|Mark Stolzenberg Playing Steve Koonin|
When is Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment, not Steve Koonin? That would be when he enters stage left on a unicycle while juggling. Turns out that the send up got the hope for laughs during one of CBS's upfronts. The NY Times reports:
The upfronts, which took place this week across Manhattan, are dress-up gatherings at which networks large and small unveil their coming schedules for advertisers and try to make the case that their shows are a better ad buy than anyone else’s shows. Making that case generally involves leading with some jokes, then reminding the audience that each and every one of the network’s returning series or sports programs is the most-watched show on television among some obscure demographic. At some point, glimpses are provided of new series, all of which feature the most exciting actors working today and were created by someone who once had a series or movie that was successful or at least wasn’t a complete flop.
Stars are trotted out to wave and then go back to wherever it is that TV stars spend their downtime. Throughout, the crowd is pummeled with so many dizzying video collages that pop-up migraine clinics materialize outside the theaters.
A talk-show type, if the network has one, might do a jokey monologue, and the executives too try their hand at stand-up. The most fearless is Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, who this year served up a funny bit in which he did acrobatic flips, juggled while riding a unicycle and showed off formidable break dancing skills. At least, it looked like him. The flashy stunts were actually performed by look-alikes, dressed and bewigged to mimic his distinctive appearance, which is — to be polite — not particularly athletic.
Turns out that the guy on the unicycle was our own Mark Stolzenberg, doing a bit that he has perfected over his entire career, the clown.