Posts Tagged ‘John Ratzenberger’

Made in America

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
Must-Watch Television

Must-Watch Television

My TiVo is set to record the Travel Channel weekdays from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m., the broadcast slot for John Ratzenberger’s program “Made in America”. Most of us would recognize the program host as the actor who played Cliff Clavin in the television series “Cheers”. I was surprised to learn how many characters he voiced for Pixar animations. But we see a whole other side to John Ratzenberger when he welcomes viewers at the opening of this program: “Hi, I’m John Ratzenberger. If you want to know America, you’ve got to meet the folks who work in factories and workshops. People who make real things and take pride in what they do. And then, you have to go in there with them to see how it’s done. So, that’s what I did. I poked around every corner… More of this country — big cities, small towns, and whatever was in between — looking for the soul of America. And you know what? I found it everywhere. So sit back and relax, because we’ve got it made… in America.”

Over the course of the series, Ratzenberger criss-crosses the United States to visit factories and meet workers responsible for iconic American brands. It is a bit sentimental as you remember childhood favorites – like when he visits the Crayola Crayons factory or the factory where the Monopoly game boards are assembled. The segment taped in Arkansas, where Frye Boots are made, was a delight; those were the status symbol when I was in high school. My favorite segments were the tours of KitchenAid, Kohler, Viking Appliances, Hallmark Cards, Brooks Brothers, Hartmann Luggage, Yankee Candle, Pyrex, Tom’s of Maine, Maker’s Mark Distillery, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Steinway, Craftsman Tools, Stickley Audi Furntiture, Steuben Glass, Longaberger Basket Company. The series is an inspiration to all small business owners, even those of us who work in the service sector, as we can see the pride in workmanship and lasting quality that these companies represent. You can also check out Mr. Ratzenberger’s website where he makes the case for investment in domestic manufacturing. His program is part of my daily dose of inspiration.