TALKING WITH: Earlene Hoople

Photo by Suellen Fitzsimmons.


She’s a living legend at Channel 17, local television’s hostess with the mostest, and the Mother Hen of all the early birds who tune in each week to her cable access morning show, the Early Bird Morning Show, originating from the Raymond Hoople Studios in Butler, PA. She’s none other than Earlene Hoople, of course. After being on the air for 35 years, Earlene is a local celebrity—in demand especially at this time of year as a judge for neighborhood holiday light display contests and as the Grand Marshall for various town Christmas parades—so the Backstage Blog was lucky to get on her holiday calendar. Knowing, however, that all celebrities eventually get asked to fill out the Proust Questionnaire, we wanted to be the first to present the questions to Earlene and share her responses on the Blog. “Who’s Who in Cable Access Television” dubbed Earlene the “Contessa of cable television.” We give you her Proust Questionnaire:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Making homemade cranberry sauce with the full berries then pouring it into a soup can until it gels, so you still get the rings. The best of both worlds.

What is your greatest fear?

Being alone. I have hosted a morning show for over 35 years so that I would always have company to share my ideas with.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Florence Nightingale and Lady Bird Johnson.

Which living person do you most admire?

Oprah. Come on, she has her picture on the cover of her magazine every month. Even she admires Oprah.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I must confess I really enjoy real butter, the kind you usually save for the company. I know that it is not heart smart, but shuckie do, it sure is comforting.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Honesty is overrated. Seriously, I am all for telling the truth but nothing succeeds without a foundation of white lies. Look at Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and All Star Wrestling.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Sweet corn off the cob!”

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

There are days that I am as organized as a handful of worms in a bucket of boiled okra.  The hardest thing for me to do is to find my glasses. I can’t decide if it is my memory or my eyesight that I would like to change.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

Their mailing addresses. They are all scattered about the country and it makes it very hard to stay connected.

What is your most treasured possession?

A small mistletoe box given to me by my husband, Ray. The sound of the chime brings back the memory of kisses from Christmas past.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

When I was crowned Miss Communication by the media department of CCAC.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My Aunt Ilene and My mother, Nadine

What is it that you most dislike?

Selfishness and the sound of an auto accident

What is your motto?

My Grandmother always said “Never go to bed angry.”  I have found that to be very helpful.  She was a wise woman but she never slept a wink.

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