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Small Wonders: You too can be in show business!

June 08, 2012|By Patrick Caneday

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.)

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