Know Mark Summers? He hosted the messy Nickelodeon game show Double Dare way back when, and these days he’s the host of Unwrapped on Food Network, which I am, unfortunately, watching as I write this. (Hey, it was that or the routine weekly post-SNL broadcast of the Guthy-Renker infomercial for the Midnight Special DVD collection.)
The show is moderately interesting as a glimpse into the operations of various quirky businesses in the food industry (such as the one they’re talking about now, whose corporate office is a 7-story replica of a wicker picnic basket that would put Beebe Gallini‘s powder puff factory to shame). But the most distinctive thing about it is the maddening, Shatner-esque start-and-stop cadence of Mark Summer’s voiceovers. I’m sure he doesn’t really talk that way, at least I hope so, but on TV, he’s so programmed into this particular way of speaking — which presumably originated long ago in broadcasting schools with the desire to sound enthusiastic and engaging, and be easy to follow — that, ironically, I can barely concentrate on what he’s saying due to the way he says it.
I was not aware until I set about writing this post that Mark Summers is also a spokesperson for OCD, as detailed on his stunningly mid-’90s-style website. Wowwee. That site must have seemed freakin’ awesome at the time, what with its 3-D animated GIF logo, frameset navigation that unpredictably disappears on certain pages, etc. I don’t mean to mock a psychological condition, but you’d think someone with OCD would have no truck with this. It certainly hasn’t aged well, and I find it funny that the company that designed and (apparently, given its URL) hosts it still has the audacity to tout having been featured in a 1999 magazine.
P.S. This is what I get for drinking coffee after 5 PM. 8 hours later I’m still up doing… this.