Maury Povich is a popular guy with viewers of TV talk shows. That popularity is clearly apparent as the "Maury" show celebrates its 10th year on the air, on the heels of Mr. Povich's previous syndicated success with "A Current Affair" and "The Maury Povich Show." Mr. Povich is the only person in the history of syndicated television to have back-to-back-to-back successes. But if you ask his wife, network news reporter and anchor Connie Chung, Maury is annoying -- in a good way.
"Maury is a very funny guy to me because he's such a quick study. It's very, very annoying," Ms. Chung said. "I observe him up close, at home, and then I watch his program, and I don't really know how he does it. It comes so easily to him. He sits there, he reads his material, he doesn't take any notes. ... He has the TV on with the remote surgically attached to his hand; he's jumping around from station to station watching several shows simultaneously. He reads voraciously. Then he gets up every morning, goes off to work, tapes several segments of his show -- and he works very hard, but it doesn't look like he's working very hard.
"I can't stand him for it, because I have always, over the years, worked so hard -- hours and hours -- and I take notes, I underline and I think about what I'm doing, and he doesn't have to do that. And I really get annoyed!"
In 2006 the couple shared the spotlight on MSNBC's "Weekends With Maury and Connie." "It was loads of fun, but we only had a six-month agreement and we did it," said Ms. Chung. "But we also have such a good life and we go off for the summer. So the six-month run ended in June and we were ready to come back and do the show in September, but they said, 'No, you can't do that.' Also, they were changing all kinds of things. So they said, 'It was very nice, but goodbye.' We had a lot of fun because we always wanted to work together and try it out."
The duo, who married in 1984, met years earlier while working in the news department at WTTG-TV in Washington. "I was in college and he was the anchorman. I was working two nights a week at a station where he was already the star," Ms. Chung said. "He's not that much older than I am; just seven years. He was already a big, hot-shot local news star. I used to bring him wire copy because I was a copy person. I would hand him the copy off the wire and say, 'Here, Mr. Povich' and he'd be like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah ...' while he was going rat-a-tat-tat on the typewriter."
Ms. Chung keeps up with her husband's TV talk show, and she has her favorites. "I always cry over the reunion shows, when they bring people together who haven't seen each other in a long time, or families that are reunited. I love those shows," she said. "His signature shows, the paternity shows, actually make me laugh. They've become so campy because they're kind of predictable if one thing happens or if the other thing happens.
"I get a kick out of the 'Is he a man or is he a woman?' episodes. Those are always hysterical. Maury has told me that he can always tell because he looks at these people's feet. He says it's always a man when they have big feet."
Although Ms. Chung enjoys "Maury," that doesn't mean she hasn't urged her husband to consider other kinds of shows. "I've always said to him, 'Why don't you do a nice, quiet interview show, because you are so well read, you're a history buff, you're into politics, you have such a bank of knowledge, you're a good writer. You're doing stuff that's easy for you. Why don't you do something more mind-bendingly challenging?'" she said. "And he said to me, when I was really leaning on him one day about that -- and I wish I was like this -- he said, 'As long as you know it, that's fine.' I want to reach that level of maturity or confidence or whatever all that is. I want to be there, too. I can't wait till I grow up and get there."