Sep 02 2020
If Almost Live! could be compared to a baseball team, Steve Wilson might have been the groundskeeper. At least on game day. He was the guy in charge of grooming the diamond; preparing the field, cutting the grass, drawing the foul-lines, and raking the infield. He got the field ready - but then, taking managerial duties, he positioned the players and coached them up. He was the show's studio director. Like most of the show's regulars, Steve is a native North Westerner - in his case, Lakewood, Washington -or- Tacoma, if you will. He grew up in a house on the banks of Lake Steilacoom. At the age of six, after seeing his first live TV broadcast at the World's Fair, Steve knew what he wanted to do... be the elevator operator for the Space Needle. No. That's not it. He wanted to get into TV - in any capacity. Performing TV, producing, directing - even repairing them. So he went to Pullman and attended Wazzu, deciding to forgo any thought of being the Coug football team's left tackle - and instead majored in communications. During the summer months, he worked at Disneyland, wearing sweaty costumes as various Disney characters like Pluto and Winnie the Pooh. Indeed, his Disneyland colleagues still say Wilson was the best Poo they ever had. After a six month internship at KING TV, he went to work for the company full-time, becoming a staff director and producer. Talk shows, newscasts, sporting events, concerts and more. And then, in 1985, a different kind of show to direct: Almost Live!. Wilson leapt onto the back of that horse and rode it for 15 years, until it finally keeled over - ready for the glue factory - in 1999. He moved on to other jobs, like directing KOMO TV's 'Northwest Afternoon', which was like 'Almost Live!', but funnier. He even spent 8 months in Hollywood's world of bells and buzzers, directing programs at the Game Show Network in Hollywood. Many years ago, he attended Lakes High School - home of the Lancers. Suitably, Steve has been a free-lancer for some time - and today, he's the go-to director for Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon - you name it. Because if you don't, he will. But it was 'Almost Live!' that he remembers most fondly. And why not? He was, after all, one of the original "High Fivin' White Guys." Well-qualified because he's white, he's a guy… and he's high. Owner of 23 Emmys - both earned and from eBay - I caught up with Steve Wilson from the Magnolia home he shares with his wife, Julie. So here we go. Please forgive the sketchy Zoom internet audio quality. We had fewer than two bars that day.