Fritz Coleman, Emmy-Winning Comedian and Weathercaster-Episode #280

Jan 30, 2024 | 0 comments

“…my boss took a chance and hired a comedian as a weather person. And they said, we don’t mind if you continue to do comedy. The only thing we’re asking is don’t get anybody to call me and complain about your content or your language, because the minute I get complaints about you, we’re going to ask you to stop. So that was great for me because it disciplined me to work clean and sort of unoffensive without being boring. I had to sort of walk that thin line, and that was very helpful. So one aspect of my career, the weather, helped me to discipline myself and be better at my comedy.” ~Fritz Coleman

Fritz Coleman is a 5-time Emmy Award Winning Stand-Up Comedian and former NBC Weathercaster. He has opened all over the United States for entertainment icons like Ray Charles, Debbie Reynolds, Jay Leno, George Benson, the band America, and too many more to mention. He made 8 appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. He spent 40 years as the main weathercaster for NBC Los Angeles until he retired in 2020.

He currently has a new comedy special, “Unassisted Living” that is available now on Tubi!  And his Award-Winning special “It’s Me Dad” played on KCET as their Father’s Day programming for several years in a row.

Fritz also co-hosts a wonderful podcast called Media Path with Louise Palanker in which they have insightful conversations with great guests about meaningful subjects.

If you want to see Fritz perform live, you can catch him at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood in 2024 on February 25, March 24, April 28, and May 26.



Read the Podcast Transcript

Steve Cuden: On today’s StoryBeat:

Fritz Coleman: My only mandate from my boss was they took a chance and hired a comedian as a weather person. And they said, we don’t mind if you continue to do comedy. The only thing we’re asking is don’t get anybody to call me and complain about your content or your language, because the minute I get complaints about you, we’re going to ask you to stop. So that was great for me because it disciplined me to work clean and sort of unoffensive without being boring. I had to sort of walk that thin line, and that was very helpful. So one aspect of my career, the weather, helped me to discipline myself and be better at my comedy.

Announcer: This is StoryBeat with Steve Cuden, a Podcast for the creative mind. StoryBeat explores how masters of creativity develop and produce brilliant works that people everywhere love and admire. So join us, as we discover how talented creators find success in the worlds of imagination and entertainment. Here now is your host, Steve Cuden.

Steve Cuden: Thanks for joining us on StoryBeat. We’re coming to you from the Steel City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My guest today, Fritz Coleman, is a five time Emmy award winning stand up comedian and former NBC Weathercaster. He’s opened all over the United States for entertainment icons like Ray Charles, Debbie Reynolds, Jay Leno, George Benson, the band America, and too many more to mention. He’s made eight appearances on the Tonight show with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. He spent 40 years as the main weathercaster for NBC Los Angeles until he retired in 2020. And, I must say that for the majority of the 35 years I lived in Los Angeles, Fritz was the Weathercaster I watched by far the most. He currently has a new comedy special, Unassisted Living, that is available now on Tubi and his award winning special, it’s me dad, played on KCET as their father’s Day programming for several years in a row. Fritz also co hosts a wonderful podcast called Media Path with Louise Polanker in which they have insightful conversations with great guests about meaningful subjects. So for all those reasons and many more, I’m deeply honored to welcome the extraordinary comedian weathercaster podcaster Fritz Coleman to StoryBeat today. Fritz, welcome to the show.

Fritz Coleman: Thank you, my friend. I’m honored to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

Steve Cuden: Well, it’s a great pleasure to have you, believe me. So let’s go back in time just a little bit. When did you first think of yourself in life as someone who could make others laugh?

Fritz Coleman: It was the only thing I did with any confidence. From the time I was a little kid, I was an only child, which, brings along with it neuroses, their own. Thornton. Sure, my father was funny, my mom was a great audience. And so I was performing from the time I was young and always sought attention almost to an unhealthy level. And then when I saw the comedians on tv and Carson and Bob Hope and all these guys, I just was somehow spiritually drawn to making large groups of people laugh. And that’s where it all came from. Honestly, I never thought that I could be a professional comedian. But you and I are of seem like a similar demographic or close to it. Anyway, my first exposure to live stand up comedy was when I was in 11th grade. My uncle bought me tickets to see George Carlin at a place in Philadelphia called the Valley Forge Music Fair. I don’t know if they did this in Pittsburgh, but they had these live outdoor, performance venues in the summer that they put a big, like a cirque du Soleil tent and they’re beautiful. It’s like 3000 people in there. And so he got me tickets and I didn’t understand how, live stand up worked. And you take little nuggets and you work it over time and you add another nugget and it’s kind of modular. And George Carlin went out on stage and for 90 minutes flawlessly delivered these great insights and this funny word play. And I’m not exaggerating when I say it was like a religious experience for me. I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever seen and I was hooked. Now, I never thought I could do it professionally, but that was my transitional period there when I saw George.

Steve Cuden: So Carlin is my all time favorite comedian.

Fritz Coleman: You’re a writer. Anybody a fan of language? Nobody has ever exceeded him in his use of language and his workplace. That’s my favorite thing about him.

Steve Cuden: Not at all. And I miss him. I wish he was around right now. We need him.

Fritz Coleman: Maybe even crankier than he was when he died. Really funny to watch. That is for sure a lot to chew on right now.

Were you a class clown or did that not happen for you

Steve Cuden: So were you a class clown or did that not happen for you?

Fritz Coleman: Because I was, inappropriately attention drawn when I was in school and, sit in the back of the room. But after a while, it got to be my calling card. So when I wouldn’t stop doing it, when my teachers asked me to, it turned into my sort of my calling card and what I was known for.

Steve Cuden: Did it get you in trouble?

Fritz Coleman: Yes, of was I made it through high school by the skin of my teeth. This is a true story. The vice principal at my high school was a man by the name of Al Como, who was Perry Como’s brother. Okay. And, he was also the disciplinarian of the school. And in those days, you could paddle students who misbehaved. And I got whacked many, many times with a fiberglass paddle with holes in it so it would leave nice bumps. Terrible. And so this is a true story. The day I graduated, al Cuomo said to my parents, nobody’s happier that your son’s getting out of here than am. Mr. So that answers your question. Yes, I was a class clown.

You worked for armed forces radio and television before becoming a comedian

Steve Cuden: So when did you start to think about then turning to a professional life as a comedian?

Fritz Coleman: Going back a little bit, I was in the navy for four and a half years and worked for armed forces radio and television. While I was in there, I did a radio show, and I did television news and weather for armed forces tv. And one day after I got discharged from the Navy, I got a job at a radio station. And when you worked in radio back then, in the part of your responsibilities as a dj were to go to clubs and host. These nights you play records and do that kind of stuff. Well, this is in Buffalo, New York, for me. So I got a job being the MC at a jazz club, a very famous jazz club called the Trout Famador Cafe. All kinds of famous jazz artists work there. But jazz musicians are kind of on their own schedule, right? So the shows would be advertised to start at 08:00. But if jazz players weren’t in the mood to start at 08:00, if their cosmic clock was not set to 08:00, they would start when they wanted to. Could be 15 minutes late, could be a half hour late. But the owner of the club had advertised the show to start at 08:00 and I was a host. And these people are paying for drinks. We better give them something. So purely as a defense mechanism, I began to write material for myself that I could use as filler until the jazz guys decided to come. It’s absolutely true. Till the jazz guys decided to come on stage. And that’s how I developed a block of material for myself. Wow. Then I became addicted with, stand up and came out to California in 1980, worked at the comedy store. And I was working at the comedy store one Friday night, and the news director from Channel four Los Angeles was in the audience with his wife. And I talked about having done, armed forces television, tv and weather. And I was forced to do the weather against my will. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t know anything about it, but the Navy didn’t seem to care as long as my uniform was well pressed and I was respectful. That’s all. Just fill the two and a half minutes. Don’t use profanity. Who cares if you’re. We’re out in the middle of the ocean. Who cares if you’re accurate or not? So I have a little anecdote about that. After the show was over, these, people introduced themselves to me, and he said, this is a very OD question. Do you have any desire to come to channel four LA and do some vacation fill in work for me? Weekend weather. And I was making $25 a night at the comedy store. I almost passed out. I said, when do you want me to start? He said, well, you have to audition first. I said, you did hear me say that I don’t know anything about weather, didn’t you? And he said, that’s great. There’s no weather here. This will work out great. I got the weekend job. I was bumped up to the main weather cast job, and I retired two weeks shy of my 40th anniversary, in May of 2020. The greatest stroke of show business luck since that woman was discovered at Schwab’s pharmacy.

Steve Cuden: Well, more that we have in common. I retired from full time teaching in January of 2020.

Fritz Coleman: Wow. So you’re not teaching anymore?

Steve Cuden: I teach adjunct, and I teach individuals as a consultant, but I don’t teach full time as a tenured professor anymore.

Fritz Coleman: Wow. And you were teaching screenwriting, which is fascinating to me. If I had to do it over again, and I have quashed my add, I would go back to college and learn how to write movies.

Steve Cuden: You could still do that. In fact, I encourage anybody that thinks, like, what you just said, to just go do it. What’s stopping you? Other than I have so many talented.

Fritz Coleman: People, people like yourself who are in the business here, that do a little side gig, like, adult education from UCLA or USC and lots of talented people. I thought about it.

Steve Cuden: Well, it’s interesting to me that in both of your careers, you have limited or no actual training. You didn’t go to school to be a comedian. You didn’t study it other than just on your own. You didn’t go to any classes, and you also didn’t study to be a weatherman.

Fritz Coleman: No, I, was hired, as a weatherman, to be entertaining. This was before meteorology got really important. And now that’s the brand that everybody advertises when you have that seal in the bottom right hand corner that says you were a member in good standing of the American Meteorological Society. That matters now. Plus, climate change, things are different now. But when I first started doing the weather at channel four, the, evening newscasts were as sort of familial and lighthearted as the morning newscasts were. And so we would just play around and, oh, yeah, we’ll do a little bit of news. And they just wanted me to have fun and have personality, because, as you well know, between April and October, the forecast is morning clouds and fog, hazy afternoon sun.

How do you make the same weather interesting when you do it multiple times

What was the, you know, I always said that my job, as a weatherman in NBC in California, was to be the palate cleanser between the tragedy and the sports m. Wow. That was my, you know, a question.

Steve Cuden: That I have, and I’m really curious about is how do you make the same every day, as you say, the same weather over and over and over again for weeks, if not months? How do you make it interesting when you have to do it multiple times in a couple of hours?

Fritz Coleman: That’s the best question ever. What you have to do is, my whole job is, if it’s a nice day, I know the weather before I go to work and research it. But your job is. It’s like any good method acting. Your job is to make it sound like you’ve never said the words before. Exactly. And you’re giving people information that they already know. If they looked out the window once during the day, they know what my forecast is before I come on. If for some reason it’s so interesting, people still, love to hear, the information portrayed for them in a simple fashion, and they still rely on it. Now you have a phone, which is now when people ask me the weather, I’ve been retired for three years, say, please look on your phone and never ask me that question again.

Steve Cuden: Well, I distinctly recall it never looked like you were bored by what you were doing. You always looked like you were into it.

Fritz Coleman: Yeah, I love my job. it’s a really interesting kind of communication. Other than sports, it’s the only communication where you break the fourth wall and you’re having sort of this false intimacy with your audience. You’re talking directly. You try to imagine having a conversation with one person. And so over time, you develop this intimacy with them. And people include you in their lives. And when you do that over 40 years, it’s, not an exaggeration to say they take you into their family. I mean, I could be at a grocery store and some little old lady will come up to me and say, I loved you. I’ve watched you for 35 years. I named my parakeet Fritz in your honor. But I want to make one suggestion to you. Never wear that tie you wore last Thursday. It’s so unflattering to your hair color. And you’re not insulted, it just makes you smile. Because, people have, like, there’s a proprietary interest, because they’ve invited you into their living room for 40 years, their opinion matters, and it’s really interesting.

What are the biggest challenges daily being a weathercaster

Steve Cuden: Let’s talk about weathercasting a little bit more for a bit, and then we’ll come back. I definitely want to talk to you about comedy and how you do it and all those good things. But in terms of being a weathercaster, what are the biggest challenges daily? Is it figuring out how to make it entertaining, or is there something else to it that’s truly challenging almost daily?

Fritz Coleman: that’s the biggest thing, to make it sound not entertaining, but interesting because of, a couple of reasons. First of all, the farther into history we get, the shorter becomes the american attention span.

Steve Cuden: That’s for.

Fritz Coleman: Three. There were three channels when I worked in LA, when I started, two, four and seven. Now there are eight channels, independent channels as well, all doing news all day long. The competition is infinitely more than it was when I first started. Sure. And because of the short american attention span, and because we’ve given people the control of their lives with the clicker, and they can leave anytime, there’s a nanosecond of boredom. You have to keep the energy up, you have to keep it interesting, and you have to be fast. And that’s the arc of the change in the weather forecasting business. When I started out at 05:00 I would get five minutes to present the weather. Now they get maybe 90 seconds or two minutes because they’re just afraid people are going to leave. And add to that the added conundrum of all stations do all the stuff at the same time, so the guy on channel seven is doing the weather at the same time. I am sure there’s no counter programming there, so you don’t want them leaving and getting something you’re not giving them on another channel.

Being a weekday weathercaster is the same as being a news reporter

Steve Cuden: So how long would it take you to develop a five minute weathercast? I mean, did you have to spend a lot of time thinking about what you were doing and writing it down? How did that work?

Fritz Coleman: Well, being a weekday weathercaster is the same as, being a news reporter. And that is, you have to decide what your story is going to be every day. So if I stepped outside today, it’s a beautiful day in California. Fall, like, temperatures a little cooler than normal. That would be my story. It feels like fall, it’s clear skies, we’re dry. So I go to work and I research all the data I need to help me tell that story. The main, thing we use for our research is the National Weather Service, which is a free, taxpayer supported service that’s free to everybody with incredible amounts of information. Only a sliver of which you ever use. And I go on. And there are two National Weather Service offices in southern California that I access. San Diego for Orange county and the inland counties, Riverside, San Bernardino and Oxnard for LA and Ventura county. And I combine those resources and I tell my story. And then I have to take all this, know the trends and pressure and all that nonsense that nobody really cares about. What people care about is, for the love of God, just tell me, do I have to have my daughter wear her hello Kitty raincoat to school tomorrow? That’s all I hear about. You have to simplify it and be able to present it in a fast way where people can gather some useful information out of it.

Steve Cuden: It’s fascinating that you are a storyteller of the news.

Fritz Coleman: Yes. That’s what you have to be, really, to keep people’s attention, because people will stay till the end of the story. If you set the story, you do what you do in good speeching. You say what you’re going to say, you say it, and then you repeat it at the end. It’s kind of good storytelling.

Steve Cuden: And then you repeat it several times in a two hour broadcast of some.

Fritz Coleman: Exactly, you know, LA in particular. I know Pittsburgh might be this way now, but they have what’s called a rolling drive time. That means that afternoon, drive happens between three and 07:00 in Los Angeles. So you have people arriving home every 15 minutes or a half hour. So even though you’re doing the same forecast, the people that hear your forecast at four won’t hear it at six, and the people at six wouldn’t have heard it at four or five. So it’s only repeating to you. It’s not really repeating to the audience. It’s like being, on a radio station and doing your playlist and playing the top 30 records. You’re just kind of repeating yourself.

Steve Cuden: Well, that makes a lot of sense. although I would tend to turn the news on and leave it on and have it in the background so I would hear it multiple times.

Fritz Coleman: That’s very true. When that happens the most is in the morning, the newscast in the morning. The morning shows like the Today show. And those shows are really background sound for you preparing to go to work and stuff. That’s. And so you’re getting a little bit of it audio wise but not seeing the picture.

Steve Cuden: So the fact that you weren’t a trained meteorologist, I assume you picked up a lot of it over time and essentially you probably could have become a meteorologist quite easily, I assume.

Fritz Coleman: Well if I was applying for the job today, I wouldn’t get it because as I say, all of the current crop of forecasters, whether they’re attractive women in cocktail dresses or younger men, are all licensed meteorologists. I never could have gotten a license. I had to go to summer school three years in a row for math when I was in high school. There’s so much math and chemistry and physics in weather I wouldn’t have the job. So that’s what it was. But we’re in southern California so again you have these repeat weather casts and truthfully there are five or six repetitive weather patterns in southern California. Sure.

Steve Cuden: Correct.

Fritz Coleman: So over time you learn those. You talk about the atmospheric river and the Pineapple Express and the Santa Ana winds and the onshore flow and the marine layer. It’s all very similar circumstances repeating themselves every year. Although I have to say with climate change all bets are off.

Steve Cuden: Did you ever get a forecast wildly wrong?

Fritz Coleman: Oh yeah, I have a great story about that. sure. So I did the five, six and 11:00 news for 40 years. So one night I was in a 24 hours Vaughn’s market. You’ll remember Vaughn’s being the grocery store of course. And they were open 24 hours in taluka Lake adjacent to where I worked. And I’m in there at night and it’s the end of the day and I’m downtrodden from being beaten up by executives in their mid 20s during the day and wondering what the purpose of my life was. And I was in there to buy a snapple and maybe some Tylenol and I’m in the line to pay going out and this man comes out from behind the battery display and he was in his seventy s and he said, chris Coleman, I said yes. He said I just want you to know I’m a big fan of yours but I want you to understand how what you do affects people. About five years ago I was having an outdoor wedding for my daughter and I had hit this deadline where the following day I had to order a tent to cover my backyard so that it would not rain on my daughter’s wedding, and the tent was going to cost me $6,000. So I called you at the television station, and I said, you’ve been forecasting rain for the last couple of days. How convinced are you that it’s going to rain? I said, sir, I’ve never been more convinced in my life it’s going to rain. It won’t be significant, but it will moisten the sidewalks and dampen the grass. And it is going to rain periodically throughout the day, Saturday and probably Sunday. As it turns out, it was one of the most beautiful days in southern California. Not a cloud in the sky. It was sunny. And he said, I just wanted to tell you that you cost me $6,000 because I rented this tent for no apparent reason. But the wedding photography was pristine. It turned out to be beautiful. So I still like you. I still watch you. You’re a great weather presenter. But I just want you to know it cost me $6,000, and I hope you have malpractice insurance, but you give it a shot. But here’s what I’ve learned. Ah. I’ve learned that if you are humble about your mistakes, people love you even more. On tv, it’s the adage of, you remember Mayor Marion Barry in?

Steve Cuden: Sure, sure.

Fritz Coleman: they found him on security cameras smoking crack. Well, he admitted he was wrong.

He was a flawed man. People love flawed people. And the psychology behind that is people make mistakes

He was a flawed man. He ran again and became the mayor again. And the psychology behind that is people love flawed people, because people make mistakes, and they want to know that you’re just like them. So if I screw a forecast up, I have no problem the next day apologizing for it and say, boy, I really booted that one. And people like it. You give it a shot.

Steve Cuden: If only more politicians would follow that philosophy.

Fritz Coleman: Good point.

When you receive criticism from someone above you, how do you handle it

Steve Cuden: So I want to go back to your comment about executives, because I like to ask guests this question, which is, I think, going to be interesting to hear from you. You’ve clearly had more than your fair share of dealings with people in charge of the, broadcast or the network or the studio or whatever. And I’m just wondering, when you received some form of communication, notes, whatever you want to call it, from someone above you who basically didn’t understand what you were doing, how would you handle it?

Fritz Coleman: That’s a great question. Well, my pride would make me buck up and say, well, thank you for your comment, and I’ll work that into my forecast. But after I had been there, like, 25 years, people just stopped talking to me. I was like, a fixture as, a matter of fact, my bosses, my boss, being the news director of the television station, wouldn’t even know I was there till I showed up on the air. It wasn’t like I had to punch a time clock and go to work. And so after a while, when they trust you, they just leave you alone. But every time a new manager comes in, and I counted, general manager is the highest ranking person at the tv station. I went through eleven general managers in my 40 year career. I can’t even remember all of them by name. But every time they would come in, as they always did, they had to mark their territory so they would make their little suggestions. No more plaid sports coats on the weather or something like that. And, so there’s always a couple of weeks of that. But then after they trust you and realize you’re not going to threaten the license of the television station, they leave you alone. But I just took it with a grain of salt when I was younger, in my career, it could be hurtful. Your pride was bruised slightly, but everybody gets criticism.

Steve Cuden: You eventually developed a very thick skin about it.

Fritz Coleman: I assume you had to. Yeah, because if your boss didn’t criticize you, the general public whacked you in a big way. The worst thing ever invented was social media. In the old days when I started, there was a receptionist at the television station who could be your filter. And if somebody called and bawled you out, she’d say, well, bob from Pacoima is displeased. And she would leave the message on my desk. Now, people can send you a scathing email and leave you exhausted after you read it.

Steve Cuden: Can you say what the worst or most challenging thing somebody said to you was?

Fritz Coleman: Oh, I don’t know. If you use a lot of social media now. You know the term trolls. These are people that have this anonymous power, and they wouldn’t have guts enough to say this to you in person, but they feel like you can’t trace where this is coming from. They’ll just send you, even if it’s not necessarily true, they’ll send you profanity laced, scathing criticisms about you just because they know it’s having some power over your mood. And after a while it doesn’t bother you. But it’s a different world now.

Steve Cuden: Well, that is for sure.

How important is chemistry in the studio with a news broadcast? It’s everything

I am curious, in terms of being on air as long as you were, you worked with many different anchors and, various reporters and so on. How important is that chemistry in the studio with a, particular news, broadcast?

Fritz Coleman: It’s everything. And the way I, ah, feel about that is the way I feel about, say, a man and a woman hosting a talk show or a man and a woman doing comedy on stage. You can’t manufacture chemistry. And we had, when I was there, the longest running anchor team in southern California history with me, Fred Rogan, who was the sports guy, Chuck Henry, who was the male anchor, and Colleen Williams, who was the female anchor. And for some reason, we had high ratings and people appreciated our chemistry because we got along and we were friends outside the station. But it’s a miracle of being juxtaposed against people that you get along with. That’s all it is.

Steve Cuden: Is it a true collaboration? Are you chatting with each other throughout the day as you’re preparing?

Fritz Coleman: no, because sometimes, but all of our responsibilities are different.

Steve Cuden: You’re in your own silo. You’re in your own thing.

Fritz Coleman: Exactly. That’s a good way to describe it. For instance, when I was on duty, five, six, and 11:00 news, I was 100% responsible for my own product. I would, as I mentioned before, decide what my weather story was going to be, go to work, find the information that supported, my story, and build my forecast. I would do all of my own graphics, and I was the only person working in our department. When I was on duty, I didn’t have interns because, with union regulations being what they were, interns couldn’t operate our equipment, so they couldn’t help me with my forecast, so I would prepare myself. The sports guy’s got a team of sports guys over there helping him because he’s got clips and all that stuff. The anchors are participating in the writing of their set, so we’re all doing different things, but when we’re on the set, we’re all cordial, and, we get along and we joke around. If it was appropriate to joke around, you always have to be cognizant of the flavor of the news either going into you or out of you, because you don’t want to say after a drive by shooting, we go, hey, I got a funny joke for you. but no. there was a natural chemistry there. And there’s another thing. And you know this. Being a screenwriter, the camera doesn’t lie. People have a sense of who you are. Even if you’re not expressing yourself verbally. They can look into your eyes and just know if you’re bsing them or they can know where your soul is. people just pick up on it, and they read you out immediately.

Steve Cuden: I don’t think it’s easy to fake sincerity.

Fritz Coleman: No, that’s exactly what I’m saying. You can’t fake sincerity.

Steve Cuden: That’s why I was going to say, when you watch someone like, David Letterman or Carson or someone like that, you know, from reading about them, that there may be quite different offstage than they are on, but their core personality is what you’re seeing on the.

Fritz Coleman: And, you know, their warmth and their personality and their humor all come out. And, it’s really interesting. I would do speaking engagements, and at the end of most of the speaking engagements, I would, do a question and answer period. And if there was a little prickly exchange between, say, the male and female anchor, I mean, they’re all human beings. Some people have a bad day, somebody would ask me a question, well, what’s the deal with, so and so? And, they seem like they have an icy relationship. I said, no, they don’t. They might have had a bad day, but people really have a sense, It’s amazing how revealing that camera is. It’s really honest. It looks right into your heart.

Steve Cuden: It does. And there’s no question. And especially because it’s focused on your face, it’s not focused on your whole body most of the time.

Fritz Coleman: Absolutely, 100%. And they see all your nonverbal cues and all those things. That’s exactly right.

If you were starting out today, how would you approach finding work

Steve Cuden: So if you were starting out today, you alluded to that a little earlier, how would you approach finding work? You would first, I assume, need to.

Fritz Coleman: Go get a meteorological degree, to get a job. I don’t know about the smaller and medium markets, because sometimes the economics force you to hire somebody in a small market, that might not have a, degree, just because you couldn’t afford somebody who has the cachet of a degree. So maybe in the smaller markets, you don’t need one, but in the major markets and in the medium sized markets, you would need that meteorological degree, because now it’s a competitive thing with climate change. And the way weather is taken very seriously everywhere in the United States now, you almost have to have it to have credibility. When I was there, I was just like the court jester when I first started. The good thing about all of the various venues, for communication now is that there are lots of places to start. And you can really, with either websites or streaming services, you can focus on what you like. For instance, if you like politics or international news, you have the MSNBCs and the Foxes and the CNNs and all those various things, you can almost target where you want to go. When I was starting, we didn’t have all those luxuries, and so you would have to be a broadcaster. Now you can be a narrowcaster and sort of find, the area that you like. If you like entertainment, you have access Hollywood and entertainment tonight and all those various venues. It’s easier to sort of target what you think your strong points are, and.

Steve Cuden: You can then just go exactly what you want.

Fritz Coleman: Yeah, right. What you have to do when you start is, and if you’re fortunate enough to find a place where this works, you need to go to your first job and find out who you are. Is your strength when you’re a broadcaster? Is it your humor? Is it your sincerity? Is it your ability to tell a story, in an unflappable way? Maybe you’re a serious news person. You cover politics, or you’re very good at tragedy. You’re treating a subject with great sensitivity. That might be your strength. That wouldn’t be my strength. But you have to go find out what you’re good at. Are you a good writer? How do people, connect with you on the air? And their feedback to you will help you find out who you are. And then you go to your second job, and you know how to play yourself a little bit more, and you work whatever your muscles of strength are.

Steve Cuden: So you had the great good fortune, and I’m sure you’ll agree with that, that it was great good fortune that you were able to meld your desire to be funny and comedic and a performer with a job that was in a sort of a serious technical thing.

Fritz Coleman: Unbelievable. You’re 100% right. And we were just coming into a period of time, and it’s even worse now when the weather forecast was the least threatening part of a newscast. So you could be lighter, you could smile, you could have maybe a, comment with one of your anchor people, and that would make people smile. And people just need that because after they’ve been bombarded with some really negative information for the first two thirds of a, newscast, they need a little break. And so you can be the non threatening part of the newscast other than the times when you have Santa Ana winds and there’s a fire danger and there are tornadoes like we have in Tennessee last couple of days. But in those non threatening times, you can be the light spot in the newscast. So my club experience and my, performing in front of live audience experience helped me to be able to deliver under those circumstances.

You focus, typically, as I understand it, on topical comedy

Steve Cuden: So let’s talk about that, because do you think of yourself when you think of your life and your career and all, everything you’ve done. Do you think of yourself as a writer, as a comedian, as a weathercaster, a podcaster? Do you have one sort of discipline that is your thing or not?

Fritz Coleman: When I was working, I had to think of myself as a duopoly. I had to think of myself as a weathercaster and a comedian, because even when I was doing the weather, I was still performing three or four sets a week at the local clubs, like the comedy store, the improv, or now the laugh factory, the ice house in Pasadena. And so I thought of myself as both. My only mandate from my boss was, they took a chance and hired a comedian as a weather person, and they said, we don’t mind if you continue to do comedy. The only thing we’re asking is, don’t get anybody to call me and complain about your, content or your language, because the minute I get complaints about you, we’re going to ask you to stop. So that was great for me because it disciplined me to work clean and sort of unoffensive without being boring. I had to sort of walk that thin line, and that was very helpful. So one aspect of my career, the weather, helped me to discipline myself and be better at my comedy.

Steve Cuden: You focus, typically, as I understand it, on topical comedy, not, you don’t do props or insult comedy or any of that kind of stuff. How challenging is it to do topical comedy when you’re constantly having to reach into the day’s events?

Fritz Coleman: Well, I’ll tell you the truth. I like to stay away from current events material. first of all, nobody’s going to do it better than the Daily show or Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Kimmel. They have a staff of writers, and every day it would be hard for me to sit down myself and write stuff that’s better than what they do. Plus, in a selfish way, the shelf life of current events material is very short, very. I don’t have the time or the inclination. If I was a big, famous comic that worked all over the United States and I wanted to incorporate some Bill Maher type material, I would hire five or six writers to help me do it. But I don’t do that. Part of the joy of the stand up for me is I write it myself. 50% of the joy of it for me is creating it and then having it work in front of an audience. That’s a great feeling for me. So I don’t do any current events material. Plus, we’re in such a politically correct time now that I’ll tell you, audiences can be very prickly now, you don’t even have to do a punchline. But if you say Donald Trump’s name, just go out on stage and say Donald Trump, you’re going to get booze from the audience because they’re expecting an insult from you or something that disagrees with their opinion. It’s a very fraught time for, current events material, which is another reason I’m glad I stay away from.

Steve Cuden: Well, it’s no question it’s truly a fraught time to be in the comedy world at all.

How do you develop your routines? I love the discipline of writing

So when you’re developing a new set, or when you’re developing new material, or even just something you’re trying to insert into something that’s a standard, a bunch of material for you, do you have a technique or a process that works time and again? How do you develop your routines?

Fritz Coleman: My writing process is, I discipline myself to write a couple of hours a day, and I do it mainly in the morning, and I love it. I’m a very routine oriented person. So even if I don’t have any ideas, I sit down with a legal pad, I sit on my couch, my cat is in my lap, and I try to fill the page and I just spritz. I write ideas that might be funny, something that occurred to me on tv, and then see if it will give birth to something funny. And then, sometimes it does. Sometimes days are very fruitful, and sometimes they’re not fruitful at all. But I find that in order for it to work for me, I have to be able to rely on myself and sit down every day and write. And then you try the jokes. And the day after I do. For instance, I did a show on Saturday night, where I did an hour in front of an audience in Orange County, California. It was an older audience. My new show, unassisted living, is sort of focused on that demographic, older people, as I say, old people and their parents. and so I’ll do the show, and then I will go back, and the next day I will sit and make tweaks and, think again at what wasn’t as strong as it should be, something that was mistimed, something that was misworded, something that wasn’t clear, and then make the fixes the next day.

Steve Cuden: So you were always working with the material?

Fritz Coleman: I love the work aspect of it. I really do. I love the discipline of writing.

Steve Cuden: So where does your research or your material come from? Does it just come from your own experience?

Fritz Coleman: I developed a type of show, and I came up with this name. I don’t think anybody else uses it. I just call it a single topic monologue. The show that you introduced me with called it’s me dad was an Hour and a half show about being a parent in a divorced family set up. And I just talk about all aspects of being, a divorced dad. I had a great time doing that. The next show after that was a show called the reception, where I spoke for an hour and a half about divorce. The third show was called Tonight at eleven, which was a show about being in the News business. My first show about getting old was called defying gravity. The one just before this where, oh, my God, I just realized, oh, my God, I’m getting old. Now. This one is about, unassisted living. Is about, I’m old now. How did I survive being old? During the pandemic with Schools Closed, we had to babysit our, two grandchildren. And all the I just look for. What I look for is common experiences that everybody has, but I put words to and I express other people’s feelings. And that recognition by the audience of a common experience is what gets the laughter.

Steve Cuden: So you’re sitting there every morning for 2 hours doing what you CAll spritzing. So I guess your routine would technically be a Fritz Spritz.

Fritz Coleman: Exactly.

Steve Cuden: So when you’re doing that, I guess in some WAy YOu’re brainstorming out ideas. You’re not sitting there and dwelling on one sentence for hours. You’re throwing Stuff out.

Fritz Coleman: I take an idea that seems interesting, and then I try to flesh it out, and then I build it into a, Concept. And my humor comes from metaphor, an exaggeration and a twist at the end. And if you can turn any thought, any sort of, concept into one of those three areas, maybe you have a good piece of work. But the truth is, that the mystery of stand up is you’re never really sure until you try it in front of an audience. You can be so convinced that you have just written the most brilliant piece of comedy in the history of the art form, and you get out there in front of an audience and nothing. Then you come home. And so one of two tHings, a couple of things could happen. It could be that you didn’t do the setup properly, you didn’t, develop the punchline properly, or it just ain’t funny. And so that’s the challenge when it works. It’s the greatest high you can have to make this intimate connection with an audience, this intimate group of strangers late at night. And your thoughts. Thoughts you’ve had alone. You’re expressing maybe their feelings and the recognition of that is making them laugh. And, it’s a pretty pure form of joy.

Steve Cuden: Yeah. It’s similar in terms of just being, a screenwriter. You don’t quite get that immediacy or feedback like you would standing on a stage as a comedian. But when you write for theater, which I’ve done, and you can go sit with an audience, it’s extraordinary.

Fritz Coleman: Come on. That’s even more fun because they don’t know you’re you and you’re in the back going, boom. I know. So you’re feeling the same thing I am. Oh, sure. It’s a very addictive procedure. You want to repeat that all the time and it doesn’t happen all the time, but you want to try.

You gave up touring to become a weathercaster in 1980

Steve Cuden: And you’ve spent a little bit of time on the road. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman: Yes.

Steve Cuden: Do you like the road?

Fritz Coleman: I didn’t do a lot of the road. I did at the beginning of my career. And part of the reason why I had no problem taking the job as a weathercaster, and taking myself off the road was for a couple of reasons. First of all, because I was in LA, I wasn’t taking myself out of the business of stand up. I was still performing three, four, five nights a week. I would go do a 15 minutes set and come back and do the 11:00 news. But when I, came out here, 1980 was the late 70s. Early eighty s was sort of the peak of the comedy club business. It was the David Letterman, Jay Leno, Freddie Prince era, Tom Dreson. And, there were as many comedy clubs in America as there were Starbucks at that point. But unless you were a household name, somebody who had gotten a lot of exposure on one of the talk shows, Letterman or Leno, you couldn’t make a lot of money with those circumstances. If you had national stature, you could sort of dictate your terms and dictate your date and sort of negotiate what you were going to get paid. I was not that. I was what they call a feature act. I was the middle guy. You would go to Cincinnati and they would have a local guy be the Mc in the opening act, and he would do ten or 15 minutes, and then they would bring you up and you’d be the feature act and you’d do 20 or 25 minutes, and then they’d bring up the headliner, the guy with a name. Well, a feature made 500, $600 a week for six nights of performance and sometimes have to pay for your own transportation. So if you come home with $5100. I had two kids. I couldn’t do that. So my, decision to give up my early exposure to the road was not hard because I had steady work, I could bring my children up in a stable environment, and I didn’t have to worry about making no money as a feature act.

Memorizing your stand up set requires some memory

Steve Cuden: I have to assume you’re a pretty good memorizer.

Fritz Coleman: Well, you have to be when you are. First of all, memorizing your stand up set requires some memory. But when you’re the writer and the rewriter and the editor, it’s easier to memorize it because then it just gets pounded into your brain. But it helped me memorize my stuff on the weather. People say, well, don’t you have a teleprompter? No, we never use a teleprompter because, first of all, you’re facing the maps, you’re not facing the camera to read your copy. So, you memorize four or five bullet points, and then, as you said, tell the story.

Steve Cuden: Were you in the beginning, a nervous performer? Did you ever have nerves?

Fritz Coleman: I still have nerves a little bit. You do? It sort of heightens your presentation a little bit. You always feel like you just had a Red Bull before you go on stage, and that’s a good sign.

Steve Cuden: I think it means you care.

Fritz Coleman: Yeah, well, that’s a good way to say it. Yeah. You want them to have a good time. There are performers that throw up before they go on stage. I don’t do that, but I do get aware I’m cranked up a little bit before I go on stage.

What do you tell young comedians about how to handle themselves? Just be yourself

Steve Cuden: What do you tell young comedians about how to handle themselves?

Fritz Coleman: Just be yourself. The art for most comedians is fairly similar, and that is that you start out even subconsciously copying somebody you looked up to. I did a lot of know, trying to be really cute with my words and everything, and Robert Klein, who I thought was one of the greatest performers of all time. And then after a while, you begin to recognize what your strengths are by the way people are reacting to what you do, what area of material seems to work for you, what sort of delivery, works for you. And I just say it takes a while. You don’t do it right away, but just be yourself. And when you find who you are as a performer, write to that. Don’t copy anybody else, and that will make you successful because you’re interesting and nobody’s like you.

Steve Cuden: I love that because as a writer, it took me a good 15 years of writing before I had my voice, and then my voice is plainly on a page. When I write, people can tell it’s.

Fritz Coleman: My voice, and that’s what makes you a valuable commodity. Gary Shanley said it took 20 years. It takes 20 years to become a good stand up comedian. And for a young performer, Judd Apatow, who’s a friend of mine, he was a host at the improv for many years before he became successful writing for the Gary Shanling show, and everything, did a spectacular documentary about the life of Gary Shanley. I think it’s called the Zen of Gary Shanley. He was a buddhist or something. It is a primer for beginning stand up comedians, because this guy took his job so seriously, he treated it like art. His writing, the way he thought about it, the responsibility of a stand up in the world. And I thought, man, every beginning stand up comedian should be forced to watch this. After that thing came out, it was an HBO, it was a two part special. It was like 4 hours long on HBO. I sent Judd an email and I said, I know you’re, Mr. Anchorman and Mr. 40 year old virgin. This is the nicest piece of work you’ve ever done. It was brilliant. And Gary Shandling was the element that made it brilliant. It was really good.

Steve Cuden: Well, Shandling was. There was no one that was better than him at what he did, that’s for sure.

Fritz Coleman: Yeah. And he wasn’t afraid to take chances. I mean, all of his shows, the Showtime show, it’s Gary Shamling show. And the one, the other one, the, late night show, they were groundbreaking. It was groundbreaking television. And he was very funny, but he treated it like an art form, and I always respected that about him.

Steve Cuden: Yes, that’s right. And I think the great ones always do treat it like an art form, even though they make it look like they’re just goofing around.

Fritz Coleman: That’s the key. That was the first time I saw Carlin. I could not believe that this guy came out on stage, was so matter of fact in his delivery. Like he never said those words before. Like he just thought of them in the spur of the moment. And then after I began my career in stand up, I realized, no, this is a couple years of blood, sweat, and tears were working and editing and working and putting all the transitions and making everything work. It takes a lot of work, but the gift is to make it look like it’s right off the top of your head.

Steve Cuden: Well, that’s it. I saw Carlin live once in Orlando, and it was just one of the most magical nights ever. the other one that I saw that was beyond. There’s no one else ever, ever been like him at all was Victor Borga.

Fritz Coleman: Oh, yeah. What an interesting man. It truly was, really. And, you know, for years they used to run those commercials that sold his dvd packages on tv, and they’d made me laugh every time.

Steve Cuden: Absolutely. He, was hilarious.

You have a podcast called Mediapath with Louise Polanker

Let’s talk for just a moment about the podcast that you do with Louise Polanker. Tell us about Mediapath. What is your purpose in it? What do you focus on?

Fritz Coleman: media path is, I don’t know how you could pigeonhole it, but we talk about any topic that is in the current zeitgeist. For instance, if a politician has a new book out, we’ll have them on. If a star from a tv show will come on and has a new career, we’ll have them talk. we love to talk to musicians. We love to talk to authors. We talk to playwrights. We talk to people, who have quirky interests. We talk about anything. It’s like a general purpose talk show. You know how podcasts are. You can’t put too much pressure on yourself at first, say, oh, my God, we didn’t grow our audience by 1000 people this week. You can’t look at it that way. It takes you a long time to sort of grow, to grow an audience. So when you put it out of your head, it’s not like tv, where you look at the overnight ratings. I just do it because I love the conversation, and I love talking people about something I don’t know anything about. And, Louise is the same way. She’s an avid reader, and we just have a great time. We’ll talk about anything with anybody.

Steve Cuden: You have a more general look at it. M my show, this StoryBeat is specifically about creative process, and that’s what I focus on. but I think that it’s terrific that you have the more general show, so you can swing in all kinds of different directions.

Fritz Coleman: I’ll give you an example. We had Christopher knight, who played Barry on the. Sure. And, you know, we all think of, and, you know this, we all think of actors, as two dimensional. Know, they just read what’s on the page, and, they seem like very sort of superficial characters. That’s our lack of information. And so Christopher knight retired from show business. This guy’s a computer genius. He developed companies that install large computer systems to major international corporations. He developed, like, this computer program for the CBS television network that changed the way they do everything. It was so fascinating to me to present things to our listeners that people didn’t know about, somebody that you had a completely different thought about. And, that’s always fun for me.

How much preparation do you do for each show

Steve Cuden: How much preparation do you do for each show?

Fritz Coleman: Because a lot of our shows are, books or are supported by printed stuff. I do a lot of it, I think, and you know this, the more prepared you are for a show, the more your guests trust you. As soon as they realize that you’re not asking the typical red carpet things and you’re asking questions that haven’t been asked 15 times earlier that day, they trust you because you seem to have an interest in what they have to say. And as soon as they learn that, and hopefully it’s early in the interview, you’re off to the races. And so I like to prepare myself enough so the person feels comfortable.

Steve Cuden: Well, I can’t do what we’re doing here right now without a lot of prep for me.

Fritz Coleman: I can tell. And that makes me more forthcoming with you, because I know you have a genuine interest in what I have to say.

Steve Cuden: Well, thank you. I do. So I’m glad that came out. you and Louise have a certain chemistry. I’ve listened to a number of your shows, and that chemistry didn’t just pop up overnight. You’ve known one another for a long time, so that chemistry, again, is important.

Fritz Coleman: We’ve been friends for about 35 years. She produced my first one person show, and then my second one. She is a great success story. She started a company called Premier Radio Networks, which started out as a joke writing service for. She was a writer for Rick Dees, the famous DJ, for many years. And she and her other writers started this thing called the plain rap comedy service, where it’s a brilliant idea, where they would write material for small and medium market djs that couldn’t afford their own joke services. They would write them topical jokes and send them five or six pages of material, and they could plug their own name in. And the small and medium market djs sound like geniuses. And then that developed into something even larger where she would go do the red carpet interviews, edit these things down, and make the interviews sound like the local dj is actually doing the interview with the Star. And this became a huge business. Wow. And they sold this business from millions of dollars to clear channel radio, and Clear channel sold it to iHeartRadio, and the rest is history. So she’s retired. She can do whatever she wants. She’s a documentary filmmaker. She made a great documentary about the cow sills called the Family Band, which is fantastic. it’s on Amazon prime right now. It’s a spectacular story. It has a lot of the flavor of the Jackson family story, where, this veneer of very talented, gifted kids, there’s a dark family story that really explains a lot of what went on. And it’s the same thing with the. A father who commandeered their money. And it was interesting. So, anyway, so we’ve been friends for years, and we always had a similar interest about stuff. We’re of, like, minds politically. We like, documentary films. We like films and books and. And stuff. So when I retired and I was no longer under contract with NBC, where I was restricted to doing things. To doing things with NBC, she said, when you retire, let’s do a podcast and just make it a continuation of our friendship, and we’ll have fun. And I’m just having a blast.

Steve Cuden: Well, you can tell. You can tell you’re having fun.

Fritz Coleman: Yeah.

Steve Cuden: Where can we find it? On all the major podcast apps?

Fritz Coleman: Yes, we’re on all the, podcast apps. Spotify and Apple and all these places. you can go to mediapathpodcast.com. We have our whole library of shows. We’re up to about 160 shows now. we’ve been going since I retired in March of 2020. And, whatever your interest is, you will find a show about it. In that group guy that made the documentary about the wrecking crew on there, we had Pat Boone. We’ve had all these great people, wonderful, interesting people, because, you know, the beauty of a podcast is the intimacy. You can ask them long questions and have extended conversations in very candid ways that you couldn’t have on a radio show or even a tv show.

Steve Cuden: Well, just like we’re having here.

Fritz Coleman: Yes, exactly.

Steve Cuden: So I have been having the most fun conversation I’ve had in quite some time. Fritz Coleman, from years and years and years of being the weather guy on, well, what was your phrase? Fritz, said it would be like this.

Fritz Coleman: Yes.

Steve Cuden: Fritz said, it was.

Fritz Coleman: There’s a funny story about that. May I tell you a funny story?

Steve Cuden: Sure, please.

Fritz Coleman: So, my tenure at Channel Four started about the time that Jimmy Carter was running for president, and his vice president was Walter Mondale.

Steve Cuden: Right.

Fritz Coleman: Nickname was Fritz. Fritz Mondale. So the station did this huge billboard campaign with me, and all it was was font on a blue background, white font on a blue background that said Fritz said it would be like this. A brilliant newscast. Well, you remember that Orange county is. They call it being behind the orange curtain. It’s a very conservative county. So a conservative newspaper in Orange county was convinced that this was NBC. Finally exposing their liberal roots. NBC has bought this campaign to advertise Fritz Mondale, who is running for president. finally, there’s a television station that has the guts to reveal the fact that they have a liberal somebody. And this was, like a four column editorial he wrote in this conservative Orange county newscape paper. Somebody sent it to me, and so I autographed a picture for this guy and I said, thank you for the publicity, and I sent him back the thing from Fritz Coleman. It was really hysterical. So that said, it would be like this thing. It was a win win for me.

Steve Cuden: That’s a very good story.

You’ve told us an enormous number of really great, funny stories

You’ve told us an enormous number of really great, funny stories. But I’m wondering if you have a single story that you can share that’s either weird, quirky, offbeat, strange, or just plain funny.

Fritz Coleman: I was on Dick Clark’s bloopers and practical jokes for bloopers that I had had on the air. One was they had these fixed position cameras, like six or eight of these things mounted on top of buildings around LA so you could see what was going on. And we would always use those things to sort of set the weather stage before I would go to the green screen and do my presentation. So on one particular day, this fixed, position camera was aimed at downtown LA. And suddenly this huge bird flapped and land on this camera and stuck his head and his beak. And he was jittery and honest to God, I said, well, here is the new channel for pterodactyl has landed on the camera. And we just kind of improvised our way through a couple of jokes. And he was pecking on the thing and the cameras moving all over the place. And it was one of those things that convulse the anchors, and they could barely maintain, their dignity on the air. And then I had one where we used to have what was called the family shot, where I would stand, over at the desk, and we would exchange, have pleasantries, and they would say, wow, it was a little cloudy this morning, Fritz. What do you expect over the next couple of days? And then I would take the camera, and then as I’m walking over to the green screen, which was like a 30 foot walk, they would put an outside picture to sort of set the weather stage. Well, on this particular day, it was in July, it was really hot. And so we had a cameraman go down to the beach, at Santa Monica, and set up a camera and shoot people on the beach. And this guy was cute. So he had this line of bathing beauties. These were girls who were students at UCLA who were just down at the beach for the day. And there were like ten of them all lined up in a row. And so as I’m walking over to the chroma key, there was a screw up in the chroma key. And when they came to me in the green screen with my weather map, I was standing on the stomach of, two of these women because they had put this camera in back of me. So I didn’t know what was going on, because, again, I can’t see that picture because I’m in a green screen and I’m looking at the camera. So I looked up at a monitor, and here I am. I got 1ft on one bathing beauty and 1ft on the other, and the anchor people are hysterical. So I just bent over and went. And I said, well, that girl had a little sand in her navel and went like this. And then they just lost it for the next five minutes. So there are little things like that. Break up the newscast.

Steve Cuden: I, imagine that every day was, you never knew what was going to come your way.

Fritz Coleman: Well, my nightclub experience made me revel in those moments when something unexpected happened, because it forced me to box my way out of it. So it was fun.

Steve Cuden: What a great term you just used. You boxed your way out of it.

Fritz Coleman: Punched my way out of it.

Steve Cuden: I think that’s a great way to look at it. I never thought of it that way.

Fritz Coleman: Before, but, yeah, try to do it without using profanity or insulting the television station.

Steve Cuden: Well, clearly that was, you’re not going to be cursing on air, that’s for sure. and not and keep your job anyway.

Fritz Coleman offers advice to budding weathercasters on their way up

So last question for you today, Fritz. You’ve also given us lots of fantastic advice along the way, but I’m wondering if you have a single solid piece of advice or a tip that you like to give to. I don’t know whether you think of it as comedians or weathercasters on their way up, or maybe they’re in a little bit and trying to get to that bigger station or the next level.

Fritz Coleman: All I’d say to anybody beginning any career, people, have invited me to speak at colleges a lot. And they said, but come out and tell everybody. Explain your career to people. I really have no advice, but the only thing I represented in my life was for all the reasons I told you. My job was offered to me at the comedy store on a Friday night when I wasn’t expecting. It is, don’t be afraid to try something that you hadn’t thought of. What I mean is, I wasn’t afraid to accept the challenge of becoming a weatherman. I didn’t set out to be a weatherman since I was six years old. I wasn’t going outside to see what the weather was. But when this opportunity was, offered to me, I wasn’t afraid to try it. And it turned out to be a spectacular career. It, was a stable environment for me to grow my family in, and so just don’t be afraid. And also, a second item is something I mentioned before. Don’t let anybody tell you not to do something. Just be true to yourself. Find out what makes you funny, find out what makes you convincing as an on air performer, as a news person, and just stick to that, and you will be successful.

Steve Cuden: Fritz Coleman. This has just been so much fun for me. I can’t thank you enough for giving.

Fritz Coleman: Your questions were great, and, thank you.

Are you still writing at all?

Steve Cuden: I am still writing almost every.

Fritz Coleman: That’s great.

Steve Cuden: Yeah, I’ve been working on a couple of musicals, and, I’ve got a variety of various irons in the fire. I’m writing songs and all kinds of different things.

Fritz Coleman: You describe my life perfectly. Stand up. Now that Covid is over, is opening up, and I’m doing a lot of. Doing a couple of shows a week now. And I’m also on the board of three nonprofit organizations, which was always my passion. Even, I was doing all that stuff when I was working, but my job kept getting in the way. Now I can just have fun doing it, and my life has never been fuller. I’m having such a great time in retirement, and it’s ridiculous.

Steve Cuden: Well, again, you’re fortunate, as I am, in that you’re able to do that and keep at it, because I don’t know what else I would do. I’m not good at sitting around.

Fritz Coleman: Yeah, I agree completely.

Steve Cuden: Fritz Coleman, thank you so much for doing this.

Fritz Coleman: It was a pleasure. Continued success to you. Do a great job, and happy holiday.

Steve Cuden: And so we’ve come to the end of today’s StoryBeat. If you like this episode, won’t you please take a moment to give us a comment, rating, or review on whatever app or platform you’re listening to? Your support helps us bring more great StoryBeat episodes to you. StoryBeat is available on all major podcast apps and platforms, including Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Tunein, and many others. until next time. I’m Eve Cuden, and may all your stories be unforgettable.

Executive Producer: Steve Cuden, Producer: Casey Georgi, Announcer: Javier Grajeda
Social Media: Mina Hoffman, Design & Marketing: Holly Reed, Reed Creative Group


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