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That’s Not What People Are Paying For

That’s Not What People Are Paying For

A lesson in show business

 

Did you watch the live Travis Pastrana spectacle on cable TV this weekend? Neither did I.

From all accounts, he survived his replication of three of the most famous motorcycle jumps by daredevil Evel Knievel in the 1970s.

How they stretched this TV coverage over a couple of hours in today’s ADHD media world should make interesting reading, if, in fact, they managed to keep all those eyeballs on the screen the whole time.

Why sit through hours of horrible blather by talking heads you’ve never heard of when you can just check the carnage on YouTube tomorrow?

I guess Travis Pastrana is a good guy, who (wink, wink) wanted to do something to honor his hero, but I think he missed the point.

People didn’t sit glued to the TV 45 years ago because they had nothing better to do (though less choice certainly helped).

And they didn’t sit there to watch Evel Knievel stretch out a 10-second jump into an hour or two of prognostication ending in a nice, safe landing.

They watched because Evel Knievel had spectacular crashes early and often in his career, including the one at Caesar’s Palace which left him with injuries serious enough to remain hospitalized for 29 days.

It was the chance of another life-ending crash that made us watch.

Failure made Evel Knievel successful beyond his wildest dreams.

And this is the lesson of show business: If you do something predictable and safe over and over, no one will care.

They listen and watch those who aren’t predictable and safe.

Howard Stern figured this out decades ago and has become rich giving his fans what they’re paying for.

Donald Trump got elected President of the freakin’ United States, and dominates every news cycle, because he’s figured this out.

So, what’ve you got planned for your show today?

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