Tom Bergeron may be in the middle of the biggest season of Dancing with the Stars ever. “For the first time in five years a show that wasn’t the Super Bowl knocked American Idol out of first place,” Bergeron said exclusively to SheKnows.
TV’s ultimate ringmaster
SheKnows: Before this guest starring appearance on Castle came about, what did you personally enjoy about Castle?
Tom Bergeron: I had the distinct honor of hosting an evening at Paley Center which had the cast and creators of the show. What I was able to tell them and the audience, was that I loved the almost the retro quality of the show. I meant that as a compliment — the almost Rockford Files, Moonlighting vibe. As I told the audience that night, so many of the procedural dramas on television today are grim affairs. There is no humor. I love the humor and the chemistry that’s a part of Castle. I love the fact that every episode has a beginning, middle and an end. You’re not dragged into some convoluted plot that will suck you down stream (laughs).
SheKnows: You’re used to serving at the center of a circus with your hosting duties including Dancing with the Stars, and your character on Castle is charged with that as a host of a late night talk show.
Tom Bergeron: Yes!
SheKnows: How was it for you sitting behind a desk like that on a talk show set that certainly felt like a certain late-night legend?
Tom Bergeron: I’ll preface it by saying that I have no interest in doing a talk show. But having said that, it was cool to sit behind what felt like to me — because I grew up watching (Johnny) Carson — to sit behind that desk and to have Fred Willard there as sort of the Ed McMahon. It was a kick. In the episode, I have an Eisenhower mug. Just to underscore the fact that I am kind of a dinosaur.
SheKnows: (Laughs) You mentioned Fred, I just adore him no matter what he does, even going back to Real People.
Tom Bergeron: He’s wonderful. We did a photo shoot, I don’t think any of them ended up in the final episode, but it was us on the set together in golfing attire (laughs). I worked with him on Hollywood Squares, he’s a real treat.
SheKnows: The core of Castle is the mystery writer. Is that a genre of books that you enjoy?
Tom Bergeron: Two of my favorite writers, as a matter of fact, write in that genre. They passed away recently. Robert Parker, who’s from Cambridge in Boston where I spent many years. And Dick Francis, who was a former Steeple Chase jockey for the Queen of England. He wrote a series of very successful mysteries over the years. So, yeah, I’m a fan of that genre through my wife who introduced me to several of her favorite authors.
SheKnows: Isn’t that how it always happens?
Tom Bergeron: It is (laughs).
SheKnows: Guest starring on a show, something you would want to do again?
Tom Bergeron: Absolutely. I felt a bit like a kid in a candy store with Castle. It was a real treat. It’s outside my comfort zone. The thing that makes Dancing with the Stars compelling is that people come outside their comfort zone and dance on live television. For me, who lives live television, doing an acting role is outside my comfort zone. As a result, I find it oddly compelling.
Up next…Bergeron lets us in on the biggest season of Dancing with the Stars!