Tomorrow will be the final day of Tim Ezell’s fun and whacky run on Fox 2, so I couldn’t help but do a little reminiscing about the entertaining ways we worked together over the years. From negotiating with Busch Stadium to get him in for a segment after a barbecue snafu a few weeks earlier to enlisting an artist to paint a portrait of Tim’s high school basketball photo, he always made me laugh and, more importantly, gave me an outlet for great creativity.
I spent time this morning going through some of the clips, and I recognized that there are some subtle and not-so subtle life lessons Tim taught me. Yes, I know – leave it to me to find life lessons everywhere. But they’re there, staring me in the face as I realize my time with him (as we know it) is coming to a close.
1. Don’t be afraid to look silly. Tim was on TV every morning, in many cases, doing silly things. Of course, that was his thing, and he was being paid for it. But I know plenty of people who wouldn’t be willing to put on strange outfits and do things they didn’t know how to do on live TV. Tim embraced the silly authentically and was comfortable being uncomfortable.
2. Even if it seems scary, big or unfamiliar, do it anyway. We put Tim in plenty of situations over the years where he was doing something for the first time. But it didn’t matter if he was doing acrobatic moves with an Olympic gymnast, operating heavy machinery, or driving a monster truck, he dug right in and did it anyway – in front of a live television audience.
3. Learn to laugh, especially at yourself. Not everything always went perfectly. Was Tim a perfect sunflower seed spitting champion? No. In fact I’m not even sure he ever hit the target. But he laughed about it the whole time. Did he master that yoga pose? Hardly. But nothing stopped him from cracking up at himself as a “swaying tree.”
4. There’s something fun in every situation. I loved working with Tim because he was so much fun – and he pushed me to find the fun in the story. It’s always there! What’s fun about a senior fair? The dancing ladies – with Tim in a tutu dancing along with them, of course. What’s fun about a 100K relay race through wine country? Doing a crazy grape relay with all the kids from the local elementary school! Bottom line is that you can make something fun happen and it’s way more enjoyable.
5. Be genuine and true to yourself. There were plenty of things I talked to Tim about over the years that, while funny, ended up crossing the boundaries of what he was comfortable portraying. Not the scary or unfamiliar stuff I talked about in number two above, but things that may not align with his values. He wasn’t willing to sacrifice that for “the story.”
6. Just because you’re known as being the resident silly guy, you can still have a serious side. Tim did a great job for us tackling some very serious subjects, one in particular being mental illness for an event our client, the Karla Smith Foundation, was putting on in cooperation with Glenn Close’s Bring Change 2 Mind organization. Tim handled the subject with great care – and served as MC for the gala with compassion and respect.
I will miss working with Tim, but applaud him on the final lesson in this piece, which is to do what you love. I love what I do because I get to work with great people like Tim. He’s moving on to pursue his love of God, becoming a full time pastor at The Journey church.
Thank you, Tim, for the fun, memories and life lessons.