What Would You Do At Stew’s?

It’s a tough scenario.

You’re busily shopping at Stew Leonard’s. A little old lady comes up and asks you to read a label for her.

Then she has a question about “oxidants.” She wonders if you like mangoes. She warns you about sodium.

What would you do?

That’s the exact question posed by the ABC-TV show of the same name. “What Would You Do?” uses actors to portray difficult social problems, in public settings — a mother yells at her child for not getting an A; a boss sexually harasses a waitress; parents react negatively when their child comes out as gay.

ABC took hidden cameras to Stew’s — stashed behind the dancing cow, maybe? — and filmed shoppers as they were confronted by an actress playing a lonely grandmother.

Nearly all were polite. They took time, chatted, made her feel less alone. Who knew that we’d find our better angels in Stew’s produce aisle?

A Stew Leonard's shopper (left) is filmed by a hidden camera, patiently answering questions from an actress playing a chatty older shopper.

A Stew Leonard’s shopper (left) is filmed by a hidden camera, patiently answering questions from an actress playing a garrulous older shopper.

Then ABC upped the ante. Another actor pretended to be the woman’s embarrassed and irate son. He spoke sharply to his “mother,” and apologized for her behavior to the shoppers she was pestered.

Once again, most folks did the right thing. They said it was no bother. They took her side. One demanded, “Why are you talking to your mother like that?”

One of the kindest reactions of all came from Lou Curcio. A longtime Mario’s regular, he’s always been a stand-up guy. Now the entire nation — or at least those tuning in to “What Would You Do?” — saw his kind heart.

You can, too. Click here (you may have to sign in with your TV provider). Find the July 10, 2015 episode; then fast-forward to the 9:45 mark. Lou’s the guy in the Nado Paving shirt.

Would you be as nice as Lou if no one is watching — except hidden cameras at Stew’s?

Lou Curcio (left) confronts the

Lou Curcio (left) confronts the “son” (actually an actor) of a lonely, chatty old woman.

4 responses to “What Would You Do At Stew’s?

  1. Thanks for sharing…so sweet! Good to know we have so many kind and thoughtful people in and around town.

  2. Joyce Barnhart

    I hope I would behave as well as Lou and others did. I can believe that if I ever live alone, I will become one of those people who talk to strangers anywhere and everywhere.

  3. Diane h silfen

    Anyone who knows Lou would expect nothing less. That is the kind of person he is!!!

  4. Marcy Anson Fralick Staples '70

    I love that show, and saw the episode on Friday. I wondered if any of the shoppers were Westporters. It was a great episode and the actress (grandmother) and actor (son) were wonderful. I’ve watched this show for years, and 99% of the time, the unassuming customers or passers-by do the right thing and support the man, woman or child who’s the underdog, victim or being harassed in these situations. Glad to see the trend continues!