Old Man Falls Asleep While Hosting Public Access Channel

By | April 6th, 2011 | Access, Sawdust

Cameras stay rolling for more than two hours

By  Marc Phillips

Joe Kalbert, host of Smethport’s first and only public access talk show, Joe’s Spin, fell asleep during a live broadcast today for unknown reasons.

Image by Garen Whitmore


“This has never happened before,” his wife, Lisa, said. “At home, we normally fall asleep watching reruns of My Name is Earl, but this time he actually fell asleep mid-sentence on camera.”

Every Tuesday evening from 7 to 9 p.m., Kalbert and his wife broadcast Joe’s Spin at the East Water Street cable studio. Shows often cover technology, parenting, government and religion.

“We’ve been running this weekly show since 1998,” Lisa said. “Except with the holidays in which we honor our Lord and Savior, we have not missed a single taping.”

Reports state that Kalbert was discussing his gripes with high-speed Internet and why he favored his dial-up connection better. Kalbert then proceeded to go on a diatribe about how he loves his AOL 6.0 CD-ROM and will never upgrade his desktop Compaq Presario.

Lisa reportedly put up a test pattern when she noticed that her husband of 35 years was starting to trail off at the end of his sentences.

“I was just confused,” she said. “I tried nudging him, budging him, but got no response. I just saw him breathing peacefully in his folding chair. His eyes were shut, and his hands were rested on his gut.”

Local 58-year-old resident Adam Peterson was tuned into Joe’s Spin when he noticed the host wasn’t making sense. 

“I was really into Joe’s opinion of Windows 98,” he said. “But then he started stringing words together to the point of jibberish. Before I knew it, you just heard heavy, labored breathing.”

“I had to turn off his microphone and put up the test pattern because his snoring was being broadcasted to all 70 of our viewers,” Lisa said. “Sorry, but we have standards to uphold, even if this is a small operation. The weirdest thing is, once the test pattern was up, my TracFone wouldn’t stop ringing. I definitely went over my prepaid minutes.”

Lisa explained how viewers wanted to see her husband sleeping and place bets on how long he would be passed out. She thought it was peculiar, but she obliged. She set up a bet, and the winner could decide how the money should be used to improve Smethport. 

“Personally, I was hoping for more park benches,” Lisa said.

After a little more than two hours, Kalbert woke himself up when he expelled gas.

Homemaker Jean Roberts won the contest, with her bet of two hours and 10 minutes. Roberts said she wanted to put the money toward a traffic light at the intersection of West King and State streets. 

“It’s so hard to make a left when you have two cars in oncoming traffic,” she said. 

Unfortunately, the lofty plan could not be reached, with total contributions of just $45.

According to the episode guide on Kalbert’s Yahoo! GeoCities homepage, Joe’s Spin on the World Wide Web, his show has won numerous awards for its hard-hitting stories. Some honors include “Best and Only Public Access News Commentary Program in Northwest PA” from the local government, as well as “Best Meemaw and Pop-Pop TV Program Award Thingy 1999” from grandson Eric, then 7 years old.

When asked if Kalbert would be receiving any medical examination due to his narcoleptic episode, he declined to comment. 

“All I’m gonna say is, tune in next week when I talk about Barrack Hussein’s Obamacare and why doctors are part of Nancy Pelosi’s death panels,” Kalbert said, not realizing he had covered those exact issues in a show just two weeks earlier.


Marc Phillips is a sophomore IMC major who wishes Joe’s Spin could get picked up by ICTV. Email him at mphilli1@ithaca.edu.

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