Spike Feresten Breaks Bulbs, Makes Nice With Sudafed
July 26, 2006 11:46 AM
Three and a half years into his stint as a music student in Boston, Spike Feresten realized “he had made a really bad decision.” At the Tuesday afternoon press tour session for his new Fox late-night entry “Talk Show with Spike Feresten,” the failed music student explained he had been thrown out of his dormitory after chucking light bulbs out an eighth-story window. A few months later, he saw David Letterman pull the same stunt on his late night show. and Feresten realized “there is a place for me.”
“Instead of getting in trouble, I could make a career,” he added. One critic (and by one critic, I mean me) asked Feresten if Fox’s top ad sales guy, Jon Nesvig, had beat the crap out of him for his performance at the advertiser upfronts in May, when Feresten made cracks about Sudafed and its relationship to fueling the crystal meth epidemic. I thought it was funny back when Feresten made the joke, but apparently advertisers didn’t share my quirky sense of humor. “It’s a steep learning curve right now,” Feresten admitted, “and very public.” Executive producer Stewart Bailey said Feresten should be free lunch for journalists for a while.
“He’s remarkably free of polish,” Bailey said. “Enjoy it.” And the nick name Spike? It came when Feresten was the receptionist 15 years ago on “Saturday Night Live,” and his cow licked hair brought on the moniker.
“They said, ‘Do you have problem with that?’” Feresten remembered, when the name Spike started to stick. “I said, “Just don’t fire me.”