Ben Mankiewicz got off to a bit of a rocky start when he was hired as a host on Turner Classic Movies in 2003.
The vintage movie channel's loyalists complained that he was disrespectful in his introductions to the films. And probably for good reason.
"I am a little snarky," Mankiewicz acknowledged.
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But they were even more concerned that TCM was trying to replace main host Robert Osborne, who has been with the channel since its launch in 1994 and has become something of a superstar in the world of vintage entertainment.
When Mankiewicz began, noted Charles Tabesh, TCM's senior vice president of programming, "we really emphasized the differences [between them]. We asked him to have a goatee. We had him in a set that was a downtown loft, and his scripts were much less reverential."