Monday, December 27, 2010

Maxim Girl Morgan Webb

Cameron Diaz had a certain indeterminate quality, a kind of je ne sais quoi in There's Something About Mary that just made her the tantalizing siren that she was. Morgan Webb has the same mystique. Maybe it's her down-to-earth cheerfulness. Maybe it's the way she moves her hands excitedly when she talks about the newest Tom Clancy-based X-Box game. Whatever it is, she makes computers sexy.

TechTV's ratings have undoubtedly been rising since Webb's start there. When she wears a tight TechTV shirt, or when she wears a miniskirt during an interview, or when the camera is placed at a bird's eye view while she plays at a horizontal monitor, giving us a stunning view of her, um, silicone valley, one is compelled to consult the TV Guide to see the parental rating on her computer show.

Morgan Webb is a celebrity in a specific but widespread circle. Those who know her and like her, like her a lot, but they are limited to subscribers of extended cable packages or satellite TV. Morgan's name, however, leapt those boundaries after a fan hacked into Madonna's website and wrote Morgan a marriage proposal. Overnight she became one of the most searched names on Yahoo!, earning it the top spot on the Buzz Index movers list.

With a combination of looks, smarts, comfort with the camera, and a wicked knowledge of Windows and video games, Morgan Webb became the star she is today. Her cubicle cam at TVTech had a loyal following, as does her web journal.

Case in point: she started as associate producer for Screen Savers, then moved up as a host of the show with her Windows tips. Her love for video games earned her her own show, X-Play, in which she looks beside herself test-driving the latest releases to just about every gaming platform.

She has teased fans with the promise of a blog, yet has kept them on edge. Certainly we can expect heavy Internet traffic jams when it finally does go live.

To the delight of computer wizards worldwide, Morgan Webb was born October 5, 1978 just outside Toronto, but her family soon moved to Los Angeles. At only 5 years of age, the cute, outgoing Morgan starred in commercials for McDonald's and other companies. Some may still remember her reciting the Big Mac's ingredients to a patty cake game.

Her parents limited her TV time in an attempt to get her to spend more time outdoors. Instead, young Morgan would spend hours playing video games (first Atari, then moving on to the original Nintendo). Hence her love for gaming stayed strong. She excelled in Legend of Zelda and other role-playing games, and would often practice secretly in hopes of beating her older brother at it.

In junior high, Morgan began what would become a lifetime obsession: fiddling with her hair color. She would experiment dying it with different Kool-Aid colors, which would inexplicably always result in a reddish hue. She is rumored to have shaved it all off at one point.

Morgan went to the University of California at Berkeley, where she got a degree in rhetoric with a minor in Italian. She describes rhetoric as the study of the arguments of philosophy, and as a way of studying philosophy with a more real-world face.

She graduated during the dot-com craze and went to work for Radio Riot Live, an Internet start-up that failed soon after its inception. With her friend Cat Schwartz from the busted company, she went to TechTV in 2001. She joined the program Screen Savers, in which she was a co-producer. Her quirky attitude and photogenic looks didn't go unnoticed, and they soon put her before the camera where she dished out Windows tips, of which she was a raging expert, three times a week. She also hosted the show a few times.

In 2003, she moved up to co-host X-Play, TechTV's popular video game show. Her chameleon-like hair and onscreen charm gained her a fiercely loyal following. One fan was so determined to get her attention that he hacked into Madonna's official website and wrote, tucked within other text, a marriage proposal to Morgan.

Why Madonna remains unclear, but it made Morgan an overnight sensation. She jumped to the top of Yahoo!'s Buzz Index movers list. That means that searches for her name in the search engine soared faster than any other celebrity, at 2,000%, surpassing Gwen Stefani and Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks.

Morgan Webb can still be seen on X-Play. She lives in a San Francisco house with some friends, where she relaxes by using Linux instead of Windows. She still hasn't officially accepted the marriage proposal from her fan.

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