COLUMN

Conjuring up a Hollywood North

Allan Fotheringham January 27 1986
COLUMN

Conjuring up a Hollywood North

Allan Fotheringham January 27 1986

Conjuring up a Hollywood North

COLUMN

Allan Fotheringham

As the poor dinosaurs learned, the world evolves. That which does not adapt is left behind. To perish, to fall, to become the mulch upon which we build our succeeding magnificent civilizations, which may contain Inca temples, Plato, Beethoven, Buchenwald, rock videos or Ed McMahon. You never know what you’re going to get. You know only one thing. Adapt or die.

In this light, it warms the heart to learn that the man who aspires to be the future most powerful person on earth wants to appear on Miami Vice.

George Bush, vice-president of the U.S. of A., has let it be known through his flunkies that he would be willing to do a walk-on part on what, apparently, is the hottest thing on that great cultural device, prime-time TV; a show that features a lot of bullets, pastel fashions, trendy music and the newest macho symbol of the era: a two-day-old

Nixonish whisker stubble on the chin.

Your agent mounts airplanes these days and watches, in puzzlement, all these post-acne youths walking down the aisle looking as if they raced to the airport without time to remove their tiny fuzz. It turns out it is not by accident; they are attempting to emulate Miami Vice hero Don Johnson, a product of white bread if I’ve ever seen one. So George Bush, the lust for the top job dribbling down his chin, wishes to dip this low in an attempt to popularize his image. It is to weep.

Bush, you must understand, suffers from what someone defines as “terminal preppiness.” Even his toothbrush comes from Brooks Brothers. He is a millionaire from Yale who pretends to live in Texas. He wants the young vote and so he volunteers to be a joke part on Miami Vice. Absolutely brilliant. He has watched his boss, a Hollywood No. 2 who never got the girl, break all polling records as the most popular president in history. If showbiz works in the Oval Office, why not try skip-

Allan Fotheringham is a columnist for Southam News.

ping shaving for a day and hit the cameras with the guys who carry the guns?

I think it’s unbeatable. Go with the flow. Learn from the dinosaurs. There is tremendous potential ahead for any aspiring politician headed for the top. Brian Mulroney, of course, instinctively comes to mind. There is a Maurice Chevalier if we’ve ever seen one. If Mila can teach him the soft-shoe shuffle, we’ve got a winner. Barbara McDougall would translate magnificently into a TV version of Bette Davis-austere, aloof, sucking on a thin

cigarillo, imperious while the sharecroppers went down before the mortgage-hungry bankers. She has a great poker face, worthy of Dallas, or possibly Dynasty, or possibly Mellowrooney Land.

John Crosbie? Can you imagine the casting directors drooling? A face out of Charles Laughton. With the droll wit of W.C. Fields who, once asked if he wanted water with his scotch, replied, “I’m not dirty, I’m thirsty.” John Turner? Can one imagine a more propitious leading man, a Rhett Butler of suburbia? Dalton Camp says Jean Chrétien always looks like the driver of the getaway car, so they wouldn’t have much of a casting problem there. He’s a lookalike for Jean-Paul Belmondo anyway; all he needs is a slouch hat and a violin case. Ian Deans is no longer as pretty as Goldie Hawn, now that his perm has been dampened. Sheila Copps, the shouter, is a natural for a rock video. She has already posed in black leather on a motorcycle for a

magazine cover and she has a voice that would have made Janis Joplin cringe. Lloyd Axworthy, who smiled once in 1985, needs a heavy Spencer Tracy role to fit his stance.

There are all sorts of possibilities as the line between politics and entertainment becomes ever more blurred. George Bush, in the background watching in admiration as his boss hogs the limelight with practised klieg-light aplomb, has surrendered. If you want to get elected, first get to the cameras—even better, to the sitcoms. His only problem is that he has to find

_ a role. Maggie Thatcher

has always appeared as Mrs. Miniver, with her concrete hairdo and her artificial accent. Perrin Beatty, on the other hand, is Fred Astaire, fastidious and austere, one of the four best ministers in the Mulroney cabinet. You can’t put a hand on him. Pat Carney? The Earth Mother. She is—as they used to say about Golda Meir and Thatcher—“the best man in the cabinet.” Michael Wilson (Joel McCrea? Randolph Scott?) doesn’t c like that, but television ? reveals only the truth, g Mila? Well, it’s some“ where between Heidi of the Alps and one of the lustier dames from Dynasty. Like, wholesome-pluslusty. There’s a touch of Shirley MacLaine there, a touch of Lily Tomlin, a touch of Our Miss Brooks. Geills Turner is a slimmed-down Linda Evans with the tongue of Bella Abzug. David Crombie? Mickey Rooney, what else? Typecasting. Jake Epp, the invulnerable Tory health minister with the clear skin and the clear glasses, is one of those Sunday morning TV evangelists who are watched with fascination, their logic incontrovertible, their zeal believed. George Hees could get a lifetime job tomorrow with British Master Theatre, required only to twitch his moustache on cue.

Steve Paproski is a natural as a wrestling referee—or a wrassler. Lucie Pépin, who decorates the back row of the Liberals, could walk into the Dallas serial tomorrow, with enough wardrobe left over for the next NDP consciousness-raising session. George Bush is on the edge of a wave.