I had a chance to sit down with Chris Balish, the host of The CW Now and chat about his new show that’s on every Sunday 7/6c on The CW. CW Now is a unique show because it’s a half hour show that has no commercial breaks. It’s Extra meets Access Hollywood, but geared younger and much more hip. Plus, I was extra excited to do this interview because I didn’t have to drive anywhere…he lives literally across the hall from me.
Nads: Congrats Chris! You’re on a nationally syndicated show. What was your audition process like being on such a big show?
Chris: Like a lot of the shows they were very hush hush about what it was. I knew it was an Extra format with a co-host. They already had Tanika Ray on the show but were looking for a co-host.
Nads: So, Tanika is on CW NOW and Extra?
Chris: Yeah, she’s busy! She’s a correspondant during the weekday and a weekend co-host on Extra. And, now our show weekly.
Nads: Were you nervous going in to this big show and this whole process. What do they look for?
Chris: They were really just looking for chemistry. I’d never met Tanika before, we were kind of joking around, and the right amount of flirty. I wasn’t necessarily the best dude, but Tanika and I had the best chemistry, so I got the job!
Nads: Is your travel schedule insane?
Chris: Yes. I’ve been all over the world, and am having so much fun. The schedule gets crazy, they called me one morning literally at 8:30 AM and said, hey you’re going to China tonight. So, they called me that day and I was flying that night. They sent me to Macau and Hong Kong.
Nads: Does that make you nervous doing these things on such a whim?
Chris: I’ve been doing this for over 10 years, so I’m really used to it now, but that’s what’s so great about it; I get to see new things and meet new people all the time.
Nads: You came here last year from St. Louis with literally no contacts and took a chance.
Chris: Yeah, I was hosting a TV show on the NBC affiliate in St. Louis, loved my job, but decided I was ready to experience something new. So, I rolled the dice and ended up in Los Angeles.
Nads: Chris, you’re being so modest right now. You have 7 emmys I read, is that true?
Chris: Yeah, I won 7 Regional Emmys, so I knew I had a lot of experience under my belt, but still I came with nothing concrete, and just went to work auditioning and taking classes.
Nads: You’re not just any host, you do all of your own stunts. Would you consider yourself the Jackie Chan of hosts?
Chris: LOL. I do all of my stunts. I tend to gravitate towards more extreme things like barefoot waterskiing, wakeboarding, bungee jumping, etc…
Nads: I saw that you bungee jumped when you were in Macau. That’s something I’ve never done, what was that like?
Chris: It was on top of a 70-foot tower Macau Tower. I’d never bungee jumped in my life and looking down I was so nervous. I kept asking the guy at the top, “Did you double check, triple check the cords?” And the guy just responded, “pretty sure.” At that moment I decided to just jump. Once you let go, you just feel peacefulness. I mean, really, if it breaks, then you wouldn’t feel the concrete anyway, right? It’s more of the anticipation.
Nads: You’ve covered a lot of things, what was your most fun or memorable story?
Chris: Well, the scariest AND most fun was when I was standing in a pool full of three-foot long alligators at the Cincinnati Zoo. I was waist deep while these alligators were swimming around and the only thing I had for protection was a zoo keeper with a stick. And if you know alligators…a stick is not going to do anything for you when they attack. Everyone else seemed to be laughing, and of course it was funny when I got out of the pool. But, it was one of those things when you’re thinking to yourself, “this will be funny one day if I make it.”
Nads: OMG. That’s nuts! Now, I want to talk to you more about your show, your show has no commercial breaks?
Chris: We never break to a commercial because our show is supported by product placement. But, all of the sponsors are all news worthy stories. Like the Honda Robot that does house chores, 3 wheel choppers, Halo 3, Aerotrekking, etc…
Nads: What’s that?
Chris: I can’t tell you because it’s so new. j/k. Every week we really do cover things that are so new that they’re not out yet.
Nads: Besides being so busy, you have managed to write a book too?
Chris: How To Live Well Without Owning A Car
Nads: So, you don’t have a car I take it? How do you survive in Los Angeles? Personally, I’m so lazy sometimes that if my car fit in my apartment I would drive it to the bathroom. And, you got rid of your car? Isn’t that impossible to do in Los Angeles?
Chris: To be honest with you, it’s harder to live in St. Louis without a car than Los Angeles. I love not having a car. It’s good for the environment, I save money and life is just easier.
Nads: One more question…if you have a date, do you pick them up on your bike?
Chris: No. I rent a car. Alright neighbor, want to talk about your old SUV?
Nads: No, but thanks for the interview Chris I’ll be sure to watch your show every Sunday.
Chris was awesome. Check out his show every Sunday on The CW, CW NOW Sundays 7/6c