Peduto goes undercover on CBS reality show to air Dec. 21
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has his own prime time reality TV show.
Peduto donned a wig with shoulder-length gray hair and a scraggly, long gray beard to star on an upcoming hourlong episode of the CBS Emmy-winning show “Undercover Boss.” The episode is scheduled to air 8 p.m. Dec. 21.
“It will be the only chance that I ever have in my life to hear what people say about me directly to my face, but not knowing who I am,” he said Thursday.
CBS called Peduto in June after seeing him in a YouTube clip. Peduto said producers interviewed him in August and picked him from among a “handful” of other mayors.
Peduto spent four days collecting garbage, working as a carpenter hanging doors with the Pittsburgh Housing Authority, cutting logs with a chain saw with Department of Public Works employees and posing as a “self-sufficiency coordinator helping community members who are breaking out of the chain of poverty.”
He said he spent a fifth day in another job but would not offer specifics. CBS will air footage from four of the five days, he said.
The days were long, Peduto said. He was up at 5 a.m. putting on makeup from a location in Green Tree, where he stayed during the October filming. It took two hours to apply makeup. “Each one of those hairs were put on separately,” he said.
He worked from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and conducted mayoral business until 9 or 10 p.m.
Producers had to halt filming Oct. 21 so Peduto could attend the funeral of Omar Hodges, 29, of Homewood, a sanitation worker gunned down while sitting in his car in Carrick.
“I really believe I got to show Pittsburgh off in a really great light,” Peduto said.
Peduto said the show allowed him to “change lives,” but he was mum on how.
“You have to watch the show,” he said.
Peduto has appeared on national television one other time. He was a guest on “Meet the Press” in September.
Former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” in September 2006, shortly after taking office as the youngest mayor of a major American city.
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or [email protected].