Posts Tagged ‘writers strike’

The Gripes of Wrath

Posted in General on November 12th, 2007 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

The writers’ strike has left us with this shocking realization: Larry King is the most intelligent man on television. He doesn’t need a staff of ventriloquists; he really knows every Esther Williams movie.

In today’s spam, along with the usual offers from billionaire Nigerian princes, was this advertisement:


Earn $200 an hour harvesting punchlines. Our workers’ camps have showers and Yoga instructors.

Yes, they tempt you with Paradise. But once you load the wife, the kinfolk and the pug into the truck, then drive to Californie (making a detour to push some of the kinfolk into the Grand Canyon), you’ll find the wages have gone down to $110 an hour. You struggle all day but then don’t get paid; the overseer doesn’t like your satirical commentaries on the Byzantine Empire. (Jay Leno has never heard of it.) So, rather than being beaten up by Ward Bond to the tune of “Red River Valley”, I’ll forego my career in migrant labor.

But without my scab wit, will Hollywood be forced to surrender? Not quite. The producers know the American public and the extent of our attention span. So, expect the networks to premiere such new shows as “I Love Lucy” and “Gunsmoke”. Thanks to computer technology, the shows can be updated to include profanity and nudity. (A nude Spring Byington might be hotter than you think.)

Even the gameshows can prove that they can do without writers. “Wheel of Fortune” now will allow misspellings. On “Jeopardy” the contestants will take questions from the audience.

Furthermore, the networks can buy television shows from abroad. For instance, Britain’s “Coronation Street” has 47 years of episodes, and it is in nearly intelligible English. (Someone from London can dub what they’re saying in Manchester.) Add Japanese samurai series and Mexican soap operas, and you have a full broadcasting schedule.

In fact, the networks may never again have to hire American writers. High school students in India are willing to work for extra credit. As television has repeatedly shown, you can write for any series with just two years of English, a subscription to Playboy, and a copy of “Yiddish for Dummies”.