The best TV news we’ve heard since Oprah went live is that ex-Senator Alfonse D’Amato is getting his own show—as a judge!
The Judge Judy-style show will feature The Fonz, who actually represented this state in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to 1999, wearing black judge’s robes in a courtroom setting where he will adjudicate real cases.
The half-hour syndicated show is being produced by Twentieth Television (a Rupert Murdoch-owned outfit, natch) and is tentatively titled “Judge D’Amato.” If picked up as a series, the show will air in Fall 2009 season.
We can’t wait! In case plot lines are needed, here are some suggestions:
Court clerk: Case called, 08-441, State of New York versus Philip “Philly” Basile. Bribery and money laundering.
Assistant D.A.: Your honor, this defendant is a member of organized crime and this is his fifth felony indictment since…
Judge D’Amato (interrupting, shouts): Philly Baby! (Judge jumps down from behind the bench, grabs defendant, hugs and kisses him on both cheeks.) How the hell are ya? I miss ya! What, you don’t call? You don’t write?
Basile (beaming): Well, y’know I been kinda tied up…
Assistant DA: Your honor, please. This man is a mobster!
D’Amato: Who? Philly? Who are you kidding? I know him since we were (he gestures to his knees, both judge and defendant burst out laughing).
Assistant DA: This is highly irregular.
D’Amato: Getoutta here! What are the charges?
Assistant DA: He paid off every member of the Island Park city council except one, and then covered up the payments by claiming they were liquor purchases for his restaurant.
D’Amato: All but one, huh? Who’d you screw Philly? (both men hoot loudly). Charges dismissed.
Assistant DA (apoplectic): Your honor! You can’t…
D’Amato: Who’s the judge? Me or you? Philly baby, great to see you. Now do me a favor, stay outta trouble please? And best to the guys, huh?
Defendant: You bet, Al. Thanks a million!
D’Amato: I love this job! Next case!
Clerk: Case called, State of New York versus Bombardier Subway Makers, Inc. Contract falsification.
Assistant DA: Your honor, this defendant falsified records stemming from a $5 billion contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority resulting in a months of delay and millions of dollars in added costs to the taxpayer…
D’Amato (cutting him off): Who’s your lobbyist?
Defendant (balding gentleman in pin-striped suit): You mean my lawyer?
D’Amato: No schnook, your lobbyist. The only reason you’re in this fix is because you didn’t have the right representation, lobbyist-wise. Take it from me, your rabbi should’ve been able to short-cut this whole mess.
Assistant DA: Your honor, we move to have the defendant ordered to escrow $500 million in deposit so that the MTA can attempt to recoup some of its losses.
D’Amato (laughing): Escrow? Where the hell you from? Listen to me, buddy (speaking to defendant), take my card. That’s right. That’s my other hat. I represent people like you and they don’t get in cases like this.
Assistant DA: Judge, you can’t represent him for Christ’s Sake, he’s a defendant before you!
D’Amato: My point exactly. (To defendant): Take the card. We’ll talk, negotiate a retainer. I guarantee it won’t be the $500 mill they’re looking for now…
Defendant (elated): Oh yes I will your honor, we’ll call immediately! Thanks.
D’Amato: Smart move. Ok, bailiff, let’s keep it going. Next!