Hi everyone! I’m Tom Bergeron, here in Washington, DC, to host the 36th Annual “A Capitol Fourth” on PBS (airing live tonight at 8pm), featuring some amazing musical talent: Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, “Younger’s” Sutton Foster, Country star Cassadee Pope, classical crossover artist Jackie Evancho, Amber Riley, Gavin DeGraw, Yolanda Adams, “The Voice” winner Alisan Porter, “Hamilton’s” Christopher Jackson, the cast of “ON YOUR FEET!”, General Colin Powell and Olympic Gold Medal winner Scott Hamilton and 19 Olympic athletes before they head off to Rio. ASK ME ANYTHING!

My Proof: http://imgur.com/LbvNkUv

That's it for me! Join us tonight on PBS at 8 EDT for "A Capitol Fourth!"

Comments: 756 • Responses: 48  • Date: 

Jblablah877 karma

How were the finalist chosen for AFV? I always found many of the other videos funnier.

Tom_Bergeron1763 karma

I agree. Sometimes videos had aired in previous seasons; other times, it was a factor of our taping date and who could make the trip.

kfunke636 karma

Do you sometimes have to tell jokes that you don't think are funny? How do you get through that?

Tom_Bergeron2040 karma

AFV, because it was largely aimed at kids, often had punnier jokes than I would tell but they worked for our audience. Plus they paid me really well.

ottrekker497 karma

Hey Tom!

Out of all the videos you've watched with us on AFV is there a certain one that just made you break character and just laugh uncontrollably?

Thanks for the AMA!

Tom_Bergeron1592 karma

Yes. There was a montage of cat videos where the producers put black bars over the cats' privates. I lost it.

But_No_Irish462 karma

Hey Tom,

You are the only reason I will watch DWTS.

What's coming up for you after this gig?

Keep on hosting.

Tom_Bergeron1739 karma

Eventually? Death.

suaveitguy395 karma

Ever see a talented person's career flame-out just because they couldn't help being a jerk?

Tom_Bergeron987 karma

Yeah. And for $50 I'll name names.

Ice_Burn360 karma

What was the biggest mistake that you made live on the air but you covered it up and no one noticed?

Tom_Bergeron777 karma

While hosting the lottery broadcast in Boston, I misstated the jackpot by 7 million dollars. Unfortunately, they noticed.

Ice_Burn307 karma

Did you have to pay the extra $7 million out of your own pocket?

Tom_Bergeron3340 karma

My own pocket contained $23 and 6 mentos.

suaveitguy360 karma

What qualities make a good broadcaster? What sets a Regis/Letterman apart from some more generic hosts?

Tom_Bergeron1143 karma

The ability to say "We'll be right back" with conviction

PopeAlGore322 karma


How did you get such a hot wife? Ever time I see pictures of you with her I am blown away, since she married you long before you had money. What is your secret?

Tom_Bergeron1136 karma

I lied to her about how little money I had.

NuclearJesusMan318 karma

Mr. Bergeron, how would you say your hosting style differs from Bob Saget's? What did you borrow? What did you deliberately leave out?

Tom_Bergeron989 karma

He's a comedian, I'm a broadcaster. I deliberately left out the cartoon voiceovers on the videos. I borrowed his ATM card.

NuclearJesusMan271 karma

Smart move. Between Full House and AFHV, the man made around $100,000,000. Let me guess. . .the pin was his birthdate.

Tom_Bergeron1026 karma

Not anymore.

urbanwarrior317 karma

Hi Tom! I have a family member in the business and she has said you are the nicest guy in Hollywood. Is it possible for you and Tom Hanks work on a project together?

Tom_Bergeron851 karma

That asshole and I hate each other...kidding!

Shoppers_Drug_Mart286 karma

Hey Tom, thanks for being here today! Would you consider doing another Star Trek role in the new series, if you were asked?

Tom_Bergeron894 karma

To not do so would be illogical.

suaveitguy267 karma

How do you balance the audience in the room with the audience at home when you host? If you pay too much attention to one, its apparent to the other so you need to make sure both are engaged.

Tom_Bergeron579 karma

My first priority is the audience at home.

suaveitguy388 karma

I always thought that was a big difference between Letterman and Leno. Leno worked the room, where Letterman was more often concerned with the folks at home.

Tom_Bergeron646 karma

A fine observation and I agree.

suaveitguy250 karma

You worked your way up through radio and local tv to a national audience, a champion of the 20th century TV career path. In light of the major changes in the industry the last decade, would you recommend pursuing a TV journalism/broadcasting career to your own children if they were just starting today?

Tom_Bergeron362 karma

Yes I would. Technology always changes options.

Bookie086194 karma

Hi Tom. You were great on Never Not Funny. If Jimmy asks, would you become a regular guest on the show?

Tom_Bergeron535 karma

I'd be willing to become an irregular guest. Fiber helps.

aprole187 karma

Are you the hardest-working man in show business? You're everywhere!

Tom_Bergeron339 karma

No. Yes.

eat_vegetables172 karma

What is your favorite vegetable? And what is the best way to prepare (or consume) it?

Tom_Bergeron557 karma

Zuccini (I just wanted to see my typist, Danielle, try to spell it)

Tom_Bergeron795 karma

Zucchini* (She didn't)

suaveitguy151 karma

Was the You Fool! episode a highlight on Hollywood Squares? What were some of your favorite guests? Anyone who just laid an egg?

Tom_Bergeron189 karma

Yes, it was one of my favorites. And Gilbert Gottfried was always wonderful on the show.

Mafiya_chlenom_K149 karma

So.. when are you going to be a contestant on DWTS?

Tom_Bergeron459 karma

When Hell freezes over.

APieceOfWorkAmI147 karma

Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or one horse-sized duck?

Tom_Bergeron302 karma

Changed my mind. I'm going with the duck-sized horses.

deon0080 karma

As the the former host of AFV (the best host btw) I feel like you know how mean ducks can be. They are relentless! Can you imagine one being chased for you bread by a horse sized duck?! No thanks.

Tom_Bergeron175 karma

Good point. I think I've changed my mind again.

APieceOfWorkAmI56 karma

What changed your mind?

Tom_Bergeron329 karma

I'd like to start a duck-sized stampede.

Tom_Bergeron192 karma

I'll go with one horse-sized duck.

Mafiya_chlenom_K147 karma

If you pulled up the wikipedia page about you right now, what would you find most shocking to not see mentioned?

Tom_Bergeron417 karma

My years with the CIA.

Tom_Bergeron355 karma

Actually, that's not so shocking ;)

_da_Man116 karma

Hi Tom, AFV was basically the soundtrack of my childhood. I'm a soon-to-be-sophomore in college, probably gonna be an English major but I'm afraid of making a mistake and wasting my time, y'know? So my question is, how did you put yourself on the path to success, and what's something I should know if I want to do the same - not the same career, but doing what I want to do?

Tom_Bergeron261 karma

I know it sounds like a cliche, but do what you love and with luck the money will follow.

BamBamKoloff106 karma

Do you keep in touch with anyone from Breakfast Time? It used to be one of my favorite things to watch growing up in the mid 90s.

Tom_Bergeron221 karma

Yes we all stay in touch. Had a reunion two years ago in New York.

suaveitguy90 karma

You were there with Jerry Lewis his last few years hosting the MDA Labor Day Telethon, and then a bit after he was let go? How did you feel about the way he was let go? How was it to work with the legend on such an iconic piece of showbiz history?

Tom_Bergeron203 karma

Thought that was handled poorly. I left when he did.

wslack86 karma

Hey Tom! I was in the crowd last night and appreciated your humor while the dress rehearsal went through its hiccups. It was really nice to be spoken to - there are a lot of people on each side of the main crowd section that can't get into the main crowd because of crowd size limits and didn't have a great view, but can hear you.

My question is: what do you wish the public would know/appreciate about these events that goes unnoticed or reported?

Tom_Bergeron178 karma

The massive effort of the producers and staff which makes it look seamless.

RenanXIII73 karma

What's your favorite song from "Hamilton?"

Tom_Bergeron165 karma

There are so many. The Room Where It Happens, My Shot are two of my top favorites.

classicspaceman65 karma

Did you get your start in commercials, or had you jumped straight into hosting?

Tom_Bergeron152 karma

I started in radio while in high school.

classicspaceman36 karma

Who had been your inspiration while doing radio?

Tom_Bergeron144 karma

Jean Shepherd. He wrote the film A Christmas Story and is the narrator, but I first heard him on radio. Also Larry Glick from WBZ Radio in Boston who later became a good friend.

Chtorrr62 karma

What is the very best dessert?

Tom_Bergeron285 karma

I like a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream. For breakfast.

asaxman196151 karma

How many hours of rehearsal are involved for the DC live broadcast?

Tom_Bergeron111 karma

I started in March.

suaveitguy50 karma

Who is the greatest broadcaster ever? Who is your favorite?

Tom_Bergeron216 karma

Johnny Carson. Johnny Carson.

digitalmediaworld44 karma

If you could host any game show besides HS, past or present, which one would you choose?

Tom_Bergeron103 karma

You Bet Your Life.

suaveitguy37 karma

What was the dumbest PR stunt you had to do as a DJ? Ever spend a week living on a billboard or anything like that?

Tom_Bergeron121 karma

I spent one whole show on a billboard on Sunset Boulevard for Breakfast Time on fX.

Redburnmik31 karma

Have any good memories of Breakfast Time?

Tom_Bergeron75 karma

All my memories of Breakfast Time are good. Still my favorite experience in live television.

noshore4me28 karma

Can you recommend a good book to read?

Tom_Bergeron113 karma

I'm reading Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. The book that inspired the musical.

asaxman196125 karma

What is the most exciting aspect of live television for you?

Tom_Bergeron80 karma

That's there's no second take. It focuses one's energy.

TheAmazingAnita25 karma

What made you choose to be a TV host?

Tom_Bergeron59 karma

I was actually working in radio when some TV producers, who were regular listeners, offered me jobs with them.

popemasta22 karma

Hello Tom,

I just want to thank you for hosting Hollywood Squares and for doing this AMA.

My question to you is... do you see a hollywood squares remake coming back anytime soon? Would you host it again?

Tom_Bergeron55 karma

I can definitely see the show coming back at some point. Not sure I'd host it again.

anilsen18 karma

Hi Tom, what did you have for breakfast today?

Tom_Bergeron85 karma

Starbucks iced coffee and their egg, gouda, and bacon sandwich (I took off the bacon).

Tlr32116 karma

What TV series should I start watching now that it's summer?

Tom_Bergeron59 karma

I love Ray Donovan on Showtime.

Msims201614 karma

Tom, Are you excited to have Jackie Evancho back to perform?

Tom_Bergeron21 karma

Absolutely. Amazing talent!