Warner Wolf wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary to occur on a typical Tuesday evening – but when it did, his life took a drastic turn. It had been a while since he had lived the life in the spotlight, and he had forgotten what it felt like. After he received a mysterious text message by a number he didn’t recognize, it was the first domino that led to him receiving more attention than he had gotten in quite a long time – and it was all because of a television show – This Is Us. For those of you, who don’t know the show, This Is Us is an NBC hit drama series that has gotten a lot of great feedback from fans. But how does it connect to Warner Wolf?
Well, let’s take you back to these strange text messages. Every single person that reached out to Warner, whether he knew them or not, was telling him one thing: “You have to watch this one scene in this one episode of This Is Us.” They didn’t fully explain why it was so imperative for him to do so, but nevertheless Warner was intrigued. When he finally watched the episode, he understood why they wanted him to watch it – and he was pretty taken aback as well.
Under the radar
In the world of sports broadcasting, Warner Wolf is living legend. When he was in his heyday, he was pretty well known across America, primarily in the Washington D.C. region. Known primarily for his signature catchphrase, “Let’s go to the videotape!,” Wolf had all the makings of a memorable broadcaster that wouldn’t ever be forgotten. Except, things in life don’t always work out that way. As the years pass on by, it can be easy to forget about various people, places, and things, no matter how amazing they once were. Such was the case here, and Warner slipped under the radar for a number of years… until he was resurrected once more by an unexpected force.
It all started when Warner was hanging out at his place in Naples, Florida. It was a calm Tuesday night and he certainly didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary to happen. But something strange did occur, and it took place in the form of a text message. The text message was sent to Warner from an unknown number, and its purpose was to alert him about a scene in a television show. He didn’t recognize the name of the show, and it also couldn’t figure out why the texter was telling him about it. He considered the offer, but at that moment it didn’t seem very urgent. The whole thing was oddly perplexing.
Warner would recall later that he truly had no idea “what they were talking about” (the ones who sent the text). But soon after, more messages began to arrive. There were texts coming in, and emails too, and Warner at that point truly didn’t know what to do. In true Harry Potter fashion, people were obviously very keen to reach him about something. There must be something about this show they were all urging him to watch.
This Is Us mention
It turns out that the messagers wanted Warner to watch a certain scene from This Is Us, the critically acclaimed and super popular hit sitcom from NBC. Apparently, the scene in question had made a direct reference to Warner Wolf. It took place in the second half of the second season, and apparently a few characters were talking about Warner for quite some time during this heavily discussed scene. The ones who texted Warner were adamant that he watch it.
Different than last time
Once he found out that his name had been referenced in a television show, he recalled a few other times in the past that the same thing happened with other shows – such as on the 80s hit sitcom Moonlighting. But the key difference, according to Warner, was the sheer eruption this time around. He said that out of all the previous times his name had be referenced, he had never before gotten “a reaction like this,” and that the whole thing was “incredible.”
Never watched it
The fact that the peoples’ reaction was stronger than it had ever been before could be a testament to how popular the show of This Is Us is. That being said, Warner was “ashamed” to admit that he had actually never watched the show. But he was certainly touched by the honorable mention, and said that he plans on watching in the future. But what exactly was the nature of this particular scene, and how did he get referenced?
Warner’s name got brought up in a scene that centered around the show’s three main characters, Kevin, Kate, and Randall Pearson. These three characters also happen to be triplets, and they’re also in their 30s. When they bring up Warner, it’s a result of a conversation where they are reminiscing about their childhood days. It all starts with a certain dispute about various things that did or didn’t happen in their past. That’s when Randall has a suggestion.
Going to the videotape
The truth is that Randall’s suggestion comes in the form of wishful thinking. He realizes that the ideal way to settle the score over what really happened would be if him and his two siblings had a videotape of their entire childhood. He recalled other times in the past where they’d remember experiences differently and say, “Let’s go to the videotape!” For anyone who’s familiar at all with Warner Wolf, they know that that’s his catchphrase.
After he says the catchphrase, Randall is more that happy to mention that it belongs to Warner Wolf, at which point his sister Kate asks the question, “Who’s Warner Wolf?” This surprises Randall, because in his mind, he’s a television personality that the three of them used to watch all the time as children. So a perplexed Randall feels compelled to remind Kate a bit about their childhood with a lengthy explanation of who he is.
Remembering the Wolf
He tells Kate that Warner Wolf was a “sportscaster” that they used to watch when they were kids. He then acknowledges that Wolf always used to say, “Let’s go to the videotape,” at which point the network would play the highlights. After his description to Kate, something dawns on his brother Kevin, who says quietly, “Warner Wolf.” As if the reassurance from Kevin and the explanation from Randall was all she needed to remember, Kate says, “Oh yeah.”
Not just a sportscaster
There is something really beautiful that happens in that moment, and it extends beyond just a reference on a television show. What Dan Fogelman, the creator of This Is Us, is trying to illustrate here is the power of emotions, and the way they connect to our memories. In Randalls eyes, Warner Wolf isn’t just a “sportscaster guy” that he remembers. He’s a reminder of a time that once was, and for anyone that watches This Is Us – their past can be painful to recall.
Something doesn’t add up
But beyond the depth behind the story, there are number of other odd things about the mention of Warner Wolf on This Is Us. Probably the strangest thing is the fact that the Pearson children grew up in Pittsburgh, and Warner Wolf mainly did broadcasting in the Washington D.C. area. At the very least, his catchphrase that Randall references is one that he generally said in his local news reports – not very close to Pittsburgh.
But here’s a slight hint that may shed some light on this matter. Show creator Dan Fogelman was actually raised in the Northern New Jersey area. This area is hardly Washington D.C., but when you consider the fact that Wolf also did a lot of work in the New York area as well, one could hazard an assumption that Fogelman may have gotten his share of his iconic sports broadcasting while growing up close to that area.
Tribute from a fan
This possibility suggests that Fogelman may have been showing his respects to a sportscaster that he grew up watching. But regardless over what the main catalyst was that led to Warner getting his name mentioned on the show, Warner felt touched all the same, and wanted to extend his thanks and appreciation out to the show and all of its creators. It’s always nice to feel appreciated, and no matter how famous a person grows to be, a bit a gratitude can still warm your heart.
Feeling the recognition
It’s also important to bring up the fact that Warner Wolf is currently 80 years old. He may have been a big name back in the day, but as we said earlier, the world is constantly changing, and it’s possible that Warner may have got the impression that he was not so well known anymore. But after getting bombarded by hordes of fans and admirers after appearing on This Is Us, he said that was “nice to remembered after all these years.”
Leaving the previous job
Although he doesn’t work in the same gig that he used, Wolf has still been busy throughout his older age. Around two years ago, he made the move out to Florida after quitting his previous job, working on Don Imus’ WABC radio show. He left because of debacle involving some racist comments, something that Wolf was completely fed up with. Living in Florida, he’s doing a variety of different things, which we’ll soon discuss in a moment.
During his time in Florida, he’s been doing a variety of different things. He’s certainly been relaxing, which is totally justifiable for a man of his stature and age, but he’s also been doing his share of work as well. For instance, he filled a handful of times of WOR radio sports talk show, sometimes alongside former television sports anchor Len Berman. He’s also appeared twice on a sports news program known as the Sports Zone.
Active and able
Warner Wolf is in a really cool place right now. He’s happy to fill in as a sportscaster whenever certain channels may want or need him, but he’s also keeping himself busy in a number of other ways. For example, when he’s not engaging in talk shows or sportscasting, he’s occupied with golfing, as well as “pickleball,” which is a relatively unknown paddle sport. He also enjoys attending classes at a local college, which we think is super awesome.
He has a really positive and productive approach to where his life is at the moment. The way he sees it, everyone should always be keeping busy. In his words, you can’t assume that because you “used to be a sportscaster,” then that means you can lay in bed all day. He’s a firm champion for getting out of bed and staying active, which is very impressive and inspiring for a man of his age.
But back to This Is Us… it seems that out of all of Warner’s new fun activities, watching the show that revived his public image may be next on the dock for him. “This show, holy Moses,” he said, adding that “it’s unbelievable,” and that he feels “really flattered.” He said that he had always wondered whether his catchphrase of “let’s go to the videotape” would stick in people’s’ memories. Good news, Warner – it absolutely did!