He's one of the most beloved and familiar personalities on television, as host of both the seemingly eternal "America's Funniest Videos" and the blazing hot "Dancing with the Stars." Now, at the latest peak in a long career of peaks (and not a few valleys), Tom Bergeron has written a book, "I'm Hosting as Fast As I Can" (see book notes, in the feature "Vacation for Your Mind") It's a delightful blend of biography, show biz insights and humor incorporating the life-lessons that have guided him from Portsmouth radio DJ to Hollywood mega-host. Bergeron keeps a vacation home on the N.H. seacoast and visits often. He'll be in Portsmouth promoting his book on June 12 at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre and then on the 13th at Barnes & Noble in Newington. The following phone interview took place May 5:
Your writing style is so easy-going. Was the book a breeze for you to write? It was much easier than I thought. When people tell me that reading my book is like hearing me talk, that's the highest compliment I can get. Of course, in the audio book I read it aloud, so that's pretty much what they get for six hours.
Why write it now? It's not like you are getting ready to retire. Well, my agent really pushed me to do it. She said it seemed like a good time while my career is going well. I could share some funny stories but also provide a bit of a life raft for people going through some rough times right now.
You were on "Star Trek: Enterprise"! Do you ever get invited to Trekkie events? No! I was in a whole opening scene during season 1 but I was under so much rubber and stuff, people probably didn't know it was me. That's why I'm talking it up now. I mean, the "Third Klingon from the Left" gets invited to those things and I had a speaking part. Come on.
Is there a talent you absolutely do not have? Well, dancing. But I think I'm a reasonable student. If Cheryl or Kym or Lacey had me as a partner, I could probably get to week four or five [on "Dancing With the Stars"]. I'm disciplined and I've had enough training in theatre and as a mime that I could probably be sculpted.
Surely, some producer has suggested that you step down as host for a season and give it a try. We're saving that for our "jump the shark" season.
You seem to recall your years in Portsmouth with fondness. I think of Portsmouth as my emotional home and I'm glad it's doing well. I've had a wonderful time promoting the book but I am pooped. I'm looking forward to getting into my 1978 VW Beetle convertible and driving up to Ferry Landing in Portsmouth and spending time with friends.
This article appears in the October 2009 issue of New Hampshire Magazine