Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Job Application

Okay, it has taken me thirty years to become aware that I may in fact be qualified to realize my lifelong dream of being a talk show host. I have been watching these shows for years. When I was in college, my roommate and I used to stage, entirely for our own enjoyment, our own versions of Johnny Carson and the David Susskind show. Usually, my roommate would be the host and I would the only guest, movie star Jordan Brooks, who was famous mostly just for being a big name-dropper, and I’d talk about how I dumped some unfamous person (most likely, some cute jerk who wasn’t currently recognizing my existence). We also used to fill out library cards (which I still have) with topics like “Women Who Were Formerly Men Married to Men Married to Women Who Were Formerly Men Who Were Formerly Women,” or topics that were more specific to people we knew. If I knew their exact location other than “attic” I’d give you some of the real ones.

Reasons I have come to this conclusion at this late date:
Tony Danza
Tyra Banks

This list could be a whole lot longer, of course, and could include ALMOST ANYONE WHO’S EVER BEEN A TALK SHOW HOST. I do not mean to take any credit away from the list of people who have journalistic qualifications, and that includes Oprah.

But it seems to me that the list of qualifications is so broad it includes:
sitcom stars
soap stars
supermodels
lawyers
magazine editors
motivational speakers
reality show contestants
comics, of course
broadway stars
shrinks
pundits
blowhards
rock stars wives
babes
cartoons
many more I can’t think of
and the category I best fall into:
people you have never heard of in any context

It does not seem to exclude people on the basis of age or race, as far as I can tell, and actually sometimes the more qualified people don’t have the most interesting shows. I’ll take Tyra Banks over Larry King any day, because from what I saw yesterday on her show, Tyra’s planning to keep it real. She took off her makeup and showed photos of her unretouched normal-size thighs next to her retouched skinny-model thighs to prove it, and she has a runway on her stage so that women of all shapes and sizes can work it on the catwalk and feel better about themselves. That’s undeniably awesome. You wouldn't see that on Larry King.

So in thinking about my “concept,” on my talk show I would like to have the following: I’d like to have a mix of celebrities and friends as guests and just come on and talk about me. It would be like the “opposite” of an ordinary talk show. That’s fresh, right? Do you feel me?

Me: Today on our premiere show I’d like to welcome, my husband Ben.
Ben: Hi honey!
Me: Hi baby! What do you have to say about me today?
Ben: That you’re totally awesome and great.
Me: Aw, thanks honey! We have a call from my Dad in Iowa right now. Hi Dad!
Dad: Hi daughter!
Me: Dad, my husband says I’m totally awesome and great. What do you say about that?
Dad: Oh, that’s true.
Me: Thanks, Dad! Oh, have to go, we have a call from my best friend Nina in New York.
Hi Ninaba!
Nina: Hi Bets!
Me: Nina, Ben and Dad are in agreement that I’m totally awesome and great. Would you also agree with that opinion of me?
Nina: Yes, I would. And you’re so funny.
Me: Thanks, Nina! Okay, when we come back, Angelina Jolie will be here to talk about me!

Or:

Me: Welcome, Tom.
Tom Cruise: You don’t know what I know about you.
Me: What?
Tom Cruise: I know. I know more about you than you do.
Me: Really?
Tom Cruise: You’re being glib, Betsy.
Me: Listen, this show is about me, if you know stuff about me I think you should tell me.
Tom Cruise: I know that you take vitamins.
Me: Yes, you did your research, that’s true, Tom. I do take vitamins.
Tom Cruise: But you take the wrong vitamins. And you don’t exercise.
Me: I don’t exercise, that’s also true. But how do you know I take the wrong vitamins?
Tom Cruise: Because I know, Betsy, I just know what you yourself don’t even know.
Me: I’m getting that, Tom Cruise, but so okay, what vitamins should I be taking?
Tom Cruise: I’ve saved hundreds of lives.
Me: That’s what I’ve heard, and yet, I need to draw the focus back to me.
Tom Cruise: Okay well YOU should try saving lives.
Me: Are you saying my talk show isn’t saving lives? Because I think it could.
Tom Cruise: I think your talk show could save lives if you knew what I know. But you don’t.
Me: Okay, let’s try shifting gears here. Have you read my books?
Tom Cruise: Were they written by L. Ron Hubbard?
Me: Um, no, my books were written by me.
Tom Cruise: Are they about aliens?
Me: No, not so much.
Tom Cruise: L. Ron Hubbard is a fantastic author.
Me: Do you have anything else you’d like to say about me before we go to break?
Tom Cruise: I already told you you don’t know what I know.
Me: I’m clear on that point.

Where do I apply? No? You're not feeling it?

10 comments:

mernitman said...

...then you could have A Very Special Episode where there's a guest host -- preferably a celebrity actress who does impersonations of you and/or is playing you in a forthcoming movie -- and you could be a guest (maybe w/ a home video clip to show) and congratulate her on how well she's doing, and she'll say, not as good as you! etc. while the audience applauds...
Loved the Tom interview.

Betsy said...

Good idea. I'm thinking Gwyneth.

Daniel Ridges said...

I would fit under the "blowhard" category.

I'm calling my agent. Pronto!

Yes. I did just write "Pronto". That is going to be my talk-show catch phrase.

DAM said...

I used to love David Susskind. I've always been a late-night-person, and David and I got to know each other when I was in junior high, which is now called middle school, which I don't understand, but OK.

Larry and I are still pretty good friends. He's my 3 am pal. I was hanging with Murphy Brown for a bit, but Nick @ Nite has aired the entire series, so Larry and I got back together. We agred we needed a break. I thought he might not take me back. That happens sometimes. (Look what happened to Rachel and Ross. It took them years to get over their break, AND it was scripted. Larry and I aren't scripted. Our love is real.

jackie said...

Hee! Sooo true.

Your fake interview with the Tom Cruise = brilliant.

Anyway. As long as you have "cartoons" on your list of talk show hosts, can I nominate Stewie from Family Guy?

Betsy said...

Dan, you aren't a blowhard. Supermodel maybe.
Also, I forgot to add tennis players.
Debra, I didn't know about you and Larry. BTW, that friend was our mutual friend KBS.
Jackie, Stewie can apply, but the cartoon I was thinking of was Max Headroom.

Daniel Ridges said...

Max Headroom... or Space Ghost...

megan said...

Please call me to talk about how great you are! I will consult my thesarus and come up with loads of new adjectives!

DAM said...

Aww, now I have wonderful images of you and KBS. Y'know, she'd still play with you. Well, in between episodes of The Brady Bunch.

I'm feeling your concept. If you want, I can arrange something with Larry and get him on your show. During pillow talk, I told him about you and he thinks you're awesome.

Betsy said...

Ha! That'd be great exposure for my show: Betsy!