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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Chef Keith, a fake chef from the comics at the Found Footage Festival, appears on WITI-TV Fox 6.

Comedians fool Wisconsin television producers with fake chef


Producers at Wisconsin TV stations are the ones, usually, who determine what stories are covered and the amount of time those reports will get in a regular newscast.

Sometimes, it is easy with a number of stories that are covered, and weather and sports will fill out a show. Other times, especially in small markets in the state that don't have much news, it gets harder. Producers need to fill time.

Welcome to the interview segment.

Panel discussions, event previews, pet adoptions … they are all fodder for interview segments.

For comics Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher of the Found Footage Festival, getting on TV for an interview with a made-up character is part of their shtick.

The pair did it this time with the character of Keith Guerke, known as Chef Keith, who was touting a new cookbook about recipes for holiday leftovers. The problem was Keith didn't know how to cook and the cookbook didn't exist. Deadspin reported the story this morning about the comics' ability to get on stations in Rhinelander, Wausau, Rockford, Ill., and Milwaukee … specifically on WITI-TV Fox 6.

Watch the report here, and for those wondering, the pair were also behind K-Strass, the fake yo-yo master:

There's a practice of vetting that the show producers should be doing, especially when giving precious airtime to a guest. And, I'm sure the producers involved here have learned a lesson they will never forget.

But, at least with this latest prank, no one was hurt, unless you were the anchor who ate the mashed potato ice cream cone with corn sprinkles.

SOCIAL RECORD: Ellen DeGeneres is active on Twitter, and her personality works on the social media forum as the host of a daily syndicated talk show.

While hosting the Oscars on Sunday, she set out to break a record with a selfie picture taken with a number of Hollywood A-Listers.

In less than a hour, her tweet with Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, and Lupita Nyong'o's brother photo-bombing, and others, had more than 871,000 retweets and 210,000 favorites.

The numbers surpass the previous record holder of Barack and Michelle Obama on election night with roughly 777,000 retweets.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Fox Business Network's Liz Claman will interview Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday live from Palo Alto, CA. Claman will speak with Netanyahu about international events and the global economy.

MELTDOWN COVERAGE: Miles O'Brien returned to Fukushima, Japan, to cover the impact of Japan's nuclear plant meltdown. Three years after the event, he presents a series of stories that will air on PBS "NewsHour" this week.

On Wednesday, O'Brien reports on the radioactive water, which continues to leak from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the nearby harbor. As the plume of radioactive water reaches across the Pacific to the U.S. West Coast, fears and speculation about the safety of Pacific fish are fueled.

O'Brien speaks with marine scientists in both Japan and the U.S. about the risks to sea life posed by the radioactive plume, and to what extent people should be worried.

On Friday, O'Brien reports on the future of nuclear power, and how attitudes have changed after the meltdown. Utilities and the current government are anxious to get the nuclear plants restarted by this summer, but polls show that 80 percent of the Japanese people prefer they stay shut down forever.

O'Brien takes viewers inside the world's largest nuclear power plant – also run by Tepco in Japan – to examine the technology and the issues facing the country's nuclear future.

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