Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Reno -- DOJ: The Sitcom

I wrote the following around the time of the Million Man March, in October 1995.  The U.S. Park Service was roundly criticized at the time by March organizers because it gave a low estimate of the number of persons who participated.

For my African-American Friends:

Say what you will about Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, but the day Farrakhan becomes dictator is the day we won't have to listen to Silent Night 50,000 times for the entire month of December.

Did you hear about the performance of Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand on the Mall?  The Park Service said that's a misnomer--It really should be called the Symphony of 280.


Reno--DOJ would be a sitcom that tracks the activities of the nation's highest law enforcement official.  In the proposed pilot Janet Reno would, together with her deputies, investigate a job termination about nothing.  Yes, a job termination about nothing--that's what the show would be about, nothing.

RENO--DOJ, pilot, Act I, Scene A:

Janet Reno and Jamie Gorelick seated in a  conference room, filled with boxes of documents.  The documents are letters written by a paralegal at a major DC law firm.

Gorelick:  Hypercathect, alloplasty . . .  Is this English?  What is this?  And who is Malcolm?  Two letters to Jerry Seinfeld--that says something right there.  [Hands letter to Janet Reno]

[Reno reads letter]

Janet Reno: I'm calling about Gary Freedman.

Jerry Seinfeld:  I was waiting for your call.

Janet Reno:  Do you know who he is?

Jerry Seinfeld:  No, I don't.  I don't know who he is.

Janet Reno:  He wrote two letters to you.

Jerry Seinfeld:  The name sounds familiar.

Janet Reno:  Who is Malcolm?

Jerry Seinfeld:  I don't know.  I do not know anyone named Malcolm, and I have no idea why someone would assume I know anyone named Malcolm.

Janet Reno:  But he sent you two letters that mention someone named Malcolm.

Jerry Seinfeld:  Miss Reno, I have to tell you.  Millions of people watch my TV show.  About 60% of those people suffer from mental disorders.  I receive thousands of letters, and about 80% of the people who write to me suffer from mental disorders.  And those people who write more than once generally are the most gravely afflicted.  I would say, just based on statistical probability, your Gary Freedman, whoever he may be, fits into the latter category.

Janet Reno:  Mr. Seinfeld, than you for your cooperation.  I have to ask, just out of personal curiosity, are they really thinking of doing a comedy version of Ellen?

Jerry Seinfeld:  No, Miss Reno, I can tell you, that show definitely doesn't lend itself to comedic treatment.  Give my regards to Louis Freeh.

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