NY1 Reporter Roger Clark Becomes Air Guitar Internet Sensation

ClarkWhat happens when you send a TV reporter to cover an air guitar competition? And if that NY1 reporter is a rock n’ roll drummer who has played clubs in New York?

You get a local news moment that goes viral.

Roger Clark gave viewers a gyrating experience, typically reserved for the bathroom mirror (or the competition).

Since Clark’s “performance” yesterday, numerous versions of his report have been uploaded to YouTube. Clark was making fake music at the bar next to the Bowery Ballroom, where the best in air guitar vied for the title.

“I honestly didn’t expect the segments to create such a huge buzz,” Clark tells Tuned In. “I knew when we set up the segments we would be able to have some fun with them especially because I am such a big music fan.”

Although a general assignment reporter, who covers the gamut of serious pieces, Clark, who was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens and Staten Island, is becoming known for taking a lighter side during the morning with Pat Kiernan.

“Pat and I always have a ball with these type of stories. But I have never had a story get such attention!” Clark admits.

kiernan and clarkThe staid anchor was clearly not expecting the full blown Clark concert. While Clark continued, Kiernan’s look of “How are we going to stop this?” was priceless. To that end, Kiernan chimed in, “You know Roger, normally this is the point at which I’d say you were out of time. But we’re just going to keep going with this.”

Clark says, “I always aim to get that response out of him.”

Applause trickled from the bar, while laughter from Kiernan filled the screen.

“I was — as you saw on TV — stunned in the moment by his level of intensity,” Kiernan tells Tuned In. “But not at all surprised by the reaction. We knew as soon as it aired that people would be buzzing about it.”

Clark, who joined NY1 in 2001, says Kiernan knew that an air guitar solo was forthcoming, but not what song. He played Rush’s Tom Sawyer.

Not sure how he’ll top this, Clark says he’s always ready to explore opportunities that allow him to try different activities, and of course bring a smile to viewers.

Before the social media craze, a segment featuring break dancing at the Flushing YMCA was talked about, but didn’t catch fire on Twitter.

“Next week, I’m doing an opera related story, so maybe we will get some good play out of me attempting to sing,” Clark says.

But as yesterday’s classic “stand-up” concluded, Kiernan deadpanned.

“It was very legitimate looking.”

Photos: tveyes.com


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