We are now used to the idea that everyone wants to be a star. It is the dream of fame, and the wealth that is supposed to accompany it, that sees us through disappointments and dreary jobs. Everyone wants to be a winner, and daytime television, with its game shows and talk shows, has long provided a framework to contain that wish for a great many people. It is a cruel fantasy, but a potent one, and one that will inevitably become ever more available with the new surge of activity surrounding cable television.
Such a world of momentary celebrity is the one reluctantly inhabited by Mike, the sad-sack character Michael Smith has been developing over the past several years. Mike is too perplexed by life to get out of the house much—in fact, he rarely manages to get more than his underwear on in the morning. In past tapes and performances we have seen him dreaming of having friends, of throwing
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