Thursday, July 13, 2006

TCA Press Tour Briefing: Jibba Jabba With Mr. T and The Gutt

My Modest Pitch to FOX for next season: It's an hour-long dramedy with Steve Guttenberg and Mr. T as mismatched partners in the Chicago police department. Mr. T is a no-nonsense street guy with muscle and Guttenberg is a nebbishy detail-oriented gumshoe (think Monk, only more Jewish). The only key is that the show shouldn't have a script, at least not any more than a Mike Leigh movie. Tell the actors each week's case and tell them whodunnit and them let them improv for 44 minutes a week. Heck, it should be a live show.

I'm just sayin' that The Gutt and Mr. T are my two favorite people on earth, at least until the next great Press Tour lunatic shows up.

My affinity for Guttenberg, of course, goes back to our little conversation at least July's Press Tour. It can be read here.

I got to chat with The Gutt again last night and that conversation -- or at least its highlights -- is up on our Zap2it Press Tour blog. Check it out.

Almost as good as The Gutt, though, was the once-and-future Clubber Lang (or B.A. Baracus, on hand at a morning TCA panel to promote his fittingly titled new TV Land self-help reality show "Pity the Fool."

Some highlights:

Why, Exactly, Does Mr. T Still Pity the Fool: That is a good question and a legitimate question. And I'm the man to answer it. You pity the fool because you don't want to beat up a fool. You know, pity is between sorry and mercy. See, if you pity him, you know, you won't have to beat him up. So that's why I say fools, you gotta give another chance because they don't know no better. That's why I pity them.

Who Does He Consider Today's Biggest Fools: I got a list coming. I don't want to do it right now. You know me -- but see, it's not a bigger fool. Either you're a fool or you're not. You know me. There's no big or small. If you get on my fool list, that's it, you know. I mean, you can recover, you know. Because we like -- we have -- you know how you have AA for alcoholics, so we come out with some kind of thing to get fools out of their situation.

What Does the "T" Stand For These Days: I'll tell you. T stands for being nice. T stands for manners. T stands for being polite, you know. It's -- you know, T can stand for anything. T stand for working hard. T stand for loving thy neighbor. You know, T stand for feeding the hungry, you know. T stand for just working, working, working, being happy on the set, you know, lifting everybody's spirits. T stands for just a nice guy.

On Why We Should Pity Lesser Gurus Like Dr. Phil: I said, "Let me explain to you. My show ain't no Dr. Phil where people sit around crying, 'What's wrong with me, Dr. Phil? What's wrong with me, Dr. Phil?'" You are a fool. That's what's wrong with you. You know what I mean?

On Whether He Minds Constantly Hearing About the 'A-Team:' I still carry "The A-Team." That made me what I am. Definitely. I still like busting down doors and beating up crooks. I still like doing that. You know, that's like my role, me wearing a suit, you know. See, Mr. T is my alter ego. You know, when I'm in the neighborhood, I'm just a humble, quiet, librarian type of guy, you know. All superheroes, you know, like Clark Kent, Superman, Batman, Bruce Wayne, you know, so why not Mr. T? You know. So I never thought about shaking the image or nothing like this. It's made me.

Anymore good angles for my Guttenberg/Mr. T series before I pitch it?


  1. Anonymous9:38 PM

    who would've guessed mr. t was such a proponent of the floating signifier! did you ask whether he'd been boning up on his derridean semiotics and post-structural ethics in anticipation of the TCA press tour? and steve guttenberg is plain out of his gourd, or just having a great deal of fun. good for him.

  2. See, it's here, C-Dub, that I refer to another quote from Mr. T today...

    So said Mr. T, "Always tell the kids, "Don't be a fool.
    Stay in school and learn the Golden Rule." I didn't get where I am for being no dummy. I spent a lot of time in school and studying books in the library. That's where I fool people. A lot of people think I go around beating up people. Yes, I am qualified to beat people up. But I am pretty intelligent. I am pretty intelligent. That's what throws people off. See, it allows me to get where I
    am by people thinking I'm dumb and just strong. So I
    studied a lot."

    He's a wise man.