Wednesday, February 27


HWTN Test-Marketing

The policy wonks at Holy Whapping Television Network (HWTN) are putting pressure on us to inject some fresh blood into the fall schedule, especially since we were inadvertently acquired by the TV Program and Microwave Instruction Manuals Division of the Bohemian State Closed-Circuit Television Network (Böhmisches Geschlossen-Stromkreis-Unterstrassenbaum Staats-Televonken, the good old BGSUST), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Prisoner of Zenda.

It was a very complicated deal that ended up with the lead guitarist of the Sanctus Belles--HWTN Records' in-house all-girl Tridentine punk rock band--being traded to the New York Mets for about ten minutes until someone caught the mistake, when she was promptly sent to married off to the Margrave of Ansbach-Bayreuth, who nearly ended up espousing Carlos Beltrán by proxy.

(Philomena was a little hurt, actually, when the coach sent her back, as she was hoping to try out her remarkable flyball for once in her life. That being said, she's glad to be smashing her electric theorbo on stage as usual.)

So, here are some of our brainstorms for this coming September. We're running them past Fraulein Mesmer, the CEO of BGSUST, who has no discernible sense of humor.

Working Title: The Outlaw Josemaría Wales. "We got somethin' in this country called the Catalonian boatride..." In the violent heart of the Spanish Civil War, young Opus Dei member Josemaría Wales (Clint Eastwood) returns to the local branch of the prelature to discover all his compatriots have been slayed by anarchist guerrillas. His one objective: hunt down his friends' heathen killers...and convince them to become supernumeraries. (Well, their souls are at stake.) With Chief Dan George as his comically mismatched liberal Basque sidekick, Padre Esteban Waddie and his squishy Eucharistic opinion that the Host is "for eatin', not for looking at..."

Fraulein Mesmer's initial reaction: Needs more albinos.

Working Title: The Six Million Lira Man: Deep in the sub-crypt of St. Peter's Basilica, 18th century Italy's top natural philosophers attempt to reconstruct the shattered body of Joseph of Cupertino, horrifically injured after a three-way mid-air collision with St. Alphonsus Liguori and the Montgolfier brothers. "We can make him faster, stronger, more pious!" Then, unfortunately, the project head, alchemist Prince Sansevero, does a bit of cocktail napkin math and discovers that the budget of six million lira is about five bucks.

We're thinking of having Tom Servo play the completed Joseph of Cupertino.

Fraulein Mesmer's initial reaction: Needs more Hapsburgs.

Working Title: Smile! You're on Apostolic Camera!. After the success of our Pat Sajak-hosted couples gameshow, Holy Roman Rota, with its top prize of a bonafide annulment (as well as the allure of Vanna White showing three inches of shin below her plaid jumper), we've decided to dust off this venerable classic, formerly hosted by Cardinal Masella in the good old days before the Council. The winner will take home the revenues of a fully-endowed French monastery and the title of Abbé in commendam, whether or not he is a boy, girl or small yappy wiener-dog.

Fraulein Mesmer's initial reaction: Needs more Hapsburgs.

Working Title: Desperate Hapsburgs: The College Years. It is 1917, at the depths of the Great War. Newly-ascended Emperor Charles (played by musical guest Franz-Ferdinand) is at his wit's end as he struggles to bring peace to a troubled Europe, while, on the Serbian front, General Potiorek (Dustin Diamond) ineptly attempts to engage--

Fraulein Mesmer's initial reaction: Needs more Franz-Josef.

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