On Tuesday, I published a story entitled “I watched The Morning Blend for a week and I feel pretty good about that.” Three days later, I’m happy to report that I was a guest on The Morning Blend, and I feel pretty good about that, too.
The details of my appearance probably aren’t terribly interesting or unique—if the last few weeks have taught me anything, it’s that roughly half the population of Milwaukee has been on The Morning Blend—but since I had a lovely time and it’s Friday, I thought I’d share them anyway.
I should say up front that I didn’t write the original piece in order to weasel my way onto the show. I was legitimately bummed about the state of Milwaukee and was looking for a quick and easy pick-me-up. And what better way to lift one’s spirits than by watching a local morning chat show featuring pictures of cute doggies and paid segments for mosquito repellers? A few hours after the piece went live, I received a tweet from one of the show’s producers, Kim Buchanan. Would I be interested in sitting down on the “yellow couch” with hosts Tiffany Ogle and Molly Fay? Would Thursday work? I thought about it for half a second: Yes and yes.
I arrived at WTMJ’s Capitol Drive studios at 8:30 a.m. The show would air live at 9 a.m. I would be the first guest. That seemed like slicing it pretty thin, even for a guy who co-hosts a live radio show on roughly 10 minutes of prep time. Anyway, after being escorted to the green room, I had a chance to meet a few of the other guests: two doctors; two members of the Bella Donnas women’s bicycling club; and an author, Jennifer Jordan, whose boyfriend Dan Kern plays in Evacuate The Earth. Dan even thanked me for the brief mention of his band (“unusual-yet-enjoyable”) in Milwaukee Record’s Midwest Gaming Classic recap. Small world!
At this point, producer Kim came into the room and introduced herself to the group. She then introduced me to the group, explaining that I had written a piece about watching The Morning Blend for a week and that one of my main takeaways—that Ogle and Fay are really, really good at their jobs—was what everyone should keep in mind during their time on the show. Tiffany and Molly were seasoned pros, she said, and were excellent at making guests feel at ease while chatting about whatever it was they were chatting about. They were fun, easy to talk to, and they would be your new BFFs. Kim’s only piece of advice: look the hosts in the eyes while talking to them. Kind of like avoiding eye contact with wild dogs or bears, but the complete opposite.
With mere minutes to go until showtime, I was escorted to the studio. The Morning Blend set looked fantastic: bright, cheery, larger-than-life. Faux-wood paneling gave it a touch of sophisticated hominess. Illuminated shelves filled with random glassware exuded a futuristic museum vibe. An animated backdrop I had assumed to be a green screen while watching on television turned out to be an actual high-definition video screen. The famed yellow couch was nicer than any couch I had ever owned. It was enough to make those jokers over at FOX6 WakeUp look like the goddamned Howdy Doody Show. (Just kidding, FOX6.)
A crew member was mic-ing me up when a troubling piece of news made its way to the studio: the show would possibly be delayed due to a live press conference from the President of the United States. Something about an air strike? Maybe hostages? No one really knew…
But never mind that, because moments later, in walked Ogle (shorter than I expected) and Fay (taller than I expected). Actually, “walked” wouldn’t be the right word—“exploded” would be more like it. Laughing, hooting, and hollering, like they had just downed three Bloody Marys each and stepped off a cruise ship, they instantly lit up the already lit-up studio. “Hi, Matt!” exclaimed Fay as she walked by. I was beside myself.
The next 10 minutes were a little blurry, in part because they went by so fast, and in part because I remember being strangely worried about my hair. Long story short, I sat down, shot the shit with the ladies, showed some pictures of my wife and baby daughter (a Morning Blend requirement), looked terrified when they asked me to lip sync to their theme song (Tyler Maas: “I could see your soul leaving your body,”) graciously accepted a swag bag complete with autographed glossies that referenced my initial piece, and said thank you. I fidgeted with my hair a lot. I maintained eye contact. You can watch it below:
So what did I learn from being a guest on The Morning Blend? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the show may be fluff, but the hosts are really, really good at their jobs. They do their homework (our lip sync segment was inspired by my Milwaukee Record bio) and they have the ability to make even dopes like me seem relaxed and at home. It was fun and we had some laughs. I felt pretty good about it.
So thanks, Morning Blend, for having me on. Oh, and thank you, Molly Fay, for complimenting my hair.