Mayor Acts Like He Needs New Job

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Mayor of Los Angeles seeks new job. Any job. Bus driver. Cop. Astronaut. Will work for $1 a year. References available upon request.

One slight problem: The applicant flunks every job test and bungles every interview.

In a gag video, Richard Riordan, who leaves office in 16 days, takes a stab at comedy acting, playing an ex-mayor on a desperate hunt for a job.

The video, produced by his City Hall staff, premiered Wednesday at a Riordan roast hosted by the Radio & Television News Assn. of Southern California.

Riordan, a lawyer and venture capitalist in real life, starts his job quest on a basketball court, trying out for a job with the Lakers.

"You guys are slow," Riordan tells Lakers Rick Fox and Mark Madsen as he dribbles and shoots baskets while the pros try to block him. "Hey, you want to see me dunk? Hey, come on guys, I can dunk behind my back."

Riordan turns up next at the Los Angeles Police Department, where Chief Bernard C. Parks grants him an interview.

"That academy was a snap," an eager Riordan tells Parks. "Can I start out as a detective?"

No, Parks says. "I had no trouble," the mayor insists. "I got over that 6-foot wall just like that."

Parks responds regretfully, "You may have forgotten, it took you several hours to get over that. In fact, we had to pry your hands off the top."

Riordan says he'll wait for the chief's call. "Don't call us," Parks tells him. "Let me call you."

Next, Riordan sneaks into the office of schools Supt. Roy Romer, whose job the mayor has been rumored to covet. Impersonating Romer, Riordan erupts in anger at a bureaucrat on the phone.

"Listen, I don't care what they told you--I am the superintendent, and I want it done!" Riordan bellows into the phone.

When Riordan finds out Romer is returning to his office, the mayor leaps out of the superintendent's chair, grabs his Richard Riordan-Superintendent nameplate and dashes down a corridor.

"Hi Dick, what are you doing here?" Romer asks.

"Oh, not much," Riordan says as he scurries past.

Riordan applies next at a power plant. Sporting a white hard hat and blue coveralls with "Dick" embroidered on his chest, he tells a control room operator that he saved L.A. from blackouts. He goes on to hit a switch that sets off a wail of sirens and plunges the city into darkness.

The next scene is a DASH bus, with Riordan behind the wheel. "I'm Dick the driver," he tells wary passengers. "I'm trying to get a job."

The befuddled mayor flips through his Thomas Guide, then announces: "In 30 seconds, we'll be either in Chinatown or Westwood."

"I don't know who hired this loony; I should have walked," a passenger whines.

For his final tryout, Riordan dons an orange astronaut outfit and greets his friend Dennis Tito, who recently--really--paid a reported $20 million for a flight into orbit on a Russian space ship. Riordan tells Tito he's heading to outer space.

In the end, Riordan's space ship crashes. From deep in the cosmos, he calls: "I'll be ba-a-a-ck."

But in the video, Riordan says nothing at all about the one job that he actually might seek when he returns from his summer vacation in France: governor of California.

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