Charles Latibeaudiere is co-executive producer of TMZ and a co-host of TMZ’s television show. Before participating in a panel on infotainment and journalism, he talked about his dream TMZ scoop, his hair regimen, and how he became a no-longer-reluctant Angeleno in the Zócalo green room.
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
That’s a tough one. I love animals. I actually was a biology major—it was the first thing I tried in school. Either an orca or a cheetah. The speed of the cheetah fascinates me—big cats in general fascinate me. But I also really love marine life, and I’ve always found the orca to be an interesting combination—the best combination of intelligence and ferocity.
Besides your show, what don’t you miss on TV?
I have too many. I was just saying to my wife we’ve got to pare down the viewing pattern. There’s too much stuff, the DVR is backed up. Shameless. Nashville. I always start out watching The Amazing Race every season; I never make it to the end. Not because I don’t like it, but just because of too much stuff. I’m a huge fan; I love travel. What else is there? House of Lies. Modern Family. And my new thing is The Following. It’s like Silence of the Lambs every week.
What advice do you have for Yankees fans in Los Angeles?
Wear the pinstripes proud and remind them that we have 27 championships. And also—we didn’t quit on New York. We’re still there.
Who was your childhood hero?
My Uncle Russell, who lives in Jamaica. My family is all from Jamaica, and Uncle Russell became a father figure to me. My parents were divorced when I was 10, and a lot of what I learned about carrying yourself in public, about public speaking, I learned from Uncle Russell. He’s a politician who was a member of parliament in Jamaica. I spent almost every summer between the ages of 10 and 17 in Jamaica.
What surprises you most about your life right now?
I am shocked every day almost that I am in California. When you grow up in New York and you’re a kid from the Bronx, all you learn is, don’t go to California, those flakes out there, creepy, wacky people. We hate California. I never thought anything about Los Angeles, I was never L.A.-curious. Until you get out of school, and someone offers you a job in L.A.—and it’s a job. The fact that I am still in L.A.—and don’t tell anyone in New York this—but I really like it here. It’s hard not to become enamored with 300-plus days of sunshine every year. That is an addicting drug, sunshine. There are a lot of things I don’t like about it, a lot of things I still think New York does much, much better. But the sunshine is great, I live near the beach, and more importantly, my wife is never leaving.
Right now, what’s your dream scoop?
I couldn’t tell you—there isn’t one topic. I guess my dream scoop is when the next big story happens, we get it first, whatever it is. That could have something to do with politics, it could have something to do with sports, it could have something to do with traditional entertainment. But whatever it is, if it’s a big story that a lot of people are going to be interested in, I want to make sure we have it first.
What do you eat for breakfast?
What keeps you up at night?
Other than the phone calls from our camera guys and producers? Not much; I sleep pretty well at night.
What’s your hair care regimen?
[Laughs.] Every four to six weeks I go to see my friend Todd Kelley in Sherman Oaks, and he re-twists my hair, which is a painstaking process involving wax. And then other than that, just shampoo once or twice a week, more if I’m working out that week.
What’s your hidden talent?
I am an incredible singer waiting to be discovered. It’s raw talent, and probably needs to be harnessed a little bit here and there. But I think I could be a singer.