What a trooper QVC host Dave James is! But get the man some strong coffee, or drugs. Or better yet, cite QVC for cruel and unusual punishment of its employees.
For QVC’s big Black Friday event, James is appearing live for the network for 28 hours straight. He started at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night. If he’s not on the air live, he is appearing on a Webcast, showing viewers a behind-the-scenes look at QVC.
About 4:45 p.m. Friday, we checked out the Webcast and saw James with fellow host Sharon Faetsch. He was using a Dell laptop that is going to be tomorrow’s Today’s Special Value, and he looked like he needed toothpicks to keep his eyes open.
“He’s a little zombiefied at this point,” said Faetsch, since James had been on 20 hours straight by that time.
“I can only close one eye at a time, or I’ll fall asleep,” he said at one point.
James could barely feign interest in Faetsch’s babbling about a taco-egg recipe. Finally, he got up and said he was taking a break.
“I’ll be back in just a few minutes,” James said. “Guys, I’m going to cut off my microphone.”
Thank God. It’s embarrassing when you leave you mic on when you’re in the bathroom. Didn’t Leslie Nielsen do that in one of his movie comedies, maybe “Naked Gun”?
James took such a long time getting back that Faetsch brought out a life-sized photo of him and sat it next to her, and then she had a backstage crew member come up and chat with her.
James is a pro, and it was amazing to see him summon up his energy and perk up when he want back on live TV.
Behind the scenes, we saw James being told he was going to have to do a “walkaround” with a cameraman with a Steadicam.
In between all this, James was concerned about the score for the Alabama-Auburn game. We know nothing about college football, but he was rooting for Alabama.
“Roll (Crimson) Tide, roll,” he said.
Some posters on QVC’s forums complained that looking at the Webcast “was like watching paint dry,” but we actually enjoyed watching Faetsch squirm when James took so long to come back from his break.
And we heard this behind-the-scenes tidbit: “We’re going to have to be quiet when we go where Jane (Treacy) is selling,” the stage manager told James.
As we turned off the Webcast, host Amy Stran, a former cast member of the soap operas “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” had just joined James.
At one point, Stran and Faetsch were chastised by a stage manager for talking about one of their wedding-ring sets while James was chatting to his wife on the phone about the football game.
“You can’t have two conversations,” the stage manager said, noting that viewers — like us — were hearing everyone talk at once.
QVC, let James go home.