Viewers are Idiots - Longish
So I work for the local PBS affiliate as a student crew member. The weekly show that I work on is a call-in show that has experts from the community come in and take questions. Some of our callers ask really good questions. Some of them...don't. Now we always have someone screening phones, but all the instructions in the world don't seem to help some people. All questions are produced to the best of my recollection.
Well based on your symptoms, you're either perfectly fine or about to die
So the city I go to school in has a notable "Medical Mile", with several good research hospitals. This particular week, we have brain/nerves/spine experts on. They're actually doing some fascinating research, based on what they said. What does one of our callers ask them?
"So I was sick a couple of months ago for like two weeks and it went away, but I'm starting to feel sick again. What might be wrong with me?"
The doctors were flummoxed, but the crew decided that her problem was a screw loose on the handset.
Who you gonna call?
So we had "paranormal experts" on for Halloween. Two psychics, a ghost hunter, and a general "expert" on the "science." I found our guests to be...dubiously qualified, to say the least. One of our callers, however, found them to be downright sinful:
"Did you know that *Book of the Bible* says that those who consort with spirits are"
At which point I was instructed to cut her audio (the only time to date we've done such a thing). The guests, who consider themselves Christians, were somewhat offended by her accusatory tone. The guest who had been utterly abusing theoretical physics buzzwords to explain that ghosts were legitimate science even let us in on the fact that ghosts he's contacted have confirmed the 100% accurate existence of Jesus.
Yeah, that wasn't one of our more credible episodes.
It's a dirty world, a dirty world, it's a ing dirty world.
We have veterinarians on somewhat frequently, because people actually like to call in to those shows. Unfortunately, people don't always have the best connection:
"Yeah, my dog keeps ucking its leg and I'm wondering how I can get him to stop."
Now, everyone heard an "uck" sound in the word, and we chose to interpret it as "sucking". But it sure sounded like something else. Which made the fact that the host of the show had him repeat his question because they couldn't hear him absolutely hysterical.
Based on that, give me money
For Valentine's Day, we had matchmakers on. We didn't really get any calls, but the first one we did get was one of those people who doesn't understand "ten words or less":
"So I'm a single, professional woman in her mid-40's, never married and no kids, and I've been wondering where I can go to meet people because I just don't feel I'll meet the right kind of people if I go out to the bar but I work so much that..."
Second time ever I've had to cut a question short. At any rate, the matchmakers suggested the caller sign up for their $2K/year service.
In which the pace car crashes into the wall
Here's a little secret: very often, the first call of an episode comes from inside the studio. We send a crew member who is not otherwise busy while the show is on the air (teleprompter operator, usually) in to the lobby and have them call in with a question cooked up by the crew. It gets the ball rolling, as people are shockingly dense about why we have the phone number at the bottom of the screen. Even we can be idiots though:
"Does that powder that comes with flowers actually work?"
There are two problems with that question:
1) Lack of details. Such as "from the florist" and "to put in the flowers' water".
2) Our experts were Home & Garden specialists, not florists, and as such had no idea what the answer to the question was even after they figured out what he meant.
Last edited by Subspace_Relay; 03-05-2013 at 03:36 AM.