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RIP Barry ZeVan

Minneapolis–Barry ZeVan, whose witty, energetic “peek-a-boo” forecasting style at KARE-TV and KSTP-TV endeared him to area weather watchers in the 1970s and 1980s, died here Jan. 1.

Longtime MSTies will recall his brief appearance in a host segment in episode K17- TIME OF THE APES.

The Star Trib has the story.

9 Replies to “RIP Barry ZeVan”

  1. SaveFerris
    Ignored
    says:





    Barry ZeVan, whose witty, energetic “peek-a-boo” forecasting style at KARE-TV and KSTP-TV endeared him to area weather watchers in the 1970s and 1980s…




    I’m unfamiliar with the man and his weather forecasting (and was unable to access the Star Trib story). Was his weather career in Minnesota (don’t know where KARE-TV and KSTP-TV are)?


    Also, what was meant by his “peek-a-boo” style of forecasting? Sounds interesting, but again, never having seen him or his ‘style’ of forecasting, I have no clue what this means.


    Anyone here who is familiar with his weather forecasting career, that can fill this in for those of us who never saw him? Thanks.



       1 likes

  2. DarkGrandmaofDeath
    Ignored
    says:

    That was a really nice write-up. I’m sorry you couldn’t access it, SaveFerris – the article did say that he was a Minnesota weatherman, that he “liked to peek coyishly at his viewers over his shoulder as he chatted.” Although I grew up in a very different region of the country, I remember a local weatherman who was something of a celebrity here, so I’m not at all surprised that Mr. ZeVan had such a following. But how the heck did he get Robert Goulet to do a weather forecast with him?

       8 likes

  3. Ray Dunakin
    Ignored
    says:

    He did some videos on youtube showing his style of entertaining weather-reporting:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZoJWLK7JBdQ5f59iAOe6sQ

       3 likes

  4. Barry ZeVan the Weather Man got some wider exposure in Washington, D.C. in the Sseventies. He did weather for Channel 7, and I remember general incomprehension of why we were supposed to be impressed. I remember nothing about him except his patented shtick, seen here about :45 in, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRFPVVSzV_Y of bobbing his head as he spoke.

    I mean, D.C. TV had quite a few people go national over the years, like Willard Scott and Maury Povich; Barry ZeVan was a big, so what?

    No dis intended for those recently departed, of course. Give me a couple more months and I might have even something nice to say about Don Imus.

       0 likes

  5. jay
    Ignored
    says:

    Mr. Zevan very much reminds me, in a way, of an old school broadcast meteorologist who worked in Austin, Texas back in the day. He started out in radio and, unlike Mr. Zevan, never really bought in to the need to have an on-screen persona. He gave his entire forecast with his back turned to the camera only turning around to emphasize a point or to close. The viewers loved him because he gave a straightforward, no nonsense, knowledgeable forecast and did not treat his viewers like they were morons. I apologize to him and to you because I cannot recall his name. Perhaps an Austin MSTie can help us out. RIP.

       4 likes

  6. Son of Peanut
    Ignored
    says:

    J Elvis has said that ZeVan was an influence on his Tom Servo voice.

       5 likes

  7. littleaimishboy
    Ignored
    says:

    Ray Dunakin:
    He did some videos on youtube showing his style of entertaining weather-reporting:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZoJWLK7JBdQ5f59iAOe6sQ

       1 likes

  8. littleaimishboy
    Ignored
    says:

    littleaimishboy:

    Ray Dunakin:
    He did some videos on youtube showing his style of entertaining weather-reporting:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZoJWLK7JBdQ5f59iAOe6sQ

    SAMMY: “I like Barry ZeVan The Weatherman because . . . [long pause] , , , [takes drag on cigarette] because . . . “

       1 likes

  9. Joel Lillo
    Ignored
    says:

    Here is the text of the article from the Star Trib (Sampo please delete this if it violates copyright law.)

    Barry ZeVan, whose witty, energetic peek-a-boo forecasting style at KARE 11 and KSTP-TV endeared him to Minnesota weather watchers in the 1970s and 1980s, died Wednesday, family members and friends announced on social media.

    “Barry loved his showbiz background and roots,” former colleague Diana Pierce said in announcing his death. “He was proud of his daughters and granddaughters. Rest in peace, Barry. You were … one-of-a-kind and will be fondly remembered.

    ZeVan, who was 82, lived in Golden Valley. The cause of his death has not been made public, though he had been treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia last year.

    ZeVan became a Minnesota forecasting icon during two stints in the Twin Cities in which he was billed as “Barry ZeVan, the Weatherman.” He arrived at KSTP in 1970 and rapidly won over viewers. In July 1974, he posted a Nielsen ratings record for a local weather forecast — 51% of the audience — that still stands and likely always will because of the fragmentation of the TV market.

    After a short stint in Washington, D.C., where his cornball style was not a hit, he returned to the Twin Cities to work at Ch. 11 (which went from WTCN to WUSA to KARE while he was there). ZeVan retired from full-time broadcasting in 1987.

    Most recently, he had been taping a lighthearted weekly weather show on YouTube called “Retro Weather,” featuring some of the antics that made him popular back in his heyday.

    GALLERY
    GRID
    1/7
    Barry ZeVan, the flamboyant retired Twin Cities weatherman, in the studio after a taping of his Retro Weather show.
    JEFF WHEELER – STAR TRIBUNE
    Gallery: Barry ZeVan, the flamboyant retired Twin Cities weatherman, in the studio after a taping of his Retro Weather show.

    He’d stand in front of a map with a black marker sketching in cold fronts, circling storm areas and scribbling temperatures, all the time chatting cheerfully, mixing data with goofy jokes. Most famously, he liked to peek coyishly at his viewers over his shoulder as he chatted.

    “He had an infectious, vivacious spirit filled with imagination. Everything he did, he did with panache — usually wearing his signature white pants,” wrote granddaughter Maritsa Georgiou-Hamilton.

    His career started in Pittsburgh at just 5 years old, singing on KDKA radio. He acted as a child in New York City and appeared on multiple national broadcasts. He was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame and was a member of the Montana Society of Broadcast Legends.

    “Self-degradation is the first law of self-preservation,” he told the Star Tribune’s Jeff Strickler in an interview in June. “Fortunately, laughing at myself has come naturally.”

       0 likes

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