Humor Blog Highlights

For $2,000,000 an Hour, I’ll be Friends with Just About Anyone…

One could only imagine what it must be like living the life of a television star.  Of course, we’ve all heard of their woes about long, ten-hour shooting sessions, little-to-no personal time for their families and friends and the arduous task of living out of a suitcase forty-five weeks out of the year.  I’m sure that working a job where the most stressful part of your day is dependant on how long it takes the intern to bring you the double espresso macchiato with a cinnamon twist that you ordered a good ten minutes ago isn’t nearly as glamorous as it appears – think about it, in addition to all of the toils of memorizing lines and looking pretty, you’re also constantly worrying about how thoroughly your giant pit of money is getting cleaned back at home…

Earlier this month, NBC renewed television’s top-rated sitcom, Friends, for its ninth and final season, quite the monumental occasion for two distinct reasons:

  • For the past eight years, Friends has acted as an antidote for all that is wrong with our lives in this day and age, leaving us wondering how we’ll be able to sleep at night after it’s off the air.
  • The contract between the six principle cast members of Friends and NBC promises each of the Friends a whopping $1 million per episode, totaling a cool $24 million for the season, each, leaving us wondering how they’ll be able to sleep at night…

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed Friends over the years just as much as everyone else, although I must point out that I wasn’t the least bit emotional when that one guy dumped the one girl to go out with the other girl – hell, you’d need a flow-chart to keep these things straight and I’m just too lazy to devote that kind of time!  Nevertheless, seeing as I’m not personally paying them out of my own pocket, I can openly say that the show is hilarious and worth every penny.  Honestly, entertainment is really the only thing worth spending money on in this day and age, and if it comes down to a toss up between the entertainers themselves getting a bulky paycheck or some executive producer who’s never even seen the show, well then by all means, give Matthew Perry and his friends a raise!

It’s not really uncommon to see these kinds of numbers as the final season of a popular television series is announced, but they’re still typically staggering enough to blow any of us who actually work for a living clean out of the water!  Only a few years ago, Jerry Seinfeld and Tim Allen both finished up their last seasons, bringing home over a million dollars per episode each, although it was common knowledge that their supporting actors comparably earned only a fraction.  Mad About You co-stars Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt raised the bar by requiring equal salaries for their last episodes, but who’d have ever thought it would’ve gone this far?  Friends is now the most expensive half-hour sitcom in television history, which leaves me with this question: Where do we go from here?

Think about it – when Friends is gone next year, the only primetime programming left from the last millennium, aside from FOX’s The Simpsons, will be Frasier and that alone is enough to leave me worrying about how I’m going to be spending my evenings in the future!  The war between Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and The Weakest Link has left both networks realizing that instead of throwing all of their money away, even though the game show market technically died in the ‘80s, maybe they should’ve been using it to come up with some new programming.  I refuse to watch anything starring Reba McIntyre or any of the previous cast members from Seinfeld, with the exception of, oh say Jerry Seinfeld, so they’d better not even think about putting the six friends through the same ordeal!

We’re all getting tired of the reality TV kick, too, and I’ll be the first to admit that as much as I’d enjoyed the previous seasons of Survivor, that’s getting a bit old, too.  I’m honestly surprised that Fear Factor actually got renewed for a second season – I guess I just didn’t realize that there were any disgusting things left to consume after the first season!  Needless to say, we’re running out of entertainment fast here, people, and before we know it, we’ll be spending our time outside, playing baseball and interacting with our fellow man…what’s it going to take to get these networks to understand that this can’t be allowed to happen?!?!?!?

So what’s my solution to this huge mess?  The way I see it, there are two methods that could be used to overcome this obstacle:

  1. Mope around, assuming that the problem will take care of itself.  Threaten to fire any writers who don’t turn in some good ideas before they leave for the weekend.  Come Monday, hire a new band of writers and start the process all over again.  Note that although this doesn’t really solve the problem, it’s fairly cheap…
  2. Send me a check.  Put a few extra zeroes behind it and I’ll come up with the best comedy you’ve ever seen – what’ve you got to lose, other than ratings and sponsors, of course?

Although I’m guessing that they’ll most likely attempt the first method, don’t say I didn’t offer!  Just let it be known that while the networks are vainly trying to win back viewers with That ‘90s Show, The George Whent Show and The Weakest Link – Friends Edition, I’ll be out doing the one thing that I dread most of all – physical activity.

Ok, so I’ll probably really be taking a nap, but I’ll definitely be dreaming about doing physical work!  Nevertheless, just in case NBC or ABC want to call to negotiate about that deal, I’ll keep my phone by the bedside…

About Scott Sevener (580 Posts since 2001)
The Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Just Laugh, Scott writes about the random things in life that amuse him - from the miracle of childbirth to the bologna sandwich he just ate for breakfast. He currently resides in Tampa, FL with a girl, a baby, and a dog that never shuts the hell up.