Monday, August 17, 2009

Sad Tale of Vernon Roger

Vernon Roger used to be a newscaster on Baton Rouge's CBS affiliate station WAFB, for a newscaster he was a pretty plain, straight laced looking guy. He wasn't the greatest and but he surely wasn't the worse. What made me like this guy was his cooking segments. Back in the late 80's and 90's, my kids and I would watch the station in the hopes of catching his cooking segments. He would come on and usually cook some cajun dish, it was a very short segment but it was fun and entertaining. The part that my family would like would be at the end of the cooking segment, when he would give what he called "the ole taste test". He would take a fork or spoon full of food pretend to be blowing it to cool it off, taste the food, close his eyes, bounce his head up and down a bit, then blurt out some cajun gibberish that ended with Ca C'est Bon.

I used to do an imitation of him all the time when I would cook something up. In fact, I do an imitaion of him in one of my video reviews:

My Vernon impression starts at 1:40

I don't know why, but there was something about how he would end those cooking segments that just cracked me up. I kind of lost track of the station when we started getting more and more cable channels in our area. So I never paid much attention to the station or Vernon Roger in a long time, I still did the imitation of him, but never knew what had happened to him.

Random WAFB clip that features Vernon

So a few days ago I did a little search to see what Vernon was up to, and what I found was a very sad tale. Now, I'm sure people living in Baton Rouge know this tale well and it was probably a big story in the city at the time. But for people that live outside Baton Rouge (like me), you might have never heard this tale before.

From what I gather, it seemed like Vernon Roger had a great life. He was married to the weather woman (Diane Deaton) on the same station that he worked. It must have been a great setup, Vernon did the news and his wife did the weather. From all accounts, it seemed like the two had a great social life, they attended church, they went to all type of events in Baton Rouge together, Vernon liked to cook for his friends and colleagues. There was only a slight problem, Vernon liked his alcohol a little too much. From what I read, Vernon was kind a shy guy and maybe that's why he liked his alcohol so much, maybe it helped him open up in public or something.

More Random WAFB footage, Vernon at the end

Vernon's life started going downhill fast in the year 2000, he got pulled over numerous times while drinking and was finally charged with A DUI. This got him suspended from WAFB and he entered an alcohol treatment program and returned to the airwaves soon. But this was just the beginning of his downfall. It seemed that straight laced, church attending Vernon had a little fetish that his weatherwoman wife couldn't please. Vernon Roger liked to pretend that he was a baby and wear diapers and then crap and piss in them and got off on women cleaning him up afterwards. Probably nobody would have known about this fetish or even cared about it, but Vernon got busted with prostitutes and got caught red handed by police wearing the diapers full of crap in the bust.

Vernon got fired from WAFB and soon after his wife divorced him, instead of moving to another town and try to get a fresh start, Vernon stayed in Baton Rouge and opened a catering business. This business it seems tanked, I mean, who would want someone catering your event who was busted wearing a diaper full of crap and piss. Feeling the shame and humiliation Vernon probably figured that there was no way he would be able to keep on and in June 2002, Vernon committed suicide by hanging himself.

It's really a sad story. If Vernon would have moved or even "hung" in there (no pun intended), things would have cleared up for him. Nowadays people forgive and forget, he would have found a job somewhere else. With his passion for cajun cooking, if the scandal wouldn't have hit, I'm sure his business would have been very successful. He shouldn't have gave up on life, but he did, and we will never get to see him give the ole taste test to his latest dish again.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Why No Get A Life DVD?

Last night I had a dream... Chris Elliott had a new TV series out that wasn't doing too well. I was at a gas station and saw Chris pumping gas into his run down old vehicle. He was down and out and looked like he had seen better days. I went up to him and talked to him about the new series, he was depressed that the series was doing badly. Then we talked about why they never released his other series, Get A Life, on DVD. He said that nobody made any offers and that he even got the old cast together and did commentary on all the episodes, everybody except Brian Doyle-Murray who was always too drunk to do the commentary. In my dream I left Chris and he drove away. After Chris drove away, two murderers saw me hanging in the gas station parking lot and thought I was an undercover cop and they chased me down and killed me....

Thai Ribs eaten at Midnight make you have weird dreams!

What's the point of the dream? First, I shouldn't be eating Thai Ribs and Corn Grits at Midnight right before I go to sleep and Second, why isn't Get A Life on DVD??

In case you live on Mars and don't know about the TV show Get A Life, then here goes. Get A Life was a short lived sitcom (2 seasons) that starred Chris Elliott as a grown up paperboy who still lived at his parent's house. In season 2 he moved in with Brian Doyle-Murray but remained a paperboy. This was one of the funniest sitcoms ever. The plots were off the wall and included an alien creature moving in with Chris, people eating spoiled shell fish and getting amnesia, Chris working as a food inspector and taking $5 bribes, and many more crazy episodes. I mean listen to this episode description from and tell me that you wouldn't want to relive this episode...
"Chris decides to throw a party, and gets a wheelbarrow of shellfish as the main course. Nobody but Sharon shows up, and the fish turns out to be spoiled. It causes anyone who eats it to have temporary amnesia. Chris convinces them that they enjoy everything he does, such as dancing to "Alley Cat" all night long."

Why is this series not given proper respect and put out on DVD? With so many crappy TV shows out there getting proper releases, why is stuff like Get A Life not being put out? Is it because the studios are scared they will lose too much money on it? Are they scared no one will buy it? Can they not come with agreements with the producers or stars? Who knows, I for one along with a lot of other people would love to own both seasons on DVD, and hopefully with commentary tracks!

Maybe tonight I'll have more Thai Ribs at midnight and dream about Fred Gwynne pumping gas at a gas station and then I can rant about Car 54, Where Are You not being on DVD!