With the retirement after 26 years of an outstanding Baltimore anchorwoman Friday, followed by a huge snowstorm and constant blogging about local TV coverage, I am way behind on the "Jon & Kate" watch. But I did see Kate Gosselin on Jay Leno's show Friday night, and she was every bit as awful as I predicted she would be.
After her appearances as a guest host of "The View," I said she was was not quick enough on her feet, or to be blunt about it, smart enough to carry a TV show. Walking around the house and bossing her kids and Jon around with a reality TV camera trailing behind is not the same as trying to host a talk show. Heck, it doesn't even require the talent it takes to be a guest on a talk show as Kate proved Friday night.
You don't have to be a genius to do daytime talk. Look at Regis Philbin. But you can't be as out of it as Kate was with Jay Leno Friday either. She either laughed stupidly or gave strange answers to almost everything he said. And she was always several beats behind.
The beats behind thing matters. When you are not in the studio and are doing it remote as she was on Leno, there is always a brief delay between what the host says and what you hear. It is probably less than a second or so, but it shows up onscreen if you do not quickly adjust in your responses.
I am not an on-air pro, but even I know how to adjust when I am sitting in a studio in Baltimore and being interviewed on-air by a host in New York like the Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, or a host in Washington like CNN's Howie Kurtz for "Reliable Sources." And both of those guys are incredibly fast thinkers and glib speakers on-air. You miss a beat with them, and you look braindead.
Not to be mean, but Kate seemed dull, stupid and strange. Her answer to a Leno question about an irrational fear, still has me shaking my head two days later.
She said she used to hold her breath while walking past a graveyard because she thought "dead person gases would escape" and she "would die."
Leno had no idea what to say in response to that as he moved onto the next of 10 questions in "10 @ 10" segment.
Between that bizarre answer and the many other slow and dull ones, I couldn't help but wonder how many more disastrous performances Kate has to have before TLC gives up the ghost on her having a new hit show this spring.
Good luck, TLC. Keep her away from graveyards.