Sharpton's television act gets a bit older

If you're like us - relentlessly cynical optimists - you're always hoping that the Rev. Al Sharpton will someday settle down and assume a position as a dignified crusader for the rights of the underclass, despite the fact that you know deep down that you could probably hire him to appear as a clown at your baby cousin's birthday party for a surprisingly affordable sum.

If you're like us - relentlessly cynical optimists - you're always hoping that the Rev. Al Sharpton will someday settle down and assume a position as a dignified crusader for the rights of the underclass, despite the fact that you know deep down that you could probably hire him to appear as a clown at your baby cousin's birthday party for a surprisingly affordable sum.

That dream, of course, is constantly being crushed.

Sharpton announced recently that he is in negotiations with CBS to start filming a situation comedy called Al in the Family.

Not so loosely based on the mega-hit 1970's sitcom All In The Family, Sharpton will play himself as a dad whose political views are starkly different from those of his own family, Archie-Bunker style. (We can't wait to find out who's going to play "Meathead.")

"It's about conflicting social and political views," he told the New York Daily News. "There'll also be a social message."

Perhaps we're projecting too much onto Rev. Al, but it's hard to imagine, say, Malcolm X signing on to play The Fonz in a very special episode of Happy Days in order to further his social message.

When you combine this announcement with Sharpton's other recent TV appearances - as a pitchman for the predatory bloodsucker-of-the-poor auto title lender LoanMax, a not-so-impressive one-time gig as host of Saturday Night Live, and an even less-memorable foray into reality with a show on Spike TV, I Hate My Job - you start to get the sneaky suspicion that Sharpton may not be the social- justice visionary he claims.

He only plays one on TV.

Ratings:
1. Clueless
2. Ill-advised
3. On the right track
4. Savvy
5. Ingenious

  • Hamilton Nolan writes PR Play of the Week. He is a New-York based reporter at PRWeek.

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