Ray Chappell – and his ever-present smile – have been a fixture around the WAVE 3 studios for more than 34 years. He’s spent most of that time behind the camera, though regular viewers will recognize him for his participation in a segment called “Hey Ray, What’s For Lunch?” which now airs on the station’s 12:30 p.m. weekday talk show “725 S. Floyd,” hosted by John Ramsey.
A self-professed “man of few words,” Ray took the time to share with us anyway and talk about what’s kept him at the NBC affiliate, what it’s like to get schooled on a daily basis and a bit about his famous relative.
Are you related to comedian Dave Chappelle?
He’s my cousin. His grandfather and my father were first cousins. Dave added the “e” to his last name. It wasn’t always there.
Oh wow, Ray. Do you ever see him?
He never comes to our reunions, and I don’t know how to get in touch with him.
Do you have a lot of family in the area?
I was born and raised in Louisville and have a brother, three sisters and a 16-year-old son who just recently got his driver’s license. I’m very nervous (smiles) but very happy for him.
You’ve been at WAVE 3 for several decades. What’s kept you there?
I like the people. It’s a combination of the atmosphere here and working with the people. These are probably the finest people anywhere.
You work a pretty intense schedule, 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. Do you ever get used to it?
You never get used to these hours. We can only adjust.
What have been among your most memorable experiences at WAVE?
As I think back, one of my biggest moments was learning how to edit film way back in 1980. But today, the industry is always changing, and I’m constantly learning. It feels like I’m in school again. Every day is a new experience.
How did you get into TV?
I have a degree in management technology and was working in the restaurant business before. I worked at Ponderosa for six years. … When I was selling my books back (during college), there was a job board notice and WAVE needed a shipping and receiving clerk.
So you went from clerk to associate director. When did you get out from behind the scenes and start doing the “Hey Ray, What’s For Lunch?” segments?
When Chris Parente was hosting “WAVE 3 Listens Live,” we did this segment where I would stand in front of the (staff) refrigerator and randomly choose someone’s lunch and then a viewer would have to guess what was in there. You can blame Chris Parente for starting it all.
Category: The Spotlight
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.