There are very few people in this world who can write off the viewing of NBC’s new reality dating show Momma’s Boys as “work,” and as this magazine’s resident TV-watcher, I consider myself very lucky to be one of them. But it’s a stretch to say I’m “required” to watch hour upon hour of female contestants trying to make nice with three racist, nasty mothers in order to win the love of the mommas’ hottie sons. Momma’s Boys can claim neither the nostalgia excuse that makes Saved by the Bell and Full House my slightly more socially acceptable guilty pleasures, nor the smart writing and great clothes that permit my love of Gossip Girl despite my falling, oh, a few years outside its target demographic. The only relief? I’m not the only one watching TV with the blinds closed. —Julia Kramer, TV writer
Local TV folk come clean
Alpana Singh, host of Check, Please!
My favorite TV show of all time is Three’s Company—I’ve seen each episode probably three times. My 13-year-old sister-in-law turned me on to Gossip Girl: It’s like a modern-day version of Dynasty. For a food show, my huge guilty pleasure is Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee—she changes her kitchen to match her outfits! And her cocktails—if I drank one of them, I’d be falling off my chair.
Phil Ponce, host of Chicago Tonight
My son gave me a box set of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. I don’t like to spread that because [Pee-wee] got a little weird. But I believe you can separate the art from the artist. This is something I don’t talk about much, but I was inspired by Pee-wee’s bike…. I tracked down a replica. I ride it to work most days in the summer, and not a single day goes by without someone yelling “Hey, Pee-wee, nice bike!” after me. I just hope I’m riding fast enough that they don’t recognize me.
Steve Wilkos, host of The Steve Wilkos Show
I’m watching SpongeBob with my kids, and I’m like, should my kids be watching this? Love the SpongeBob. One show I don’t watch but I would if it were on is The Brady Bunch. I got to meet Greg Brady [Barry Williams] a few years ago, and that was, like, the highlight of my life.
Jerry Springer, host of The Jerry Springer Show and America’s Got Talent
The show that I might not tell friends about if I can help it is Hee Haw—I love watching those reruns. I’ve also become addicted to the [informercial for] Time-Life Hits of the ’50s and ’60s. I will sit there and I will just love that, and when it comes on again, I’m there. I’m addicted to infomercials….I try not to tell too many people.