In one of the dubiously iconic moments in live broadcasting during the chrome-plated jumbled mass decade of 1990’s news format programming, ignoring the will of the teleprompter led to a permanent home in the annals of digital greatness.
Fox affiliate WAGA-TV in Atlanta is a known global entity thanks the unscripted comedic heroics of an unfortunate personality at a live shot during a broadcast of the morning show. The reporter, Melissa Sandler, was covering a fluff piece at a local winery for the show Good Morning Atlanta and literally learned the nuances of competitive grape crushing the hard way. Sandler, who will forever be known as the “Grape Lady” of internet lore, attempted to gain an unfair advantage during the :30-second competition with her interview subject and payed the ultimate karmic price as her attempt at a soaring victory quickly crashed in the most unceremonious and hilarious of fashions. Much to the delight of millions YouTube users (the video clip was one of the first on the domain to go viral), Sandler inadvertently propelled herself from a bucket of grapes on the staged set and impacted the turf with a substantial thud, followed by a series of animalistic grunts and yelps of pain. While the heedless antics of the reporter are guiltily funny, the crowning moment of the endeavor is the innovative and almost arrogant restraint displayed by the show’s duel anchors to maintain a stoic and professional demeanor throughout the ordeal and even articulate a smooth segue to a much-needed commercial break. The disingenuous performance by the pair only fuels the endearing stereotype as to the impressively vapid nature of local television personalities.
Apparently, Sandler could never overcome the fallout from memorable incident and according to various sources she no longer works in the broadcast industry.
VIDEO: A Fall From Greatness