By the way, if you’re not very familiar with Geraldo Rivera, here’s a brief bio of the ace reporter:
Geraldo Rivera was born in New York City in 1943. Being a child of Jewish and Puerto Rican descent wasn’t easy. Besides getting extremely nervous whenever he got on an elevator with himself, he was constantly picked on by his elementary school contemporaries for his mixed heritage and thick mustache.
The mustache would become one of Geraldo’s trademarks, but it was also was a burden. The kids would laugh at the little eight year old boy with the funny mustache, and when he got older, it even made President Clinton laugh, most likely because it tickled his ass.
By the early 1960’s, Geraldo was studying to become a lawyer. He was thinking ahead. He knew that if he ever reached his dream of becoming a reporter, being a lawyer would lend him even more credibility. After years of hard work and no doubt hours of self congratulatory conversation with family and friends, Geraldo was to finally achieve his dream of becoming a reporter.
As a member of the Latino activist group called the Young Lords, he appeared on the evening news as a spokesperson for the group so often that local station WABC hired him as a temporary reporter. They figured they could force him into less air time that way.
After a successful run at WABC, Geraldo then went on to continue a successful investigative journalism career on such shows as “Good Night, America”, “Good Morning, America”, “Hey There, America”, “Geraldo, Live At Budokan”, and “20/20”. He also was a regular guest on the Barbara Walters interview show “What The Hell Did You Just Say?”
Geraldo was on top of the world. As Barbara often said, he knew exactly what kind of “twee” he wanted to be. That high flying feeling wouldn’t last for long though, because Geraldo was dismissed from ABC in 1985, and in his first attempt to rekindle his career went down like Rex Reed at a cast party for “Rent”. Geraldo was about to open Al Capone’s vault, where the only thing emptier than the vault were the expressions on the faces of the viewers.
The 1986 special “The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault” was a ratings winner up to the point where the vault was opened, then the networks noticed a large albeit temporary rise in the ratings for “Life With Lucy”. Geraldo was expecting to open the vault up and find a stash of guns, bootlegged liquor and cash, but instead only saw his panicked reflection at the other end of it. His planned follow-up special, “The Mystery of Whitney Houston’s Stash Drawer” never got the green light from network executives.
After the Capone disaster, Geraldo’s credibility had been slapped down to the level of Phil Donohue and Sally Jesse Raphael, so he did what every self respecting journalist would have done, he joined them by starting his own show, creatively titled “Geraldo”. With heavy hitting show topics like “Elvis: Dead or Alive” and “Satan’s Black Market” (which, by the way, is where you can buy VHS copies of “Geraldo”) Rivera was able to find enough objects in Darwin’s recycle bin to sustain the show from 1987 until 1998.
Most agree that the highlight of that show’s run was when Geraldo was hit in the face by a chair thrown by a white supremacist. The white supremacist later apologized to the chair, and Geraldo was suffering from a broken nose and more exposure than he could have ever hoped for. “Dat guy broke by doze. I’b gonna get hib for dat” said Geraldo as he left the hospital with his proboscis wrapped like a non FDA approved deli sandwich.
After “Geraldo” ended, Rivera was quickly hired by NBC to sit at a desk and host a nightly Alan Dershowitz dis-infomercial. This program was soon beaten in the ratings by a test pattern on channel 472, and cancelled.
Things then picked up for Geraldo. He left CNBC for the FOX News network, and was sent to Afghanistan and Iraq as a war correspondent for what FOX News secretly calls “Project ‘get Geraldo killed’.”
Geraldo has said that if he ever runs into Osama bin Laden, he’ll “shoot him myself.” Should this happen, if the luck Geraldo’s had in the past holds true to form, he’ll run into a cave with his gun cocked and loaded, and standing there holding the cash, guns and booze from Capone’s vault will be Osama bin Laden, laughing his ass off.
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