PBS series marks its 25th anniversary with special episodes
A series that’s marking its 25th anniversary deserves a special celebration.
Celebrity editions of PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow” are running weekly on Mondays through most of this month, and the May 10 episode (check local listings) has author Marc Brown, chef Carla Hall, humorist John Hodgman and musicians Rubén Blades and Luba Mason getting their rare possessions evaluated. Though the program often shows many people milling about, these episodes have a more intimate feel as recorded under pandemic-era protocols.
“Since we couldn’t tour this year, and we couldn’t go knocking on everybody’s doors in the same way, the idea was to come up with something that people are really interested in,” explains executive producer Marsha Bemko. “And people are really interested in finding out what everyday people own, just because maybe you had something like that yourself. It turns out our celebrities are everyday people; they just happen to be known.”
Appraiser Leila Dunbar notes, “Everyone knows Rubén Blades as one of the great Latin singers and a fabulous activist and an actor, but did you know he collected comic books? Did you know he has the two most important comic books of all time, ‘Detective Comics’ No. 27 and ‘Action Comics’ No. 1, with Superman? I didn’t know that until I walked into his New York townhouse and saw everything. It was astonishing. To be able to see another side of these folks has been exciting … probably as exciting as seeing the items themselves.”
With Jay Leno, “Chicago Med” co-star S. Epatha Merkerson and figure skater Nancy Kerrigan among those seen in the first “Antiques Roadshow” celebrity episode, the remaining two include broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien, fashion designer Christian Siriano, TV personality Carson Kressley and humorist Mo Rocca.
“I am such a huge fan of ‘Antiques Roadshow’ that I actually have had a relationship with the show,” says Kressley, who is in the May 24 episode. “They invited me, because I am a super-fan, to many different ‘Roadshows.’ I have always been working, or for some reason. I couldn’t get to them. And then they said, ‘We could come to your house and do a Celebrity Edition.’ I was like, ‘Please! Come on. Bring the whole crew.’
“I was that weird kid who would get birthday money and be like, ‘Can we please go to the antiques mall?,’ ” Kressley adds. “I have a treasure trove of things I have been collecting since I was literally in my teens. I could have had the crew here all day, being like, ‘What about this? What do you think about this?’ And they were like, ‘OK, calm down.’ But we had some fun items that I actually learned a lot about.”