There is such a connection between former KSTP-TV “Good Company” hosts Steve Edelman and Sharon Anderson.
As there should be. They’ve been married how many years now? “We’re working on that,” said Steve, “We thought it was like, 33?” Sharon said 34. They were married December 1979 — and did their best to do the math on my startribune.com/video.
The couple with a TV marriage that began on an ABC station and has lasted — they fell in love after being paired as co-host of “Good Company” — answered and discussed my questions in a most charming way. It was as though I wasn’t there, I noticed while editing their video. It was cute.
They were back in the Twin Cities a few months ago to emcee a JDRF MinnDakotas Gala. It’s a matter close to their hearts because Ross Marcus, now the development manager for JDRF MinnDakotas chapter, was diagnosed with diabetes when he was a toddler friend of their son David Edelman, who now works at the White House for the National Economic Council.
When “Good Company” ended, Sharon did other TV shows, all produced by her husband’s Edelman Productions, a leading creator of cable programming that once kind of dominated the HGTV lineup. We talked about a variety of subjects, the most entertaining of which were recollections of the worst-ever guests on “Good Company.” Readers, you’ll know these names.
Q What’s the secret to being married that long?
SA You’d say because we keep it varied. We just try to keep it fresh. We like to have a good time. We’re also really comfortable with each other. It’s a cliché, but each of us thinks we got the better deal. It keeps growing and getting richer. Steve is a believer that as you get older, life should expand, because it’s so easy to have them contract.
SE I would say because she is the Love Goddess. [Sharon thought that was funny]. We both like adventure. We just moved from the suburbs to the city of San Francisco. We did that because we thought, “Let’s do something different.”
Q What is the most annoying habit Steve has?
SA [Silence] I’m thinking. He’s peeeerfect.
Q Steve, same question?
SE Oh. Oh. Oh. I’ve got one. But it doesn’t drive me crazy. Sharon actually likes to get up in the morning and flip on TV [did he say news?]. I like total silence. It’s great she can go upstairs and I can be in a room.
SA I go make my morning tea and I watch the morning shows for about a half-hour, catch up on the news and then off and on with my day.
Q Is Steve a toilet-seat-up or toilet-seat-down kinda guy?
SA He is so considerate. It sounds sugar sweet, but I don’t remember a time the toilet seat was up.
Q Did you guys ever have a fight just before going on air when you were doing “Good Company”?
SA In all honesty, we don’t really fight. Sometimes we would have disagreements where we would not be so, ah, warm toward each other, but I can’t say we really fight. There are times when I say, “Wait a minute, I really didn’t get my word in there; I didn’t get enough attention.” We’ve never had a day or two when we haven’t spoken.
SE Until now, worst answer. No. We are more the kind of people [who], if we were at each other, which almost never happens, really, we’d have a tendency to move apart.
Q Who was your worst guest on “Good Company”?
SE I think the most ridiculous guest, still out there entertaining, Frank Sinatra Jr. He gave us an advance PR packet [in which] he called himself “Young Blue Eyes,” which is kind of hokey. We thought OK, he’s cool with it. So we introduced him: “And now here he is, Young Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra Jr.” The guy looks at us like he’s going to kill us. Why? He didn’t consider himself young anything. And he was so angry. It screwed up the entire interview. Frank, but we love you.
SA Raquel Welch. Not a happy lady. She didn’t come to our studio; I remember we had to go to her. I think she had a book [signing] at a Barnes & Noble or Borders. So we went there. We spent a half-hour, maybe 45 minutes, while she told our people how to light her, and would not even look at me. I tried to chitchat and be pleasant.
SE So you’re ready for that? Wouldn’t even look at her. Wouldn’t even LOOK AT HER!
SA You know what, now that I’m older, I certainly understand what she was up to.
SE What was that?
SA She wanted to be lit well. She understood that everybody was going to go, “Oh my God, she looks so old.” I get it now, but she wasn’t pleasant.
SE Doesn’t make sense. She was impolite.
SA She was very impolite. But you know what, I recently read an article about her and she said early on in her career, she just really hated the press and she thought they were always wrong. I thought, “Oh, this is just the way she is. Nothing personal.”
SE You’re going to make her OK for that ridiculous display?
SA I’m not going to make her OK. I’m just going to say, that’s who she is.
Q Do you know how many producers started with you and graduated to Oprah?
SA Four? Katy Murphy Davis, Lisa Morin. Didn’t [Chris] McWatt go there for a while? Ellen Rakieten, top producer for years.
SE We were with those guys — we had a little get-together for KSTP/Edelman Productions people. We were saying we were like the farm team for the Oprah Winfrey Show producers because we were doing a show that in a way, because Hubbard put some money into it, was kind of complex. A lot of goodies. Lot of cameras, a lot of opportunities. They were taught to do something at a higher level.
SA The people we were with last night, the people who stayed in the Twin Cities, are extremely talented people who chose to be here.
Q The dearth of shows like “Good Company” makes me wonder what has happened to local TV?
SE Money. They can’t compete because the stations can’t give them enough money to compete with a syndicated product. The station can buy a show fairly inexpensively and they get a national production with celebrities and lots of money and lots of stuff. The locals can’t do that. They put a few bucks into it. They have to sell the content to make up for the fact that they don’t have the money to have a lot of pizazz.
Q You raised a very good kid. Is there a secret to that?
SE Keep those fingers crossed. He was a self motivator. You just get out of his way, for starters. He knew what he wanted. When he was interested in something like computers, we would feed him the best computers he could possibly have so he could grow. What do you think?
SA I think that’s true. Giving him opportunities professionally. I also think really paying attention to him. Respecting him as a kid, and assuring him the qualities he had as a kid are going to be beneficial when he’s an adult. Sometimes when you’re a kid you don’t see that. That helps. But as Steven said, he was just his own person.
SE What Sharon is not saying is that her resonance with him emotionally, moment to moment, is extraordinary. [She laughs.] Seriously. No matter what mood he’s in, she’s right there with him.
SA Totally indulged.
SE That’s true.
SA As are you darling. If you had feelings, I would indulge them [more laughter]. I have them for both of us.
Interviews are edited. C.J can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9.