Embarrassing Moments: “Its Only TV”July 13, 2011
You know people make mistakes, after they get good at something. I mean you do something so many times, it get’s comfortable. I remember when i was new at NBC. I’d walk down the halls and think “OMG, I’m at the Network. Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to bump into… oh that was Bob Hope! Smell the air, yummy, electronics, video tape, donuts, I LOVE it.”
I spent the first 2 years without making a single mistake in Video Tape. My job was simple. Set up video tapes for either playback or record. Playback 1 inch reels were cued up to 5 seconds before first video and record tapes were set up 30 seconds before first video. So for 2 years I performed these simple tasks without incident.
One night, near the end of a double shift, I was dog tired. I set up the David Letterman Show and threw it into remote. Master control rolled the tape and it came up on color bars, and a 60 cycle tone followed by a slate that said David Letterman Show #xxxx. Master Control came over the loud speaker, “We’re going to black, cue it up”. So i cued it up but Master Control did not go to black and so……… the whole west coast got to watch me try to find 20 seconds into the opening… it was a mad dash.
My heart sank as i looked over at the tape room supervisor who sat by a wall of phones. A few moments later the phones began to ring. Ahhhhhhhh heck. There went my perfect record.That night, I tossed and turned till finally I fell into a fitfull sleep. I dreamed they made me wash the cars on the WHEEL OF FORTUNE set as punishment.