For such a petite specimen of the species, Fox 9 “The Buzz” anchor Alix Kendall sure can wreak some havoc in a room.
As you’ll see here, in the second half of a conversation that started in Saturday’s column, the 5-foot-1 Kendall is a large person in a tiny body. “My friends have said that,” she agreed after hearing my characterization of how she sometimes breaks something while making TV.
Here we talk about her inner Taz, how she deals with animal guests and the celebrity interview that went boom.
On Friday, Kendall and Fox 9 anchor Tom Butler are throwing out the first pitch at a St. Paul Saints game. “Two people throwing a baseball would be pretty awkward, so Tom’s going to throw it,” she said. Can she even throw a baseball? “Ehhh, probably not so well,” she laughed.
Q: Are you the anchor most frequently attacked by animal guests on “The Buzz”?
A: You mean as in furry? Well, you think about every person and animal that has been through the studio, considering I have the most longevity, yeah. There have been owls and other winged animals and inanimate objects and Vespas.
I tend to live a little bit in chaos. I think a lot of people in this business are drawn to chaos. From the moment I get here I work on one speed. I’m known as a little bit of a Looney Tunes character that twirls around, Taz, the Tasmanian devil. I’ve been known to spill a few things, knock things over; it’s just the way I work.
Q: Are you really trying to tie all the times you’ve been attacked by animals to the fact that you’ve been here the longest?
A: I have a thing with animals. We are one.
Q: You’re not whispering to them.
A: No, I’m not an animal whisperer. But I love animals. I have two at home.
Q: You brought up the Vespa incident. When was the last time you rode one?
A: That very time that I fell, right there on live television. Part of it is that I ran from the studio to the parking lot. I was essentially handed a microphone, picking up that Vespa. It was a lot heavier than I expected. It was so heavy it bowled me over so I got back on it. And I’m supposed to learn how to ride a Vespa on live television. I drove once around the parking lot; thank God I didn’t kill anybody or wreck a vehicle. Soon as I parked it, and fell over, [then-cohost] Tim Sherno was in the studio [with his mouth agape] commenting. It was memorable.
Q: Speaking of Sherno, why do viewers always think they see romances blooming between TV anchors?
A: First of all, Sherno and I were only friends. I think we had an automatic chemistry. A very strong chemistry. If viewers actually felt that, I guess it’s something we should be flattered by because it showed that we were comfortable with each other. We are still good friends. Never more. We laughed a lot on the set. We still do to this day. People feel that. What’s better than that?
Q: Who was the subject in the worst interview of your career?
A: I would say Warren Beatty, [laughter] who I was really looking forward to interviewing. I was so excited about it. It was before I came to Minneapolis, and it was a satellite interview, when [1998’s] “Bulworth” was just out. I saw the movie, had all my questions prepared, and he couldn’t have been crabbier. It was just not fun. I was disappointed. I was like, “Thanks, Warren.” [Laughs]
Q: It’s called acting. Show me some of it, Warren!
Q: How did the Friday dance-off get started?
A: I believe we had time to kill. Maybe a segment fell apart, and [we said], “Oooh, we’ve got a whole five minutes” — which is an eternity on television. “Hey, what should we do? Play some music and dance.” Before we knew, it just blew up into this big thing. It’s probably the one thing I get asked about more than anything. I probably embraced it. You can just tell, I love to dance and I look forward to it. It’s a way to burn off energy after a long week’s work.
Q: What song would you like to dance to that Fox 9 doesn’t have the rights to?
A: I’m sure probably something from Prince’s “Dirty Mind.” [Laughter] I can think of a lot of song titles I couldn’t even say [on air].
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject.