Now that Sarah Palin has resigned as Alaska's governor, our columnist suggests some TV shows for her to star in...
An open letter to soon-to-be-ex-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin:
My name is Kevin Field, and I am a certified loyal Palinite of the first order.
Like the rest of your acolytes in the press, I was simply STUNNED by your news conference last Friday in which you said you’d be stepping down from the governorship in Alaska at the end of the month. My first reaction was confusion; then anger; then confusion again; followed by hunger (I had missed lunch that day); more anger; then sadness; more confusion yet again – you have to admit, it wasn’t your most comprehensible speech – and finally, acceptance. I hope in my heart of hearts that you’re laying the groundwork for a Presidential run in 2012, because trust me – it will give me PLENTY to write about should that happen.
But for now, I’ll take you at your word. You left the most important decision of not just your career, but perhaps your very life, up to a vote by your children.
That actually sounds quite plausible for you.
Now let’s assume you plan to do what most pundits out there are claiming: you’re getting into the media, most logically in a move to Fox News, where you can make millions hosting your very own TV talk show a la Mike Huckabee. Or perhaps you’ll travel the country giving speeches for receptive and/or paying audiences. (I do NOT recommend talk radio, where hosts are required to know what they’re talking about and can think off the cuff. Not your strength. But you know that already.)
Before you sign any contracts, let me just say that you’re selling yourself short. The real money isn’t in a weekly talk show… it’s in something more daring. Think series. You need a project that actually showcases your talents. After all, you’re a great actress – you managed to sell that “wink” thing several months after most people were sick of it. So I’ve come up with a wide range of possible ventures that I think would suit you perfectly. And while I may just be a minor blogger, please take these proposals to heart. I may not be the most widely-read columnist, nor have the best ideas… but at least I’m no Joel Stein. So hear me out.
First up are the talk shows… you’d hit these out of the park, guaranteed. Think of these as your TV training wheels:
Sarah – the title explains itself. This is the most basic idea of them all, a talk show where you could just be yourself: the white evangelical Oprah. (Heck, your names are almost identical anyway – take the O and P away, add S and A, and what do you get? SARAH. The promos write themselves.)
But I’m less into that idea because it’s so NOT daring. And you are daring, Sarah. How about one of these two options:
Sarah! – the difference here isn’t just in the punctuation… but that exclamation point really does say it all, doesn’t it? Sarah! would be a variety show for the 21st century, starring your whole family… even adorable little Trig! This would showcase popular mainstream acts that also speak of wholesome Christian values – show number one would feature you and Taylor Swift (that little tramp Miley Cyrus doesn’t make the cut), Randy Travis and Stephen Baldwin; show two, you and maybe David Archuleta, Christian ventriloquist Ron Johnson (haven’t heard of him? Do the Google, he’s hilarious) and Kirk Cameron; and from that point on, I think we need to bring back Taylor, Randy and Stephen, alternating each week with David, Ron and Kirk. (It’s hard finding celebrities whose values are as pure as yours.)
Talk Sex with Sarah Palin – we’re about five years late in replacing mega-slut Sue Johanson as host of this show about human intimacy… why not start now and teach sex the Sarah Palin way? It would be all about the importance of teen abstinence, not having sex before marriage, and for God’s sake, NEVER using birth control. Finally, a Nielsen hit for Red State audiences who need to learn about sex from a reliable source!
But let’s shift gears and get into something a little more adventurous: your own reality show. (Don’t panic: everything is scripted anyway...)
Survivor: Washington, D.C. – this spin-off of America’s most popular television show would feature you competing against other tarnished governors who once had higher ambitions for public office, like Mark Sanford, Jim McGreevey, and Eliot Spitzer. Better, we could open it up to scandalized members of Congress, like Tom DeLay, John Ensign, Rick Renzi, Mark Foley… even the Richard Hatch of the Senate himself, Mr. Larry Craig! Whoever proves themselves to be the most despicable, backstabbing game-player gets a shot at the presidency in ’12; the losers must fade away into obscurity once and for all. But I know you can do it, Sarah!
(Lots of Republicans on that list… not sure why that is.)
The Not-So-Amazing Race – in this true-life docudrama, you’d recount in your own words the story of the 2008 Presidential Election. Hearing all the details behind your vice presidential campaign straight from your mouth would prove to be must-see TV! Or so I imagine.
Jon & Kate Plus Eight and Sarah – if there’s one thing lovebirds Jon and Kate Gosselin need at this delicate point in their relationship, it’s advice on how they can better live their lives. That, Sarah, is where you come in: you’ll move into their house with their eight children and tell Jon and Kate at every opportunity what they’re doing wrong in both their marriage and their parenting. Remember, you’re a conservative Republican: no one can do sanctimonious moralizing quite like you!
Project Wasilla Runway – audiences will thrill as you judge Sean Parnell, your replacement as governor in Alaska, as he struggles to get the funds from those so-called “bureaucrats” in “Washington” and their “stimulus money” to build a new runway in tiny Wasilla. What will he do right? What could possibly go wrong? If the money does come, can he oversee the project and make sure it doesn’t go over budget? You’ll be there evaluating his moves every step of the way.
Now let’s go all the way and talk scripted – that’s what those of us in the entertainment business call “fiction.” These are sure to make for some thrilling series that would be watched my millions:
PALIN – a hard-edged, gritty cop show set in Anchorage. After retiring as governor, you miss serving the people of Alaska… so you enroll as a police officer to fight the scourge of drug use and gun violence that you ignored while in office. Think CHiPs on snow machines. I see Holly Hunter playing your partner, assuming we can lure her away from her other cable cop show that no one knows the name of because nobody’s watching it.
How I Met Your Grandmother – this is a wacky comedy featuring husband Todd (played by someone with plenty of sitcom experience – let’s be honest, the real Todd isn’t all that believable) recounting to grandson Tripp (even the name makes me laugh!) the charming story of your relationship all those years ago, when the two of you met in high school and fell in love… stayed together when you went off to college(s)… then had to elope so you didn’t have a bastard child after he knocked you up… ah, the memories! Plus, if the series does well, at the rate your kids are getting pregnant you can eventually follow up with How I Met Your Great-Grandmother and How I Met Your Great-Great-Grandmother. The series keeps renewing itself.
Desperate Housewife – how will Sarah Palin cope with staying home with her family and playing mom again? This show will answer the question. As increasingly frantic members of the Republican leadership beg you to get back into politics each week, you have to juggle your parenting, housework and other responsibilities at the same time while fighting the urge to get back into office. (We can decide later if this would play better as a drama or a sitcom.)
Finally, if all else fails, you may be tempted to go in the other direction, morally-speaking, and try your hand (and other body parts) at pornography. Well, as someone who’s seen Larry Flynt’s Who’s Nailin’ Paylin? – repeatedly – I have to say, you’d be hard-pressed to top Lisa Ann. Besides, such a move would turn 50% of your base against you, namely women and closeted homosexual men. Best to leave porn to the professionals.
That’s it – creatively I’ve run dry, but I’m sure one (or more) of these ideas have piqued your interest. You can contact me care of my representation at the Gersh Agency.