In the past few months, as I’ve recovered from heart surgery and been looking for a job, I’ve had an opportunity to do some things I’d never done before. For one thing, I’ve watched a bit of daytime TV. Generally speaking, it’s horrible. I particularly dislike The Today Show. I’m not exactly sure why, but I always have to fight the urge to throw things at Ann Curry, and I couldn’t care less where in the world Matt Lauer is — as long as he doesn’t show up at our door. Al Roker seems like a very nice fellow. So does the front desk guy at the Marriott, but I don’t want to watch him on TV either. They still drag Willard Scott out now and then to do birthday greetings for centenarians. The segment is sponsored by Smuckers, and pictures of the celebrants are superimposed on a Smuckers Jam label. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s just something a bit off-putting about that. Although I’m sure I’ll be thrilled if I make it to a hundred, and Willard Scott is there wishing me a happy birthday on TV. I’ll be surprised, too, because he’ll be 120 then.
But for some reason, I kinda like Regis and Kelly. Especially Kelly. I’ve often thought that she would be a terrific on-air morning radio partner. She’s funny and quick-witted, extremely likable, and a huge improvement over Kathy Lee Gifford. Kathy Lee is now on a late-morning extension of The Today Show, partnered with some equally annoying woman named Hoda, whose major distinction seems to be that she has the world’s largest nostrils.
And now that Regis has decided to retire after 97 years in television, I have come to the conclusion that I’m a perfect replacement.
I’ve been a broadcaster for more than 30 years. Mainly radio, of course, but what is TV? Just radio with pictures. It means I’d have to sit up straighter and remember that just because I have an itch, it doesn’t mean it’s always okay to scratch. Sounds easy enough.
I’ve had quite a few on-air partners in morning shows… male, female… and I think maybe a duck for a few months. But that was back in the 70s, and some of those memories are pretty hazy. Anyway, I’ve come to know and understand the importance of chemistry on the air, and I’m absolutely positive that Kelly and I would be able to create the magic that ensures a laugh-a-minute morning funfest. Unless the topic was serious, then we could, I’m sure, do the frowny-faced morning somberfest. I mean, we’re both professionals.
It’s not like I’ve never done any TV. I used to do 90-second news capsules during the late afternoon movie on Channel 43 in Melbourne, Florida. That was back when they had old movies on independent TV stations, so it’s been awhile, but I still remember how to read a Teleprompter. I did a TV commercial for a law firm in Illinois. And I’ve done public TV pledge drives. So I know how to be on TV. You just have to remember to switch off your wireless microphone when you go to the restroom during commercials. I learned that lesson the hard way.
They’ve been on-air auditioning several possibilities… the only one of whom I’ve heard is Dana Carvey. He was okay, but did an awful lot of mugging. I’m convinced that the only reason they haven’t called me is because they’ve never heard of me. And that seems to be a surprisingly big obstacle. Still, though, it hardly seems fair.
But I really am the one they’re looking for. For one thing, at the moment I’m out of work, but will be starting a job soon, so they’d better call pretty quickly if they’re interested. But I could start almost immediately. I’d be happy to come in and follow Mr. Philbin around for a few days and pick up some pointers.
Plus, my friends either think I’m pretty funny, or they’re just being polite. But every time I call them up late at night and say, “Hey, do you think I’m funny?” They reply, “Yup. Oh my… look at the time! Gotta go!” And if your friends won’t tell you the truth, who will?
And because my wife is a cute blond, I have plenty of practice sitting next to a cute blond.
Oh, and I work cheap. So if you happen to see Regis or Kelly, please ask them to get in touch, okay? They’re not returning my calls. Tell them that time’s a-wasting, and that I’m just about to begin another job. There’ll be some free tickets to Steve and Kelly in it for you. I promise.