Graduates Look Back

Doug Herzog, senior v.p. of programming, MTV:

“Emerson’s emphasis on a hands-on approach and its supercharged creative atmosphere really gave me an advantage coming out of school.

“I’ll always remember driving a van full of Rastas [the van was rented with his professor’s credit card] to WCVB to tape a tv practicum on reggae music. While we were setting up, we put the band in the boardroom, which quickly turned into a smoke-filled Rasta ritual.”

Jay Leno, comedian, guest host of “The Tonight Show”:

“The first day at Emerson, we took a class in on-camera production. We had this rather strange teacher, and he’s telling us about how you may have to go on the air at any time, so you should be prepared to broadcast live.

” ‘Of course,’ he says, ‘the most important part about going on the air is looking your best and knowing how to put on makeup.’ So he hands out these Max Factor makeup kits. ‘Billy, Billy, a little less eyeshadow. Good. Jay, a little more pancake here on the cheek. Good. I like that look.’

“I realized, this is the strangest class I’ve ever been in in my life.”

Gene Braunstein, writer/co-producer, “Who’s The Boss?”:

“I had the best time at college going to Emerson. The school, the courses, Back Bay Boston all made those years some of the best in my life. Of course, being roommates with Jay Leno didn’t hurt the fun quotient either.

“Emerson gave me direction. When I first arrived at the college, I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do other than be in broadcasting. The teachers and courses excited me so much that I knew I had to stick with this dream, and I was able to narrow this all down to television production.”

Vin DiBona, producer, “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “America’s Funniest People”:

“Emerson taught me how to dream and how to realize those dreams on tape and film. I learned producing, directing, the importance of psychology and the finer aspects of street fighting [as applied to communications].

“My Emerson friends have become my lifetime friends, and my Emerson education is my bag of tricks that I seem to use on a daily basis.”

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