One Question Interviews host Rick Yaeger interviews guest Julie Benz.

Random question strikes chord

Rick Yaeger's One Question Interviews provide an up close and personal view of celebrities

For affable online host Rick Yaeger, there are no wasted questions and no wasted answers.

Yeager, creator of One Question Interviews (onequestioninterviews.com), has come up with a catchy talk-show format that – wonder of wonders – actually allows celebrities to discuss projects they need to talk about, while still allowing fans a sense that they’re getting to know their favourites on a friendly, down-to-earth level.

It’s also a highly cost-effective project for the graphic designer and self-confessed “tech-junkie” – basically a series of split-screen skype conversations (presented with reassuringly professional graphic and editing work) that allow Yaeger to work from his own South Surrey living room, and his interviewees to respond from wherever they happen to be comfortable.

The cheerful, bearded, bespectacled Yaeger is upfront about the gimmick in his intro to each 10-minute segment.

It is, he says, “the show where I get the golden opportunity to talk to a celebrity, and then I waste it on some totally random question.”

It’s a hook that Yaeger says his guests – ranging from Julie Benz of Defiance, to Vanna White of Jeopardy to Paul Wesley of Vampire Diaries – seem both intrigued and intimidated by.

He has, as he says on the show – brandishing a stack of pre-printed cards – “a thousand questions ranging from the profane to the profound.”

Fortunately Yaeger, now going into what he admits is an abitrarily decided ‘third season’, has a low-key, disarming manner that quickly puts all of the interviewees at their ease.

“I’m worried… I’m sweating,” comments Benz in her segment, before quipping, seconds later “I hope I get one of the dirty ones.”

The reality is that the Yaeger’s format is benign, particularly in comparison to the modus-operandi of sensation-driven network gossip shows.

What Benz actually gets to share, for example, is her personal music playlist for exercise workouts – as well as generous plugs for Defiance’s third season and a Vancouver-lensed movie with John Travolta.

Have any of the interviews tanked?

“Not really,” says Yaeger, adding that it’s a blessing that most of the interviewees are actors adept at improvising.

“They’re all good, although some are better than others. Some, I can tell that someone is off to one side guiding them. Others are just sitting on their couch, having fun with the idea.”

Yaeger will throw in some mildly censorable outtakes from time to time, and those who like the show on Facebook get access to even more outtakes.

“It’s an exchange,” he says.

Yaeger, who says he was into computers before they were even standard in the graphic design industry, and was one of the first million Twitter users (“that doesn’t sound like it was early, but it was”), had no master plan to become a celebrity interviewer – falling into it almost accidentally.

“I just managed to strike up a friendship on Twitter with actor Greg Grunberg from Heroes,” he says.

That led to him visiting L.A. to catch one of the charity concerts by Grunberg’s cover group Band From TV (which also includes such musician-actors as Hugh Laurie).

“Greg catered a dinner at his home before the concert – Michael Chiklis is there doing card tricks for the children – and in the middle of all this celebrity star-power, I realize that they’re all normal people, other than the fact that they can afford to have catered dinners at their homes.

“They all treated me as an equal – they were just kind, generous people.”

Knowing Yaeger’s expertise, Grunberg – who also helped get One Question Interviews on its feet as co-producer – connected him with actress Ileanna Douglas, who was having technical issues with her web series EZ To Assemble.

“That’s when I came up with One Question Interviews as an idea for her, but she didn’t have time to do it herself – although she said she could think of six people she could get to do it.”

Like all web-based shows, continued success depends on attracting viewership and ‘likes’, but Yaeger has managed to land some big scores, including Wesley, whose Vampire Diaries fandom drove traffic to the site.

“As soon as that went up, the Twitter-verse went crazy,” he chuckles.

But the very nature of the easy-going show – a direct product of the host’s own unpretentious personality – seems to be the secret of its continuing success.

“The audience I’ve developed see me as an equal, but one with access to celebrities that they’re interested in,” he says.

“I’m their conduit.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sources receives $70K from SurreyCares

Funds will help with warehouse space for food programs in Surrey, White Rock, Langley

Rooftop hatchlings ‘a nice addition’ to White Rock RCMP operations

Pair of seagull chicks hatched in ‘fenced playground’ on July 2

‘Justice for Mona’ rally planned for Surrey

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check at UBCO

COVID-19: ‘Contactless’ donation drive in Surrey to help women in need

Items needed for women in shelters, transition houses in the Lower Mainland

Wanted Burnaby man arrested in White Rock

34-year-old facing 15 charges, including sexual assault

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read

l -->