Spokanites who regularly tune in to local TV news may get a jolt of deja vu this Super Bowl Sunday.
Among the big-ticket advertisements airing on game day is a 90-second pitch for Alexa, Amazon’s voice-operated “intelligent personal assistant,” initially released in 2014. The bit includes brief cameos by celebrities Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Hopkins, Rebel Wilson and Cardie B – along with, for just less than 2 seconds, former Spokane KXLY news anchor Kirk Hawkins.
“When I saw it, I thought, ‘Of course it’s Kirk,’ ” said Melissa Luck, executive news director at KXLY, who worked with Hawkins during his tenure at the broadcaster from 2004 to 2007.
In the first few moments of the ad, Hawkins’s face appears above a “Breaking News” ribbon, staring severely toward the camera and announcing that “Alexa lost her voice this morning.” The segment rolls quickly on, with celebrities chiming in as Alexa stand-ins, offering progressively less helpful personal assistance.
As it turns out, the split-second performance isn’t Hawkins’ first foray into the world of fictional reportage – although with well more than 100 million anticipated viewers tuning into the televised broadcast, it may well be his biggest to date.
Hawkins, who now lives in Los Angeles, has accrued a respectable portfolio of bit parts in both serialized TV and movies, including shows “American Horror Story” and “Liberty Crossing” and TV movies “Blue Eyed Butcher” and “Her Dark Past,” as well as the theatrical release “Surrogates,” starring Bruce Willis.
The former morning show reporter, who showed up for his first day at KXLY more or less new to the business, seems to have found a niche, Luck said. The former reporter “is making money pretending to be a reporter,” she said.
Though he still does occasional freelance work for news outlets, Hawkins’ primary business is now in real estate, said Luck, who stays in touch with her former colleague via Twitter. Real estate and, of course, the side gigs on the entertainment side of TV.
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