Ellis Obrien was a crowd favorite from the moment he began his career as one of InFocus’s two weather forecasters. Known for his high-pitched “Hello, Paly!” and corny weather puns, he produces laughter in every fourth period classroom. We sat down to ask him a few questions.
Tell us a little about your position.
Ellis Obrien: I’m [a] weatherman on InFocus. I create graphics, and I sign women’s breasts, and I read the weather live on air each day.
What are the best parts about the job?
EO: Besides the obvious popularity boost that I get on campus, I really feel like it’s given me a good career path. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, but now I think being a meteorologist is the thing for me. Obviously, the job does come with perks; yes, I do get into every party because I am the weatherman. Other than that, I would say … I mean, I have an A+ in the class; that pretty much speaks for itself. I don’t like to brag too much, kind of let the resumé do the talking, but I am consistently flagged down on campus and told I’m the highlight of the show.
What has been your biggest area of improvement so far this year?
EO: My biggest area of improvement was my ability with Photoshop and the graphics. I can now make approximately two graphics in 11 minutes, and I know what you’re thinking, ‘That’s impossible, you’re a stud,’ but yes, I can do it. The ladies love it.”
How do you prepare to go on air?
EO: I throw a few air punches. I try to think of the jokes during the period. I’m thinking of puns, trying to think of a few funny things to do, and then five minutes before I’m throwing air punches, then doing my jumps, and then I’m just ready to go — in the zone.
What goes through your mind when you’re reporting?
EO: Normally, I’m trying to remember what I thought of. It’s kind of improvised, so I’m trying to think of what I’m going to say next. I’m trying not to stumble or stutter on my words, and then when a joke’s coming up, I get a little nervous, a little anxious, try to slow down, make the joke and move on to reporting the weather.
Do you ever fear failure in your position as weather forecaster?
EO: I’m a little scared of failure. Like right now, it’s pretty sunny, and I told them there would be storms today, so I’m feeling a little bad. I mean, what if someone wore a rain jacket to school and now they’re in the sun feeling like a fool? I mean, I don’t know what to say. This one’s pretty embarrassing. My first real error.
Tell us about Paul Hoeprich [InFocus adviser].
EO: He’s a great guy. Really love the man. He’s funny. He is the joker, cares about improving the news. He’s like a Ron Burgundy — doesn’t quite have the looks, but has the attitude and the passion for the news.
What drives you in life?
EO: My prius.
Do you have any advice for aspiring weather forecasters?
EO: The biggest thing about weather is confidence. Weather is about confidence. Yes, temperatures are the most interesting thing in the world, but temperatures combined with an interest in the weather and a smile — nothing beats it.
Do you have any plans for improvement throughout the year?
EO: You can’t improve on greatness.