Christmas came early for the Emmy-winning host of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars Tom Bergeron. He was honored by the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters for his enduring career on the airwaves, and they gifted him with the PPB’s prestigious Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award. At the Sportsmen’s Lodge luncheon, Bergeron was referred to as the “host with the most,” thanks to his reputation for having the most fun at his job, the most wit at what he does, and the most respect from his colleagues, thanks to his unflappable nice guy reputation.
Bergeron thanked all the veteran broadcasters who gathered, calling them “the best of the best, and I’m honored to be in your company. I have been blessed with the great good fortune to work with remarkable people. Success is always a team effort. I believe we all do our best work when we work with good people.”
Among the good people he works with is the DWTS producer-show runner Conrad Green who joined the dais to honor Bergeron and to report, “He is the heart of the show.”
Paula Abdul was there too. She was a fabulous guest performer this season on DWTS and called Tom a dear friend. “He makes hosting look easy, and it definitely is not. The secret ingredient to his magic is making people so comfortable, while being enormously funny. I think that’s why he is so successful,” Paula said. She added with a wink, “He looks so good, Tom could pass for Ryan Seacrest.”
Legendary musical star Mitzi Gaynor was there to tell everyone what DWTS has meant “to all professional dancers, giving them the respect they deserve for their hard work and dedication to their craft. And the show would not be the success it is without Tom Bergeron as the host.”
Along with Green, another great producer, Vin Di Bona was on hand to praise Bergeron. At the helm of the long-running (500-plus episodes!) America’s Funniest Home Videos, Di Bona said, “Tom always guarantees his audiences a fun and memorable evening with his sharp wit when he hosts a show.”
Bergeron has done a lot of that for a long time. In 2009, it was noted that he racked up more primetime hours on TV than any other host, not only because of his DWTS and AFHV duties, but also a variety of TV specials. Over the years, Bergeron has hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards, the Miss America Pageant, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation’s College Awards Gala, and many more.
Joining Paula, Mitzi, Conrad and Vin on the dais were PPB president Chuck Street, Entertainment Chairwoman Jeanne DeVivier Brown, and game show legend Wink Martindale, who read a funny tribute to Bergeron sent by their mutual friend Pat Boone. Wink also gave Tom a bright red sweater that read “You are looking at a legend,” which sort of embarrassed the humble Bergeron.
Born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, Bergeron’s broadcasting career began at a local radio station. Television followed, spending over a decade at WBZ-TV in Boston. In 1994, he got national attention as host of Breakfast Time on FX, which was re-named FOX After Breakfast when it moved to the FOX network. By 1997, Tom was a fill-in anchor on Good Morning America before taking on the gameshow host duties for the rebooted Hollywood Squares. While on Squares, he kept busy as a fill-in anchor on CBS’ The Early Show and hosted Supper Club for Planet Green.
Tom spends much of his free time volunteering for charity events and has been given the March of Dimes Special President’s Award for Volunteer Excellence. He revealed that he is “a gym rat,” and works out four to five days a week with a trainer. Tom, 57, and his wife Lois have two daughters, and the Bergeron family splits their time between Connecticut and Hollywood, California.