Sunday, April 15, 2007

Santos? You hardly know us!

I was vastly entertained by this article in's annual April Fool's Day edition, both because I remember the real-world press conference that inspired it and because -- even though I barely watched The West Wing -- I was impressed by the depth and extent of the fictitious parallel political reality that show created. The article reminded me of an idea I had when a friend was explaining one of her many problems with Studio 60 to me. Sketch comedy shows, she said, always have lots of material about politics and current events. But the long lead-times involved with producing an hour-long TV drama made it impossible to do anything remotely timely on the show.

A lightblub went off in my head.

"They should say the show takes place in the West Wing universe."


"Sure, just say the show takes place in the same world as West Wing. Then they could just make up the current events they're talking about and satirizing. One of the cast members could be awful except for his impression of President Santos, and that's why they keep him around and everyone else on the show hates him but they can't fire him til after the next election. Or as a sweeps stunt they could have ex-President Bartlet host an episode. Stuff like that."

"That could actually work."

"They should try it."

They didn't.

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