This is another installment in the continuing saga of failure that seemed to follow Morris Crimpanfortis V wherever he went. We learn that he had the good fortune of caddying for one of his father’s TV execs in a celebrity golf tournament and was subsequently awarded a position at the Burbank studio. There, he learned the ropes and generally comported himself in a professional manner. But that, of course, did not last forever. Overstepping his boundaries, he produced an infomercial that went live coast-to-coast on the family-owned network that delivered results that were a crashing embarrassment to the staid Crimpanfortis standard of broadcast excellence.  

Leaving Burbank in the Red-eye Dust

How I went from Hollywood Hotshot to Coal Country Wash-up

You may be wondering how I went from our flagship television station in the Los Angeles DMA to an end-of-the-road outlet in the economically distressed coal region of eastern Pennsylvania. This is the price one sometimes pays for innovation and creativity. Unfortunately, I chose the wrong product to get innovative with. The result was one of the most embarrassing debacles in live TV history. Worse, it totally disgraced Daddy. And you know who took the blame: it sure wasn’t my sister Noreen.

All but disowning me the only recourse of the family was to shuffle me off to oblivion and hope I didn’t debauch myself again. Of course, when you regularly entertain creative urges like I do, you’re never going to remain silent. There’s always a gears grinding in the old wheelhouse–even if people say I’m a couple bricks shy of a full load. But what do they know? Do they know what actually constitutes a “full load?” Don’t worry I’ll give you a full load. A full load upended my career.

The Nastiest Cleanse of All

It all began–and ended–with a half-hour infomercial. You know the genre I’m talking about, the one where the announcer is constantly saying, “But wait, there’s more.” There was more, all right. I created what I thought was a groundbreaking vehicle for an ambitions, albeit overly aggressive client. What started with such high hopes became a nightmare of epic proportion.

The disaster at the Burbank studio taught me a couple of valuable lessons: number one, never deal with a herbal body cleanse that bills itself as “explosive.” Number two: don’t roll over for any of your clients; and number three: never trust the hyperbolic claims of a detox product that hasn’t been thoroughly vetted by the proper regulatory agencies. There’s no such thing as “fudging the clinical data” to make the benefits/risks assessment more palatable to the uninformed consumer.

But above all else–never…NEVER, EVER go live with such a product (especially not without the luxury of a seven-second delay) and NEVER, EVER…EVER make a game show out of contestants demonstrating the product’s primary use with escalating prize packages tied to performance.

So what if the Disaster was seen around the World?

Corporate can banish me to the far and forgotten reaches of this great country all it wants. I will not stop pitching my shows. New content is the lifeblood of a television network. This is my opportunity to rise and shine and I’ve got to stake my claim. You never know if you’ll ever get another shot like this again.

Oh, by the way…sales of the product that I showcased went through the roof following the one-time-only telecast. To this day, the all-natural cleanse ranks in the top ten of like-minded products according to the “lists” you see on the Internet (when, of course, in these post-sunspot days the flickering Internet is actually working).

How much did the televised meltdown contribute to brand awareness? All I know for certain, I’ll never get the credit. But that’s okay; when you’re creating shows, you do it for the love of the game.

And when you finally do have a success, it just makes all the snide comments people make behind your back just that much sweeter.