There’s been much finger-pointing following the public execution – excuse me, “reassignment” of Ann Curry from her position as co-host of THE TODAY SHOW. Who’s to blame? NBC? Matt Lauer? Well, it turns out with all the corporate take-overs NBC has endured over the last couple of years, the man really pulling the strings is none other than Charles Montgomery Burns. This blog has received a secret tape made in his office that explains the whole messy affair. This is a byKenLevine.com exclusive. I expect to be flooded with calls from every major news organization and CNN.
But here first, for my loyal readers, is a transcription of that recording:
SMITHERS: (over an intercom) Yes, sir.
(Burns hums “MMMBop” and two beats later Smithers is heard entering.)
BURNS: What took you so long?
SMITHERS: I was giving Dan Harmon notes.
BURNS: What show is that nitwit on?
BURNS: Oh! He needs to use Chevy Chase more!
SMITHERS: That’s exactly what I told him, sir.
BURNS: He’s the only one who’s funny on that misbegotten show.
SMITHERS: He should be the face of our network, sir.
BURNS: Without question! The kids love him. But that’s not why I brought you in here, Smithers.
SMITHERS: Chelsea Handler said no to your sexual advances, sir.
BURNS: Drat! Promise her a sitcom.
SMITHERS: Which hotel would you like me to reserve a suite?
BURNS: I don’t care. The one I had with that Whitney person will be fine.
SMITHERS: Ah, yes. The Times Square Marriott. The champagne, Viagra, and hair piece will all be chilled and waiting.
BURNS: Excellent! Now to the business at hand. We have to fire Ann Curry.
SMITHERS: Absolutely, sir. The girl has to go. I can't believe we waited this long. But may I ask why?
BURNS: Why? Why? Why she had the audacity to slap my face.
SMITHERS: Uh, that was Julie Chen, sir.
BURNS: Oh. Well. The yearning has passed. Fire her anyway.
SMITHERS: I’m afraid that due to the union we’re going to have to show cause before we can do that, although it needs to be done.
BURNS: Damn those infernal unions! From now on I want MEET THE PRESS to come out of Ottawa. We'll break them, the bastards!
SMITHERS: Yes, but returning to Ann Curry…
BURNS: A reason for dismissal? Oh, fiddle-di-dee. She doesn’t sparkle on cooking segments. Off with her head.
SMITHERS: That is unconscionable I will grant you that, but I’m not certain it’s enough -- avoiding-litigation-wise.
BURNS: There’s no chemistry. How about that?
SMITHERS: Actually, I think she and Matt Lauer get along nicely.
BURNS: I mean no chemistry between her and ME!
SMITHERS: Gotcha, sir. Zinc and Yttrium.
BURNS: She doesn’t measure up to past hosts. Now Deborah Norville, she was the oyster's ice skates. And the public loved her.
SMITHERS: You might be thinking of Katie Couric. Or Jane Pauley.
BURNS: Well, whoever had the colonoscopy. Now that was great television. In fact, take a note: I want all NBC talent to have on-air colonoscopies. Let's see ONCE UPON A TIME compete with that!
SMITHERS: I of course agree with you that Ann Curry is a liability, but there may be a PR issue.
BURNS: How so? And stop sniveling on my desk.
SMITHERS: Sorry, sir. Well, as valid as those reasons to let her go are, the public might not see it that way. And instead they might blame you, sir.
BURNS: Me? What did I do? Is it my fault she can’t cook a ham and is married to Les Moonves?
SMITHERS: Uh, that’s Julie Chen.
BURNS: Well, whoever says “This is TODAY on NBC” and is Asian, fire her sorry ass! But do a colonoscopy first. And blame someone else.
SMITHERS: Right. Of course. I suppose we could say Matt Lauer wanted her off the show.
BURNS: Who’s he?
SMITHERS: Her co-host.
BURNS: Yes! Yes! That’s it! He’s jealous of her talent. She wouldn’t sleep with him. Something like that so the public will be on his side.
SMITHERS: Only one problem, sir, although that is a brilliant idea.
BURNS: She did sleep with him. Oooh, wait’ll Moonves hears about that.
SMITHERS: No. I have a number of memos from Matt saying he really does believe in her and strongly advises we give her more time. Eventually, he claims, the audience will really love her.
BURNS: So he is sleeping with her.
SMITHERS: No. I believe that’s how he truly feels.
BURNS; Well, destroy those memos! Shred them!
SMITHERS: They're emails, sir.
BURNS: Then shred the computers!
SMITHERS: What if he goes to the press?
BURNS: Hmmm. We have to put the fear of God into him. I know. Make him host the Golden Globes red carpet show.
SMITHERS: Sir, with all due respect, he didn’t kill anybody.
BURNS: I don’t care! Besides, this will all blow over in two days. Nobody is going to care. I didn’t get to run the National Broadcast Company by not knowing precisely what the public likes and doesn’t like.
SMITHERS: Fair enough, sir. So who should replace her?
BURNS: I’ve had my eye on that Rachel Maddow. Call her and reserve my suite at the Times Square Marriott. Chill the champagne and Viagra. Heh heh heh!
SMITHERS: Alright, sir. But I really don’t think that’s going to play out the way you think it will.
(At that point the tape cut out.)