Anderson Cooper is dealing with one of those situations that daytime talk shows dread: When a guest (or, in this case, a prospective guest) gets seriously hurt for reasons having to do with his or her appearance on the show.
According to several accounts – including this one on The Hollywood Reporter Web site – Cooper and his producers were preparing for an upcoming edition of his afternoon talk show when a teen-aged boy who was scheduled to appear hurt himself while preparing for the appearance.
The story says the boy was instructed by a producer for “Anderson” to “film the crazy stuff you do.” The boy then suffered a head injury while he was being videotaped skateboarding for a show that was to have delved into the science of the teen-age brain. The boy is now in a coma.
In the THR story, a spokesperson for the talk show confirmed the tragedy. “Our producers were working with a teen and his parents on a show about the science of the teenage brain, based on a National Geographic [magazine] story,” a statement from the spokesperson said. “As part of our routine process, we ask guests for video footage and photos. We did not provide the family with a camera. On the morning that they were supposed to travel to NYC, we learned that the teen had been injured. We are very concerned about him, and are thinking of him and his family at this time.”
Cooper himself issued a statement over the weekend. “I was very saddened to hear the news of this accident, and want to express my deepest concerns for the teenager who was injured,” Cooper’s statement said. “I take this situation seriously, and my thoughts and prayers for his health, well-being and recovery are with him and his family.”
It’s a sad story, but we’re not sure if it’s a valid candidate for daytime talk’s short list of guest-related tragedies, unless it comes to light that the producer who instructed the boy to videotape his activities somehow encouraged him to take risks (that could be the case if the producer really described the activities as “crazy stuff” in his or her instructions to videotape himself).
Remember when we’d hear about these tragedies from time to time? The most infamous was the time a guest on “The Jenny Jones Show” shot and killed another guest after the show was taped. The murder was clearly connected to the show – the man was killed after he confessed he had a same-sex crush on the other man, who was later convicted for the other man’s murder.
A “Jerry Springer” guest murdered another one once too – though it was unclear if that murder was related to their appearance on the show.