Tonight I’m watching “Splash,” a celebrities-learn-to-dive show on ABC (please don’t judge me), and I’m wondering if a celebrities-learn-to-unicycle show would work. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is on the diving show; now imagine him on a unicycling show (and the length of the seat post).
I need to start working on a studio pitch.
It could work. It would be a great way to show that anyone who puts their mind to it can learn to ride one.
Once upon a time, I got asked to teach Levar Burton to ride a unicycle for the TV show Reading Rainbow. They wanted to know if he could learn to ride in five hours. I replied “It depends”, based on how quickly he picked up the skill. They decided to switch vehicles, and the cycling-themed episode reportedly ended with him lamely riding away on the back seat of a tandem. And I did not get to meet Levar Burton.
So if anyone ever asks if a celebrity can learn to ride a unicycle in five hours, remember. The answer is YES!
I worked at Paramount Television during the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” years (TV ratings research), and while I never met LeVar Burton, I did see him occasionally in his Star Fleet uniform, along with other crew members, Klingons and various aliens eating burritos at the roach coach.
I worked in the Roddenberry Building (as in “Star Trek” creator Gene), and at the the building’s dedication, the full casts of “Star Trek” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” were in attendance. Had I been a Trekkie, I might have been tempted to kidnap them all right then and there. Instead, I’ve become a unigeek, and I’m like, Wow, I’m conversing with John Foss, the Geordi La Forge of the unicycling universe.
I promise not to abduct you.
So I’m calling my celebrity unicycling show “Falling Stars,” until I think of something better, and it will consist of D-list celebrities training with unicycle pros, followed by a course/skills competition.
Cool! I have seen the Enterprise D (I think it’s the D model) in a Star Trek museum exhibit, but no photography was allowed. That was the “hero” model used for up-close shots of the Next Generation ship for the TV show. I also “almost” got to meet Roddenberry, when he appeared on a local daytime talk show in Detroit back in the early 80s. I sat with a group of Star Trek geeks in the front. I guess I’m one of those.
Aww. But if I get to choose, I’d want to be unicycling’s Mr. Spock. I think Geordi would be Andy Cotter, who “engineered” lots of great things for this sport in the 90s and 2000’s.
My fear is that I’m a “Star Trek” redshirt who dies soon after being introduced, which is why I never wear red while riding.