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Don Paul's 'lame' joke at co-anchor backfires

WKBW-TV (Channel 7) meteorologist Don Paul has been telling the same bad jokes for more than 30 years.

As the late Johnny Carson used to say, you're always in trouble when you have to explain the joke.

And Paul had a lot of explaining to do after he said a joke backfired on him Sunday night and led some viewers to believe there was a rift between him and Lia Lando, Channel 7's Sunday news anchor.

"It was an accident," Paul explained Monday of what he acknowledged was a "lame attempt at humor."

According to Paul, it all started with his telling the old joke to Lando.

"Have I ever lied to you before?" said Paul. "Don't answer that question."

Paul, who also writes about the weather for, added that he told that joke often during his 28 years at Channel 4 before he joined Channel 7 to everyone from Jacquie Walker to the late Bob Koop.

After telling the joke, Paul proceeded to give his weather forecast. When he finished, Lando responded.

"She said, 'Is it all right for me to answer or talk now?' " explained Paul. "She was referring back to my joke."

Some viewers didn't see it that way; they thought Lando was being disrespectful to Paul and he spent some time explaining to them that was hardly the case.

"People are reading things into it that is not there," Paul said. "I can understand someone might think that if they didn't pay attention to my joke. … We had a great relationship at Channel 4 (Lando worked there years ago) and we do now at Channel 7. We have supernatural chemistry. Honest to goodness, we get along great."

Did he learn a lesson?

"I won't leave a big pause between the punch line and talking to my co-anchor," he said. "It was my poor comic timing."

Would Paul lie to me?

Don't answer that question. He assured me that he was telling the truth.

And Lando backed him up Tuesday morning.

"I was totally kidding," said Lando of her reaction to Paul's joke. "Don and I always have had a comfortable relationship going back to working at Channel 4. We joke with each other. I encourage people to keep watching. ... We're thrilled to be working together again."


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