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Howard Rosenberg / TELEVISION

He's Always in Yer Corner, Like It or Not

May 15, 2000|Howard Rosenberg

The following are scenes from "They Call Him Booby," a new television movie about the reporter of the people who works for the Los Angeles TV station of the people.

The general manager of an L.A. station, known for dismal news ratings, attends a circus with friends.

*

GM: What a great circus. I love the clowns, especially that bald one in the center ring snarling and throwing his fists at everyone.

Friend: I believe his name is Boobuslawski. But they call him Booby.

GM: That's really catchy. And he is a real cutup. He'd be just the ticket to put our newscasts on the map. I'll make him an offer he can't refuse.

Negotiations begin.

Booby: Do I still get to holler and get red in the face?

GM: I wouldn't have it any other way.

So Booby gives up his career as a circus clown and becomes a consumer reporter championing the rights of the people in their eternal fight against the heartless indifference of government and business.

Booby: "I'm Boobuslawski, and I'm in yer-corner!!!!!!"

Booby rehearses his spontaneous responses to injustice in front of a mirror.

Booby: Grrrrrrrr! Why you . . . ! Why of all the . . . ! Get outta my way! Scumbags, beware! Make way for Boobuslawski, reporter of the . . . the reporter of the. . . .

Booby realizes he doesn't have a slogan or moniker worthy of his new role as the people's champion. He devotes many hours of thought to this challenge. Then one day it comes to him.

Booby: I'm Boobuslawski, reporter of the wart hogs!

GM: Reporter of the people would be better.

Booby: Oh . . . yeah.

So Boobuslawski, reporter of the people, is born, and he immediately begins working nonstop with zeal and gusto to right wrongs against society.

Booby: Is it lunchtime yet?

Booby's new moniker is so impressive that the station begins calling itself the station of the people. Together, their fame extends far and wide as Booby selflessly gives of himself and goes into the city to meet the people--all the powerless little guys--he champions, and is deeply touched by their stories about being exploited.

Booby: Take one, scene one.

Man: It took a whole six-pack to get me drunk this morning. Usually it only takes three cans. Somethin' fishy's goin' on with this beer.

Booby: That's terrible! That's awful! Grrrrrrrr! And Booby won't stand for it!

Man: Thank you, Booby.

Booby: Say it louder and to the camera.

Man: Thank you, Booby.

Booby: Louder!

Man: THANK YOU, BOOBY!

Booby: Aw shucks, you're embarrassing me. Think nuthin' of it. It's what I do, 'cause I'm Boobuslawski, and I'm in yer-corner!!!!!!

Feeling underappreciated, Booby takes a more aggressive role in making himself available to receive the public gratitude he deserves.

Anchor: Our Booby is spending time on corners in every neighborhood in the city, trying to help consumers just like you.

Booby: Hey, you over there on that park bench. Yeah, you. C'mere and hug me in front of the camera.

Woman: I don't even know you.

Booby: Whaddaya mean? Everybody knows Booby. Now c'mere and hug me before I shove my fist down your throat!

Woman: Like this?

Booby: Yeah. Now cry and say you love Booby when the camera's red light goes on.

Woman: Sob. Sob. I love you, Booby.

Booby: Aw, gosh. Now don't cry on me, don't cry on me. Aw, gee, darlin.' Booby is so moved. That means so much to me. I appreciate ya comin' here to meet Booby. Whatever I can do to help ya, I will, 'cause my heart is breakin' for ya. God bless ya, hon. Now let Booby give you a hug. Hey, don't run away. Come back here, you fat cow!

Inspired by this outpouring of affection, Booby decides to take his consumer crusade to Gov. Gray Davis, whom he interviews with his usual thoughtful aplomb when the state's chief executive visits Los Angeles.

Booby: Hey, Governor! Don't walk away! It's me, Booby!

Davis: Stop spitting on me!

Aide: Get that microphone out of his face! You hit him in the nose!

Booby: Don't touch the equipment!

Davis: Stop pushing me!

Booby: I guess the governor thinks he's too good to talk to the reporter of the people.

Davis: Who is that idiot?

Booby's station grabs this opportunity.

News director: The governor called Booby an idiot on camera.

GM: Good. We'll turn it into a promo showing that Booby is so renowned that even the governor is talking about him.

The new promo adds to the respect and admiration Booby receives from his colleagues at the station.

Reporter: He's a joke.

Reporter: He's an imbecile.

Anchor: He's an obnoxious slug and a self-obsessed phony.

The GM learns some disturbing news about one of his anchors.

GM: You have been overheard bad-mouthing the reporter of the people. Have you anything to say before I suspend you?

Anchor: Long live Booby?

GM: That's the spirit.

After another grueling day of crusading for the people, Booby relaxes by watching his favorite movie, "A Face in the Crowd," starring Andy Griffith as a homespun TV star who pretends to be a Populist and is ultimately exposed as a self-serving, power-mad fraud.

Booby: Grrrrrrrr. And he was goin' so good till that broad played by Patricia Neal went and ratted on him.

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