The way I see it, the summer network press tour that gets under way this week at the Universal Registry Hotel in Universal City is going to be a piece of cake.
Really.I mean, think about it. I'm a writer, right? (hey, none of that smart-alecky stuff, you guys.) And here in L.A., the writers are all on strike, right? So I figure that as long as I'm here, I'll go to the press conferences and screening sessions and try to catch an extra interview or two. But I'll have to save all my writing for mid-August, when I get back in Utah. Right? Wrong. My editor told me before I left that I'm a writer, not a writer. (And it's a good thing she straightened me out, too, because I was about to hit her up for more creative control and a bigger cut on foreign syndication.) So OK. You can make me write. but there are some things you can't make me do. And I'm officially serving notice right now that on this summer press tour I absolutely, positively WILL NOT under any circumstances:
- Expect rock music stars to respond to questions like normal people.
- Ask Sean Penn to pose for a picture.
- Pick up any more used cigar butts, even if they do belong to George Burns.
- Frown at anyone on the freeways (I know they haven't been shooting lately, but you never know).
- Try to find a good reason for the new syndicated series, "A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy's Nightmares."
- Believe anyone from ABC when they try to convince me that they're still going to have more new episodes of "Moonlighting" this year than they did last year.
- Trust any male producer or PR-type who wears more jewelry than my wife.
- Pretend to understand Brandon Tartikoff's explanation for taking "A Year in the Life" and "Aaron's Way" off the air.
- Pay any attention to the Miss California Venus USA pageant, which is taking place in the next ballroom over.
- Ask Vanna White to spell something. Anything.
- Tell Ted Turner that if he loves the Soviet Union so much maybe he should just move there.
- Bring up the subject of network prime time coverage of the upcoming Republican National Convention (maybe if we don't mention it they'll forget all about it.)
- Ask any more of my colleagues for evaluations of incoming KUTV News anchor Bob Evans (you're welcome, Barberi).
- Eat kiwi fruit.
- Offer to give CBS's NBA coverage team directions to Utah for their first-ever regular season telecast from the Salt Palace on Christmas Day.
- Put on another crazy Hawaiian shirt for anyone - even Tom Selleck.
- Remind myself after watching the six hours of "War & Remembrance" that ABC plans to show us that that's only one-fifth of the entire production.
- "Do" lunch.
- Start humming the ABC Olympic Theme during sessions on NBC's Olympic coverage.
- Ask Dick Butkus, Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder's replacement on CBS's "NFL Today," if he thinks blacks are inherently superior athletes to whites, too.
- Get too excited about the new syndicated series, "The Munsters Today."
- Ask Ray Combs, the former LDS missionary who hosts the new "Family Feud" game show, if he goes home on Monday nights and has Family Home Feud.
On second thought, I may want to use that one. Is it too late to call off this strike?