Until recently, TV news was the least permanent medium.  A broadcast viewed through the rabbit ears one moment was scattered into a gazillion radio frequency bits headed to Pluto the next.  Mistake?  Hope nobody noticed.  Blooper?  Preserved, only if some smart aleck happened to be videotaping it and made a copy.

Melissa Sanders’ unfortunate plunge on WAGA more than a decade ago preceded the Youtube age.  But the blooper had already had currency as a videotaped outtake.  Then, somebody uploaded it to Youtube and it gained a measure of permanence.  But immortality comes when a TV news clip somehow becomes part of the culture.   Last weekend, the show known as the Family Guy gave this local news clip animation immortality:

(Looks like Fox has pulled the clip from Youtube.  Try here instead.  If that doesn’t work, and if you can endure a Fox promo first, you can view the Family Guy clip here.)

The original clip has gotten 550,000 plus views on Youtube.  Saturday Night Live also did a brief spoof, with Scarlett Johansen playing the part of “the grape stomping lady.”  (H/T to Rodney Ho for finding this on Youtube…)

Here’s the original in all its ugly glory, as shot by WAGA photog Gus Valdes.  Who knew that this clip would get this kind of immortality?

(Btw, aside from knocking the wind out of her, the fall tore Sanders’ anterior cruciate ligament.  She left WAGA a few months later.  We don’t know her current whereabouts, except as a permanent presence in cyberspace.)

This entry was posted in WAGA and tagged on by .

About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

11 thoughts on “Immortality

  1. scott hedeen

    sanders was in baltimore when i was… seems everyone was happy when she split. i saw this after moved…. here and smiled.

  2. extvtog

    I would consider it an honor to have my blooper spoofed by Family Guy! This is too good. Thanks for posting. BTW I remember this happening….I was a tween watching FOX 5 one morning!

  3. live apt fire Post author

    I don’t see her on WTEN’s website, unless she’s changed her name to “katie virtue,” which is a made-up name if ever one was. But I don’t think that’s her.

  4. Gray

    Awesome clip. I feel really sorry for the newsreporter, but I also laughed a bit, so maybe I’m a masochist at heart.

    This is why i come to this site.. Great stuff.

  5. Mrs. LAF

    No comment from the news photographer who shot this? 🙂

    [[ No dear, not here. But if you go here you’ll see that Rodney Ho squeezed a few words out of the photog, who seems to have forgotten that Ms Sanders busted her knee in this mishap. – LAF]]

  6. Photog

    Photog guy would like to keep some details of that day to remain a mystery. He thinks it adds to the legend of “The grape lady”. Photog guys writes in the third person to follow LAF’s style.

  7. Jane

    I usually read laf daily, but since the format change have found it visually more difficult to read. The white printing on the black background overwhelems the actual message. Might you consider changing the color palate so that the reading of your blog might be easier ? All that aside, I really enjoy your blog — the Mark Winne ocmments are especially priceless!


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