As I was reading one of Nancy P. Goodman’s songs the other day, I started to get an idea. You see, Nancy is amazing. She didn’t start to write songs until her late 50’s. I know this because she told me this when I asked permission to use her name for this piece. I asked permission because not many people want to be subjects in my humor stories. I don’t know why this is so, because for the most part, I am a gentle person – okay — a bit off kilter — but gentle, and I never write anything insulting about anyone. Wait, where was I going with this? Ah, yes, Nancy.
Anyway, Nancy got me thinking, and this idea has SUCCESS written all over it! I want to pitch it to FOX Television, but I have no connections. Can anyone help? Here it goes: Seniors Still Got it! Yes, a talent show for people age 60 and over! How great would that be? Think how big the baby boomer audience is, and there are no more shows geared toward them since JAG and Murder, She Wrote went off the air. Dancing with the Stars was an okay option, but after the Bristol Palin fiasco a lot of the seniors have vowed to move on. The senior population rarely watches American Idol unless it is to criticize haircuts, clothing and tattoo choices of the contestants. So, what’s left? I want to give seniors a bona fide venue to showcase their talent.
I have already talked this idea over with my 67-year-old neighbor, Nona, who is the “Queen of Ballroom Dancing” in southeastern Pennsylvania. I am not exaggerating this title. If anyone is wondering, I didn’t ask Nona’s permission to put her in this piece because she doesn’t have a computer, and she will never read this. So, why bother. I will say this: She is an extraordinary teacher. Couples are booked months in advance to learn the Cha Cha, Nona style.
Nona thought many Seniors would jump at the chance to perform. She said that many Seniors have talents that remain untapped. Plus, if the show were to throw in paid airfare, hotel and food bills, without having to show a Senior Discount card, that would be even more incentive to try out. She also thinks Seniors would be riveted by this competition and the ratings would skyrocket.
Seniors Still Got it! would operate the same way American Idol operates. There would be auditions just like American Idol – well, except that there would be benches for the wannabe contestants so they don’t have to stand in line for 15 hours waiting to get a shot at the judges. Hoverrounds ® would also be allowed. However, no one is allowed to run over any of the competition. I am strict on this: one vehicular mishap in line and it’s bye-bye contest!
Seniors could pick their category. They could sing or dance or do standup comedy. There could also be a category for songwriters. I think this would work. As producer for this project, I would like to set down some ground rules:
1. There will only be Senior judges. Having a Jonas Brother or Miley Cyrus judging a 70-year-old dancer would not work out well, and I do not think the contestants would take “constructive” criticism from someone who thinks 30 is old.
2. There will be no health talk on the show. No one is allowed to complain about their arthritis, prostate problems or osteoporosis. These are topics not to be covered. It’s an entertainment show. If you want to talk about these subjects, we can start a Senior version of The View.
3. Exotic dancing is not a talent that can be judged on this show. Ladies, leave the poles at home. It’s not that I have anything against this type of entertainment but let’s be practical. The TV puts ten pounds on people and I’m not sure where those ten pounds will go on exotic dancers. It might scare some viewers. And as many older women insist on telling me: gravity is a bad thing.
4. This rule is out of the Miss America book: No contestants are allowed to engage in any kind of sexual relationship. Why? I have no logical explanation except that no one wants to know that people your parents’ age have sex.
5. Advertisers can include the millions of 55+ communities that have sprung up across the American landscape. Potential advertisers may also include the makers of Viagra and other E.D. drugs, Depends, Blue Cross and Blue Shield and, of course, the AARP.
6. There will be medical staff on duty at all times during this production. I don’t think I need to explain why.
7. Once a week, the contestants and staff will be bused to the nearest casino for some well-deserved down time. They will all wear blazers and/or sashes showing they are Seniors Still Got It! Contestants.
8. There will be no rules blocking contestants from doing endorsements. Hell, if these people have the courage to perform in front of millions of people, they deserve the right to hawk any product they want. The money all goes to them with my blessing.
9. The winner gets a truckload of money. I want the winner to never worry about a medical bill, a social security check or a mortgage payment. I want the winner to live out his or her life in total luxury and peace of mind- and then maybe adopt me.
I realize that I am new to the whole producing thing, so these rules are open to discussion with the exception of the exotic dancing category because I do want this to be a family show. So, that is my idea in a nutshell. FOX Television, if you are looking for a new show, I have your next hit. Feel free to email me or leave a comment below. I will get back to you.