Friday, June 29, 2018

Go For It

Fred Grandy turns 70 today.  He's best known for playing Gopher on The Love Boat. a solid hit that lasted nine seasons. Though the show was a comedy, I believe he served as comic relief, or something like that--I never watched more than a few minutes at a time (even in an age before widely available remotes), but I'm pretty sure his character was sort of goofy.

What interests me about Grandy is he's part of that small group of actual celebrities who became members of Congress.  He represented Iowa from 1987 to 1995--almost as long as he was purser on the Love Boat.

I often wonder why someone would go from show biz to politics.  In a way, it's a step down.  You've got money and adulation, and now you're taking a pay cut and people hate you.  I'll charitably assume it's out of a sense of public duty and not a grab at power.

On the other hand, celebrity can be a stepping stone to politics in that it gives you name recognition, which is half the battle.  Grandy admitted he wouldn't have gone far without Gopher.  On the other hand, I suppose he had to fight the image of the dopey guy he played. (Apparently he wasn't dumb, graduating magna cum laude from Harvard.)

Could have been worse.  Imagine if Goober wanted to run.


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