Just imagine the pitch: “Mr. Moonves, think Golden Girls meets Crossfire,” says the excited producer. The Chairman frowns slightly. “BUT with mostly guys,” the producer continues. Moonves looks mollified. It’s a go.
Of course viewed from the outside, the Right Wing™ already seems like an increasingly surreal network television experiment gone spectacularly off the rails, so why not push it where it obviously wants to go? Sarah Palin’s already got a couple of reality shows under her belt, and Tucker Carlson was on Dancing with the Stars, so let’s give Laura Ingraham a variety show! How about transforming Tea Party Nation into a medical procedural? It wouldn’t be too difficult to integrate the Republican primaries into the next season of Big Brother. Ooooh… how about a sitcom based on the Heritage Foundation? Yes. Let’s fantasize about that after the jump.
- First season/first episode pre-taping jitters! The director reminds a production assistant for the umpteenth time that he should only switch on the “applause” sign the first time Jim DeMint enters a scene through a doorway in any given episode.
- Alessandra Stanley writes in the New York Times: “Well into its first season, The Heritage Gang is sprightly, if a bit screamy. DeMint is a folksy yet stern father figure. The idea of having a different ethnic secretary who gets fired at the end of each episode keeps the cast fresh and allows for surprising stunt casting, as last week’s inclusion of Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico, surprisingly adept at physical comedy, demonstrated.”
- Season 2, Episode 7: Tiny Tax Tim. In this special Christmas episode, DeMint is awakened three times during the night by past directors of the Foundation. SPOILER ALERT: They all tell him he’s wonderful and doing a fantastic job!
- Season 3, Episode 1: There Goes the Neighborhood! The season premier introduces us to the Heritage Gang’s wacky new neighbors. At first the gang is worried about their mysterious, madcap Hispanic ways, but it turns out that they were conservative Cubans the whole time! “Sayonara!” exclaims newly enlightened guest secretary Star Jones on her way out.
- Season 4, Episode 16: Did I Do That? Panic ensues when Steve Forbes accidentally shreds Richard Mellon Scaife’s prized autographed photo of Margaret Thatcher. Forbes’s hilarious, bumbling attempts to cover up the accident almost lead to campaign finance reform before his kooky hijinks unravel.
- Season 5, Episode 21: Switcheroo! The Heritage Gang are mortified when their enemies find their healthcare reform proposal and adopt it as their own! You’ll laugh and laugh as the Gang gets increasingly shrill while denouncing the plan they themselves had created!
- Season 6, Episode 8: Farm Bill Frolics! Get ready for some fish-out-of-water fun as the Heritage Gang travels to Iowa and pretends to care about farming! You just have to see Ed Meese fall into a gigantic factory-farm pig manure pit to believe it. Peeeeeyoo!
- Season 7, Episode 1: Who’s There? The Heritage Gang has its “Cousin Oliver” moment as the adorable long-lost grandchildren of Robert Novak are discovered living in the basement. The introduction of scene-stealing toddlers can’t stave off the inevitable, however, and the series ends with a reunion banquet hosted by a holographic Ronald Reagan.
I don’t know about you, but I would watch the shit out of that.
Champagne wishes ‘n’ inheritance tax abolition dreams, Princess Sparkle Pony.