Dear Walt Disney Company,
American television will never be the same after this summer, as Regis Philbin will stepping down from the morning talk show throne that he has held since 1983. Regis has become an American institution unto himself, hosting “Live” every weekday morning, as well as for hosting “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, which jumpstarted the game show craze of a decade ago.
His friendly, likeable, harmlessly-manic demeanor, as well as his recognizable image, has made his first name synonymous with one man, and one man alone.
[adinserter block=”2″]Regis Philbin is going to be extremely hard to replace outright.
And that’s why I suggest that you don’t do it.
See, the people in charge of designating a replacement for Regis are going to look for the same qualities that he possesses, namely his charm and affability. So names like Anderson Cooper, Jeff Probst, and others are going to be kicked around for the next few months, just to see who catches on with the public. Debates will take place on Twitter and Facebook, and such names will be discussed on the evening tabloid shows.
It was hard enough replacing Bob Barker on The Price is Right. Drew Carey has done an admirable job in filling Bob’s lofty loafers, but it wasn’t until he added elements of his improvisational humor did the show become “his”. When Carey tried to host the show the way Barker had, he came off as a second-rate impostor with none of the ‘senior suave’ that Mr. Spayed-Or-Neutered has.
Cooper and Probst and the like will be fine hosts, but the show might not hit the ground running. It’s not going to be easy for regular viewers to see somebody other than Regis, trying to be Regis. I’m not saying that Anderson Cooper is going to speak with a high-throated Bronx accent like “Rege”, but you get my point.
That’s why I’m suggesting someone completely different than Regis Philbin to host “Live” on your affiliates. Someone who is the diametric opposite of Regis in every way, just to give the show a new flavor, a new spin, and a feel all its own.
I’m suggesting, as the new host, Charlie Sheen.
Now, before you tear this letter up and throw it into your Epcot Center-shaped wastebasket, please hear me out.
I know that Sheen’s had a pretty rough month, year, adult life, what-have-you, but that’s what would make the concept work. The fact that Charlie Sheen is completely different in Regis in every way would shock and titillate the viewing public.
“Charlie Sheen?!?! ARE THEY CRAZY?!?!” is one possible thing they may yell.
“I’M GONNA BOYCOTT ABC AND DISNEY, THOSE %&$*$( $*(%()%)” is another.
First off, don’t listen to any potential boycotts. TV viewers can be bought off with anything. Since the viewing public that time of day is mostly adult women between 27 -65, just give the affiliates a talk show hosted by Kate Gosselin in the following hour. Women love Kate Gosselin and her allegedly fascinating hairstyle changes, so this should be an easy sell.
But back to Party Hardy Charlie here.
Charlie Sheen would be the perfect host for the reasons that follow.
First off, it’s live television. Think about it: ‘live television’. You’re taking Charlie Sheen, who is allegedly the kind of guy who stays up all night sniffing coke, partying with escorts, consuming alcohol, and doing all three of these things simultaneously, and you’re trying to get him ready to do a talk show at 9 AM EST in the morning.
Oh the drama!
Imagine the excitement of people flipping on ABC at 8:58, anticipating seeing Charlie Sheen in all of his splendor. The man who usually doesn’t get out of bed until the crack of dinner suddenly has to get up early on weekdays and host a nationally broadcast talk show? If I ever forget to set my DVR for this when I’m at work, I’ll never forgive myself.
How would Sheen be dressed? Would he be hung over? Would the make-up lady miss the dried blood under his nose? Would he be coherent? See, you’d tune in to see these things, because it’s a self-renewing escapade. You KNEW Regis was going to be a professional every day, and thus there was no novelty for most people to watch. Seeing if Charlie Sheen can hold steady for an hour is worth parking my rump on the sofa for.
Secondly, his brother is Emilio Estevez. By getting Sheen under the Disney umbrella, we’re one step closer to Mighty Ducks 4. Joshua Jackson won’t be doing anything either after FOX throws in the towel and cancels Fringe. Plus, you can have the Ducks face an evil Canadian team headed by Justin Beiber. If I know you guys the way I think I know you, you’re already on the phone with Charlie’s agent.
[adinserter block=”1″]Thirdly, there’s the suspense of how he treats the guests. Sheen has already dehumanized his ex-wife Denise Richards, as well as subsequent wife Brooke Mueller, so he clearly has no problem being ignorant to others. Lord only knows what he’s said to that fat kid on Two and a Half Men off camera. Imagine what Sheen would say or do in the presence of an actor or actress that he’s interviewing. Forget Regis lobbing softballs for the celebs to hit; give me Sheen calling Natalie Portman enough names to give the network censor carpal tunnel syndrome! Have him absent-mindedly ask Zach Galifianakis if he’s “holding”! Who needs the same self-serving celebrity movie plug interviews when you could have Charlie Sheen raising the bar for must-see TV with his own bumbling version of SportsCenter’s “Hot Seat”?
Fourthly, the Glantz-Culver Line could lay odds on how long until Kelly Ripa walks off the job. November? December? See, you can get the compulsive gamblers involved! And how long until Sheen’s new co-host is someone like Sasha Grey?
So there you have it. This is my modest proposal on how to make television history by having Charlie Sheen redefine talk shows as we know them. I’m just a simple man who enjoys being entertained, and I have to say that, if you really cared what people want, you’d give them TV worth looking forward to.
It won’t even take much to win a negotiation with Sheen, either. Just whip out a briefcase and watch him shake like a leaf on a tree. It doesn’t even have to have anything in it.
A Loving Fan