In 1983, I was two years into my television career when I was offered the hosting job on HBO’s PREVIEW WEEKEND with Karen Morris-Gowdy as co-host. HBO used to free up its signal for a weekend, usually around Labor Day to entice new subscribers offering music concerts and the latest movies (there were no weekly series yet). In fact, HBO only began broadcasting a 24 hour seven day a week schedule the year before I hosted this show which was part sales pitch, part TV guide for the weekend schedule.
Karen Morris-Gowdy was my co-host and on set I tried to hide how flabbergasted I was by her beauty. She was also sweet, gracious and easy to work with. We shot for two days and on the second morning I arrived early and ran into a gal, dressed in jeans, no makeup, hair under a bandanna who had a great personality and sense of humor. We talked back and forth for about ten minutes and I didn’t realize that it was Karen until we sat in our makeup chairs. I can still FEEL how embarrassed I was (dork that I was I told her I hadn’t realized it was her!)…but she didn’t mind at all. She thought it was funny. Karen was from Wyoming, the daughter in law of sports broadcaster Curt Gowdy and though she had been America’s Junior Miss a decade before, she was completely unpretentious and unmindful of her great beauty (do women like that exist anymore?)
Oddly enough, Matt Lauer, with whom I would play TV musical chairs years later, was subsequently the host of an HBO PREVIEW WEEKEND after my stint.
You can watch this Flashback here: