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Anchorman II? Nope, it's just the #ASGAdventure crew on TV

The AtBat Mobile pulled up to the KTVI-FOX 2 station in suburban St. Louis just before 8 a.m. Thursday, and it immediately revealed itself to be a not-too-normal experience, what with the community marching band assembling outside.


To be behind-the-scenes at a local TV morning show, where the #ASGAdventure crew was promoting the All-Star Final Vote campaign and Tuesday's Midsummer Classic, is to witness controlled chaos, a sort of low-budget Jerry Lewis Telethon in motion.

The effortlessly effervescent, redheaded morning host Randi Naughton greets Arturo Pardavila III, who will be representing and, come to think of it, is effortless effervescent himself (but not a redhead). Arturo is joined on-air by Kayla Knierim and Aimee Knebel of FOX Sports Midwest, who will be joining us on the journey to Kansas City. Randi gives her viewers the rundown, Arturo knocks his promoting performance out of the park, and we're done.

Oh, but we're not done.



We head inside to the breakroom, which doubles as the food prep set. A woman is arranging chocolate-covered bacon treats and bacon popsicles to be shown on-air. This seems slightly disgusting at any time and especially at 8:30 a.m. We are waiting for the 9 a.m. show, when Tim Ezell, the wacky morning man, will interview Arturo and Kayla live on-air. Everybody's pretty excited.

The quarters are cramped, and you can't walk anywhere at KTVI without bumping into another of Tim's upcoming guests. Two guys from PETCO are standing by a box filled with plastic tracks and hamsters.

"What are the hamsters doing in a television studio?" asks AtBat Mobiler Kathryn Buckles.

"It's the Hamster Derby," one guy responds nonchalantly and matter-of-factly.

Clearly, we should have known that.

Randi and her co-host, John Pertzborn, come over to see the hamsters. Even off the air, they engage in anchor banter. They've had more caffeine than me.

We get word that our segment with Tim will air early, because Murphy Lee, a rapper, is running late. I've never heard of Murphy Lee. He sounds like an Irish rapper, and I'm intrigued. (As it turns out later, he's not Irish.)



Once again, Arturo and Kayla nail it, and Tim is all about pumping up the vote for David Freese (he also has Kayla join him in singing the theme from "Saved by the Bell," for reasons I still don't quite understand). Arturo mentions that Game 6 was the greatest sporting event he's ever seen, and that Freese's big hit is "frozen in time." He seems very pleased with himself after uttering this line, and he should be. It's a truly terrific line.

The segment wraps, and we head outside. Tim is already on to his next subject -- a local rib cook-off. The gentlemen from Smokey and the Brisket, a BBQ place, have assembled their smoke pit and pulled up a black Trans-Am. One of the guys has a thick black mustache and goes by the name of Burnt Reynolds. Tim interviews them all, then starts chowing down on ribs. It's 9:30 a.m. and he's already eaten chocolate-covered bacon and ribs. I like Tim a lot.

We board the bus and head back on the road, wiser.

-- Anthony Castrovince

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