It Happened to Me

Lost Conversations #2: Two Fandoms, One Approach


in 2002, I was invited as one of the special guests for the

100th episode of MuchMusic’s show MuchOnDemand, a live show tailored

to the after-school crowd. The show, which was hosted by VJs Rick

Campanelli and Jennifer


at the time, is an hour long and features some entertainment news, a

couple of videos, the occasional interview with a rock/pop star and the

usual talk show “filler activities”, all in front of a live audience of

mostly teens. It takes place in a studio whose garage-door walls are

opened so that passers-by and fans can get a look. If you’re familiar

with MTV, MuchOnDemand‘s format is a clone of TRL, right down to the way they

refer to it as “MOD”.

They show videos in between live segments on MuchOnDemand.

During the videos, the cameras are off and the hosts have a chance to

either take a little breather, get prepped by the director or chat up

the audience.

The differences between guys and girls really manifest themselves in

the audience during the lull. The guys remain fairly silent, preferring

to express their hots for Jenn through sly whispers. The girls, on the

other hand, aren’t as quiet about their celeb-crushes on Rick.

“Oh, hold on,” said the director while we were in mid-conversation.

“You need to see this.”

He pointed at a pow-wow of girls in the audience. Their leader said

“Okay, on the count of three. One…two…three…”

“RICK, YOU’RE HOT!” exclaimed a dozen of them in unison. This call was

followed by a bunch of embarrassed giggles.

“Nice job you’ve got here, Rick,” I said to him.

“It’s one of the perks,” he replied.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the TechTV meetup at No Regrets, a

resto-bar just a block away from the Tucows office. The place was

packed literally hundreds of geeks; at least 300 had RSVP’d for the


Perhaps some of the geeks were there to see G4TechTv Canada’s Call for Help’s Leo

LaPorte, some were fans of excellent Techphile podcast and some

were there to the first diggnation shoot in Canada.

But let’s face it: the real most of the geeks were there is the leftmost person in the shot below.

Photo: Amber MacArthur, Leo Laporte and Joey deVilla filming a

  bumper promo for the G4 TechTV show 'Call for Help'.

They were there for Amber MacArthur, host on G4TechTV Canada’s Call for Help and geek’s dream dare.

“Accordion Guy!” a number of people would ask after handing me their

cameras, “could you please get a shot of me and Amber?” I’d gladly

oblige, and like Rick from MuchMusic, Amber was very good about

indulging her fans.

“Hey, Accordion Guy,” said Amber, “d’you wanna be on TV? Come over here

and let’s shoot a promo spot for Call for Help with you and the

accordion and me and Leo.”

As I walked over, I heard a mumbled “I hate you” from some guy behind me. Heh.

The deja vu moment of the evening came as I was talking with Ray

“iPodderX” Slakinski. Behind us, about ten guys had formed a line and

were following the lead of a guy who was saying “Okay…here


“AMBER, YOU ROCK!” they yelled in unison, followed by some laughter and high-fives amongst themselves.

“That was odd,” said Ray.

“Not really,” I said. “They’re just in touch with their inner teenage girl.”

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