by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

I am starting my own talk show. I figure everyone else has one.

My show will be called “Get A Life.”

It will be not be like Phil or Oprah or Sally or Maury.

It will never be confused with Geraldo.

“Get A Life” will have no guests.

“Get A Life” will have no male strippers. No lesbian truck drivers. No teacher-student love triangles, or circus performers who worship the devil.

There will be no men who want to be women. Or women who want to be men. There will be no porn queens who drive school buses. No Mafia hit men. No nudist cops.

No transvestites.


We will not explore “the relationship.” We are not interested in “the relationship.” We will not examine the spiritual world. Nor will we poke into the sexual habits of military officers, or why daughters blame their mothers for their bad looks.

I will never ask, “Mrs. X, when did you last speak to Elvis?” I will never say, “So, Mr. X, you are a Nazi. . . .”

I will never sip from a coffee cup.

Or prance around with a wireless mike.

Not on my talk show.

Also, I will have no audience.

All the world’s a stage

This way, there will be no spontaneous eruptions from the crowd. There will be no crowd. There will be no cheers for statements like, “Fat people need love, too!” or, “This is the United States of America, pal!”

There will be no theme music.

My show begins with an alarm clock.

And a voice that booms, “Get A Life!”

And then I come on.

But who is on stage?

Simple. All the other talk show hosts. Every one of them. They are the subjects on “Get A Life.” And all their audiences.

We need a big stage.

And I begin. I say, “Phil, isn’t it true that you just want to be rich and famous, and you don’t care how stupid you have to look to do it? Isn’t that why you prattle on, show after show, so loudly you could shatter glass? Isn’t that why you wore that hula-hoop skirt?”

When he goes to answer, I cut him off.

Hey. I’m the host.

“And Oprah,” I say, “isn’t it true you used your weight problem to gain as much cheap publicity as you could? Aren’t you embarrassed by that?”

When she goes to answer, I cut her off.

“Maury, isn’t it true that while you call yourself a journalist, you are really just a sleaze peddler? What’s the matter, ‘Inside Edition’ wasn’t cheesy enough? And Joan Rivers, let’s face it, aren’t you grasping at anything you can find after blowing the Carson gig?

“And Geraldo, aren’t you ashamed by now? Publicly humiliating yourself over and over, just to stay in the public eye? And Sally Jessy Raphael — what’s with the three names?

“Jenny Jones, Jane Whitney, Montel Williams — who are you, and why should we care what you think?

“And Regis and Kathie Lee . . . uh, Regis and Kathie Lee. . . . Forget it. You two are too dumb to bother with. By the way, Regis, PUT DOWN THAT COFFEE CUP!”

And when they go to answer, I say, “Sorry, we have to take a commercial break.”

Hey. I’m the host.

Too many trivial pursuits

When we return, I take on the audiences.

“What is the matter with you people,” I say, walking back and forth in front of them. “Have you no place to go? Have you nothing better to do? Don’t you realize how foolish you look, clapping and hissing over things like “What is sexy underwear?’

“You are trivializing yourselves and this country. Can you imagine what a foreign visitor must think when he flips through the channels and sees so many Americans up in arms over women who have pigs as pets?

“Don’t you realize how rich life can be if you just explore it? If you get out and go places, see things, travel, read books, listen to music — instead of mindlessly flicking on the TV set and dreaming of the day you pop up like a boll weevil when a man sticks a microphone in your face, and you get to say, “Phil, I’d like to ask the woman on the left if her breasts were always that large?”


And then I turn to the camera, hold up a remote control, smile, zap it
— and the screen goes black.

That is my talk show.

You have to admit, it’s different.

Of course I don’t plan to last very long. In fact, “Get A Life” will air just once. And then we will be canceled. For poor ratings.

That’s OK. I know what I will do next.

I will write a tell-all book.


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New book, The Little Liar, arrives November 14. Get the details »

Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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