February 26th, 2003

talkshow from the living room

Michael Essany may still be in college and may not even have a driver’s license, but he has convinced stars like Tom Green, Kevin Bacon and Jewel to appear on his local cable access talk show — in his parents’ living room. Essany’s cable access show, which he started at the age of 15, is far afield of reality shows like The Osbournes, The Anna Nicole Show and The Bachelorette: There’s no swearing, scheming or skinny-dipping. The shock value lies in its wholesomeness. Essany’s a kid with an uncommon work ethic, supportive parents and big dreams.

“He’s a straight-A student, but he’s not like a regular kid. He’s a kid with a mission,” said Gibbons, who appeared on Essany’s show as a guest in absentia in 1998 (she was on the phone while her headshot was propped on the chair reserved for guests). Essany’s mom, who also takes care of the show’s food services, hair and makeup, isn’t the only family member involved: Dad also works, running the camera and sound. “I always want to work with my mom and dad, even when I have a big gig on late-night TV,” said Essany. “Mom and Dad will always be part of my career.”

“One thing that defines Essany as interesting is he’s on cable access. Once he makes it to the big time, will it be all that interesting?” asked Robert Thompson, pop culture professor at Syracuse University. “You like the show because it’s quaint and charming and low tech … That will be taken away once it gets a budget.”


E! Online’s pages for the Michael Essany Show.

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