Baltimore native Tony Harris hosts ‘The Proof Is Out There’ on History Channel

Hear our full conversation on my podcast “Beyond the Fame.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'The Proof Is Out There' (Part 1)

You’ve seen his face on local TV and heard his voice on local radio around the DMV.

Now, Tony Harris hosts “The Proof Is Out There” on the History Channel on Fridays.

“It’s really hard in this business to find a different concept, a twist on a concept that’ll actually engage folks,” Harris told WTOP. “The folks over at History really know their audience. They found another avenue into this space of anomalies, UFOs and UAPs and we’ve got a successful show. I’m along for the ride and it’s been a great ride so far.”

The series is now in its second season after launching on Feb. 5, 2021, asking folks to submit unexplained videos like “America’s Funniest Home Videos” meets “The X-Files.”

“We’re a show that is essentially crowdsourced,” Harris said. “We leaned heavily on Bigfoot, Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster to fuel the early episodes. … [Now] we have Congressional hearings about sightings, the Defense Department is involved, military pilots saying … ‘This thing on my radar that I’m capturing on video, I can’t explain it.'”

Rather than just showing the mysterious footage, the show asks experts to analyze it.

“We have a panel of experts,” Harris said. “Theoretical physicists, audio and video forensic analysts who take a look at the material and come to decisions as to whether it’s real, not faked, not a hoax, because there’s a lot of that going on. Then they render a verdict. … I’ve got a pretty wide-brimmed skeptical hat that I throw on; we have to as journalists.”

Born in Baltimore in 1967, Harris studied at UMBC and worked as a disc jockey on WSID-AM in Baltimore, WLPL in Baltimore and WOOK in D.C. but soon felt the itch to try TV.

“I knew it from my earliest days in Baltimore, watching real heroes in Sue Simmons, who spent time in D.C. and Baltimore before New York; Oprah Winfrey had a stop in Baltimore as well,” Harris said. “There was a taxi driver who did a show in Baltimore. I said, ‘Wow, I can’t do what Sue does, I can’t do what Oprah does, but I can do what that guy’s doing!”

After working at WJMO radio in Cleveland, he officially pivoted to WJW-TV in Cleveland before moving to Los Angeles to host “Entertainment Tonight” for several years, as well as the Fox magazine show “The Front Page” alongside Josh Mankiewicz (“Dateline NBC”).

After another stint in Cleveland at WKYC, Harris came home to anchor WBFF’s “News at 10” in Baltimore, before moving to WGCL-TV in Atlanta. This set up his famous run at CNN starting in 2004, co-anchoring “CNN Saturday Morning,” “CNN Sunday Morning,” “CNN Newsroom” and “American Morning” before leaving to anchor Al Jazeera English in 2011.

Most recently, Harris has hosted “Scene of the Crime” on Discovery Channel, “Hate in America” on Investigation Discovery and “The Proof is Out There” on the History Channel.

“I’ve lived the kind of career that would make me a low first-round draft choice,” he joked.

Speaking of sports, he still likes to see Baltimore teams succeed.

“I was an Orioles kid,” Harris said. “My favorite Oriole of all time was the late great Paul Blair. I’m Boog [Powell], Brooks [Robinson], Frank [Robinson], [Jim] Palmer, [Mike] Cuellar, [Dave] McNally, [Pat] Dobson. … I was Bert Jones, Lydell Mitchell, those Colts teams. At the end of the day, I’m a Ravens and Raiders fan. … For the love of God, pay Lamar [Jackson]!”

When it comes to game tape on quarterbacks, the proof is out there.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'The Proof Is Out There' (Part 2)

Hear our full conversation on my podcast “Beyond the Fame.”

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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