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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Meet "Happy" 


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Originally uploaded by opusmo.
One of the elements of the show I was working on was going to be a short attention span showcase, where Alf would stop the interview and throw to a performer, who would have ten or fifteen seconds to do his or her thing. I wanted to call it "Fifteen Seconds of Something" but the producers, in their infinite wisdom, named it the much blander "Random Showcase"

The fist was to be a man named "Happy" whose talent was tap-dancing while in roller skates. During our first rehersal, he not only couldn't tap-dance, he actually fell down twice. Not a mere slip, but a full-on, legs-in-the-air butt flop.

The stagehands led him to a chair for him to rest as the producers figured out what to do. Soon after I took this photo, he was sent home and the "Random Showcase" element was removed from the show.

I get the impression that this poor old guy used to be able to do his trick, 20 years ago, and felt like he still could. The guy's pushing 80, and he's still chasing after a small sliver of fame. Sadder still, producers were thinking they might keep him in the show, and let him fall down for laughs. And saddest of all, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind this guy would have done it. Just to be on TV.

Reminds me of the joke about the guy whose job it was to clean up mounds of elephant shit in the circus. Somebody asks him if he wants to quit and he says "What, and leave show biz?"

--opus

posted by opus  at 3:13 PM

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