Tuesday was election day (I learned on Wednesday). I am reminded of the election episode my partner, David and I wrote for the TONY RANDALL SHOW.
I’ll pause for a moment while you say “what the hell was the TONY RANDALL SHOW?" It was an MTM series in the late 70’s starring the late Tony Randall as a judge in Philadelphia. It’ll probably never be shown again but it was a damn funny show. Below is the opening and closing title sequences. (It's amazing we had any time to actually do the show, the opening titles were so friggin' long.)
In this particular episode, Tony’s character runs for Superior Court Judge, his opponent dies during the election but too late for his name to be removed from the ballot. Lo and behold, he wins. Tony was beaten by a dead man. The show played great all week with hardly any changes. We were expecting great things.
And then on show night, in front of the audience – death, nothing, tumbleweeds, crickets.
Needless to say, we were stymied.
One of the executive producers was doing the warm-up, and was so mad he turned on the audience. (It didn’t help that the entire staff was drinking frozen margaritas in the prop room between scenes).
He started saying things like, “Hey, I think your hearse is waiting”, “Hey, wasn’t that moderately amusing?”, and the tag was Tony entering his office which was now completely empty (his furniture moved in anticipation of the certain victory) to which the warm-up man shouted at the audience, “Get it?! What’s different about that room? Anybody?”
It was only after the crowd filed out that we learned the truth. The entire audience was Hispanic, bussed in, and spoke no English.
Remember all the bad things I said about the laugh track? We sure used it that week.