Jersey-born, Pennsylvania-trained, Phoenix-based TV personality Nick Calderone has been a host on Right This Minute – the daily, half-hour television program showcasing adorable and ridiculous viral videos – since its first episode in 2010.
Calderone began his career as a cameraman in York, Pennsylvania, moving to Phoenix in 1999 to work for 12 News KPNX. “When the internet began to take hold, cameras began to get smaller and budgets began to get smaller. I saw opportunities to grow,” he says. “Long story short, I became a multimedia journalist.” A transition started from cameraman to reporter. He first appeared in front of the camera around 2005, and then was on the evening news from 2006 to 2008.
Though he never planned to be on TV, this was a natural progression, and, he says, “I’ve always been a bit of a character." As for Right This Minute, he says, “Did I set out to be here? Absolutely not. I never saw this coming.” Aside from working in television, Calderone says he loves traveling, camping, off-roading, and, especially, motorcycles. “I’ve been on a bike since I was a kid,” he says, “Beginning in 2000, I’ve almost always had something with two wheels.”
New Times stopped by the Right This Minute studio to sit down and talk with Calderone about what he’s wearing.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would say I am mostly generic with a touch of funk. I’m certainly not on the fringes of fashion, although I’d like to be, I just don’t know how to be. But I do like little touches of funk. To use the old Office Space word: flair.
Are you often asked about your personal style?
No, I’m lying. There are a few times, I can count them on one hand, where viewers have written in, “Hey, where did you get that … shirt?” Or, “Where did you get that sweater?”
There was one … incident … early on in the show where I wore this asymmetrical, shawl-neck sweater, which I thought was very cool, and I got roasted for it. People wrote in like, “You got that in the women’s department.” And my hosts made fun of me, and I‘m like, "This is an H&M men’s sweater," and it just took on a life of its own. It just got to be very funny. What did we call it? Oh, the "questionable sweater."
Christiane [Vera, another RTM host] actually, I gave it to her and she wore it, and it looked good on her. My wife has worn it. But I still contend to this day that that is a men’s sweater. I’ll occasionally take some small risks. I don’t always execute them very well.
Where do you shop?
I wish I could give you some cool answer to that, but I really am a Macy’s stalwart. I go in the spring; I go in the fall. I really like it because there’s a ton of choice. I don’t like spending a ton of money on clothes. I shop for this show, because what I wear on the show I can wear at home, too, or out. So basically, what you see here on the show is who I am on the street, there’s no difference.
I’ve got more clothes than I’ve ever had right now, because I need to look different every day, and I need to spread it out before I wear it again. So, I need to get a lot for my buck, and I can do that at Macy’s. They know me there well enough now. There’s a guy over there named Doug who helps me out all the time; Doug’s great.
For the show, I have to be careful because I can’t wear any tight patterns, certain things buzz on camera. The plaids, they’re not really wild about but I like them … I typically don't wear white or black on camera, those extremes. … We do a lot of color block stuff.
My style is typically from the waist up, because I sit down on set all day. But I don’t like walking around the office dressed from the waist up; I do like to finish it. So even though you never see it, I do like to get cool shoes, and yeah, funk it up.
What was the last thing you bought?
I don’t know if I’ll wear this on the show, but I bought a vintage Honda shirt. Funny enough, I got it on Amazon. I can't wait to wear it. It’s a baseball tee – so white with the black, three-quarter sleeves, and the vintage Honda logo. $34 bucks.
What is the weirdest thing in your closet?
Stormtrooper helmet. My answer being the stormtrooper helmet, a lot of people would say that’s the coolest thing, not necessarily the weirdest. Bought it at Costco ... Talks, too. It’s in the garage sale pile right now, but I think I need to pull it out.
Do you have any fashion inspirations?
I don’t I could boil it down to somebody … I do notice things if I see certain looks on people or celebrities, and there's a lot of draw from the motorcycle world. I try to pull some of that in, but you know, leather doesn’t really work well on set.
I guess if I had to pull one, I like the way Howard Stern dresses, believe it or not. And I think it’s because he’s in a similar situation that I’m in; he sits behind a desk all day, but he still looks pretty cool. And he wears a lot of John Varvatos stuff. The bummer part is I like [Varvatos], but I can’t wear a lot of it because most of it is a lot ... dark colors, and that’s A, not typically my style, and it doesn’t work on camera for me – for him it works perfectly. But I think I like the layers he can do. He’ll wear scarves sometimes – there’s no way I’m going to be able to pull off.
What trend do you wish would stop?
I think it’s already kind of stopped, but those ultra skinny jeans. I tried it once; it looked really bad. I think that’s on the way out. And for girls, the mega high-waisted jeans. God, that’s awful... If you’re going to go that far, put on a pair of overalls.
What advice would you give someone on style?
I would say: Stop wearing white socks as soon as possible. And discover shoes as early as you can, like cool shoes. Because no one ever told me that, and I remember my drawer was full of white athletic socks, that’s all I had … I didn’t know it looked bad. Sometimes people just have to tell you, “Bro, go buy yourself a pair of black socks and a pair of brown socks and mix them in every once in a while.” But yeah, get off the white socks. I hope that doesn’t make me sound old…Save it for the gym.
Thoughts on motorcycle gear?
I don’t fall into the school of riding to look cool. I’m a much more practical rider. The older I’ve gotten the more I’m into safety. And so riding motorcycles should make you look cool, and I don’t.
I have two bikes [1972 Honda CB350 and 2012 Suzuki V-Strom] … I have a cool, I think it’s cool, jacket, it’s black and white – very stormtrooper-looking. I think it gives good contrast for visibility without being fluorescent. I think I bought it off Craigslist from a guy.