The Gonz Show Extended: Todd Gross

So tell me how things are going with
Very good. It’s quite an endeavor. I have a lot of volunteers helping. And it’s beyond weather. It’s nature and it’s astronomy. We just did a feature article on snowmaking. It’s technical discussions. It’s audio forecasts and video forecasts. Hundreds and hundreds of links. We have a lot going on. In fact, beats some of the TV stations’ websites. We have 1,400 members of the Todd Gross support group. It’s on the web page.

You do all the webcasts from your home? And where do you get all the satellite imagery?
We do it all from the home studio, yes. We have access through the public domain to satellites that are really available to everyone. And we have radar that we purchase that allows us to zoom in and things like that.

If you wanted, could you task the satellites to find Bin Laden?
(Laughs). It’s a possibility to use some of the satellite photos we get to really drill down and target an area like you’ve never seen on television because we use satellites that they don’t really use on television. It’s amazing what you can do with the tools that are available for everyone to use if you know which ones to play with.

What happened at Channel 7? No one’s ever told me the story.
I don’t know the story. They just said they were moving in another direction. I’m doing television in Springfield on the weekends, and, at this point, I prefer part-time work. And I’m having a blast out there. It’s a lot of fun. It’s WWLP out in Springfield.

Don’t the Channel 7 cats know you won two Emmys?

Three! That’s more than two! Can’t they count? We should go down there and fight those bastards.

Seriously, you and me—we’ll go regulate.
(Laughs.) That’s pretty funny. Well, it’s been a nice change, actually. I’ve broadened my horizons. I’ve done some commercial work and radio work, so it’s been nice.

Someone told me that you have a snow making machine at your house so that you can make it snow any time of year. Is that right?
I have several. I love snow. I really, really love snow to the point where I would cry as a kid when it didn’t snow. I would write down as a kid that I wanted a snowmaking machine for Christmas, but it never came. So, first, I bought one. Then, the next year, I learned how to make the machines, and I showed it on the air on Channel 7. I learned how to make a lot of snow. By the next year, I was up to six feet of snow in my back yard. It was spreading all over the neighborhood.

The neighbors must love that.
Yeah, it’s kinda weird. It’s a little noisy.

Al Gore says that global warming is causing all the wacky weather, but he also told us that he created the internet. I say fuck Al Gore. I want to know why Todd Gross thinks the weather has been so strange.
That’s not why the weather is wacky. The fact is that global warming is taking place. I’ll get to the wacky part in minute. Since the temperature has gone up, some of the events that are close to rain and snow, like in the middle of January when the temperature was just above freezing and there was a lot of precipitation, that same storm would have been a snow storm 30 years ago. But since it’s warmed in the last 30 years just a degree or two, that’s enough to make it rain instead. That’s the interesting truth about global warming. The rest is too far fetched. We’ve always had wild changes in the weather. The fact that the weather acts so wacky in 2006, well, it was wacky in 1969 when there was four feet of snow on the ground. Wacky then, wacky now.

So you say you’re the character/weatherman who’s portrayed in The Perfect Storm, right? But aren’t there other people who also claim to be the basis for the character?
You’ll see that in the credits. Todd Gross comes up high in the credits. I never claimed I, personally, was the guy. I just saved my tapes. Everybody says it was them. This is a controversy because of other things that happened. A British documentary company was looking for a person to be filmed about the storm, and it later became a Discovery Channel documentary. I suspect that’s how The Perfect Storm people found me, but I don’t know. No one ever said anything, so it’s all conjecture.

Well, all these other weather men who say it was really them, I think you guys should settle it once and for all. You could have a cage match. Or, ooh, wait, I got it! It should be something weather-appropriate. You guys could stand outside in a hurricane like those assholes on TV and see who could attach themselves to a random light pole the longest. Last person wins.
(Laughs). I like that. I like that.

So, uh, we’re obviously talking in March, cause that’s when this magazine comes out. In March. Coincidentally, that’s when my birthday is. Can you make it sunny and about 70 for my birthday?
I do control the weather. I have become very talented in that since leaving Channel 7. I’m happy to help you out. Making the weather is now in my forte.

Thanks. I appreciate that. Between my diet and the booze, I’m probably gonna die soon, so I’d like as many sunny days as possible between now and the impending darkness.
Yeah, we’ll see what we can do.

You named your kids Sky and Sunshine, huh? I’m not sure if anyone has said this to you before, but I think you and I are cool now, so I’m going to risk it: I think you may be taking this weather thing a little too far.
(Laughs.) My lovely wife Ava, who’s been absolutely great and supportive, she’s the one who went overboard. We’ll blame her.

I like that you’re blaming her. That’s gutsy.
Yeah, I’m sure she’ll like it, too. No, she’s been wonderfully supportive.

One last thing, your website says that you “still remember meeting New Kids on the Block!” That’s how it’s written, with an exclamation point at the end. I want to help you because I like you: You should probably take that down now. I mean, are you sure you want to associate with them?
Hey, New Kids on the Block, to me, is in. I’m only 20 years behind, I guess. I was actually excited to meet Mark Wahlberg. I met him because of The Perfect Storm. You know, we actually met in the bathroom…it was a little odd.

That is odd.