Edit ModuleShow Tags

Wired for Action

Larry Hoff’s morning job sounds glamorous, until you realize that the TV personality has to do some pretty amazing things while making it look routine.



Jim Motavalli

If you’re Larry Hoff, reporting to work involves getting up at three-thirty in the morning and driving ninety miles to a water park in Riverhead, Long Island. There, two hours before the park opens, you climb an eighty-foot tower and then, accompanied by the whoops and shrieks of a pack of applauding off-duty park workers, descend the almost-vertical Cliff Diver slide, all the while providing a running commentary on the whole adventure for ten million people watching you on live television.

Welcome to Larry Hoff’s World, a fixture on the Emmy-winning WB11 Morning News for the past six years. The blond, youthful-looking Hoff is a television reporter with a difference. Instead of sitting at a studio desk and reading from a TelePrompter like the anchor he once was, he is live and unscripted from hot spots around the tristate area and the nation, connected to a bemused in-studio morning news team via satellite truck.

Hoff has climbed 800 feet above the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to change lightbulbs, been shot out of multiple cannons and lit on fire, ridden Brahma bulls, descended an eighty-eight-story skyscraper with a team of steeplejacks, gone diving in a shark tank and hunted for alligators in the city sewers. He’s been to Cancun, Mexico, for parasailing, Florida for stunt-driving and North Carolina for parachuting school — anything to find new excitement for his New York audience.

These adventures are not without incident. Hoff has been injured several times and broke his back last January when he was thrown from a spooked horse at a riding school in Riverdale, New York. “I heard a crack, and the next thing I knew, I was being wheeled into the trauma unit at Columbia Presbyterian,” Hoff says. WB11 field producer Dave Kimmel, who’s been with Hoff for all of his years on the job, adds, “If we don’t put Larry in a neck brace at least twice a year, he’s not doing his job.”

Riverhead was one of Hoff’s milder stunts. The central point of the exercise was introducing Splish Splash’s newest ride, Alien Invasion, which sends thrill seekers in four-person rafts through a darkened seventy-five-foot tube to emerge sliding from side to side in what can only be described as a giant, multicolored megaphone. Needless to say, the sensitive wireless microphones used by live TV crews don’t like to be hit by pressurized water jets, so mike checks are a big part of the day. Would the Aquapac hold up? It’s unlikely it has ever had a more dramatic test.

Wired for all of his segments, Hoff ad- libs live while multiple voices in his earpiece are cuing him to station breaks or advising him, as they did for one sequence, not to get too close to the hungry sharks. Going down the water slide, he was trying to protect his mike while his nose filled up with water and his head got banged around. But you’d never know it listening to his breezy commentary. “People are always saying I get paid for having fun,” Hoff says, “but I’m the one getting up at 3 a.m. and dealing with a dozen crises every day.”

Hoff’s a master at not only making it look easy, but also at relaxing those around him. At the water park, he balanced giving and taking instructions from his five-man crew with rehearsing his teenage extras in the fine art of creating good TV.

“Are you guys psyched?” he asked the moonlighting Splish Splash employees. They shouted in the affirmative. “I want you guys screaming, whooping and showing a lot of enthusiasm,” he said, somewhat unnecessarily because their adrenaline was already running high. Everything went flawlessly. Viewers at home saw television as fast paced as any reality show, a shot of high-octane fun in the summer sun. Hoff emerged dripping from the ride and seamlessly handed TV coverage back to Linda Church, the morning’s weather anchor, whose usual role is to remark on how much fun the live guy is having.

To read the complete story, pick up a copy of GREENWICH Magazine.

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Greenwich Agenda

  • Cycle for Survival

    2015.03.01
     @ Equinox Greenwich

    Fight cancer this February and March by riding with Cycle for Survival, the national movement to beat rare cancers. 100 percent of every dollar...

  • ART IS LOVE

    2015.02.03
     @ C. Parker Gallery

    In keeping with the Valentine’s Day spirit, C. Parker Gallery presents a celebratory exhibit entitled ART IS LOVE. The artists featured use...

  • Celebrate! Party Showcase

    2015.03.01
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

  • Medium Circle- Contacting Sprit

    2015.03.01
     @ TBA

    Joan Carra is an acclaimed psychic medium recommended in six books.  She will be giving messages from spirit to help you find comfort and...

  • Coiled and Decorated: Native American Pottery from the Bruce Museum Collection

    2014.12.30
     @ Bruce Museum

    Generously underwritten by The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund and Gabelli Funds Over the years, the Bruce Museum has acquired a...

  • Northern Baroque Splendor. The HOHENBUCHAU COLLECTION from: LIECHTENSTEIN. The Princely Collections, Vienna

    2014.12.30
     @ Bruce Museum

    The Hohenbuchau Collection is one of the largest and most varied collections of Northern Baroque art assembled in recent years and is now on...

  • Art Exhibit " Interiors "

    2015.01.29
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    "Interiors" featuring artists Daniel Bohman, Nicole Cohen, Echo Eggebrecht, Beth Livensperger and Roxa Smith - their visions of...

  • In Our Own Backyard - Augustus Smith and Richard Daggy

    2015.02.20
     @ New Canaan Historical Society

    A new exhibition of paintings at the New Canaan Historical Society titled:  In Our Own Backyard –  Augustus Smith and Richard...

  • Icons of the Civil Rights Movement

    2015.02.01
     @ Les Beaux Arts Gallery

    In honor of Black History Month, Les Beaux-Arts Gallery in Greenwich, is proud to present “Icons of the Civil Rights Movement,” an...

  • Family Gallery Tour

    2015.01.04
     @ Bruce Museum

    For children ages 6-10 and their families. A Museum educator will lead an interactive, discussion-based tour of the...

  • First Sunday Science at the Seaside Center

    2015.01.04
     @ Bruce Museum Seaside Center

    Programs in this series focus on an array of topics including the animals and plants of Long Island Sound and current...

  • Margaret Lanzetta - The Chanteuse and a Loaded Gun

    2015.02.28
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    The Chanteuse and a Loaded Gun                        Public invited; the event is free new paintings by Margaret...

  • YWCA Greenwich and Junior League of Greenwich Presents: A Screening of The Mask You Live In

    2015.03.03
     @ Bow Tie Cinemas

    The Mask You Live In is an exploration of young American masculinity. Compared to girls…research shows that boys in America are more likely...

  • Tuesday Todler Tours

    2015.01.06
     @ Bruce Museum

    For ages 3-5 with adult caregiverr. A Museum educator leads you on an exploration of the Museum collections and exhibitions through...

  • Women's Wellness Group

    2015.02.25
     @ Green & Tonic

    Featuring Dr. Michael Finkelstein, Jen Dorf, Head Coach, AADP and Jamie McKeown, Wellness & Education Director at Green & Tonic, please...

  • Fairfield County's Giving Day

    2015.03.05

    Fairfield County's Giving Day - bigger and better than ever! On March 5, 2015, join thousands as we celebrate local giving! Fairfield...

  • Spring Gala to benefit Kids in Crisis

    2015.03.06
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    The Kids in Crisis do-not-miss event, The Spring Fling, will be held on Friday, March 6, 2015, at the Greenwich Country Club in Greenwich, CT. It...

  • Greenwich Hospital's Great Chefs to benefit Community Health

    2015.03.06
     @ Westchester Country Club

    For a fantastic Friday night out, come taste the specialties of celebrity Chefs Aaron Sanchez and Debra Ponzek, who will be honored at Greenwich...

  • Exhibit "Recent Works" by Anna BOCEK

    2015.03.07
     @ Canfin Gallery

    The faces of Anna BOCEK are memorable and dynamic. In blocks of paint she skillfully constructs a compilation of humanist musings and moments....

  • BACK TO THE BEACH

    2015.03.07
     @ YMCA of Greenwich Main Facility

    Join us for a real swingin' splash at the YMCA of Greenwich! DINNER ~ DRINKS ~ DANCING March 7th, 2015 6:30pm-11pm ...


Show More...


Moffly Media e-newsletters

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular Articles

  1. Love Bites
    10 romantic spots to toast your sweetheart on Valentine's Day
  2. An Evening Inspired by Downton Abbey
    Topping Estate on Round Hill Road
  3. Avon Red Carpet Gala
    L'escale at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor
  4. Recipe For Success
    How to change with the times while never losing sight of tradition
  5. Pickle Box Sandwich Co.
    Pickle Box Sandwich Co. opens in Greenwich
Edit ModuleEdit Module
Web Statistics