CBS’ Man In Black (Humor)

Jun 5, 2006  •  Post A Comment

For a good time, call Gil Schwartz … and ask him to warble one of the country-fried ditties he performed at the CBS affiliates meeting last week in Las Vegas.

The communications executive VP has a wicked sense of humor. That’s long been on display via his better-known alter ego Stanley Bing’s how-to-succeed-in-business-with-only-others-dying columns in Fortune magazine and in books such as “Sun Tzu Was a Sissy: Conquer Your Enemies, Promote Your Friends, and Wage the Real Art of War.”

Anyone who’s attended a CBS affiliates meeting in recent years knows Mr. Schwartz’s portion of the program is a must-see laff riot, an annual look at the network business as only he could see it or say it.

The Insider, who in a previous life was a critic, is here to tell you that Mr. Schwartz has never been funnier or more versatile than he was last Thursday, when he appeared as urbane cowboy Johnny “Deferred” Cash.

He was the man in rented black, complete with super-size belt buckle and power-pointed cowboy boots and a guitar he played masterfully, wailin’ about topics ranging from the Federal Communications Commission to CBS’s flop shows, from seeing CBS’s biggest comedy star appear on supermarket tabloid covers as often as he appears on the network to gettin’ a purty new anchor lady.

A high-speed riff on how CBS is everywhere, man, actually might be turned into a network promo, but other numbers sure to be on Mr. Schwartz/Cash’s first K-Tel greatest hits release are:

  • “Katie” (think Kenny Rogers): “Katie/You’re our hope for ‘Evening News’/And we adore you/We have paid you quite a bit and/Now we’re yours.”

  • “Stand by Your Sheen” (think Tammy Wynette): “Stand by your Sheen/And tell the world you love him/And keep his reputation clean!/Sta-a-a-a-and by-y-y-y-y your She-e-e-e-e-e-n!”

  • “Amazing Race” (think timeless gospel): “‘Amazing Race,’ how sweet the sound/To save a wretch like we/From ‘Race’ to ‘Case’ to ‘Without a Trace’/Thank God for you, Jerry.”

  • “No Eyes Adored You” (think Frankie Valli): “No eyes adored you/Though the critics thought you were OK/All eyes ignored you/’Out of Practice,’ ‘Courting Alex,’ ‘Threshhold’ and ‘Love Monkey’/Well, they scored you/So close … so close but no cigar.”

  • “Wholesome Prison Blues” (think Johnny Cash): “When I was just a baby, my mama told me, ‘Tex/You can program violence, just never program sex’/So we stuck to rotting corpses, on shows like ‘CSI’/But when I think of nipple jewelry/I hang my head and cry.”

    The Insider would share more but she can’t afford the rights fees … and she promised Mr. Schwartz/Cash the most dicey lyrics would stay in Vegas.

    Stamp of Approval

    CBS, taking advantage of the U.S. Postal Service’s recent decision to relax the rules about commercialized, personalized postage stamps, will print up legal stamps that feature CBS shows.

    For their marketing and promotion presentation to affiliates, George Schweitzer and Ron Scalera mocked up stamps bearing the faces of CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, President Nancy Tellem and Entertainment President Nina Tassler.

    “Of course, we still have to lick the back side,” Mr. Scalera said.