A Plan for World (Comedy) Domination
Image has not been found. URL: http://www.washingtonindependent.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/comedians-208x300.jpgThese guys will all soon be the personal property of Harry Shearer. (Flickr: Trainman74)
He doesn’t know this yet, but I’m putting in a bid to purchase Bruce McCall.
I like and admire Bruce, but that has nothing to do with my plan. I happen to know that he’s up to his ears with a mortgage on his condo. Since that mortgage has long since been securitized and sold to a Singapore bank that’s about to fail, I can swoop in and get the whole package on the cheap.
Hey, vultures gotta eat, too.
As fine a purchase as that will be, it’s just the opening move of my plan.
I’ll leverage my Bruce property to the hilt, and go on a comedy and humorist buying spree — Joy Behar, Steve Carell, Chris Buckley, Sandra Bernhard, Craig Ferguson. They’ll all fit nicely into my portfolio. Leveraging them will net me Dave, Jay and Conan. Maybe even Matt Groening.
This isn’t about the hang, interesting as that prospect might be. My purpose is to create a corporate humor leviathan. Maybe we’ll call it American International Comedy, or AIC.
Old-school thinkers might surmise that my ultimate goal is to create a kind of monopoly, and raise everybody’s price — what you might call the Mike Ovitz approach. But this is now, and what I’m after is simple: a comedy combine that’s too big to fail.
Illustration by: Matt Mahurin
That’s only the beginning. More leverage brings more talent, and more connections to media leviathans worldwide — how many countries does Ricky Gervais entertain? How many state-owned TV networks have millions tied up in “Simpsons” reruns?
There’s no point in being too big to fail unless you can tiptoe or tapdance right up to, or just over, the edge of the cliff.
We’ll invest everybody’s earnings in perfectly wonderful financial instruments that the humorists themselves will invent. Then, boom! Or, strictly speaking, whatever the opposite of boom is.
Sure, there will be those outliers who think the government has no business bailing out a collection of laughmasters. Do they understand how much property Will Ferrell owns in Mexico? If all those haciendas get dumped on the market at once, ay caramba!
Once the government gives us a multi-billion-dollar bridge loan — cynics will call it a “bridge loan to nowhere,” but let them laugh — the feds will own 80 percent of all of yoksters, and we can relax.
Harry Shearer is the host of the weekly radio show “Le Show,” the co-writer of “This Is Spinal Tap” and a musician and actor. His new album is “Songs of the Bushmen.”