“I’m a sexologist,” said Dan Gookin, who is not a sexologist.
But he is the founder of the “For Dummies” books, a Coeur d’Alene councilmember, and an imposter on the game show “To Tell the Truth.”
The premise of the show revolves around three people all acting like they have the same career but in reality, two are lying and only one is, in this case, a sexologist.
Gookin was reached out to by casting directors to be on the show via email, phone and social media. He then went through an interview process to see how he would act in front of a camera and, from there, began prepping.
“So, after that they were originally going to have me on a segment where it was just going to be me and two imposters,” Gookin said. “Because I did so well, they also wanted me to be on the segment with the sexologist so I would be an imposter and then I would be a hero, those are the terms they use. … So, I spent a very panicked few weeks looking up what it was like to be a sexologist, what it means, and all these other details, and I really did way too much homework on it because I was expecting to be grilled by attorneys, not by comedians.”
The comedians who were grilling him and the other two contestants were Alfonso Ribeiro, Tom Lennon and Vivica A. Fox. Their job was to try and guess who the imposter was, but it was mostly to make jokes out of the situation.
“Once we were on the show they didn’t ask any hard questions at all,” Gookin said. “It was silly stuff. That was really nice. It was fun, but because of COVID, though, there was no studio audience and no one to play off of. We couldn’t really interact with the other people because of social distancing. Normally at the end there would be a big group hug and there would be selfies and everything. We were on and off the stage and that’s it.”
He filmed the show in December, and before he left Gookin didn’t really tell anyone what he was doing.
“I told my sons that I was going to be out of town,” Gookin said. “I do work in California anyway so it’s not unusual for me to fly to California to do video recording anyway. I told a couple of close friends and I told my agent. I didn’t tell anyone at City Hall and no one outside of that. They really want to keep it a secret.”
So Monday was when pretty much everyone, including Gookin’s mom, found out he would be on national TV. Gookin said that the response, while overwhelming, has been nice.
“I watched the show and I knew what to expect so most of the time I was sitting there having a good time because these guys are hilarious,” Gookin said. “The show is really entertaining. I was sitting there thinking, this is really cool, and that I’m just watching the show, but I’m actually watching the show on the show.”
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.