Several people that I interviewed during my entertainment writing and celebrity interviewing heyday can be seen regularly on Me TV.
The 6 p.m. weeknight beat is patrolled by Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox as California Highway Patrol motorcycle cops Ponch and Jon on CHiPs.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Estrada and Wilcox in 1998 for the occasion of their CHiPs '99 TV reunion movie. Estrada kept calling me “pardner,” and Wilcox, a computer business mogul at the time, invited me to his ranch in California, an invitation I regrettably never had the opportunity to take him up on.
At 9 p.m. on Saturdays, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy explore space while trying to keep the intergalactic peace as Kirk and Spock on Star Trek.
I interviewed Nimoy in 1997 for his participation in a series of radio plays inspired by Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre and spearheaded by John de Lancie (Q on Star Trek: The Next Generation).
I interviewed Shatner because he was hosting The Sci-Fi Channel's remastered reruns of the show in 1998. It was thrilling to hear Captain Kirk/T.J. Hooker himself tell me he needed my help in getting the word out about his activities at the time. When I told him he was really going where no man had gone before with his Name in Space project, in which you could have your and your lover's names orbit Earth alongside his name in a space capsule, he exclaimed, “Isn't that wild?!”
On Sundays at 6 p.m., you can see James MacArthur (Helen Hayes' son) as Detective Danny “Danno” Williams getting patched through to McGarrett (Jack Lord) on Hawaii Five-O.
I interviewed MacArthur in 1997 because The Family Channel was airing remastered versions of the show. When I interviewed MacArthur, he was in his home office in Palm Desert, California, looking at posters of his films, such as Swiss Family Robinson. MacArthur told me that in return for promoting the remastered shows, rather than money, he wanted The Family Channel to give him all the remastered episodes on videotape so he could show them to his children and grandchildren. This was just before the advent of DVDs. So MacArthur wasn't just one of the stars of the show, he was also a fan!
It was great to hear MacArthur not only reminisce about his career (including working with his mother Helen Hayes, who guest-starred as Danno's aunt in Hawaii Five-O), but also recollect the late, great Jack Lord. MacArthur himself passed away in 2010, just as he was finalizing plans to guest star in the new Hawaii Five-0 TV series. MacArthur was living in Florida at the time.
Watch people interviewed by me on Me TV.