The “John Kerwin Show” filmed in Encino, CA is broadcast nationally on JLTV. The show has run for over a decade and has won multiple awards. What makes the show so great is the spontaneity of the host, Queens native John Kerwin, a tag line of the popular talk show is that it doesn’t use writers, cue cards, but relies on the spontaneity of the actual moment. An even exchange between the guests and the host. While the show has had numerous celebrity guests over the years from Kevin Sorbo to Ed Asner. It has found new life by focusing on the kids. Find out how John Kerwin is still swinging for the fences.
You’re an ivy-league graduate; did you face an internal struggle pursuing a career in comedy?
Yes, deciding whether to please my family or myself. I think all of us should follow our heart, not our wallet. Many of my college friends did what others wanted them to do – and they are miserable. They’re angry that they didn’t go after their dreams. As a boy in little league, I sucked – struck out every time swinging for the fences. Then one time, I
connected and hit a huge home-run. My average for the season was like 0.89. But I had that great moment. Swing big, my friends.
What made you want to be a TV personalty?
I like making people laugh – specifically, I found that I enjoy making kids laugh. The idea that I would be a children’s talk show host is wacky – but it works for me.
Does fame ever scare you?
No. The idea of it is fun – and ridiculous. As a kid, I once met Eddie Murphy and fainted – his entourage had to pick me up. Eddie thought I was just pretending – but I really fainted being in the presence of my hero.
What has been the most difficult part of being a talk show host?
Persevering. Whatever your goal is, you’re going to come up against obstacles. There’s no way around it – so you have to drive through it. Fight for what you want and you’ll find the light. Be obsessed about what you want. Kobe Bryant used to imagine a Lakers jersey being put over his head – thousands of times. Finally it happened. Really see your life the way you want it.
What has been the most rewarding part of being a talk show host?
Entertaining people and providing an escape from what can often be a grim life. I always watched TV to escape weirdness at home, roughness at school and the brutality of growing up in Jamaica, Queens. I aspire to having my show be an escape from reality.
Have you ever had an interview where the person was just dull?
No one is really dull. You can take a child who rarely talks, but if you hit upon something they’re into, like Pokemon, it’s incredible how they will come to life. Adults are the same. They are only dull because you are asking the wrong questions.
What makes a great interview?
The same thing that makes a great friendship; connecting with the other person. In my life, I remember talking with people everywhere – bus stops, at bingo with my mother – if there’s one talent I have – I think it’s being curious. And when you’re curious about someone, they will often open up – and like a flower – you will see their beauty. I think I just made myself go, “yuck!”
Who has been your favorite guest?
My last guest, August Maturo from Disney’s “Girl Meets World,” was fantastic. He’s nine years old and is so funny and smart. His mom said that I was like a grown up version of him. It was actually a bit spooky.
Who would be your dream celebrity guest living and dead?
Bruce Lee. I’m a black belt and have been studying that guy my whole life. He was brilliant. I did interview David Carradine before he passed away and that was also a great thrill. I remember that before the show, a production assistant questioned his martial arts skill. David, at seventy years old, picked him up, by his neck. I thought there would be a lawsuit, but the P.A. just said, “Wow, David Carradine has his hand print on my neck – COOL!” Such is the business.
What do you think about today’s political atmosphere and would you ever use your outlet as a platform to voice your political beliefs why or why not?
For me, I’m simply not interested in that. I’m interested in entertaining. I admire those who tackle such issues, but it just isn’t my passion or skill. I’m better at things like stuffing ten marshmallows in my mouth.
Whats next for John Kerwin?
Striving to make the best kid’s show of our generation. Just don’t call me Captain Kerwin.
Check out more of John Kerwin on his website: https://www.johnkerwinshow.com