If you could actually eat breakfast with Megan Henderson and Mark Wright of Fox 13’s Good Day Utah, not just chow down in front of their flickering images on the tube every morning, what would be on the table? For City Weekly, the answer was simple: Bowls and bowls of sugar-loaded, nutritionally unsound breakfast cereals. The two fine anchors agreed to participate in an informal interview and taste-test at Fox 13 studios, but only on the condition that no cereals with raisins be included (Ms. Henderson apparently has a phobia).
City Weekly: First of all, what time do you have to wake up to do a 5:25-to-9 a.m. news show like Good Day Utah?
Megan: I get up at 3:15 a.m., but I only live about 20 minutes away.
Mark: I get up at 3:15, too … and hit the snooze button eight times.
CW: Do either of you have any special morning rituals?
Mark: I hit the snooze button, roll out of bed late, have a multivitamin with some orange juice and run out the door.
Megan: I have my oatmeal with protein powder, and sit in front of the TV and watch the national news for 10 minutes. It’s my favorite part of the morning.
CW: Do you watch Fox News Channel?
Megan: No, CNN—Fox News is in reruns at that time of the morning! [Laughs] Otherwise, of course, it would be Fox News.
CW: For this exercise, we’ve gathered some of the nastiest sugar-bomb cereals out there; horrible breakfasts that beautiful people like you have no business eating. First up is Oreo O’s, which are basically Oreo Cookies.
Megan: I’m actually familiar with these; I like to eat them by the handful. They’ve added marshmallows. I’m a fan of any cereal that flavors the milk. I can’t drink milk by itself, only in cereal. It’s a taste thing.
Mark: Mmmm, this does taste like Oreo Cookies—I’m very astute, as you can tell. [Laughs] If you want cookies for breakfast, this is the way to go.
CW: For contrast, we did include one semi-healthy cereal. This is Harmony, subtitled “Nutritional Cereal for Women.”
Megan: I think this one needs a packet of Equal, or a little Splenda. For me, it’s not sweet enough. I want to know if you feel any different after eating your first bite, Mark. [Laughs]
Mark: Hey, it’s like oxygen in a bowl! I think it has an identity crisis—kind of tastes like Total. I always look for happy people on the box, and these women look happy. If this came with a prize, it would probably be a free AARP card.
CW: Now we move back to the crap with Boo Berry, part of the scary cereal triumvirate.
Megan: This one I’m slightly interested in—I want to see if it turns the milk blue. [Spills cereal and milk everywhere]
Mark: I’ll let you in on a little secret: As beautiful as she is, Megan is one of the clumsiest people I’ve ever met.
Megan: It’s true. I’m always spilling things and getting up from the chair with my microphone still hooked on. I look like Stewart from Mad TV—“Look what I can do!!”
Mark: If I were going for healthy, that female cereal would be it. Boo Berry I’m guessing kids would love it because it’s like candy.
Megan: Oooh, not liking the Boo Berry so much. It’s not even turning my milk blue. Oh, man … yuk.
CW: You must be ready for the strawberry goodness of Franken Berry, then.
Mark: [Watching cereal pour] That looks like the stuff I put in my attic last winter—the house stays very warm.
Megan: This has more of a Trix feel to it, with a little Fruity Pebbles.
Mark: It’s pretty good, and it must be good for you because it looks more like fruit.
CW: This is the last of the spooky three, Count Chocula.
Mark: I can’t tell if these are getting worse, or I’ve had too much sugar. Carbo-loading is good, though. This’ll help us stay up for the noon news. The flavor profile here is much broader, it covers the spectrum with many textures and tastes.
CW: Wow, that’s some heavy cereal lingo. Do you think these cereals, Boo Berry, Franken Berry and Count Chocula, are supposed to be scary?
Mark: Well, if they really were scary, kids wouldn’t like them …
Megan: [Laughing] Yeah, that’s brilliant!
CW: Do you have to shellac your hair into place every night before the show
Mark: No, guy anchor-hair is hard to get wrong, really.
Megan: But we do have a morning hair ritual where I spray his cowlick in the back and hold it down for a few seconds. As soon as we sit down at the desk every day, we don’t even have to say anything.
CW: These are Cap’n Crunch Choco-Donuts—but why is there an “Oops!” by the logo?
Mark: The machine was supposed to crank out the biscuits, but these came out.
Megan: Visually, the Choco-Donuts have the others beat.
Mark: They really do look like little chocolate donuts.
CW: Again, you’re as astute as you are sexy. That’s a segue into the subject of City Weekly’s Best of Utah 2002: Our readers voted quite heavily for both of you in the Sexiest News Anchorman and Anchorwoman categories.
Megan: I came in second behind Hope [Woodside, Fox 13 evening anchor].
Mark: I was third behind [KSL’s] Dick Nourse, so for next year I’m working on growing more chest hair and an Ed McMahon kind of laugh: “Ho, ho, ho.” I really want to win next year.
Megan: I don’t consider myself to be an “anchorbabe,” but it was an honor to be included on that list, it truly was.
Mark: Maybe if you did think of yourself as one, you could move up to the A team. That attitude is just holding you back. [Laughs]
CW: This next cereal is just pure evil: Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs.
Megan: Oh, you can smell it! I’ve had this before; it leaves a film on your tongue.
Mark: Personally, I don’t think peanut butter should play any role in breakfast cereal. Plus, you have to wait a few seconds for the flavor to hit—with Count Chocula, there was instant gratification.
CW: And how do you feel about this one, King Vitaman?
Megan: It just looks like a rip-off of Cap’n Crunch.
Mark: It is, but they forgot to add the sugar. And why is it King Vita-maaan?
[Weatherman Damon Yauney joins in as the Scooby-Doo Cinnamon & Marshmallow cereal is cracked open.]
Megan: Come on in, it’s free food! You’ll notice Damon went straight for the Scooby-Doo cereal, because he loves Scooby.
Damon: I’m actually trying the Harmony first. [Chews a spoonful] I suddenly have a desire to cuddle. It’s good, but this King Vitaman is just crap.
CW: That’s a fairly straightforward assessment—Mark’s been telling us about spectrums and flavor profiles.
Mark: Damon could do that, too. He often tells us that his vast knowledge is wasted on us. So we butcher his name on the air all the time—Darrin Yahtzee, Denver Yummy …
CW: We have our last cereal, Golden Grahams.
Megan: A classic, and they always stay crunchy in milk.
Mark: Remember the Simpsons episode where Homer’s on the space shuttle and its going to crash? The other two astronauts are praying, and all Homer can do is sing the Golden Grahams jingle to himself: “Oh, those Golden Grahams, those crunchy Golden Grahams …”
CW: You’ve both managed to name-drop Fox shows during this, very impressive. Which are your favorite cereals here? And which would you consider the most nutritious?
Mark: If I were going to the store, I’d get the Golden Grahams. My least favorite would be those Choco-Donuts. [Laughs] Very one-dimensional flavor profile.
Megan: The Count Chocula; it complemented the milk nicely.
Mark: If I didn’t care about nutrition or if I were on death row, I’d have picked the Count Chocula, too.
Megan: If I’m eating this stuff, I don’t care about nutrition. [Laughs]
Mark: The commercials always say, “part of a nutritious breakfast.” They don’t say, “yeah, the worst part.”
CW: Finally, does starting Good Day Utah at the strange hour of 5:25 a.m. really make for a better newscast?
Megan: [Serious look] We’re first on the air.
Mark: And we’re not preempting the final five minutes of Divorce Court—that’s very important.
CW: Yes, you’re first, but is it a quality five minutes?
Megan: We’re first on the air, that’s all there is to it. [Hands up in a this-interview-is-over gesture]
Mark: All three hours and 25 minutes are top-quality stuff; we cover the spectrum. [Laughs]