I have this fantasy.... No, not that one, gutter-brain.
In my fantasy, I'm a contestant on a TV trivia game show. Not “Jeopardy!” — though I love to watch it, the show is only for former spelling bee champs, savants and people with nothing better to do during college but study.
Nor am I talking about “Wheel of Fortune.” Entertaining in its own banal way, if Joe Contestant needs to buy a vowel when the clue is “ocean vessel” and he already has “Tit_nic,” that's not a show I'd get much satisfaction out of being on.
I'm talking about game shows that require adequate knowledge of the world without a PhD — “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and “Who's Still Standing?” come to mind.
Side note: I want to be in the next trivia show development meeting when the topic of what to call the new show comes up. “Who wants to be stabbed in the eye with this pencil if they suggest a title that starts with ‘Who'?”
But I digress.
So, in my effort to have an anonymous stranger hand me a check that will cover the down payment on a house (I'm not greedy) and show off my Rainman-like knowledge of self-absorbed '80s movies (“I'll take Brat Pack for $1,000, Alec”), I signed up for a daily email from a website that specializes in casting reality and game shows.
And, outside of political campaigns, I think I've found perhaps the single best place on the planet to witness what is truly wrong with our society.
If you thought “Montel,” “Jerry,” TLC, E! and Animal Planet had already scraped the bottom of the barrel for human oddities and loathsome behavior, just wait until these casting calls go into production:
Casting hot messy stay-at-home dads! (Is there any other kind of stay-at-home parent?) Are you a real estate agent with psychology experience? (Finally, home buyers get psychologically evaluated before getting a loan they can't afford.) Do you make money participating in paid clinical, medical, body/mind trials? (Make money? No. But I did get superpowers this way.)
Do you own or work at a funeral home? (Admittedly, this is a show I might watch.) Casting women 50-plus years old happily dating men 15 to 30 years younger (pretty obvious why they're so happy.) Do you work and live with your parents? (“Get an Apartment” now casting!) National talk show looking for deadbeat teen dads! (Exploring what happens to the sons of adult deadbeat dads.)
Major TV network casting for tattoo horror stories! (Not to be confused with “Tattoo Horror Stories: What happened after ‘da plane' left Fantasy Island.”) Casting people who think they are good liars (Congress is looking for you!) National talk show casting audience to be hypnotized on TV! (Wouldn't this be most of America?)
I dress like a woman and my family doesn't approve! (Women need not apply.) Casting charismatic blacksmiths (Boring! Make it vampire or zombie blacksmiths and they might be on to something.) Has “50 Shades of Grey” inspired you to spice up your sex life? (My guess is this is not a cooking show.)
Casting engaged virgins! (America wants to mock you for having some self-respect.) Casting individuals, families and organizations living “off the grid” (they may need to use smoke signals rather than the Internet to cast this one.) Casting moms and daughters who date the same men (from the producers who brought you “My Mother Thinks She's My BFF!”)
Have you had butt implants or are you interested in a butt makeover? (Show the world how to make an ass of yourself!) Casting nationwide for engaged teens! New show will help pay for your wedding! (Because TV networks need to bankroll more troubled marriages!) “I do extreme things to my body for good looks!” casting now! (So do I, but I don't brag about it.)
Now casting “I'm Addicted to Tanning” (There needs to be a cooling off period before ripping stories from today's headlines.)
Is your dad a party animal? Does he party with you? (Juice boxes and sockless Twister. That's how I roll.)
And last but not least: Does your family always get compared to the Osbournes or Gene Simmons' family? (Only when we trash our hotel room.)Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times