You ever see one of those pathetic people walking around Market Square talking to the pigeons? For the longest time I assumed they had suffered some horrible life-altering tragedy. Now I realize the terrible truth: They're all ex-talk show hosts looking for an audience. After seven years as host of PCNC's NightTalk With John McIntire, my show is going off the air due to technical difficulties beyond my control. This is only a test. Wait, no, it appears to be an actual emergency.
We'll be right back after this important message. Well, I guess we won't. Hey, don't touch that dial! Come to think of it, go right ahead. The secrets behind drooling unemployed street yackers on the next McIntire.
Now what the hell do I do? Now if I yammer with Cyril Wecht about some gruesome detail of his latest autopsy, no one will be listening. I suppose I could go down to the morgue and chat with the good doctor there. There would still be an audience of sorts. And it would be very similar to the typical TV audience in Allegheny County, home of the dead and damn near dead. (By the way, look for the next big George Romero flick based on this region, Dawn of the Damn Near Dead.)
I guess I could debrief Romero, but that would upset Sen. Rick Santorum. I guess I could query Jim Roddey, but that might upset Sen. Santorum too. I guess I could ask Sen. Santorum why he doesn't want me to be a funny boy, but no I can't, BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE A DAMN TALK SHOW ANY MORE!
But if I did go down to Mr. Roddey's office and Jim agreed to take my questions, maybe I could invite a few staffers in to, you know, listen and watch. He's always mucking around town with that stone-faced-cop-clone-heat-packin' bodyguard guy: Stoneface could at least pretend to listen, couldn't he?
I'm a little confused about something after seven years of talk shows: Do conversations count if they're not on TV? Didn't Warren Beatty get pissed at Madonna for wanting the camera to be on them constantly during that bad rockumentary from several years ago featuring Madonna giving oral sex to a bottle?
See that's a good question. But I can't ask it to anyone on TV any more.
Remember the old Letterman bit about Phil Donahue standing in the emergency exit stairway of 30 Rockefeller Plaza asking "is the caller there, is the caller there?" I'm afraid that's my future. I guess I could pay for someone to follow me around with a camera constantly, but that's not a talk show -- it's a reality show, and then I'd have to munch on some mule testicles or something, which would prompt an investigation by Sen. Santorum, who is reportedly all over that whole "man-on-mule" thing.
What's behind the demise of NightTalk? I'm not sure, but I'm spreading the rumor that it's another vast right-wing conspiracy headed by the lovable you've-heard-of him-but-you've-never-seen-him Wizard of Oz of the right, Trib publisher Dickie Cougar MellonScaife. The purpose of that is essentially to make me seem more important than I really am ... which, come to think of it, is pretty much the purpose of a TV talk show.
Now the only technical difficulty beyond my control will be when the ATM machine won't give me any cash. I used to be sponsored by accountants and car dealerships and some sort of medical company pushing "the biggest open magnet in Pittsburgh." Now my only sponsor is my lovely and talented significant other with whom I live in sin. I'll be debriefing her (if that's OK with Tricky Ricky) in front of my three cats. All the cool cats watch CouchTalk With John McIntire.
Come to think of it, there were probably nights when sin girl and the cats were the only audience anyway. But at least people had the option to flip by on their way to Larry King (who is also, by the way, damn near dead ... kinda like my career ... waaaaaaahhhhhhhhh).
So if you see a guy in Market Square aggressively interrogating pigeons to see which one pooped on the brand-new Mustang that he bought right before his talk show went off the air (aaarrrgggghhh!), do the dude a favor ... put a damn dollar in the hat.
You'll be one of the proud sponsors of PigeonTalk With John McIntire ... the insiders' insider show that dishes all the poop.