I’ve always had a fertile imagination.
For nearly six decades I’ve imagined my life unfolding in the form of a TV show always playing to an imaginary studio audience and their reactions.
Its genesis was the late-night imaginings of a 5-year-old who in the comfort of her suburban bedroom created her own 1960’s Comedy Variety show aptly named the “Sally Show.”
An amalgam of Ed Sullivan, The Red Skelton Hour, and Jackie Gleason, I was not only the congenial host introducing the various acts but performed them all too. Belting out songs to rival Judy Garland and Sophie Tucker, I did comedy.
Borscht Belt stand up to put Henny Youngman to shame, (“Take my Betsy Wetsy….Please!”) Since no 1960s variety show was complete without the obligatory ventriloquism portion of the show, my very own Jerry Mahoney doll came in handy.
For a Jewish little girl brought up kosher, I was quite the ham.
The pretend show, produced late at night in the dark of my bedroom was lit only by the greenish glow from my GE electric clock, and the sliver of light from a pale pink nightlight. From the moment my mother bid me goodnight with a bedtime story and a tender kiss, at the sound of the door being shut my bed turned into a theatre.
The acts were performed not on a stage but underneath and on top of my Cannon no iron sheets during the wee hours when I was supposed to be sound asleep. While my parents were chuckling to Carol Burnett on their own bedroom TV screen, little did they know that an entire Television show was being performed live just down the hall at Studio 1 on Western Park Drive.
The Sally Show
Through the years, the show’s name remained the same but the format expanded beyond the confines of my bedroom and like a reality show could occur anywhere. The show itself morphed several times from the initial variety show it eased into a Desilu situation comedy and then eventually a late-night talk show a la Johnny Carson. Starting in the early 1970’s it became more a dramedy where it remained until this 2020 season where it shifted to a soap opera with one life tragedy occurring after another.
Enough is Enough
However, in the melodrama my life has become this past year, the scriptwriters have now really jumped the shark by throwing COVID into the storyline.
Wasn’t losing a home, financial ruin, the near-death of a beloved dog, and a husband in cognitive decline creating massive chaos enough of a storyline to keep this season’s audience at the edge of their seat? I thought the ratings were boffo.
To my great surprise, this week’s episode is titled”Covid is in Da House.”
After taking a COVID test in anticipation of a routine procedure, my husband tested positive, and we are now in quarantine. Extreme vigilance seems not to have made a difference to this sneaky virus. A preliminary test has shown I am negative but quarantining in place with someone with impaired judgment presents its own very difficult challenges.
And today the script is throwing in a massive Nor’easter. They are shooting for an Emmy with that.
The script twists and turns in “The Sally Show” might seem fantastical and over the top at times, but even the scriptwriters have their limits when it comes to reality.
Jewish jokes yes. Jewish Space Lasers, no.
When it comes to vivid imagination and flights of fancy, I think Marjorie Taylor Greene has far surpassed any of my own imaginings. But instead of having her own variety show at home, she has a seat in the U.S. Congress.