A copy of my book, Beer, Blood & Cornmeal: Seven Years of Incredibly Strange Wrestling, is going to be a piece of set décor on a primetime network sitcom. You know, like that statue of Superman that Jerry Seinfeld keeps in his apartment, or the still in Hawkeye's tent in M*A*S*H* or the framed photo of Hitler with the microphone implanted in it that hangs in Col. Klink's office in Hogan's Heroes.
According to an email from ECW Press publicist Simon Ware, my punk-wrestling memoir will be "used as permanent background set dressing in the NBC series Parenthood," starting with season 2, episode 14, which airs on Tuesday Jan. 25, 2011 at 10pm (9pm central).
"Look for it at Zeek and Camille’s place," Simon wrote.
I quickly looked up Parenthood on IMDB. Oh my God! Zeek is played by Craig T. Nelson! Yes, that Craig T. Nelson—the dad from Poltergeist who smokes grass with Jo Beth Williams while his daughter is being pulled into a ghostly underworld through the family television set. Like many of my lethargic generation, I watched Nelson's performance in the Spielberg produced shocker far too many times through nearly round-the-clock showings on a still young HBO. The cable network didn't have Entourage or True Blood back then. All they had was Poltergeist, Poltergeist II: the Other Side, and, yes, Beastmaster. They sure had Beastmaster.
"You only moved the headstones," Craig T. yells during the film's conclusion as his McMansion gets pulled into hell by pissed off spirits, "You only moved the headstones!" I lost count of how many times I saw him say that.
Now Nelson is playing the grizzled patriarch in Parenthood, and his character has a copy of my book adding clutter to his hopefully un-haunted Berkeley home. I don't know if Zeek or Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) will ever pick up Beer, Blood & Cornmeal and crack it open wide for a weekly audience of nearly 6 million viewers to see. For all I know, you'll need a 70" plasma screen to see the book's spine as it sits on the Braverman family's shelves.
In Poltergeist, a book leaps off of its shelf and the pages are flicked for the audience right in the center of the screen during a maelstrom of pre-CGI special effects. If only I could be so lucky.