Television Reviews : 'Ron Reagan'

The gods visit the sins of the father upon the children, as the saying goes, and just as Ronald Reagan went from "Bedtime for Bonzo" to "Death Valley Days" to the White House, son Ron can't seem to make up his mind what he wants to be.

After being a dancer, writer and TV journalist, the younger Reagan's latest career choice is also his worst. The guy thinks he's funny.

He's not, and the proof lies in the latest "Cinemax Comedy Experiment," titled "Ron Reagan Is the President's Son." Not a very imaginative title, or a funny one, but it's the most imaginative and funny thing about this show (airing tonight at 9:30 on Cinemax cable).

Let's not blame the kid--maybe he'll have our taxes audited (that's one of the "jokes" here). Let's blame the writers, "Saturday Night Live" veteran Eddie Gorodetsky and "Penn & Teller" member Penn Jillette. Penn's the silent one in the Penn & Teller magic/comedy act; here he talks. Too bad he also writes--unfunny scene after unfunny scene. Example: Secret Service follow Ron's every move, even to the point of dancing when he dances. Ed Meese gets more giggles than this.

The saddest of the many sad things about this "Cinemax Comedy Experiment" is that it besmirches one of cable's finest occasional series. Usually, it really is comic and it really is experimental. Just as Ron Reagan, yes, really is the President's son. It's just that the twain never meet.

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