"Why Don't You Have Your Own TV Show Already?"

photo by Howard Huang

That's the familiar cry that taunts me every day of my life from everyone I've ever met, including beggars and proctologists. And I don't know the answer! Lord knows I'd love one—the fame, money, and ego gratification would serve as wondrous Band-Aids to my eternal hollowness—but I've long ago given up the idea that this sugar plum in the sky will (a) happen or (b) be the cure-all to my problems and somehow make my life finally and completely valid. I'm actually comfortable being a guest star where you can flit onto various shows, do your little thing, and go home without having the brunt of the responsibility or blame for the whole extravaganza. (Yes, that's a rationalization, but it's a damned good one. In fact, it's that kind of trenchant thinking that would make me a great host of my own show!)

Similarly I prefer to be a drop-by in other people's country homes rather than be the host who has to take care of the house, be endlessly gracious, and wonder when the fuck you're gonna leave. And not surprisingly I find myself being a lot of people's second-best friend—the one they cancel on if their number one is in town—and it's the slot I obviously belong in. This way I can be 10 people's number two rather than one person's number one, and not only is there less pressure on me, but I have options when one of those situation crashes to an end. So please let me stay in my mid-level position—as a guest star on shows, in homes, and in lives. I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of having my own specials.

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