Last year for Halloween Jacob Soboroff dressed as Larry King -- suspenders, grey hair, jutting chin. This year, Soboroff -- a host at The Huffington Post's new web TV venture, HuffPost Live -- interviewed the man himself. "I've got a man crush on you," he told the CNN interviewer. "I'm nerding out. Larry King is here, people!"
At HuffPost Live, Soboroff is both nerd and starlet, a suave on-camera host and a fact-dropping dork who manages to come across as self-effacing and fun -- just what an informal streaming broadcast needs. Looking like a young Ira Glass in as-thick glasses, Soboroff, 29, is both the serious son of former L.A. mayoral candidate Steve Soboroff, and the glam husband of Band of Outsiders' Nicole Cari. He studied at NYU where he mixed a degree in politics with a little acting -- playing George Aaronow in Glengarry Glen Ross. "They obvisly cast me as the nebbishy Jewish guy," he says. Soboroff interned for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, then found himself crisscrossing the country as the on-camera interviewer for the bipartisan organization Why Tuesday?, which seeks to move Election Day to the weekend for greater voter turnout. AMC executives saw those clips and tapped him as their red-carpet version of Ryan Seacrest. "I thought, 'How do I put these two things together: the entertainment business and politics?'"
Founded in August, HuffPost Live streams 12 hours a day, combining traditional hosts, leather sofas and regular interviews with viewer questions from its chatrooms and on-screen videos from those who join via webcam. Without a time limit, hosts banter as they switch between segments -- giving it the casual feel of a podcast.
On air, Soboroff showcases both sides of himself, interviewing the likes of his former boss, Mr. Bloomberg, and improvising a spirited, jig-like dance to fill time between segments. Dancing? On the news? "That's what happens when you're on air 12 hours a day."