Diane Sawyer: Bartender, Therapist

Diane learns the double pour, who tips worst, and serves a famous bar patron.

Oct. 24, 2008 — -- Interviewing hundreds if not thousands of people, from world leaders to celebrities, prepared Diane Sawyer for her "ultimate" job match: bartender.

Each "Good Morning America" anchor took the aptitude test from Self-Directed Search, which is supposed to predict what professions best suit an individual's personality.

Sam Champion has confidence and a belief that "the facts are the facts" -- skills that serve him well as a weatherman but would also work as a judge.

Chris Cuomo's love of people and hands-on manner make him a great reporter, but if that doesn't last, he could find a career as a hairdresser.

And Robin Roberts' emotion and self-expressive nature jump through the camera, and, as she discovered, through song lyrics she wrote.

So where would Diane Sawyer go to fulfill her need to make people happy and help them improve their lives?

Behind a bar, serving drinks, of course.


At Hurley's saloon in midtown Manhattan, Sawyer served drinks to Wall Street brokers worried about their jobs, tourists and struggling young artists working as waiters.

And, then, one very famous bar patron walked in -- George Wendt, a bar regular, who played Norm on the TV show "Cheers."

Wendt works around the corner, starring as Edna Turnblad in the Broadway musical "Hairspray."

"I kicked off the dress and high heels and, as usual, I come over to Hurley's, but you know, I didn't expect to see a new bartender," he said when he saw Sawyer.

Wendt ordered up his usual -- a concoction called the rainbow cone. "You know, a rainbow cone beer." he said. "Take a pint glass, go right on down the line, boom, boom, boom."

Steve Metz, the bartender at Hurley's, served as Sawyer's mentor behind the bar.

"So you are a therapist-bartender-turned friend, companion, world healer?" she asked him.

"You said it, not me, but OK," Metz replied.

Metz shared a few important tricks of the trade with Sawyer, including -- when in doubt, make a drink red.

"If you hand somebody a red drink, they're still so enthused that they have a drink full of liquor that they're gonna drink it," Metz said.

Other rules? Never talk religion or politics and only drink coffee.

The worst tippers are those who like a fancier cocktail, like the mojito, Metz said.

Th best are beer drinkers, who know the value of a dollar.

Therapy Behind the Bar

Sawyer got down to the business of mixing drinks for thirsty people, and listening to their worries and their hopes and dreams.

"This is the bar that dreams come true," she said. "We're gonna put up a sign."

She learned that two of the bar's regulars, Josh and Sarah, are waiters in New York, which means out-of-work actors.

Sarah wowed the crowd with her version of the Etta James song, "At Last."

"We are going to get this woman an audition tomorrow," Sawyer said.

Sarah's boyfriend Josh worried that her parents don't like him. Sawyer called Sarah's parents to testify to Josh's good heart and character.

Nearby, a man named John said there are a lot of people in Hurley's who lost a lot of money on Wall Street and he once did, too. Panicking doesn't help, he said.

"Raised in the Bronx, we call 'em BIC, Bronx Irish Catholic," John said. "You get up and go to work the next day, don't worry about it."

And then there was Candice, celebrating the loss of 35 pounds in time for her 30th birthday. Now, she said she wants to learn to drive.

"One thing that I've silently been embarrassed about is the fact that I'm 30 and I still can't drive," she told Sawyer.

Candice needed a little "kick in the butt," so Sawyer and "GMA" arranged for her to take driving lessons.

In all, a tiring, but very satisfying day for Sawyer. "I go home one happy bartender," she said, "in one fine place."