Tom Bergeron Opens Up About Life After ‘Dancing With the Stars’ & Being ‘Open to Surprises’
When Tom Bergeron was fired last summer from ABC’s Dancing With the Stars — he’d hosted the popular show since its 2005 premiere — fans were shocked. As was he: Bergeron tells TV Guide Magazine in his first interview since exiting the ballroom, “I always thought Dancing would be where I end my hosting tenure,” though he thought it would be on his terms.
He was replaced by Tyra Banks; viewers have criticized the former model for not being as polished as Bergeron and campaigned for his return. The unflappable Emmy winner, 65 — who began his career on New Hampshire radio, hosted FX’s Breakfast Time (1994–96) and ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos (2001–15) and performed as Taco on The Masked Singer last winter — addresses his future with Dancing and shares what’s left on his bucket list.
How do you respond to fans who want you to return to Dancing?
Tom Bergeron: When people say, “I’m not gonna watch until you’re back,” I say, “Well, there’s really no ‘until’ here.” This train has left the station. I appreciate the sentiment, and I don’t hold it against anybody if they [watch].
What moments stand out for you?
The friendships I have with people who were on camera and behind the camera. I used to throw midseason parties for cast and staff. It helped create a sense of solidarity…and then we’d try to sober up the next day.
What was your experience with the celebrities?
There’s a humanizing factor to trying something new. For the most part, it was people trying to do a job well, with the same insecurities and hopes any of us deal with.
Looking back, do you think your career has developed according to plan?
My career path looks like a hostage note cut and pasted from a bunch of different magazines. I regarded myself as a broadcaster and was very fortunate that wonderful opportunities presented themselves. I’ve been on two network shows for the better part of 15 years each, so life’s been good.
What’s left on your bucket list?
I’ve hosted every format imaginable. There’s no real fire in my gut to do it again. Having said that, I’m always open to surprises.
You wrote a 2009 memoir, I’m Hosting as Fast as I Can! Got another book in you?
[Laughs] I think the sequel should be I’m Relaxing as Slow as I Can!