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By now you’ve heard the news that Jay Leno and NBC have decided to give the late-night talk show format a whirl in prime time. Most articles discussing this potential major change in television programming mention the possibility of enormous profits if this idea is successful. The costs of a talk-show are relatively low in the long run, especially when compared to dramas and sitcoms. If a show that cheap can make make huge profits in late night, imagine the potential earnings of prime-time ratings.

Inspired by a desperate network’s out-of-the-box thinking, the thought came across my mind that that our government, pretty strapped right now but having to spend even more on the strapped economy, could use a little cash infusion itself. Too bad the government can’t put on a profitable, entertaining, and informative show five nights a week and make easy cash.

Wait, why not?

I mean, Barack Obama is all over the airwaves anyway these days, appointing Cabinet members, offering up plans, telling the current President what he should do while reminding everyone that he’s not President yet, and of course, going “Rod who?”

In the interest of a new, more transparent government, and tax deductions for all participating advertisers, live from Washington, D.C., it’s Government Live! With President Barack Obama! (Sometimes, when the President needs a day off, you’ll get Joe Biden. Joe Biden will make a fine David Brenner or Garry Shandling for this generation.)

“But”, the skeptics out there are asking, “what the hell is Barack Obama going to talk about for an hour?” No worries. Like every well-designed show, we have a format all set up: fast-paced, entertaining, informative, and chock-full of opportunities for the people to learn. It’ll be like a civics class every night, except more fun! Check it out:

Segment 1 — What I’m doin’: Basically his monologue, where he pretty much tells the American people what he’s doing to fix the country. About five minutes. The goal is three minutes of explanation and information and two minutes of inspiration.

Segment 2 –The People’s Briefing: The President sits down, takes a load off, and sits down with someone from the government live via satellite, from the field, whether it’s the front lines of the war on terror or restructuring of the auto industry, where people can see results. Not to mention light banter, of course.

Segment 3 — The Big Idea: The evening’s main guest, usually a Congressman or Cabinet Member, comes on to discuss the big issue of the day. It’s a free-flowing conversation, hopefully designed to stimulate thought. Not to mention of course, embarrassing stories and wildly amusing anecdotes.

Segment 4 — Media Roundtable:Everyone loves pundits, but let’s see what we get when they get to punditize in front of the President himself. Sure, it might be awkward at first, but soon, we’ll be hoping for the kind of no-holds barred discussion of the issues you get on…um.. well…uh, it’ll be like a more formal “Around The Horn“.

Segment 5 — Haterade! : In the interest of equal time, this segment is devoted to the opposition. Some Republican comes on and tells you why these aren’t good ideas and what Ronald Reagan would do if he were still alive. Then, as all good American TV does, we rip off the British. Designated Hater of the Day gets a to ask the President three questions in the style of British Parliament : “Whare is the President getting all this money for these public works projects?! Does he hope to simply print it?” It’ll be confrontational, provide the show’s dramatic climax, and lead perfectly into…

Segment 6 — Musical guest: Because you always have to have a musical guest on a talk show. Period.

Segment 7 — 42 cents: In other words, the mailbag segment, where the President talks to the people. From a safe distance deep inside the White House, of course. A nice, snappy way to wrap up the show.

With that kind of setup, you won’t even know you’re watching a government informational program! And with the high ratings you’d undoudtedly get from a nation on edge, you could easily clear about a billion dollars a year! With that kind of money rolling we could easily put, like, a light, easily repairable scratch in the deficit!

Look, we gotta start somewhere. You got anything better, hater?


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