Posted: Thursday March 2, 2006 10:45PM; Updated: Thursday March 2, 2006 10:55PM
Of course, all those things happened. And, as they say in TV land, much, much more. Even better, the skaters who appeared on the show enjoyed lampooning themselves. Even non-skater Campbell Brown, who may be the next Katie Couric, was happy to lampoon her image. We asked her to do a promo in which she said, "You're watching Olympic Ice on NBC!", and then Carillo stepped in and gently corrected, "We're on USA." To which Campbell would haughtily reply, "I don't do cable."
Good sport that she is, Brown did it. When I saw her the next day, I asked, "So, is your career finished?" She laughed. "You wouldn't believe how many e-mails I got from that," she said.
After moments like that, Mary would just look at me and ask in amazement, "Will anybody ever say 'no' to us?"
For two weeks, all of us had the best job at the Olympics, if not the best job in television. Gags, or bits, were sometimes written 10 minutes before we taped them, done in one take, and never really edited. "That just doesn't happen," one of the TV vets told me.
Why did the show work? One word: Italians. Mary Carillo. Our director, Linda Malino. Her husband, associate producer Tom Coppola. Our evil genius, associate producer Rob Liano (who appeared as intern Trey Liano in Thawed). Our top banana, Winner, is not Italian, but we made him an honorary one (despite my Waspy name, I am 75 percent Italian). Oh, sure, those skater types, especially the insufferable Sale and Pelletier, will claim it's all their doing. Just like Canadians. Self-absorbed. Arrogant. But I know better.
Anyway, if you happened to catch our show, I hope that you enjoyed it. We certainly did. And, maybe it really was, as Carillo loved to declare, "Cracklin' good television". It must have been. It got canceled after two weeks.