TV celeb reveals
at small gathering
Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger is seen in West Hollywood on Tuesday evening with a small group of members of NLGJA’s Los Angeles chapter. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.
LIVING NEAR THE EPICENTER of the entertainment universe – Hollywood – one is inevitably likely to encounter a celebrity.
Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger – an 18-year veteran of “Entertainment Weekly” – shared some delightful behind-the-scenes anecdotes with 12 to 15 members of the Los Angeles chapter of the NLGJA on Tuesday evening at a little bistro in West Hollywood.
“I worked at Entertainment Weekly for 18 years,” Karger said. “I have been lucky enough to interview almost every major movie actor.”
There are so many boldfaced names in Karger’s story – Hugh Jackman, Tom Cruise, Helen Mirren and many, many more – it is no wonder more than 600,000 hits are returned on a Google search of his name.
HIS RECENT TRANSITION from “EW” to Fandango, he told the small group sitting on the patio at Bayou on a warm, late-spring Southern California evening, has taken him from behind the camera to on-camera.
“I’ve done 150 spots on the Today show over 13 years,” he said. “I had been hoping to transition to an on-camera position, but one that wouldn’t require waiting outside the courthouse for Lindsay Lohan. I found that with the Fandango job.”
Karger explained that in 2012 he got a call from an NBC corporate official “… who wanted to know if I would be interested in becoming the chief correspondent for Fandango.
“I [would] produce original content and [would] also appear across all NBC platforms as a film expert.
“It was a great chance for me to try broadcasting full-time.”
As part of his new job, Karger has appeared twice on Bravo’s popular “Watch What Happens Live,” hosted by the network’s Executive Vice President
Greg Hernandez of NLGJA helps Dave Karger pick a raffle ticket – a fundraiser for the Los Angeles chapter – at the Tuesday gathering. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.
of Development and Talent Andy Cohen.
“Andy Cohen and I go way back,” Karger revealed. “He used to be a producer for CBS This Morning and he likes to remind me that he was the first person to put me on major network TV years ago.”
Asked by one of the group members if he was ever star-struck, Karger confessed: “I was very star-struck by Warren Beatty – I could not even go up and talk to him.
“I was paralyzed.”
He also admitted to being star-struck by Harrison Ford.
“I have interviewed Ben Affleck Tom Cruise, Hugh Jackman …” Karger said.
One of his most amusing anecdotes was about the interview with Cruise.
He had never met Tom Cruise until this year. Cruise’s publicist was contacted, and Tom said he would do the show.
“One of the cameras broke during the interview and Cruise tried to help us fix it,” Karger said.
“He was so nice … and I was very grateful. He was fantastic and [it] made for a good episode.”
Karger, ever so creative, played a “game” with Cruise on air.
“I asked him lots of questions. … like, in which two movies did he play a character named David? … and in which two movies did he play Vincent?
“[Cruise] got [the answers] instantly.”
Giving us a ‘sneak peek’ at what’s ahead, Karger said: “I am doing Joss Whedon this week, Steve Carell next week, and Helen Mirren [in the future].
The website of Fandango, where Dave Karger is the chief correspondent. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.
“We have not had a person of color yet, and we want one soon.”
During a Q-and-A, I asked the second question: What does HE watch on TV?
“Southland, Mad Men (I never miss an episode) and Parenthood,” he answered.
Like most who have an online presence, Karger monitors his stats.
“I am obsessed with page views,” he admitted. “On Tuesdays, I get an email that lists views of my shows. It is the one email I am most excited about each week.”
His most viewed episode is, probably, obvious to you.
“The Tom Cruise show is about [to hit] 400,000 views,” Karger said, modestly.
“When Hugh Jackman put us on his Facebook page, that really helped us.”
Summing it up, Karger revealed the secret to his success:
“It has been super fun [since we] started in September.
“One of the most exciting things about the new job is that NBC is into corporate synergy … they really do it.”