adBlockCheck

Local

Man Either Sick Or Just At End Of Workday

CINCINNATI—Overwhelmed by a wave of fatigue, local man Will Markowski told reporters Tuesday that he was uncertain whether he was getting sick or if it was just the end of a normal workday.

Nation Leery Of Very Odd Little Boy

WASHINGTON—Noting that there was something distinctly unnerving about his mannerisms, physical appearance, and overall demeanor, the nation confirmed Friday that it was leery of very odd 8-year-old Brendan Nault.

Cryptic New Laundry Room Rule Hints At Tale Of Bizarre Infraction

HOBOKEN, NJ—Pondering the mysterious circumstances that could have led to such a sign being posted, sources within a local apartment building said Thursday that an enigmatic new rule taped to the wall of their laundry room suggested a strange infraction had taken place.

Dad Gets Dolled Up For Trip To Lowe’s

DEMING, IN—Glancing in the mirror while clipping a measuring tape to his belt, area dad Roger Hobak reportedly got all gussied up Wednesday before making the 14-mile trip to his local Lowe’s Home Improvement store.

Unclear What Coworker With Banana On Desk All Day Waiting For

MINNEAPOLIS—Annoyed that the fruit was even now just sitting there next to his computer monitor, sources at data analytics firm Progressive Solutions told reporters Wednesday that it was unclear what coworker Kevin Tanner, who has had a banana on his desk all day, was waiting for.

Father Teaches Son How To Shave Him

ST. CLOUD, MN—Judging him old enough to learn the time-honored family tradition passed down from father to son, local man William Dalton, 47, taught his 12-year-old child, David, how to properly shave him, sources reported Friday.

Mom Just Wants To Watch Something Nice

NORRISTOWN, PA—Hoping to have a quiet, relaxing movie night at home with her family, local mother Allison Halstead told reporters Tuesday that she just wants to watch something nice.
End Of Section
  • More News

Local Celebrity Cracks Under Stress Of Local Fame

WAUWATONKA, WI–Unable to cope with the mounting pressures of local fame, local celebrity Randall "Herch" Herchwick, 51, shocked residents of this placid Midwestern community Monday with an uncharacteristically emotional outburst during an Elks Club Picnic at the Plefko County Fairgrounds.

Randall Herchwick

According to witnesses, the popular WTNK Action News anchorman "snapped" after being submerged in a charity dunk tank, at which he had volunteered as a "human target." Following the humiliating dunking, Herchwick allegedly raised his voice and swore at several picnic-goers, storming away angrily and frightening a group of small children, one of whom reportedly began crying.

Described by town doctor Glen Hardale as "almost a nervous breakdown, but more minor," Herchwick's disturbing display is believed to have been brought on by the strain of 11 years of intense, unrelenting local celebrityhood.

"Being in the public spotlight each weekday at six on the Channel 15 NBC Action News, as well as Saturdays as co-host of Wauwatonka Live At Five, well, it's a lot of pressure for a man to face, I'd imagine," Hardale said of Herchwick, beloved by hundreds of Wauwatonkans, as well as residents of nearby Plovis and viewers throughout the greater tri-county area. "Local fame is, as they say, a harsh mistress. An ordinary fellow like you or me, or Pastor Bob or Don over at Hefke's Seed & Feed, can't imagine what it's like."

"Everywhere he goes locally, people recognize him," Hardale continued. "If he wants to enjoy any privacy or anonymity at all, he's pretty much forced to leave this three-mile-radius area."

Following the outburst, Herchwick was rushed to Dr. Hardale's office, where he was asked to lie down and rest while the doctor administered a mild sedative. He was reportedly also offered a cookie.

Early Tuesday morning, WTNK Channel 15 released the following statement: "WTNK and the entire Action News family is deeply saddened by this unfortunate turn of events, but we are confident that Randall Herchwick, or 'Herch' as he is affectionately known, will make it through this crisis and be back to bringing you the same level of telejournalistic excellence and service to his community that has established WTNK as Plefko County's leader for 'News You Can Use.' In the meantime, we ask all of you to keep him in your thoughts and prayers."

Rumors that Herchwick's outburst was the result of a fame-induced drug problem were quashed when lab reports revealed that the news anchor's system contained only over-the-counter antacids and a mild prescription antihistamine. Still, locals said, the strain of Herchwick's local notoriety has taken its toll in recent months.

In this June 6 photo, Herchwick avoids local paparazzi at the Korner Kart convenience store.

According to Wauwatonka resident and regular Action News viewer Eileen Lund, the first sign of trouble came in February, when Herchwick seemed "stressed and even sort of irritable" during the taping of the ordinarily heartwarming "Thursday's Child" segment, during which he reaches out to a child in need. While taking a terminally ill boy on a tour of a cheese factory, the usually cheerful anchorman, Lund said, appeared bored and impatient with the child's questions about cheese and "seemed in a hurry to get the segment over with and go home."

"I watched it with my grandmother," Lund said. "Neither of us were heartwarmed at all, which I thought was unusual."

Over the past few months, Herchwick's behavior has become especially erratic. In April, he began covering his face when exiting his favorite eatery, the Portage Road Sizzler Steakhouse, shielding his identity from Plefko County paparazzi. Since early May, he has been spotted grocery shopping at Banjo's Food Ranch as late as 11 p.m., hoping to avoid the swarms of local fans which plague him whenever he shops in the afternoon. And on June 3, his 1995 Pontiac Bonneville was seen in the lot behind Larry's Tip-Top Inn, where Herchwick had gone, it is presumed, to drown his sorrows in drink.

"I asked him for an autograph for my daughter when Patti Danforth and I took a tour of the WTNK studios with our Daughters Of The Corn group last week," resident Carole Helmsley said. "He sighed heavily and looked a bit pained. Then he said he'd have to go get a picture to sign from the WTNK NewsTruck. But once he went in, he never came back out. It was as if he was deliberately avoiding us."

"If I'd only known the pressure the poor man was under, I wouldn't have asked," Helmsley continued. "All that constant hounding from autograph-seekers must have been too much for him."

Other Wauwatonkans, however, feel little sympathy for the regional luminary.

"Herch knew what he was getting into when he decided to seek local fame, and now that he's grabbed the brass ring, he's got to live with it," said Gus Brinkle, weatherman at rival station WPGN Channel 27. "He wouldn't be here today if it weren't for his fans, but now that he's got the spotlight, suddenly he turns on them and starts complaining about the pressures of celebrity. It's ridiculous. If he can't take the attention, he should never have gotten into this business. It's not all store grand openings and charity fun runs, you know. If you want the glamour and the glory, you've got to be willing to take the bad stuff, too."

"That's the way this crazy rollercoaster that we in the business call 'the fame game' works," Brinkle said.

Will Herchwick recover? At this point, it remains too early to tell. But one thing is certain: For this anchorman, local fame has brought local accolades and adoration, but not without a steep price.

More Videos

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

More from this section

Nation Leery Of Very Odd Little Boy

WASHINGTON—Noting that there was something distinctly unnerving about his mannerisms, physical appearance, and overall demeanor, the nation confirmed Friday that it was leery of very odd 8-year-old Brendan Nault.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

Close
settings