Déja Vu All Over Again

Call for HelpIt’s been just over two years since I stopped hosting Call for Help (you can read my original email about leaving in The Laporte Report from March 15, 2001). A number of people hosted the show after I left, including my good friend Chris Pirillo. But I have to admit, I could never watch the show without a little twinge of longing. I missed doing it more than I ever would have thought.
Well I’m very pleased to report that I’m coming back. Chris is moving to greener pastures (I’m sure he’ll have more to say about it on his blog) and TechTV has invited me to return as host of Call for Help starting tomorrow. We’ll miss Chris a lot. He added a bunch of much needed tech savvy to the channel. And I valued him as a colleague and a friend.

I’ll be returning CFH to its roots as a call-in help show as quickly as possible, taking as many of your calls as we can fit into an hour each day. I know the time slot isn’t ideal for many of you (3p Eastern/Noon Pacific) but there will be beefed-up weekend repeats. And if the show goes well (that is, if you and all your friends watch it religiously) it will prove what I’ve contended all along: people want to watch computer help on TV. And maybe then we can move it to a more convenient hour.

Naturally, I will continue to co-host The Screen Savers with Patrick, and Cat has agreed to continue on as co-host on Call for Help. Please tune-in and call-in Call for Help, weekdays at 3p Eastern on TechTV. (Now if we can only find the old show open.)

174 Replies to “Déja Vu All Over Again”

  1. Huh? Just when I get use to that hyperactive monkey? Seriously, at first I couldn’t stand the guy. Now that I’m kind of use to him, he leaves?

  2. I agree JohnB, I ended up being home 10 minutes before Call for Help airs. Oh well, it’s worthwhile. Too bad I haven’t been watching TechTV long enough to experience the “old” Call for Help. Hopefully the “new” Call for Help will be 10x better.

  3. I like Chris’ perkiness and I’m going to miss it. Welcome home Leo!!!! I’m going to miss Chris. One other thing Leo….are you going to do the 18 hour Call For Help-a-thon??
    E ya later Chris. We are all going to miss you.

  4. I’m just glad they didn’t cancel CFH and put on more episodes of the thunderbirds. I do smell a little conspiracy thing brewing with all this though but glad to hear you get to host your favorite show again.

  5. Geez you guys forget so soon. Think WOZ!!!!! He always does his april fools gag on April 2nd. Im willing to bet thats what this is all about, Leo just got Chris to play along a little.

  6. Great to hear it Leo. Although Chris does an excellent job, he just can’t compare to the quailty of the show when you were there.
    Guess I’ll have to make a big point to watch it again!

  7. Hey Leo, gonna be great seeing you back on CFH, the show is a huge help for me cause there are programs out there that have saved me headaches as well as tips. I love the idea of reruns on Satrudays since the show is on an hr before getting home from work. I have to agree with others, welcome back bud!

  8. Wow this so sudden. As of today, I will no longer be with TechTV… ’cause I’m movin’ on up… to…? Too What Chris?? I am sad to see Chris to go , i was a big fan. He brought alot of energy to the show. Luckily I was able to meet chris when i visited Tech TV last year to watch the TSS.
    But Its great news that Leo is coming back to Call For Help . Guest for now we could refer CFH as Up Early with Leo. Since this time i wake up in the morning. That right. Noon PST is morning time for me.

  9. OMG, what a wonderful thing to hear, that you’re getting CFH back!!!! I can’t watch it live (time slot), but just knowing it’s there and that I’ll be able to catch it on weekends is terrific news.
    I don’t know who I’m happier for – you or us. You, because you missed this and are glad to have it back, or us because WE missed YOU and are glad to have you back. Well, whaddaya know…we all win, and how often does THAT happen!

  10. I can’t imagine why Chris would quit. I liked the show when I managed to catch it, (the new hours are too early on the east coast). Of course I liked the old days when you were there. Things change though, you can’t stop it. I want the old cast back too. If you could bring back just one person I wonder who I’d pick? cfh was on the first time I caught tech tv. I couldn’t remember what time it was on because you were on at different times. A week or so later I finally caught on there were two shows.

  11. Leo and Chris got tired of hacking the Al-Jazzera website and decided to hack the TTV/CFH one instead. They may return control of the site to TPTB when their 50% raises come through :^)
    Seriously, I hope it is a joke and not some precipitous action by TPTB. I started watching TTV about two months before Leo left CFH and will be happy to see him back. OTOH, I’d hate for Chris to be fired, if that’s the case.
    If “movin’ on up” means Chris has been given control over programming at TTV, so much the better. Thunderbirds is OK, but I would’ve liked it better when I was 6-8 years old. I prefer “Supercar” anyway….

  12. Leo, I am so happy for you!!!!
    This is so strange, today is the second anniversary of me finding you and TTV, I can’t believe this announcement came today! Some of my biggest regrets have alway been I never got to see the old CFH and TSS with Kate so this is so huge in my book I can’t even formulate proper words!
    You can bet I’ll be taping during the week and watching repeats on the weekend. I’m glad to hear they are going to be “beefed-up weekend repeats” I’ve always thought they were missing out on a big viewing audience not showing repeats of CFH and TSS on the weekends.
    Now I have to run out and buy a mega pack of blank video cassettes before 3 pm tomorrow. Can you believe there isn’t an empty cassette in the whole house at the moment and me thinks I’m going to be wanting to save some of these shows! TiVo is in my future but alas I’m not there yet.

  13. Hey Leo,
    For a while I actually thought that TechTV would not survive. A few months ago every commercial spot was nothing but internal ads for the shows later on in the day, but it looks like some of that has changed (luckily TechTV has deep pockets-you know what I’m saying).
    Good moves:
    1) Moving Becky Worley off CFH (too stuffy for the show’s audience)
    2) Not showing The ScreenSavers 5 times a day, it’s the best show, but makes the station look like it has nothing else
    3) Making Fresh Gear part of the news, Sumi is beautiful, but the show is painful and boring
    1) Leo, don’t do CFH
    Leo, you can definitely handle the CFH show, you have the personality and you can even get down to the level necessary for the show’s audience, but you are overexposing yourself. Also, Perillo really gave the show his own flavor, and truthfully it was better for the audience than what you used to do.
    2) Remove the dead weight
    Both Cat and Megan have been around forever, but they have not risen above intern status. Their on-screen precense is forced and unnatural. I always thought Megan would become something better, but hasn’t. Cat has done poorly since the beginning.
    3) Reward the best
    I heard Marty was getting his own show, great move, he has proved himself on air. Morgan and Kevin have really stepped up and done a good job as well. I hope their contributions and personalities are being noticed and rewarded as well.

  14. Oh i forgot to mention that like the screen savers u will bring cfh down too.First TSS was 1.5 hrs then 1 hr and there is hardly any material only fluff waste more time.Chris’s one hour show has so much to it.Even though i think patrick is a very good host two hosts,one hour,thats a waste of money.Cfh one host one hour fun interactive.
    Techtv is gone.I am unsubscribing techtv.Sorry but its time to move on.

  15. Leo!!
    It’s great to see you back on CFH as a Host. I remember when you previously hosted the show. Tech TV was not yet here in Canada, but I was able to watch and listen when Tech TV had a video and later just audio stream on the web so I was able to listen. My wife and I both like you as a host. It will be nice to make the show more of what it used to be.
    Keep up the good work.

  16. I hate to repeat things already said but feel I must….I too have watched since the days of ZDTV and at first wished Chris could have skipped one of his cups of coffee if you know what I mean…
    But I adjusted to the little guy and that CALL-A-THON was TOO COOL, I will miss him. I wish him well.
    Leo Dude, It’ll be good to see more of you, I’ve learned sooo much watching your show. Don’t let some of these putzs (what is the proper plural form of putz anyway) get you down.
    Lemme go before I ramble…(too late)

  17. Just like to point out for Thomas that the particular porn star (Asia Carrera) Martin interviewed is a Mensa member, very tech saavy and well known within the tech community, builds her own pcs, runs her own website, her own Quake 3 server, and is generally considered a very good interview.
    She also does adult movies, so that of course turns off a few people – and is probably the reason she couldn’t be interviewed on The Screen Savers. But it’s not like he’s interviewing the first porn star he can find.

  18. Oh great!
    Now TTV will be the All LEO all the Time station, or better still All Ego All The Time.
    While Leo is very helpful, I find his Ego to be a bit too big. Even his co-presenters seem to have problems with it (note the looks on their faces after he goes off on a tangent or steals their bit).
    That coupled with his highly vocal support for theft and piracy (MP3 and the like). Make it hard to watch the shows sometimes.
    My theory is Leo wanted a raise or Funds are tight, and Chris went bye-bye to to keep Leo happy in the $$ Department. Perhaps paycuts at TechTV? Hence the also very expanded Gaming Show, which is no doubt very cheap to make.
    Well whatever the reason, TechTv is still the only ‘show’ in town and is worthy of continued support. I also have looked past the things I said earlier and enjoy the shows.
    A Fan,

  19. Some of you need to show more respect than to disrespect someone on their own blog.
    Chris took some getting used to but after awhile I didn’t mind his little quirks. He was certainly intelligent. I’ll miss him on CFH. But this is a business and for whatever reason, he’s gone. Welcome to the real world. Why do many of you want to blame Chris’ firing/quitting on Leo? You don’t have any facts. Leo doesn’t own TechTV.

  20. The reason why Call for Help took off was Chris Pirillo. It must be understood that CFH ‘is’ a TV show – you can’t do 1 full hour of answering questions, it will just be too damn boring. The show needs viewers to have advertisers & to earn. That’s why the show was spruced up, to gain more interest in it. I think Chris did a hell of a job.
    Leo’s a very competent host & hopefully he’ll be able to maintain the same interest on the show now that he’s got his old job back. I too will sorely miss Chris, he makes learning fun & entertaining.

  21. Not that it makes much difference to me either way, Rich, as I’m at work when CFH comes on, but if the network needs to cut expenses, and Leo comes in to fill the breach, or even if the network decides that Leo is a draw, and they need a draw to make viewership to convert to filthy lucre so everybody gets a paycheck, how is this a bad thing? The networks are full of “personalities” that I don’t care for, and shows I don’t find entertaining. I don’t view that as a personal issue with me. I just don’t watch Dr. Phil or Jerry Springer. Can we maybe recognize that business decisions a network in California makes are, possibly, not our business? If you don’t like Leo, don’t watch Leo. Watch Jerry Springer or Howard Stern, or CNN or the Potato Network, or whatever floats your boat. I can understand you’d be disappointed if you really liked Chris. I just don’t understand why Leo has to catch a bucketful.

  22. Oh yeah, about a comment on getting Martin fired. That would really suck. I mean, TSS wouldn’t seem complete if one of them went missing. It all just works together. Martin the comic relief 😀
    I must say that I wish Patrick had a blog (or does he, and I just don’t know about it?). I would really like to let the whole world know how much of a Patrick fan I am. I’ve met him 3 times, going on 4 this month, and let me say, Patrick is one of THEE Coolest guys I have met. Dan is pretty cool too, and Megan is just down right sweet. Morgan, well, she is sweet too, I just go into a state of panic when I am around her and just, well, yeah. She is awesome too ! Back to Martin. Just wow, really nice guy, really funny, it’s not just an act, he is funny off stage as well.If you get the chance go meet the whole staff, they all rock! Oh yeah, Angelo is pretty cool too, as is Kevin T.
    Leo, as I’ve said many a time in other posts, I would really like to meet you someday, how does April 24th sound? 😀 Care to go out to dinner?

  23. Well, you see, I didn’t understand that he was an Evil Man. If I had known that, I wouldn’t have been so quick to come to his defense. That’s embarrassing, alright, and I don’t want to repeat the error. Could you tell me, please, is he just evil on this issue, or does the evilness pervade every fibre of his being? For instance, I’ve known some Evil Men that really like kittens and puppies and some of the Evil Men I know are only evil when they’ve been provoked. Others do really senseless evil things for no reason I can discern. Colis P. Huntington, to take an example, was a really Evil Man, but he did it for money, and however much you may criticize his “over the top” approach, you can at least understand his motivation. Ghengis Khan, on the other hand, really seemed to enjoy hacking people up, and that’s harder to understand. Is Leo more Khan-like, or more Colis-flavored, do you suppose?
    At any rate, I do appreciate being brought to a greater understanding of the issues, and I thank you for the information.

  24. I have watched TTV from day 1. It was fantastic finally having tech programming with substance. I have seen “personalities” come and go. Some good, some bad. Someone like John Villarael (sp.) (anyone remember him?) should have been axed after the first airing. I am sorry to see Chris’ departure, for whatever reason. I personally was not fond of his “Nickelodeon” type personality (the hyper-activity) but he was a good host and tech savvy. Everybody disses Marty just like Scott Herriott. Both have a wry sense of humor that I like and needs to be properly channeled AND NOT in the direction of celebrity interviews. How about a Disc Doctors type of show that had that good mix of tech and tongue-in-cheek for Marty?
    Some of the format changes at TTV have been just abysmal. I was glad to see that all-live financial format with chopped up pieces of tech interspersed did not last long. This current trend of fluff TV is getting pretty boring. I did not care for The Thunderbirds originally and still do not. These BBC reruns need to go also.
    Get back to the roots of Tech TV guys before it is too late, for everyone, fans and personalities. More interactivity. A complete tech show for Macs. A show for newbies. A show for intermediate and uber-geeks. Maybe even a weekly show on PC building, customizing, modding (and not the X-box here). How about a show for really getting under the hoods of operating systems? Explaining registries and real esoteric tweaking of Windows, Linux, OSX. Helping to solve some of the really puzzling problems.
    I find myself watching broadcast and cable programming less and less. This includes TTV. It seems all of the programming execs want the easy, cheap throw-away programming to numb the masses.
    I will vacate the soap box for the next ranter now.

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