Anyone who takes the Iran- contra hearings seriously all of the time should not be taken seriously any of the time.
Brooke Jones, who reports the “news” at 6:50, 7:50, 8:50 and 9:50 a.m. on radio station KUTE-FM (101.9), has the right idea. Some people do stand-up comedy, Jones does stand-up news. A sample:
“This just in . . . the contragate panel has just announced that there is absolutely no evidence linking Ronald Reagan to the presidency.”
And: “So, what we’ve got here is a case of Ronald Reagan not knowing anything . . . the Justice Department not seeing anything . . . and Ed Meese not remembering anything. Today’s episode of ‘Uncle Sam Meets the Three Stooges’ will continue after this message.”
All right. Enough of this levity. Time to get down to the serious business: planning the inevitable TV careers of your favorite Iran-contra figures.
After long and serious study, I have come up with the following ideas that, being a patriot myself, I offer free:
First, The Ollie Package, TV projects tailored to Lt. Col. Oliver L. North.
-- “Shreds,” teaming North with Diane Keaton in a passionate movie about an idealistic young man whose life as a committed radical is periodically recalled by a series of talking-head witnesses who were his actual friends and companions. Remarkable climactic scene in which the hero is discovered by his wife, shredding his copy of Playboy.
-- “Rambollie,” a thrilling action movie in which a patriotic North leads a select team of Green Berets on a dangerous covert mission that is so covert that it cannot be revealed in the movie. In an exciting finale, though, Cuba disappears.
-- “Hullo, Ollie.” In a stirring miniseries, North portrays Oliver Hardy of the brilliant Laurel and Hardy comedy team, giving added dimension to one of Hollywood’s giants. When Laurel forgets the words to the national anthem, Hardy kills him.
-- “Mr. and Mrs. North,” with Ollie and his wife, Betsy, as a sophisticated couple who stumble on a new Sandinista murder each week.
-- “Mohammad Ollie,” a docudrama about North, the Marine boxer.
-- “The Adventures of Ollie and Harriet,” a sitcom that returns to the basics. Episode one: Ollie is upset when the boys choose elementary school over combat training and underwater demolition.
Next comes The Poindexter Package, projects keyed ,to Rear Adm. John Poindexter.
-- “I Don’t Remember Mama,” a slightly different twist on the stage musical, movie and TV series about a turn-of-the century Norwegian family in San Francisco, with Poindexter taking over the role of Papa Lars Hansen, who is unable to recollect members of his own family. One day Papa discovers Dagmar reading a romance novel in the parlor.
Papa: “Someone gave you that book, ja?”
Dagmar: “Mama did.”
Papa: “Who is Mama?”
Dagmar: “Mama is your wife, Papa.”
Papa: “Who is Papa?”
-- “This Is Your Life” revival, hosted by Ralph Edwards. Poindexter is the regular guest of honor, surprised each week by friends and members of his staff who tweak his memory on how he spent the previous day with them.
-- “What’s My Name?” A delightful memory game show with Poindexter and President Reagan weekly matching wits with two amnesiacs, the winning team to compete in a grand championship against a pair of yaks.
-- “The Recollector,” a disturbing science-fiction thriller about a deranged government official who turns from collecting butterflies to holding members of Congress at locations he can’t recall.
-- “The Wackiest Ship in the Administration,” a slapstick comedy with Adm. Poindexter as the maverick skipper of a leaky boat whose zany crew is always getting into mischief. Lots of high jinks.
The Meese Package, tailored to Atty. Gen. Edwin Meese.
-- “Meese on the Orient Express,” a nail-biting mystery movie, with Meese taking over the murder probe from Hercule Poirot in a new version of the famous Agatha Christie story. The case is a test of Meese’s investigative skills. After shrewdly ordering the suspects to “Touch everything!,” he then leaves the club car, but unfortunately makes a wrong turn and falls off the train.
-- “Mr. Ed.” A few changes, as this time the horse plays Wilbur and the attorney general moves to the other side of the barn door as Mr. Ed, from where he dispenses pearls of wit and wisdom.
Sample: Mr. Ed Meese pokes his head through the door and immediately begins singing, “A horse is a horse, of course, of course. . . .” Kids will love it.
The Miscellaneous Package.
-- “Dr. Ruth and Mr. Hyde,” a movie of such demonic evil and horror that it frankly may be too strong for a general audience and will surely test the tolerance of censors. A sex therapist who lives a rather conventional life by day, taping condom commercials and appearing on “Hollywood Squares,” is transformed each night into the hideously jovial Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.). Definitely not for children.
-- “Boland for Dollars,” an inventive new sports series. Nicaraguan contra supporters compete for cash by flinging Rep. Edward P. Boland (D-Mass.), author of the controversial Boland Amendment, at rows of pins.
-- “Jack the Gipper,” a shocking science-fiction series that begins with Rep. Jack Brooks (D-Tex.), perhaps the Reagan Administration’s severest critic on the Iran-contra panel, awakening one morning to discover that he has become Reagan. Revealing the rest would spoil the surprise ending.
-- “Where’s My Hair?” Exciting new game show featuring Senate chief counsel Arthur Liman.
-- “Hatchnet.” New crime series in which Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (D-Utah) regularly dresses down criminals.
-- “Nuts Landing,” dramatic prime-time soap opera. The families of Manucher Ghorbanifar, Albert A. Hakim and Ret. Maj. Gen. Richard V. Secord move to the same cul-de-sac.
-- “The Torture Game.” A big payoff awaits the contestant who can listen longest to lawyers.