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 – info@mtltimes.ca

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

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
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


THE HUMAN VOICE

THE HUMAN VOICE: Oral power

THE HUMAN VOICE – Tilda Swinton delivers a fascinating performance in this 30-minutes-long film directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Loosely based on Jean Cocteau’s play, the film—except for the opening scene, where the protagonist is seen buying an axe at a hardware store in Madrid—takes place in an apartment where she is talking on her cellular

Baby Organic products

Baby Organic products for your bundle of joy – Earth to Body

“Congratulations mother,” chimed the nurse, as she handed the new mama a tote bag full of free products.  “These gifts from the hospital are to help you get started on your new journey.  Baby powder, baby oil, baby shampoo, powdered milk and more.” 70-80 years ago, a new mom would leave the hospital toting her

Gyms closed again in Quebec

Quebec starts to shut down again – Gyms closed again in Quebec

Starting next Monday April 12, 2021 new Quebec restrictions will be in place. Curfew will remain at 9:30 P.M. Gyms closed again in Quebec and indoor sport programs will be forced to close as well. High school students will return to alternating schedule as they did before. Premier Legault said, “We juggled the idea of

regulate social media

Canada needs independent agency to regulate social media

Canada needs an independent agency to regulate social media with the power to order offending material to be taken down, says Beverly McLachlin, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. “The legal tools we have at the moment don’t seem to be coping with the fast spread of misinformation,” McLachlin told the latest episode

Rechargeable Pocket Torches

Mini rechargeable pocket torches

Since the beginning of time, the importance of resources as a survival means has been learnt. Some have been used for protection, others for hunting. This requirement for tools over the centuries has led to a continuous improvement, which improved their utility whether it be in life or in work. Although it shows how much

plagiarism checker

The importance of running your thesis through a plagiarism checker

Plagiarism is a severe offense that attracts harsh penalties in academic institutions. Most students often wonder if plagiarism detection software known as a plagiarism checker, is a mandatory prerequisite. But your professor must run your document for originality even if you choose not to use one. Thus, it is a compulsory exercise that forms part

Mtltimes Subscription

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