Sunny Coming Up, Part I

by in View All Posts, February 11th, 2009

Alrighty, FN Dishers! I am bubbling over with excitement today! I chatted with Sunny Anderson and will be sharing the tasty dish she offered up in Part I of my two-part interview. Get your appetites ready because she is simmering with juicy information.

Secretary Confidential: Tell me about your name. I love it! It so fits your sparkling personality.

Sunny Anderson: Well, Sunny is my real name. Nothing cute or inventive about the naming story… It’s as simple as my mom sitting in the hospital after giving birth and flipping through a magazine that mentioned an Avon lady named “Sunny”. She thought it was pretty and here I am. It’s a bit to live up to and I’ve heard every single sunny joke, but it really describes me at my best.

SC: How did you end up on radio in the Air Force? I keep thinking of that movie Good Morning Vietnam What was that like?

SA: It was JUST like that! I interned at the local ABC affiliate in high school and still have my first script that was read on-air by an anchor. There was such a learning environment there that I craved more. So, before graduation, I enlisted and auditioned to become a writer or broadcaster in the Air Force. It was arduous and the military really wanted me to become a cryptologist based on my high test scores in languages. I held out and finally got the word that I was accepted into the broadcast program for the military.

I went to basic training like any other recruit, and then was shipped off to broadcasting school where I learned TV writing, editing, producing and directing. I then got a similar crash course in radio and public affairs. After training, I was sent to Seoul, South Korea to work for AFKN (Armed Forces Korea Network). I really wanted to be in the television department, but it was full so I landed a position in radio. I’ve always loved music and listening to the radio, but never thought I could do it necessarily. Plus, there was already a “Sonny Melendrez” on the radio in San Antonio which made me think I couldn’t also succeed as a Sunny. Stupid…yes, I know. :-)

I was wrong. Radio was great, and I fell in love. I began hosting nights and weekend, got my own nationally syndicated alternative rock show and eventually landed on the morning show. Hence, the Good Morning Vietnam part!

SC: How was the food in the Air Force? What was a standard meal? Are you tempted to ship food out to those currently enlisted in the Air Force?

SA: Ummmm, the food in basic training was just that … basic. There’s a dish the enlisted often refer to as “S–t on a Shingle” (try a tasty version of that here) that I came to love in basic training. When I moved to Korea, I don’t remember ever having a meal on base at the mess facility. I knew from my days of growing up as an Army brat that the best food in a foreign country is not on the base.

SC: What was the most exciting element of radio?

SA: That’s hard to narrow down. My work day entailed listening to great music cranked up to high and connecting with an audience that loved to do the same. I also love a good chat. Picking up the request lines and discussing not only music but daily current events with like-minded fans was really nice as well.

Thanks so much for the time, Sunny! Keep Shining!
Watch for Part II on Sunny Anderson here on The FN Dish.
[Can’t wait? Check out Sunny’s blog in the interim.]
Secretary Confidential

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Comments (5)

  1. Robin Koury says:

    Sunny's story is incredibly interesting. I love that her birth name is Sunny and how her mother decided upon it, what a great story! While it might be difficult to live up to such a strong name she does a fantastic job of it! If you haven't taken the time to visit Sunny's blog do so…She often shares with her readers plenty of inside secrets from her set and exciting Food Network happenings!

  2. Lana says:

    How thrilling it always is to read of someone loving what they do, and doing what they love. I think that must be a major root cause of Sunny's (ahem) sunny disposition.

    I have to thank Sunny for inspiring the main dish of my Christmas dinner – 20 Clove Brisket. I fancied it up for the holiday, but the base recipe is just delicious the way it is. And that is, perhaps, the greatest appeal to many of Sunny's recipes – tasty as they are, or take 'em as a base and run in any direction you like. I love that.

    SC, very nice interview! Barbara Walters, watch out! Here comes SC !! lol

  3. ANGELA says:

    I really liek the show and I see all of the negative comments about your hair (They are correct and i am in and from the hood too). I do not want to highlight the negative so I will simply say…I think the wavy hair on this site looks the best. Very sleek and manicured.

    Don't let your hair rob you of success. You got money, get professional ($200+ help.)

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