or newscast that reaches millions of viewers every day. And it’s all from one of the most admired personalities on the TV morning show circuit who truly worked his way up from the bottom. And although the narrative occasionally contains some jokes that are groaners, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it comes from a highly visible personality who enjoys his success and is humbly grateful about his road to the top and the people in his life who helped him on his journey.

For those who make the Today show their daily morning viewing habit (like myself), want to aspire to a career as a TV meteorologist, or enjoy how Al Roker forecasts the weather with his bubbly presence, You Look So Much Better in Person is the ideal book for those people who are happy, to paraphrase Mr. Roker, to know what’s happening (weather-wise) in their neck of the woods. (Go Hachette Books, $35)

By: Stuart Nulman – [email protected]

Other articles from mtltimes.catotimes.caotttimes.ca

Creature Feature by Steven Paul Leiva

Book Review: Creature Feature by Steven Paul Leiva

The Butcher of Park Ex

The Butcher of Park Ex by Andreas Kessaris

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Is it possible to get an A for a 5-paragraph essay assignment in 1 hour? We can safely say yes, a student can get an A+ mark if he turns to EduJungles


staycation

The ultimate guide to planning a long family staycation in Canada

To guarantee that everyone has an amazing time, careful planning is necessary when organizing a lengthy staycation. Here’s the ultimate guide to planning your family staycation in Canada. Canada, with its vast landscapes, diverse cities, and rich cultural heritage, offers endless possibilities for a memorable family staycation. Whether you’re exploring the stunning natural beauty of

Meal kits

Cost vs. Convenience: Analyzing meal kits and traditional cooking

In this modern world and modern times, convenience often takes priority over cost, especially when it comes to food. Meal kits and traditional cooking represent two different approaches to home dining, and each of them has advantages and disadvantages. Analyzing these methods through the lens of cost and convenience provides insight into why individuals might

Condo renovations

Condo renovations Dos and Don’ts: Expert Tips for a Successful Project

Embarking on a condo renovations journey can be both exhilarating and daunting. Imagine transforming your living space into a stylish haven that reflects your personality and meets your needs. While exciting, the process can be full of challenges and unforeseen hiccups. That’s why we’ve gathered some condo renovation dos and don’ts from the experts to

Terrific Hair

Terrific Hair Means Tamanu – Earth to Body

Curly, straight, thick, thin, kinky or silky, tamanu loves and makes terrific Hair.  And scalps. Nutritionally dense yet gentle, tamanu is an effective and versatile nut oil. It stimulates, helps promote growth. prevents hair loss, reduces scalp itch and irritations and adds a natural sheen! Make tamanu a part of your hair and scalp care

Understanding the 4 legal process after a DUI Crash

A single mistake can have serious consequences, especially when driving under the influence. The aftermath of a DUI crash extends beyond physical harm and property damage. It involves a complex legal process that may feel overwhelming. As a responsible citizen, it’s vital to grasp the legal system and your rights in such situations. This blog

personal injury lawyer

Pedestrian accident: How a personal injury lawyer can help you

Accidents involving pedestrians can be life-altering. You could be walking down the street or crossing a street. A vehicle’s sudden impact can change everything right away. If you’ve found yourself in such a situation, you might be wondering how to move forward. This is where a personal injury lawyer steps in, offering crucial help and

Mtltimes Subscription

The latest on what’s moving Montreal and the world – delivered straight to your inbox