Monday, November 24, 2014

Dear John

"Dear John"

Dear John,

I've watched The Daily Show off and on again from the start.  I remember when what's his name was the host -- Craig Kilborn.  I stayed when Steven Carell left to do The Office and movies.  I stayed when Stephen Colbert left to go off and do The Colbert Report.  I even stayed when John Oliver left for HBO.  But now Stephen Colbert is leaving again!  He's going from The Stephen Colbert Show on basic cable television to The Stephen Colbert Show on broadcast network television.  Even your interns seem to be changing every few weeks now.  My point is, you're going through a lot of changes, John.  I don't know quite how to say this, but:

I heard you say:
   Hey, folks, we've got a great show for you tonight
You always say:
   Hey, folks, we've got a great show for you tonight
I want to thank you for working so hard to say:
   Hey, folks, we've got a great show for you tonight
But I have to say:
   Dear John, I'm gonna have to let you go, all right?

Now the cat's out of the bag, let me try to explain.  See, when The Colbert Report halts production, you'll have a new show on after yours.  I forget what it'll be called, but either way I'm concerned.  What if I don't like the new show?  What if the new show is just as good or better than The Colbert Report, but it gets cancelled anyway?  I just don't know if I could take that kind of rejection!  So anyway:

I heard you say:
   Hey, folks, we've got a great show for you tonight
You always say:
   Hey, folks, we've got a great show for you tonight
I want to thank you for working so hard to say:
   Hey, folks, we've got a great show for you tonight
But I have to say:
   Dear John, I'm gonna have to let you go, all right?

Look at it this way: we can still be friends.  You're firmly in the Friend Zone.  And later on, if the new show works out in its time slot, and I hear good things, I may check in on you from time to time.  Maybe we'll even get back together again someday.  I don't want you to feel bad about this, John.  It's not you, it's me --

I heard you say:
   Hey, folks, we've got a great show for you tonight
You always say:
   Hey, folks, we've got a great show for you tonight
I want to thank you for working so hard to say:
   Hey, folks, we've got a great show for you tonight
But I have to say:
   Dear John, I'm gonna have to let you go, all right?

XO XO,
Gossip Girl*

*This is the abridged version of the piece.  The unabridged version goes on for 99 more stanzas (not including the repetitions of the chorus).  I mean, you gotta admit, that chorus has a HOOK!  And, by the way, the "Dear John" to whom I'm referring is John Stewart, host of "The Daily Show with John Stewart."  And, as you may have noticed, the stanzas are written in blank verse.  You should click the link for exciting exclusive bonus content not available anywhere else on the Internet about my writing process! -- to learn more about why I chose blank verse (mixed with that slammin' chorus) for this piece.  Oh, and I'm not really "Gossip Girl."  That's what you call a reference.  Or a callback.  That's "showbiz" talk.  It adds nuance to the piece...

I'm holding back the unabridged version for the book deal, because I'm worried about saving space on the Internet.  And really, hey, yo, why should I give that shit away for free?

I'm telling you, there's some really dynamite stuff in there, like...
+Even though I had previously said that it wasn't him, it was me, I come to the realization as I'm thinking about it that, y'know, it really was more HIM.  I point out some of his flaws and gently nudge him to fix some things...
+ I tell John that I could spend more time with him if he hired me as a "producer" for The Daily Show.  I'm not exactly telegenic, so this would be more a behind-the-scenes deal, which I'm suggesting to save him money on my salary.  I even offer to telecommute because 1) I'm not wild about relocating to New York and 2) to save him even more money!
+ I ask John to help me find an agent or manager, and for help joining the union.  Whatever union.  What do I know about unions?  North Carolina is a right to work (for less) state!
+ I tell John how I've secretly always wanted to direct, and recognizing that he HAS directed, I offer to move him out of the FRIEND Zone and into the MENTOR Zone.   I even have some ideas for movies he COULD direct (preferably in NC -- he could commute-commute with all that New York money) while mentoring me, while I look over his shoulder, pointing and laughing at whatever mistakes he makes...
+ I offer John encouragement, telling him that the MENTOR Zone is really a step UP from the FRIEND Zone...
+ I suggest moving The Daily Show to North Carolina, 1) to save money (suggesting he could pass some of those savings on to me); and 2) to get the caliber of guests you just don't find in NYC, like that dude whose car was stolen who talked on air for @ 45 minutes (including commercial breaks) about how he tracked the car for 3 miles before the trail went cold.  That dude has NEVER been on The Daily Show, but he COULD be, if they were based in NC.
+ I have some way cool phat stoopid ideas for changing the set design and modernizing the graphics for The Daily Show, and spitball some new names for the show, because, seriously, it doesn't even come on EVERY DAY!
+ I suggest that President Barack Obama's recent Purple Chairman Mao look from APEC would really work for John, but whatever, suits and ties are so passe.  If not the Purple Chairman Mao,  maybe a tasteful Hawaiian shirt or a black turtleneck (if it's cold in the studio).
+ You may have questions.  How or what do I "produce?"  How does my telecommuting actually save John money?  If I'm telecommuting, how can John spend more time with me?  These are not MY problems.
+ There's a really dramatic verse where I tell John how annoying it is when he keeps scribbling on his scripts on camera and that he really needs to CUT IT OUT!  (I even confess that it's one of the reasons I'm breaking up with him.)
+ Lots more stuff having to do with Personal Growth.  John's Personal Growth.  I'm just so proud of myself for the ideas I've come up with to change him.   Make him BETTER.  Really!  You're welcome, John...

I could go on, but I think you get the point to where you want to buy the book when it's published...