'Good Morning America's' Sam Champion on the weighty perils of morning television

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Sam Champion can get his teeth around giving "Good Morning America" viewers a literal taste of the show this summer.

The ABC program's weekday weather anchor has played a big on-air role in introducing Ben & Jerry's and Good Morning America's Sunrise Sundae, available at most Ben & Jerry's stores until Labor Day. It makes a waffle bowl the base for a combination of Coffee, Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz! ice cream, caramel sauce, brownie bits and whipped cream.

The audience that gathers outside the "GMA" studio in New York's Times Square clearly has been into the fun -- and the flavor -- whenever the sundae is featured. "I can't tell you which happened first, whether the crowd brings the spirit or the spirit brings the crowd," the pleasant Champion tells Zap2it.

"That audience brings so much to our show, every day. It's different people, but it's very much the same energy. The best part of our day is to go out there and hang out with them."
It's even better for Champion when food is involved. "That's probably because I'm the eating one," he muses. "It's true that when I first took this job, I gained maybe 14 pounds in just a matter of months.

"Your metabolism is out of whack because you're getting up at weird hours, and you're eating food you shouldn't be eating at all the wrong times of the day. It's 7 a.m., and you're having steak and a twice-baked potato and some kind of pasta." Plus, it's hard to refuse some of the world's top chefs when they're cooking for you, as Champion knows.

"When you have Emeril [ Lagasse] or Mario [ Batali] or Wolfgang [Puck] coming in and preparing these dishes," he says, "it's impossible for you to say 'No.' You say, 'OK, I'm just going to take a bite,' ... and you end up wolfing down the whole thing."
Photo/Video credit: ABC