Hoffman's Houston
art and jacob live

Ken Hoffman reports on ABC13's historic broadcast starring father and son

Hoffman on ABC13's historic Houston TV broadcast starring dad and son

Art Rascon Jacob Rascon official promo shot broadcast
Art Rascon and his son Jacob recently made Houston TV history. Photo courtesy of ABC13

Last week, for the first time ever in Houston and possibly anywhere, a father-son duo co-anchored a major TV station newscast. Art Rascon, 59, and son Jacob, 35, sat side-by-side and delivered the news at 11 am on ABC 13.

It gets even more poignant than that. The all-Rascon newscast was dad Art’s final turn before retiring after nearly 40 years in broadcast journalism (the last 23 in Houston), and son Jacob’s debut on ABC 13 (our news partner).

I asked Art if,  unlike many fathers these days, he encouraged Jacob to follow in his footsteps.

“The brief answer is, I sort of encouraged him, but that’s not likely the reason he decided this path in life,” Art told me. “He vicariously lived the world of journalism and the countless stories that come with it throughout his childhood and teen years. We would sit at the dinner table and I would talk with my children about interviewing fascinating people in my various travels. During our evening family gatherings I would often rehearse the stories and complexities along with the numerous problems and beauties of the world.

“As he got older and was considering his path in life, I would often suggest, “you should become a reporter, a journalist.”  This was always met with a quick retort, ‘No way, I don’t want to do what you do.’ But despite the opposition to becoming a reporter, I always felt Jacob’s unstoppable energy, curiosity, incessant drive, and insiders knowledge of the business, would make a beautiful fit for a career as a journalist.”

Your turn, Jacob. How did pop’s career influence you getting into TV news?

“Not only was I not interested in following in dad’s footsteps as a kid, I was against it. But for no good reason. We loved Dad’s stories and souvenirs and we sometimes wished we could join him on his trips. I just imagined I would do my own thing. He was shocked when I announced, after a year of college and two years in Uruguay on a volunteer church mission, that I would pursue a journalism career.

“Like dad, I enjoy writing and telling stories and asking questions. We enjoy learning and sharing what we learn with others. We have a lot in common. I also enjoy videography and editing. Journalism makes sense.”

I’m all for gimmicky food, hey, I’ve eaten Bacon Cotton Candy, Deep-fried Chocolate-Covered Cinnamon Buns, and Crushed Cheetos Pizza on the Carnival Midway at the Rodeo for years. But Toyota Center is pushing even my limits with its “Jumbo Mac ‘n’ Cheese Hot Dog with Bacon and Froot Loops.”

Actually I was okay until Froot Loops made their appearance. Worlds are colliding. It’s $12, available on the lower concourse behind Sec. 114.

Fun facts: There are six colors inside a box of Froot Loops. The cereal was introduced in 1959 as Fruit Loops. The spelling was changed to Froot Loops in 1963. The cereal pieces originally came in three colors: red, orange and yellow. Kellogg’s added green, blue and purple in the ’90s.

But here’s the deal, all Froot Loops pieces, regardless of color, taste the same. The only difference is harmless and flavor-less food coloring. My personal favorite food dyes (neither of which is in Froot Loops: Yellow 6 and Red 40.

Georgia...over Alabama??
Let’s see if I have this straight: Alabama is the No. 1-ranked team in America. They are the defending College Football Playoff champions. They won the Southeastern Conference, the roughest, toughest conference in college football this year. They pummeled Georgia, 41-24 in the conference championship game. Alabama has won the  title five of the last 10 years. Alabama coach Nick Saban has won seven titles, most of any coach in history.

So tonight Alabama plays Georgia for the national title … and Georgia (Georgia!) is favored by 2-1/2 points? Huh? That’s insane. Every once in an eternity, the betting gods give us a gift. That’s tonight: Alabama wins.

Not a joke on Impractical Jokers
I’m not Conspiracy Guy, but there’s something odd about Joe Gatto quitting the Impractical Jokers TV show. Last week Gatto announced he was leaving the wildly popular TruTV hidden camera show – and quitting the Tenderloins comedy group consisting of Sal Vulcano, Brian Quinn, James Murray and himself.

Reason for Gatto quitting: he is getting a divorce and wants to spend more time with his two children.
That’s fine and commendable, but here’s the part I don’t get. Gatto, though quitting the Tenderloins troupe and the Impractical Jokers show, will continue to perform his solo comedy shows. In fact, he’s about to embark on a national tour stretching from Miami to Spokane, Washington.

Entertainers and normal people get divorced all the time. It’s pretty common. And they manage to spend time co-parenting their children. They don’t give up their careers. And given a choice between leaving Impractical Jokers, a hit show that has spawned copycat shows around the world and has made multi-gazillionaires of Gatto and the Tenderloins, and a solo comedy career where he plays small night clubs, that seems to be an easy choice. Goodbye Yuk-Yuk comedy club.

And now it’s been announced that TruTV has removed Gatto’s name from its website and both TruTV has cut scenes with Gatto from reruns of Impractical Jokers. Weird.

Smart COVID test shopping
Here’s your retail tip of the week: some websites are selling hard-to-get home COVID test kits for $50 and up. It’s clearly price gouging during a pandemic. The highest price I’ve seen is $75 per test. But the cavalry is on its way. CVS and ther chains are starting to get in supplies.

They’re not putting the test kits on shelves, you have to ask the pharmacist behind the counter. You know, like they used to keep dirty magazines under the cash register at convenience stores. Also, keep checking websites like CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. My BinaxNOW test kit from Walmart.com arrived Saturday: $14.

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