FOX, the network that brought us Trading Spouses and Nanny 911, wants native son Joe Buck to host a late-night talk show starting in 2009. FOX hopes Buck, who followed hall-of-fame father Jack to the Busch Stadium broadcast booth and is now the national voice of FOX Sports, can compete with the likes of Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and David Letterman. A pilot for the show, produced by a former Saturday Night Live writer and co-starring an Ethiopian New York City cab driver named Abebe, has already been shot.
The Ethiopian cab driver is a great touch, but Buck's gonna need a wingman an Ed McMahon, if you will. For that role Unreal would cast former St. Louis Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver, Buck's senile sidekick during national baseball broadcasts.
We can see it now...
Joe Buck: Welcome to Buck Buddies, the "Chevy 'This Is Our Country' Tonight Show" on FOX, presented by Taco Bell. I'm Joe Buck, and with me is Tim McCarver. Are you as excited as I am to be hosting a late-night talk show, Tim?
McCarver: Sure am, Joe. I used to love Johnny Carson! He told jokes.
Buck: [Uncomfortable silence]
McCarver: Heeeeerre's Joey!
Buck: [Forced laughter]
McCarver: Remember that commercial you were in where you wore a silly hat and said, "Slamma-lamma ding-dong"? Now that was funny! Say, "Slamma-lamma ding-dong!"
Buck: [Uncomfortably] Personally, I'm more fond of my Suntrup ads.
McCarver: C'mon! Buck up and say it! Get it? Buck up? [Chuckles]
Buck: [Mumbling] Slamma-lamma ding-dong.
McCarver: [Giggling uncontrollably] Joe, how do you keep your voice so buttery smooth with all the hours you spend on TV? A little nip does the trick for me.
Buck: It's in my genes, I suppose. You know, my father was an announcer.
McCarver: Did you say, "In my jeans"? [Pantomimes pulling down his pants and mooning Buck]
Buck: That is a disgusting act by Tim McCarver, and it's unfortunate we have a tape delay and FOX decided to air it anyway! That is disgusting by Tim McCarver!
[Cut to different camera]
Buck: [Composing himself] Don't forget to catch the premiere of FOX's new reality series, Who Wants to Marry Anna Nicole Smith's Corpse, hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, tomorrow night at nine.
Fess Up, Dress Up
Unreal is leaning back in our office chair, munching an apple, gazing wistfully out the window at the golden autumn light and pondering what we should be for Halloween. We've been a clown and a witch and a bum, and in 1988 we bravely thickened our eyebrows and trick-or-treated as Michael Dukakis, but this year we're stumped. At lunchtime we went for a browse around the Loop in search of inspiration.
Rag-O-Rama is doing a brisk trade in used Hooters uniforms and Vintage Vinyl has been selling lots of '80s hair-band wigs (also a B52's beehive that was quite fetching), but none of it seemed quite...right. So we decided to call up Ed Brock, owner of Johnnie Brock's Dungeon (and grandson of the original Johnnie).
Unreal: What are St. Louisans wearing this year?
Ed Brock: We've sold out our Hannah Montana costumes. We've had twenty times the demand. We're even selling out wigs that closely resemble Hannah Montana. The wig's the most important part. She doesn't really have a costume, just normal clothes.
[A pained sound, somewhere between a laugh and a groan.]
I know. I can't explain why.
Are you scalping costumes like people are scalping concert tickets?
No. We're sold out. Our supplier is sold out. All we've got now are look-alike wigs that are easy to restock. Girls like the latest trends. We've been selling American Idol costumes.
No Sanjaya. That would sell. This costume is just a shirt that says "American Idol."
What about grown-ups?
There's a couples costume, Beer Man and Beer Woman. They look like Wonder Woman and Superman, with a similar style of costume and cape, only with a beer belt. Pimp and Ho is always big. For some reason, Count Chocula and Frankenberry, from the cereal, are doing well this year. And Wheaties. You wear a wig with a 'fro and a headband and then you put on the Wheaties box frame and you're the champ on the Wheaties box. And Elvis.
It's a classic. Overweight guys can be Elvis, skinny guys can be Elvis you name it.
Somebody Buy My Crap
Item: Massager, stimulus, electric
Condition: Brand new
Issue: Oct. 14
Unreal: Do you still have a massager, stimulus, electric for sale?
Steve: Yes, I do as a matter of fact. They've never been used. Do you have back pain? They're really good for that. They send an electric impulse to stimulate your muscles.
You mean to tell us you're not selling vibrators?
Oh no! The ad in the Bargain Box was misleading. It was supposed to read: "Are you in pain? Electric, stimulus massager." These are the same devices chiropractors have used for years to treat chronic pain. Now they're available to the general public.
So, we'll get no sexual gratification from these things?
Well, I suppose you could. But I haven't tried it. The massager looks like a computer mouse. It runs on a nine-volt battery and has a couple wires sticking out of it with pads. You place the pads on your flesh and turn it on.
Sounds masochistic! Does it hurt?
It can. The dial goes all the way to number five, though I've never been able to get it past number three. It makes your muscles contract something awful.
Oh yeah! All this talk is giving us a stiff joint, if you know what we mean. How can we get our hands on the massager, stimulus, electric?
I'm the local distributor. Just give me a call at 314-283-2071. You'll be glad you did!
From time to time Unreal trolls the St. Louis Post-Dispatch classified section's "Bargain Box." We cannot guarantee any item remains available for purchase at press time.