As the leader of an admittedly oddball movement like #LockTheClock, I get a lot of weird email.
Most of it is fine.
For instance, every month or so I get a note from someone who just had the best idea ever: Move the clocks a half hour and call it good. They think that I probably never thought of that, that I haven't heard it 100 times before, and that now I should give up on what I've been working on for years and do all the work to make it happen the way they want it to happen.
There was a time that I engaged with those people, but now I just delete.
The rest of the mail is fine. There’s lawmakers from small states or aides to legislators from bigger states. Journalists. People just telling me that they agree and that I should keep going. It's all great.
So then one day I get a very polite note asking if I'd be interested in talking to a producer from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. At first I thought it was a joke, but the email was actually from TheDailyShow.com, and 10 seconds of searching showed me that the producer was legit.
My first impulse was that I should play it cool, and wait a while before I replied. I did that for 10, maybe 15 seconds.
I wrote back and played it cool, saying: Yes! Love to! Like I'm going to say no.
I ended up talking to two different producers. I had no idea where any of this was leading, but I just told them about all the history, etc. They seemed really interested.
Then they asked if I'd be willing to go to Arizona for a day to get interviewed.
Again... like I'd say no.
They picked up the tab for the flight, and literally apologized that they wouldn't be able to spring for first class. I thought about acting all indignant, but I'm no actor, and didn't want to screw it up.
So, I went to a clock shop at the appointed time. You know how anyone can shoot a video anywhere anytime these days? Well, they couldn't do this kind of video. If you haven't seen it, the spot is here, or here:
While it looks like I'm just sitting down for a chat, the only way to make the video look that great is with a crew of professionals: Camera operators, a sound person, some sort of director, and then the producer who came from New York City, and of course, Desi Lydic. Every one of them was mellow, funny, hard working, and a total pro. I mean, I think they were, it's not like I'm a TV person.
Even though it may look like I am. Watching that video again now I'm struck by how funny I am, how my reactions are timed just right and I had just the right look at the right time.
Now, in my day job I'm trying to fix “fake news” and so I suppose I should be against this, but I am just not that funny. The editors spliced together little bits of reactions just perfectly so it makes me look like a comic genius. It was really great.
They had plenty to work with. I was in that chair for more than an hour, answering questions and going over some bits a couple of times. Still, I think they edited it to the perfect length.
Well... there was one edit that I might have made differently...
When Desi asked me if there were any other culprits that keep the clock broken, I said that the TV industry was actually involved. I pointed out that they don't want it to be light out after work, they want it to be dark so that everyone will come inside and sit on the couch and watch TV.
Feigning an indignant huff, Desi said something like: Look, you can point out the evil of the retailers, and the Germans, and the golf people and the candy people, but do NOT question the wisdom or the morals of the television people!!!
That bit got cut. Hmmmmmm.
The idea of doing the interview in a clock shop seemed like a great idea, with only one problem: The clocks. Nearly all of them made some kind of sound, and none of them were on the right time, so in the middle of a line there'd be some GONG! right by Desi's head and she'd grimace or mutter something. It was hilarious for a couple of times, and then she and all the crew seemed a little annoyed, but they kept rolling. I thought one of her reactions to a clock going off might make it into the final skit, but those also got cut. Maybe it was just funny to the people trying to keep the whole thing on schedule.
Once it was done, Desi was nice enough to take a picture with me, and then she and the crew went off to the desert to film the rest of the sketch.
She's now back in New York, making people laugh, and I'm back to my desk in Denver, trying to figure out how to fix Daytime Save Light Time.