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Comedian John Pate Talks Movieguide®

Screenshot from Movieguide®’s YouTube

Comedian John Pate Talks Movieguide®

By John Pate

It’s been a few months, and I’ve been asked a couple of times to share another installment of “Freakishly Odd Things That Only Happen to John Pate”.(Disclaimer-Please don’t ask me WHY these things have taken place. I just have no clue.)
But they occurred as the decades unfolded, so I guess there was a reason I kept stumbling backward into situations that allowed me to see a purpose for being in the entertainment business, even though the evidence of any talent on my part may seem quite scarce. Since it is ‘Awards Show Season’, I’ll share this one.
The photos you see are of two great friends, actor Tom Lester, and Producer/Publisher/Creator of MovieGuide Magazine and the Annual MovieGuide Awards-Ted Baehr. I will explain how these two photos converged as the story proceeds.
I had been in Hollywood a few years when I met actor Tom Lester, who had had an incredible career run as ‘Eb Dawson’ on the classic TV comedy series ‘Green Acres’. We talked after an event where he was the keynote speaker, and exchanged numbers. Tom was in the early stages of working on project which later turned into the film “Gordy”, and I said, ‘Well if you need any help or a sounding board, give me a call.’
A few weeks later, I got that call. I lived in Brentwood back then, and Tom lived in Beverly Hills, so we met at an eatery there, and he told me he had about an hour or two before he was supposed to go meet with a trainer who had trained pigs for his film project. Both he and another actor friend, Alve Moore, who played Hank Kimble on Green Acres, and well versed in working with trained pigs, (Arnold), were going to see some that afternoon. So we chatted over lunch and then Tom was on his way. I periodically heard from him regarding the progress, all the way through the production, so I was happy he achieved his film goals.
Flash forward to about a year later, when I had bought a tiny house in Whittier, drove a very beat-up old car, and survived on the pay of a struggling comic. I attended a church in East L.A., and one day when I was walking in the hall, one of the staff, Carol Davis, asked if I’d be available to run to the airport to pick up a guest traveler, a Mr. Ted Baehr, who would be speaking at the church while he was also doing some business in Hollywood. I said ‘Sure’. I jumped into my little crunched up car and zipped over to LAX. After picking him up, I discovered on the trip home how fascinating his life-story was, and what a great purpose and cause he was attempting to start in Hollywood, one that he would achieve with flying colors, now known as The MovieGuide Awards, and MovieGuide Magazine and so much more! He has created the fountainhead for family film and television entertainment internationally, and I am SO proud of his accomplishments.
But still, here he was, early on in the efforts, riding around in a beat-up old car with a struggling comic. We stayed in touch too. In fact, after a few years of my minor successes as an entertainer, Ted sent a reporter for MovieGuide Magazine to write a feature article on my career path, and I was ever-grateful. Ted sent me five copies of the magazine, and I promptly sent a couple home to my parents.
Flash forward another couple of years. Ted had created the Annual MovieGuide Awards Presentation/Production, and on that particular year, it was to be held in the same location as the very first Oscars Awards Presentation, in a banquet room at the world-famous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. His people contacted me and asked if I’d MC the program? I said ‘Of course…I’d jump at the chance to do it!!!’. Now this was the third year of the awards, and I was hoping that their expectations weren’t TOO high for me to achieve. So I did it, and there were many top Hollywood folks in attendance, some receiving awards, such as Michaltee Williamson from Forrest Gump fame, and actors Dean Jones, and others. During one of the breaks, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and as I turned around, Tom Lester was standing there and said, “Hey…Remember me?” I was so happy to see him, (…and surprised that he remembered ME…) and we talked and reconnected and exchanged new numbers again, and stayed in touch, even after he moved back to Mississippi, and until his passing in 2020. Tom was a great man, a great actor, and a great friend, and now we reconnected because of what another great friend, Ted Baehr had envisioned and brought to life. And even more exciting for ME was that Ted gave me my first and ONLY shot at MC’ing an entertainment awards show.
The MovieGuide Awards has gone on to be one of the prime-time awards season shows now, with much more talented MC’s than I could ever be, but I will always remember that opportunity to say I was there.
I saw Ted again recently at the NRB Christian Media Convention in Nashville Tennessee at the OpryLand Hotel, and we got to reconnect and catch up again for a few minutes. Ted still is in demand as the premiere keynote speaker at such events, and he is STILL leading the way for wholesome entertainment in Films and Television worldwide. “Thank you Ted” and “Thank you Tom”, for letting me crash into your lives and experience the excitement. Until next time…

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.