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Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano recall moments that made them smile

Bob Sirott Marianne Murciano

Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano

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Updated: January 28, 2013 12:08PM

The good thing about working with your spouse is the other person always knows what’s happening at the office. The bad thing is the other person always knows what’s happening at the office.

It’s been our good fortune over the years on our old “Fox Thing” morning TV show, and more recently our weekly radio specials, to interview hundreds of well-known personalities. Sometimes, what happens off the air makes the best story.

Marianne: During the news accounts of Dick Clark’s death we both recalled the day Clark was our guest on TV. I was pregnant with our now 12-year-old daughter, and he turned to Bob after the interview and said, “You have no idea what you’re in for.” That got us thinking about a few other close encounters of the celebrity kind we’ve had after the “on the air” light goes off.

Bob: Once, after I ended a satellite interview with Raquel Welch who was in Los Angeles, I said to Marianne, “Did you see how out of focus they shot her to make her look good?” Too bad the audio link was still hot so Welch heard everything. All we heard from L.A. was an audible gasp!

Marianne: When Mel Gibson was in town to promote “Braveheart,” he made anyone who was going to interview him watch the three-hour-plus movie first. He wasn’t about to answer dumb questions from reporters unrelated to the film. So of course, Bob gave me the assignment to interview him about anything BUT the movie! New at working with Bob back in 1995, I sheepishly asked Mel Gibson about his bed, mattress size, sleeping habits and favorite breakfast food. With a straight face he answered everything including a description of his favorite dream — the “decapitation dream”— his homage to the movie. Turns out Mel, Bob and I had a mutual friend, a FOX L.A. traffic reporter. A few days later Mel Gibson called me and left me a very long birthday wish on my cell phone! The traffic reporter told us years later, “there’s a good Mel and a bad Mel.” Boy, is there ever!

Bob: I came unbelievably close to getting Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York, to go to Superdawg with me. After our interview I invited her to sample one of my favorite Chicago hot dogs and she accepted, but her “handlers” convinced her to head to the airport instead. It was fun just to hear Fergie say in her best British accent, “Superdawg.”

Marianne: When State Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka appeared on our show, she revealed that she played the accordion, something I learned as a kid. I remembered that a few years later when Bob and I visited Judy’s home on “Chicago Tonight” and I brought along my accordion. Topinka joined me in a duet of “Beer Barrel Polka.”

Bob: We used to do a feature called “15 Minutes of Something” on our old morning show. We’d pick people off the street and let them conduct an interview with a celebrity, giving them their “15 minutes of fame.” We selected a young man who worked in a factory and let him interview Charlie Sheen. Sheen may have a reputation as being difficult to deal with, but he was so amused at being interviewed by a regular person, he not only answered every question thoroughly, but also stuck around for a half hour afterward to make small talk with the kid.

Marianne: During a commercial break while we were taping a radio show with Dr. Oz, Bob and I were bickering about something and Bob turned to Dr. Oz with a frustrated expression on his face. Oz then said something to him that has become one of Bob’s favorite sayings about marriage: “The prosecution never rests.”

Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano donated their fee for writing this column to Designs for Dignity. Watch Bob on WFLD-Channel 32’s 9 p.m. news, and hear them both on the Sunday Night Radio Special at 9 p.m. on WGN-AM (720).

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