Mark Walberg: Host of the Most
Wed, Jun 11, 2003 04:52 PM PDT
by Rick Porter
Zap2it, TV News http://tv.zap2it.com/news/tvnewsdaily.html?31836
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - He doesn't think it was by design, but somehow Mark Walberg has ended up as the go-to host for FOX shows.
He's hosted both seasons of "Temptation Island" and will do so again when the third edition of the series debuts later this summer. He recently co-hosted the special "Test the Nation," and starting Monday (June 16), he'll be part of "Anything for Love," also on FOX.
"I don't know how it happened," Walberg says of his ubiquity on the network this summer. "I don't know if it was a conscious thing, but I'm thrilled about it."
Walberg sees common traits in hosts of unscripted shows, and it's something he tries to do in his various gigs. The best hosts, he says, "are the ones who don't indulge themselves, but they do indulge the show. Meaning, it's not about the host, it's about the format of the show, or the people who are on it."
For "Temptation Island," that means Walberg watches a lot of tape so he can see what's going on in the respective camps, where groups of single men and women insinuate themselves between couples who are in relatively new relationships. Then when he meets with the couples -- working without notes or cue cards -- he can call them on their behavior.
"When I talk to them, they lie to me," he says. "They don't mean to lie, but they do is try to say things they want to be seen on television. If I know the entire story, I can sort of bust them on their little white lies or their twist on the actual story."
His skills will be put to a somewhat different test in "Anything for Love," which is airing at 8 p.m. ET Mondays. The half-hour show calls to mind "Real People," with the focus entirely on romance. Revelations of secret crushes, elaborate proposals and pleas to be taken back will all be part of the series.
One segment features a young woman who wants her ex-boyfriend back -- so she shows up at his workplace. In a billboard truck. Which features a huge sign consisting of a picture of the guy's fiancée and the message "Ben, marry me ... instead of her!"
"Some are really poignant and sweet, and some are really in your face, as would be the FOX style," Walberg says.
Walberg has been married for almost 16 years, and he believes his perspective on relationships contrasts nicely with those of the people on shows like "Anything for Love" or "Temptation Island."
"I think it works out interestingly that you have a guy [as host] who's a little bit older than the guys in the show and who's coming from a place that's the polar opposite of what they want," he says. "In my job of being devil's advocate and posing both sides of every coin I have a little perspective of being further down the line."