The Industrial Gameshow: "Thank Your Lucky Stars", with host William Bennett!
After the flood of mail I got regarding "Rivetheads: the Industrial Movie!"
I decided some kind of follow-up (or would that be "follow-up?") is in order. So here, for your reading pleasure, is my take on a comment that WB once gave in an interview -- the one where he fantasized about being a game show host...
ANNOUNCER: LIVE! FROM EDINBURGH! IT'S THE GAME SHOW THAT LEAVES YOU SHEEP BEGGING FOR MORE! IT'S -- "T H A N K Y O U R L U C K Y S T A R S!"
-- I'M PETER SOTOS, YOUR ANNOUNCER, AND HERE'S YOUR HOST, THE MAN WITH THE WHITE WHIP -- WILIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAMMMMM BEEEEEEENNNNNEEEEEEETTTTTTTT!!
[Audience goes nuts. Lights come up to reveal a Trevor Brown-designed stage: a little round thing with big cheesy-looking light bulbs with visible filaments. Overhead is one gigantic halogen light, of course. WB comes out in his usual concert getup, gigantic whip stuffed into one back pocket and a wireless mike in hand.]
WB: Thank you, thank you all, and welcome to "Thank Your Lucky Stars". Those of you who have been lucky enough to make it tonight don't quite know yet HOW lucky they are to be here, but don't worry, we'll teach you soon enough. So without further ado, let's get on with the ACTION -- WHO'S HUNGRY FOR PAIN TONIGHT?!
[Audience goes nuts again. A forest of hands.]
WB: WHO WANTS TO GET A TASTE OF THE WHITE WHIP?
[8.5 on the Richter scale.]
WB: COME ON, YOU PEOPLE. YOU CHEAP PENNY CUNTS. YOU WORTHLESS SLUTS. YOU CHEAP WHORES. YOU REALLY ARE DISGUSTING, YOU REALLY ARE. [He heads up the aisle; obviously he has someone in mind already but is taking his sweet Quality Time about it.] WHAT'S THIS? WHAT'S THIS? [Slaps one woman in the face.] YOU LIKE THAT, DON'T YOU? LOOK AT THAT. BEGGING FOR IT. COME ON DOWN AND BEG FOR IT, BABY.
[The woman in question joins WB down the aisle and he squeezes her onto that tiny stage.]
WB: All right then. Ever played "Thank Your Lucky Stars" before?
Woman: Can't say I have.
WB: It's quite simple, actually. Our announcer Peter, up there in his booth [PS smiles broadly and waves from back and above, cigarette fuming] has a timer and a STOP button. There are three successive rounds, each one thirty seconds longer than the last. If you make it through each round without pissing us off or chickening out, you get to go to the "Quality Time" bonus round with the other contestants who've also managed to make it that far. Get it? Okay? Now, YOU READY FOR SOME ACTION?
WB: ALL RIGHT, PETER. LET'S SEE IF SHE'S HUNGRY FOR PAIN, EH?
[The opening burbles and rumbles of "My Cock's On Fire (Really, really, really really really long version)" fill the studio. The woman squirms on the chair. The timer over her head slides down from sixty....]
WB: MY COCK'S ON FIRE.... READY FOR ACTION... ARE YOU READY FOR SOME ACTION RIGHT NOW?... START THE ENGINE! LET'S GO! WE'RE HEADED FOR THE STRIP... [The roar that predominates most of the song fires up.... the clock slides along...]
Woman: Oh, good grief. This isn't music. This is just sickening.
WB: YOU KNOW WHAT WE WANT... YOU KNOW WHAT WE NEED!... YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY PLEASE!
Woman: Sexist and silly, if you ask me.
PS: WILLIAM, I THINK THIS SHEEP NEEDS TO BE SHOWN THE DOOR.
WB: Too right.
[BZZZZZZ! Didn't even make it to thirty seconds.]
WB: Well, ma'am! Not only have you proved your pathetic tastes, but you've also shown yourself to be a narrow-minded little git. How d'you feel?
Woman: Good God, I *paid* for this?
PS: ALL OF WHICH GOES TO PROVE THE INCREDIBLE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING EXACTLY WHAT YOU PAY FOR, WILLIAM.
WB: Right you are, Mr. Sotos. WE'LL BE BACK WITH MORE ACTION IN JUST A MOMENT!
[Back from commercial, WB hosts the mike and beams.]
WB: The next phase of the show's a little more, uh, demanding. Instead of merely sitting there passively, some active participation on the part of the audience is required. ANY ONE OF YOU CHEAP SLUTS FEEL LIKE SOME POWER?!
[Usual uproar of volunteers. Finally, WB settles on a young man with long, heavy-metallish hair and a SLAYER T-shirt.]
PS: SOMEONE WITH A MODICUM OF TASTE, I SEE.
WB: We'll soon find out about that. All right, sir. First time on "Thank Your Lucky Stars"?
Dude: Yeah, man! This rocks! Hey, William -- do that thing, you know? The one where you call people a human toilet and stuff? [WB just blinks] Go on, man, say I'm a human toilet! I wanna hear it! You do that part so cool!
[Dude pushes him in a slightly joshing way. WB looks pained]
WB: The next phase of the game, SIR, involves your knowledge of De Sade's landmark work of sexual apocalypse, 120 DAYS OF SODOM. Have you read the book?
Dude: On the bus, yeah. Goin' to work and stuff.
WB: Splendid. Now... your mission is to recite as many of the 150 Murderous Passions in a voice loud and clear enough to be heard over the noisiest segment of my collaborative work of the same with Nurse With Wound.
Someone in the audience: Cheap shit commercial rip-off!
WB: Now, now. We're playing this one back from my original master tapes. If the silly gits at World Serpent had ASKED ME NICELY, like a FUCKING HUMAN BEING, I would have been MORE than happy to remaster it for them. But no, they had to go and put out an exploitation-level package for a quick buck, and put all of that appalling reverb and echo on top of it. Doesn't that curdle your blood?
Dude: Uh --
WB: YOU HAVEN'T THE FAINTEST FUCKING CLUE WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, DO YOU?! AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A "FANATIC"!
Dude: Look, man, I --
WB: All right, enough horsing around. You've got three seconds to compose yourself and start reciting. Get through 120 seconds of same and you'll be a final round contestant on "Thank Your Lucky Stars". Try and be grateful, okay? Peter! Wind the clock...
[PS presses one button to give the poor sap a three-second countdown. "Five... four... three... two... one..." The searing cacophony of "150 Murderous Passions [side B]" tears through everyone's ears. The guy is drowned out in seconds. BZZZZZZZZZZZZT!]
WB: This is really appalling, friends. That's two abject losers in ten minutes. Honestly, I'm just shamed to be here. [Audience goes into, "Aw, William!" mode.] All right, all right. You talked me into it. One final round, but someone had better show me they know what they're doing!
[Cacophony. Someone throws a clipboard at WB. Soon it's a deluge: chairs, Kotex, handbags, anything that isn't hammered down. WB swats his way to the front and grabs someone from the front row.]
WB: YOU. YES, YOU. THIS IS GONNA BE YOUR LUCKY DAY.
[It's a large, jowly, fat man who's crying.]
WB: ANSWER ME THIS QUESTION, SIR. WHAT DOES "MOLESTING YOU" MEAN? And, while you're at it, TELL ME WHILE YOU DANCE...
[The man dances through his tears while dodging the stuff being flung onto the stage]
Man: It... it means... it's...
WB: YOU JUST DON'T GET IT, DO YOU?!
[The "Whitehouse Sound" fills the auditorium. PS grins and shoves knobs.]
WB: YOU WANT YOUR BARRY MANILOW AND YOUR FUCKING FIONA APPLE, DON'T YOU?
Man: I DON'T EVEN LIKE BARRY MANILOW OR WHOEVER THE HELL YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!
WB: DO YOU WANT SOME ACTION?!
Man: I-- I guess!
WB: SHUT UP! YOU'RE A FUCKING MESS! AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A MAN!
[The metalhead dude barges back on stage.]
Dude: Well, what about you, huh? Making white noise and screaming at people in a locked room, and calling that music, what kind of crap is that, huh? You think you're such hot shit, how come you didn't even bother to show up in San Francisco just because some art-fag Re/Search assholes decided to make like they were gonna kick your ass? You're a bunch of pussies!
WB: YOU WERE OUT OF THE GAME A LONG TIME AGO.
[He points his mike like a dowsing want. Electricity crackles down and smashes squarely into the dude's crotch.]
Dude: AAAAHHH... SHHIIIITTT! LIGHTNING STRUCK MY *DICK*, GODDAMNIT!
WB: FUNNY, I THOUGHT YOU LIKED GOING TO EXTREMES.
[Pandemonium. Crowd is beaten back with air horns and water hoses. PS's voice fades in over it all:]
PS: AMONG THE CONSOLATION PRIZES FURNISHED BY THE STUDIO ARE:
[Consolation prizes are fondled by girls in Trevor Brown bunny costumes.]
DESIGNER HOSPITAL GEAR, CREATED BY NONE OTHER THAN ROMAIN SLOCOMBE. WHEN THE SHIT COMES DOWN, AT LEAST YOU'LL WIND UP LOOKING GOOD.
BENNETTCO'S WHITE WHIPS. EASY TO HANDLE, EASY TO CONCEAL IN RAIDS. FITS IN ANY POCKET.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THE LAST REMAINING COPIES OF CRAD KILDNEY'S SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS. THE MAN HIMSELF HASN'T COME AROUND YET CONCERNING THE USE OF HIS STORY TITLES, BUT I DON'T THINK WE'LL HAVE TO WAIT MUCH LONGER.
"THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS" IS A PRODUCTION OF SUSAN LAWLY TELEVISION, IN CONJUNCTION WITH ALBINIVISION.
AND REMEMBER, PEOPLE:
"NEVER FORGET STEF!"
(cleaned up and edited version) - Susan Lawly 2002
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