Bergeron in April 2009
May 6, 1955
|Residence||Los Angeles, California
|Occupation||Television host, comedian, game show host|
|Notable work||America's Funniest Home Videos (2001–2015)
Dancing with the Stars (2005–present)
|Net worth||$12 million|
Early life and career
His first job in broadcasting was as a disc jockey at local radio station WHAV, in his home town of Haverhill, Massachusetts. He became a popular radio DJ in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire in the early 1980s on Portsmouth's WHEB, where he played comedy records along with music and offbeat interviews. His popularity led to additional TV and radio auditions.
One of his first jobs on television was as host of a local game show, Granite State Challenge, on New Hampshire Public Television (produced at NHPTV flagship station WENH-TV). He moved to the Boston market in February 1982, joining WBZ-TV as a general on-air personality. His early roles at the station included being a contributor on Evening Magazine (1982–87), and hosting brief informational and show preview segments known as 4 Today, every 30 minutes during WBZ's daytime lineup (1983–87). In 1984, he landed the hosting spot on Lottery Live, the nightly drawings of the Massachusetts State Lottery games. By January 1987, while still working in these roles, Bergeron added People Are Talking to his duties. He replaced outgoing host Buzz Luttrell on the early afternoon talk show, where he gained even more popularity. While Ron Cantera took over as host of 4 Today (until its cancellation in 1988), Bergeron remained lottery host until drawings moved to WNEV-TV in September 1987. Bergeron additionally served as the original host of WBZ's weekend morning teenage discussion series Rap-Around from 1987 to 1989.
By the early 1990s, Bergeron was seen as a solid figure in Boston television, and WBZ continued to capitalize on his talents by featuring him on WBZ Radio. It was there he had an early-morning radio show called The Tom Bergeron Show. When People Are Talking ended a successful 13-year run in June 1993, Bergeron remained on WBZ-TV as commentator and lifestyle reporter for the station's expanded hour-long noon newscast. In early 1994, Bergeron briefly surfaced as a morning host on Boston's soft-rock station WMJX ("Magic 106.7"), which was only a short commute to WBZ's studios for his work on the noon news.
In June 1994, Bergeron left WBZ when he was hired by the new FX cable network. He had been selected to co-host a morning talk show for them, called Breakfast Time, which was his first network television exposure. Hosting with Laurie Hibberd, the show became quite successful on the upstart cable network, prompting the Fox Broadcasting Company to pick it up two years later. At the time, the cable system in his hometown of Haverhill didn't carry FX, leading to a long-running and ultimately failed public campaign to get them to pick up the channel or at the very least to locally syndicate the program. In September 1996, the program moved to Fox and became Fox After Breakfast, since it aired later in the morning than the other networks' morning programs. Bergeron and Hibberd continued with the show for one year on Fox; the show was renewed in 1997, but revamped. With new host Vicki Lawrence, a new set and modified format, it became The Vicki Lawrence Show.
Bergeron was promptly signed to a contract with ABC News as guest host to Good Morning America. After Charles Gibson left the show, Bergeron was seriously considered as a permanent replacement, but that job went to Kevin Newman.
Beginning in 1998, he became the host of Hollywood Squares. He was nominated for five Emmys and in 2000, he won his first of two Emmy Awards. After Hollywood Squares ended its six-year-run in 2004, he continued hosting America's Funniest Home Videos, which he started hosting in 2001, and he is also credited as the show's senior producer. Bergeron appeared twice on Star Trek: Enterprise as an alien trader named D'Marr (2002) and as a Coridan Ambassador (2005). He also appeared in an episode of The Nanny in 1998.
In 2005, he began hosting the ABC reality series Dancing with the Stars, for ABC, where he had two former co-hostesses (Lisa Canning and Samantha Harris) before Brooke Burke, the winner of season 7, and later Erin Andrews, who finished in third place of season 10 took over the job. The show, modeled on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, proved to be a hit, and has now aired in over 90 countries in its various formats. His sharp sense of humor and good banter with the judges and cast members of Dancing with the Stars have helped to make him to become a big star again, so much so that in June 2010, ABC invited him back to his daytime roots for one day only as special guest moderator of "The View".
From 2005 until 2010, Bergeron was a co-host on the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon, and in 2006 he was elected national vice president of the association.
In November 2009, Bergeron celebrated AFHV's 20th anniversary with its first host Bob Saget. In 2010, he appeared in Castle. In 2011, he made a cameo in an episode of Tosh.0 as host of Dancing with the Internet Stars, a parody of Dancing with the Stars.
On March 12, 2014, Bergeron announced that he will not be hosting America's Funniest Home Videos after season 25. Bergeron's final episode aired May 17, 2015. Two days after the airing of Bergeron's finale, it was announced that Alfonso Ribeiro will replace Bergeron. He will continue to host Dancing with the Stars with Erin Andrews.
On Tuesday, September 22, 2015, he guest-starred in the pilot episode of The Muppets as himself.
Other career ventures
In 2009, Bergeron released his first book I'm Hosting as Fast as I Can: Zen and the Art of Staying Sane in Hollywood. The book details his career and other oddball stuff, along with some zen and life lessons.
- Mike LaBella (June 11, 2009). "TV host Bergeron returns to his native Haverhill for book signing". eagletribune.com.
- Don Freeman (February 17, 1999). Host sees humor go full circle at the ProQuest Archiver. The San Diego Union Tribune.
- McMahon, Charles (2013), Legendary Locals of Portsmouth, Arcadia Publishing, p. 97, ISBN 9781467100762
- Keegan 1988, p. 8
- Bade & Brown 2003, pp. 167–168
- "Dancing With the Stars Host Tom Bergeron Talks Live". Washington Post. April 23, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "'Dancing with the Stars' host Tom Bergeron rumored for 'GMA' position". Reality TV World. UPI News Service. Retrieved 2006-05-24.
- Editorial: ABC For The Central Coast. KSBW.
- "Bergeron to host PBS' July 4 special". UPI. 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- Oldenburg, Ann (2014-03-12). "Tom Bergeron quits 'America's Funniest Home Videos'". USA Today. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- ABC Renews ‘The Bachelor,’ ‘Shark Tank,’ ‘Funniest Home Videos’, Variety,May 9, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014
- Tom Bergeron at the Internet Movie Database
- Tom Bergeron interview video at the Archive of American Television
John Davidson in the 1986–1989 version
|Host of Hollywood Squares
(Hip Hop Squares, 2012)
Daisy Fuentes & John Fugelsang
|Host of America's Funniest Home Videos
|Co-Host of Dancing with the Stars
Ben Stein and Jimmy Kimmel
|Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
tie with Bob Barker
|Host of Miss America