With so many talk show hosts retiring from their shows this year and last, we have to start wondering what folks like David Letterman, Jon Stewart, Chelsea Handler, Regis Philbin, Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Walters will do with their down time.
While some may take up hosting game shows or moving to online streaming services, you figure a few might considering taking up a new career. And with so much cash at their disposal, it’s not completely far-fetched to think that maybe one or two might decided to take up general medicine.
And who knows that talk show hosts from the past haven’t already done this? Is Ricki Lake running a family medicine office somewhere in the Midwest? Is Alan Thicke doing dental work between jobs hawking reverse mortgages? Isn’t anything possible?
If so – and for the sake of this article let’s run with “if so” – here are 5 ways you can tell if your doctor or dentist is a former talk show host.
- The hygenist at the dentist office tells a lot of jokes. If the woman cleaning your teeth spends the better part of her time telling you jokes and asking where you where you from, your hygienist might be an audience warmer. These folks – usually stand-up comedians – work the crowd before the talk show host comes out, warming them up with jokes and interactive fun. The idea? Get the audience loose and ready to laugh before the host comes out on stage.
- Your doctor spends five minutes riffing about the day before she takes your vitals. If your doctor steps into the exam room, gives a little bow, and then talks about how Congress can’t seem to get it’s act together, your doctor might be a former talk show host. In this case, she hasn’t broken the opening monologue habit and must pepper you with a few one-liners before she can get into the examination process.
- Your dentist goofs with his assistant during your root canal. If your dentist and his assistant seem to have an uncanny rapport, your dentist may be a former talk show host. And his assistant may be his former sidekick. The talk show sidekick is a long-standing talk show staple. Dave had Paul, Johnny had Ed, Seth has Fred and Craig had a robot named Geoff. If your dentist and assistant seem to be of one mind or are lost in their own world while you seem to be just looking on in confusion – well, they may be a former talk show host and his sidekick.
- Your appointment gets cancelled to make room for another patient. If you’re in the waiting room (and it’s painted green and includes some nice snacks and bottled water) when a nurse informs you the doctor won’t be able to see you because another patient’s visit was extended, your doctor might be a former talk show host. It’s common for some guests on talk shows to get the boot from their planned appearance when a bigger celebrity decides he or she is “on” and extends their stay through the next segment. When this happens, the other guest is often rescheduled for another night or may never come back to the show again. So if your appointment gets “bumped” you might start to understand why.
- Your doctor employs a live band in the waiting room. You’re used to hearing classical or Muzak in the waiting room of your family physician, but something’s up if your doc employs a fully staffed band to accompany your wait. Moreso if the bandleader is a well-known musician like Paul Shaffer or Fred Armisen. Now this could mean your doctor is just a little eccentric, but if the band plays your theme song when the nurse calls you back to the exam room, then you can rest assured your doctor is a former talk show host.