Before playing the role of Les Nessman, the Milquetoast newsman on the television series "WKRP in Cincinnati," actor Richard Sanders was a psychopath. Before that he was a terrorist. And then there were the Nazi and the skinhead. Sanders, it seemed, played a good maniac. But in Nessman, Sanders has found a character who refuses to die. See for yourself.
Tell me about your Silver Sow Award.
I won it for hog reportage. I got to invite Jennifer (Loni Anderson) to go with me. I tried to transform myself into somebody I imagined Jennifer would want to go with. I bought a wig and new clothes, an ascot, a double-breasted jacket, as I recall. I dressed while listening to the music, "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner.
Isn't it about time you bought some new clothes?
My sartorial splendor is quite magnificent, actually. I'm wearing the type of clothing that should be worn by a responsible newsperson.
I bet you're a real tiger under all that.
Oh, yes, definitely. I feel the heart beats strong and the desire is there. The flesh may be weak, but we try to keep within our gray flannel suits at all times.
Surely you know the meek will inherit the earth.
In my particular case, I have already inherited the Buckeye News Hawk Award five times in a row. That's given for the best news story of or pertaining to taproot vegetable production in the Upper Ohio Valley and parts of West Virginia.
What other award have you won?
The Copper Cob trophy, which was given by the plowing patriots of Omaha, Nebraska.
What was your hottest story?
The time we dropped the turkeys at the shopping mall. That was a terrible experience because the turkeys couldn't fly. They hit the ground like sacks of wet cement.
What has been your most shining moment?
When Jennifer invited me in for hot chocolate after we attended the Silver Sow Award banquet.
What do you do for fun?
I have no fun. I don't believe that that's a newsperson's prerogative. I believe in work and accomplishment and winning awards. News is my life.
You've always been my idol.
I can see why.
What's the strongest piece of advice you could give me?
Perhaps you should change genders, because I think a male reporter has a better believability quotient. Perhaps an operation could be done.