Channel Surfing
by Laura Nachman

Bucks County Courier Times

February 28, 2006

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As Fox29’s “Ten O’clock News” celebrates its twentieth anniversary, many viewers might be surprised to learn that the personality who has been with the station practically since the beginning is reporter Gerald Kolpan, 54.


Much like that mystery guy in the movie “Office Space,” who was with the company forever, but nobody knew exactly what he did, Kolpan has outlasted three news directors, and scores of higher profile anchors and reporters in his time at the station.


“I think my secret is that people never see me in stories so they don’t get sick of me,” said Kolpan, who began as a freelancer in 1987 and became full-time in 1990.


Actually, somebody is noticing – Kolpan has won six local Emmy awards in his time at Channel 29.


Kolpan began his television career at the age of 36.


“I was working in advertising and annoyed (former news director) Roger LaMay for a year for a job. I had no television experience, but neither did Edward R. Murrow,” Kolpan joked.


Koplan credits the Fox29 photograhers for teaching him the ropes.


Almost two decades later, Kolpan continues in “the best job he’s ever had,” and just signed a new three year contract.


Kolpan concluded, “Like Dustin Hoffman said in “Tootsie,” “I’m a character actor.  Age has no effect on me.”

Pop culture is serious business for “Original Fundit,” Mo Rocca, 36, best-known for his dead-pan commentary on VH1’s “I Love The…” series.  He’ll be appearing on NBC10’s “10” today at 10 a.m.

The 1991 Harvard University graduate with a B.A. in literature has managed to parlay analyzing subjects like the Captain of The Captain and Tennille’s “military service” into a career.

“I’m probably the only person in America who subscribes to “Atlantic Monthly” and “US Weekly,” said the Washington, DC native.

We caught up with Rocca recently when he visited the Benjamin Franklin exhibit at the National Constitution Center. 

“Though Thomas Jefferson was talented, he had vague ideas.  Mostly he was into theories.  Franklin got down to brass tacks.  He invented flippers, lightning rods, and bifocals, probably so he could better read Jefferson’s ramblings,” he said.

Besides “I Love the 70s, 80’s, and 90s,” which are practically played in a continuous loop on VH1, Rocca does six pieces a year for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and contributes to “Good Morning America.” 

Many remember his commentary for Larry King and CNN during the 2004 Democratic and Republican conventions.

“I believe that Larry and I did vaudeville together in a previous life,” Rocca said.

The history buff said he’s also into “The loser presidents.”  “I’m fascinated with Warren G. Harding and Benjamin Harrison.”

Before VH1, Rocca was a correspondent for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”  He joins the growing list of successful “Daily Show” alumni such as Steve Carell and Steve Colbert.  As for his former boss Jon Stewart being named host of “The Academy Awards,” Rocca said, “I’m sorry I was unavailable, but Jon will be great.”

Rocca, who has hosted a couple of shows on Bravo and Animal Planet, hopes to land another regular television project. 

Rocca is also big on the college circuit.  In the meantime, you can catch him on the upcoming “I Love the 70’s Part II,” “I Love Toys,” and “I Love the I Love the 80’s,” on VH1.