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Shows that went on way too long
"Californication" (seven seasons)
Rush Limbaugh just added extra work to the plates of elementary school teachers across America, who are going to have to spend a lot of time undoing the damage caused by his historically inaccurate and bizarre new project, a children’s history book called “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures With Exceptional Americans.”
According to his site Two if by Tea, “Rush Revere is a modern-day Paul Revere who rides around America espousing fundamental American values. He is a close friend of Rush Limbaugh who sounds the alarm that The Liberals Are Coming!™” By essentially injecting himself into the 1600s, Limbaugh hopes to teach children “the true story of Thanksgiving,” an idea given to him by his wife, Kathryn, who observed that Limbaugh is “always talking about how history is being mistaught.”
It seems that the ever-enterprising Limbaugh, who published two other books in the 1990s, is expanding his reach. But why stop with children’s books? Here are 10 other projects that Limbaugh could successfully undertake:
1. Gettysburg reenactor
Given Limbaugh’s proclivity for history, playing a reenactor of one of America’s most pivotal battles would be the next logical application of his passion. Except that Limbaugh fiddles with history just a little bit, playing a resurrected George Washington, who arrives to battle in a stylish Tesla. Also, the reenactment takes place in a more American state, like Texas.
2. An Etsy business tycoon
Taking a page from the book of his kindred spirit Glenn Beck, who lovingly tried to auction off an Obama-in-a-Pee-Pee Doll, Limbaugh could easily set up shop on Etsy. Perhaps he could make jewelry for women, a demographic he seems to understand quite well.
3. Professional cuddler
Please note: This is a real job. Cuddly-wuddly Limbaugh could probably make a decent chunk of change charging men and women upwards of $60 to enjoy his cuddly-wuddliness. (Just a thought!)
4. Professional LARPer
To the uninitiated, “LARP” stands for “live action role-playing,” an interactive game in which players physically act out the stories of their characters in costume, with props. After all, Limbaugh is already a renowned LARPer in this tragicomedy we call real life.
5. Reddit moderator
This is how it begins: Late one night, after he’s sold his last necklace on Etsy, Rush, struggling to find meaning again, will find himself on the infamous Reddit thread r/creepshots. Suddenly inspired, Rush will quietly create r/limbshots, a clever eponymous portmanteau that will entirely feature photos of Rush himself. This will go well for Limbaugh — better than he could have imagined — and he’ll expand his Reddit enterprise to include r/feminist_limbshots. Eventually, his entrepreneurial spirit will capture the attention of Reddit mods, who will make him one of their own.
6. Town crier
This is essentially what Limbaugh would have become without the power of Cumulus Media behind him.
7. Hype man for Insane Clown Posse
A modern twist on the town crier: Rush Limbaugh as the master of the Juggalos.
8. Advertising director for women’s tampon commercials
It’s a well-known fact that women like to laugh alone with salad and discuss their periods when their hormones aren’t making them crazy. Limbaugh could direct the perfect ad for women, who don’t poop until marriage.
9. Basketball ambassador to North Korea
Technically, this made-up position is already filled by Dennis Rodman. Rush doesn’t have any renown as a basketball player, but as a ruddy-faced, inflated pressurized ball, Limbaugh would make the perfect replacement if relations between Rodman and BFF Kim Jong Un go sour.
10. Online PUA instructor
It’s actually surprising that Limbaugh doesn’t fancy himself something of a pickup artist already. Like PUAs, he clearly knows how to talk to women and knows a lot about their bodies. Aspiring PUAs could learn a lot from him.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the setting of Limbaugh’s book. It is set in the 1600s. It also mischaracterized Limbaugh’s relationship with Cumulus Media. Limbaugh recently signed a new deal with Cumulus.
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at email@example.com. More Prachi Gupta.
"Californication" (seven seasons)
"Entourage" (eight seasons)
Much like “Californication,” this man-centric show started strong and buzzy -- a perpetual nominee at the Golden Globes and Emmys, and a perceived gender-swapped “Sex and the City.” Then it ground on and on, and what might once have been read as a sophisticated satire of Hollywood materialism became a grinding conveyor belt of self-congratulatory guest-star appearances.
"Will & Grace" (eight seasons)
Hey, did someone say “self-congratulatory guest-star appearances?” Look -- it’s Jennifer Lopez, and Cher, and Janet Jackson, and Madonna! The latter seasons of “Will & Grace” effectively ruined the fun of watching the show in syndication now -- will it be a fun and jaunty early episode, or a later episode in which title characters enact an Ibsen play about having a baby together (really) while Jack and Karen meet one pop star or another? The fact that the show hastened a widespread acceptance of gay people that, then, made the show something of a throwback by the time it ended is one thing; the fact that the show itself seemed uninterested in relying on its actors’ sharp comic timing is quite another.
"The King of Queens" (nine seasons)
This CBS stalwart just kind of kept going, exactly as long as was needed to launch Kevin James’ film career. In the show’s final minutes, a formulaic sitcom became a mile-a-minute soap, with the central characters considering divorce and then having two children.
"Frasier" (11 seasons)
Though it ended strong, "Frasier" had something of the opposite problem as “The King of Queens”: While the CBS comedy chucked a whole bunch of plot at viewers toward the end, NBC’s Emmy magnet stayed stuck in familiar ruts, with Frasier questing endlessly for love and Daphne and Niles in fairly unthrilling domestic bliss. The jokes stayed good, but this maybe could have gone one or two years shorter.
"Weeds" (eight seasons)
As “Homeland” viewers may be learning, Showtime isn’t particularly good at keeping its shows coherent over time. (Maybe this is “Californication”’s issue -- we wouldn’t know!) This show changed settings and, effectively, organizing conceits so many times that by the end, it had few earnest defenders.
"Nip/Tuck" (six seasons)
This FX series, too, changed settings midway through, moving from Miami to Los Angeles four seasons in for no compelling reason. The show’s most gripping subplots had a way of petering out (remember the anticlimactic solution to the mystery of the Carver?), and its bizarre tendencies overtook any sense of fun.
"Glee" (five seasons and counting)
The series has, like its sibling show “Nip/Tuck” (Ryan Murphy created them both), switched locations, moving in large part to New York once its core cast graduated high school. But what’s the point of a high school series when the stars graduate? Despite some lovely moments, the show’s heat seems gone, and attempts to get back into the conversation (the school shooting episode, for instance) have been more desperate and tone-deaf than effective.
"Grey's Anatomy" (10 seasons and counting)
Here’s the thing: By all accounts, “Grey’s Anatomy” is not a creative failure. And it’s still widely watched. But when you begin your life as a world-beating hit, anything else seems somewhat marginal. “Grey’s Anatomy” has shed more regular viewers than many shows will ever hope to get in the first place (same’s true of “Survivor” and latter-day “ER,” to name just a few). Those who stopped watching once the Golden Globe nominations petered out may wonder why the show is still on; loyal viewers know better.
"The Simpsons" (25 seasons and counting)
Like the “Grey’s” doctors, the Springfield clan and their neighbors still draw a crowd. But “The Simpsons” is so omnipresent in syndication and in pop culture that the first-run series seems besides the point (not least because, though there are good episodes here and there, the show’s best days are universally agreed to be behind it -- like way behind it, in the 1990s).
"The Office" (nine seasons)
There was a natural break for this show, where it ought to have ended -- with the departure of lead actor Steve Carell in Season 7. The latter years were a creative fugue state, and as NBC’s Thursday night lineup continued to flatline in the ratings, one-time fans could be forgiven at their surprise that the adventures of Jim and Pam kept on unfolding.
"The X-Files" (nine seasons)
Once one of the show’s leads departs and has to be replaced -- as Steve Carell did on “The Office,” or David Duchovny did here -- the show faces a reckoning; if the lead is so central to the show’s plot as to make people wonder how the show could possibly go on, maybe the show shouldn’t. And even “X-Files” superfans might have been happier with fewer seasons of drawing out the conspiracy string toward a famously unsatisfying ending.
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