Laugh! Or You Can Be 26 Cents Richer
TBS is so convinced that people will laugh at the new Pauly Shore TV show “Minding the Store” that it says: “If his new show doesn’t make you laugh, he’ll send you a dollar!*”
Just to make sure we’re clear, TBS believes that “grins, smirks, smiles and giggles all count as actual laughs.”
OK, fine. But hold on–what’s that asterisk?
Ah yes, the T&Cs that explain why you might not get your $1. First, only the first 250,000 people get a buck. Personally, I find it hard to believe that 250,000 Americans will sit through any show that features Pauly Shore. However, I think it’s easy to overestimate the tastes of the viewing public, plus TV executives get paid to dream big–big enough that TBS wants to cap its liability at $250,000. And, in any case, it does seem possible that a few people will write in simply to get some free cash without watching the show at all.
Second, to get the cash, you need to send a 3×5 card and a self-addressed stamped envelope. The card must contain, in handwriting, the viewer’s name, address, date of birth (why date of birth??? I didn’t see an age requirement for eligibility) and reason why the viewer didn’t like the show. We all know what most cards are going to say: something to the effect of “It sucked.”
So, to get your buck, you need to pay $0.74 in postage plus the cost of the 3×5 card and envelope. (I can’t even contemplate that anyone would steal office supplies or postage to get the buck). Net compensation for your time: 26 cents or less.
Meanwhile, TBS takes the right to use your name, city/state and reason you didn’t like the show for its promotional purposes. In fact, I could see TBS basing a show on the response it receives, showing all of the different and creative ways Americans can say “It sucked.”
So there you have it. A bunch of non-viewing gamesters are going to net 26 cents each, and TBS is going to get a big pile of cards with the handwritten words “It sucked” on it.
But will the offer increase viewership? Well, if you think it’s a good deal to suffer through a bad TV show for 26 cents, then you’re probably in TBS’s target audience for this show anyway!
(Hat tip to Reality Blurred)