REGIS PHILBIN: Welcome to ``Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,'' the dramatic hit quiz show that has all America on the edge of its seat wondering how, exactly, I became famous in the first place. Let's get started with some irritating theme music!
MUSIC: BOM BOM BOM BOMMM!
REGIS: To select our first contestant, we're going to ask our 10 finalists to rank these four things in the order of how much you would not want to have them inserted deep into your ear: (A) A lima bean; (B) A spider; (C) A harmonica; (D) Rosie O'Donnell.
FINALISTS (shouting over the music): Did you say ``ear'' or ``rear''?
REGIS: Too late! The correct answer is: ``(E) It depends on what kind of spider.'' Our winner is. . . Walter Gweemble of Toledo, Ohio! Come on out here, Walter!
(Walter runs out and shakes hands violently with Regis.)
REGIS: So Walter, tell us about yourself.
WALTER: Well, Regis, I'm. . .
REGIS: Nobody cares, Walter. What loved one have you brought along so that we can heighten the drama by showing his or her reaction as tension mounts?
WALTER: Regis, I brought my dog, Boomer.
(Boomer wags his tail.)
REGIS: OK! Let's play for a MILLION DOLLARS!
REGIS: Here we go. For $100, which of the following letters is NOT really a letter? (A) ``A''; (B) ``B''; (C) ``C''; or (D) The Grand Canyon.
(Walter frowns with deep concentration.)
REGIS: God, this is dramatic, isn't it?
(The reaction camera shows Boomer, who is engaged in an act of personal hygiene.)
WALTER: Regis, I am just not sure what the answer is. But I am really getting off on calling you Regis, Regis.
REGIS: As you know, Walter, you have three lifelines: You can poll the audience; you can make a phone call; or you can have me shout the correct answer out loud, like this: ``IT'S `D,' YOU MORON!''
WALTER: Regis, I'm going to call my mother.
REGIS: We're getting her on the line now. (Sound of phone ringing.)
WALTER'S MOTHER: Hello?
REGIS: Mrs. Gweemble, this is Regis Philbin, with ABC's ``Who Wants To Be a Millionaire''!
WALTER'S MOTHER: I told you damn people a million times, we don't want MCI.
WALTER: Mom! It's me! Walter!
WALTER'S MOTHER: Walter?
WALTER'S MOTHER: You call your mother DURING `THE X-FILES'?? (click)
REGIS: Walter, please give your final answer, so I can ask you if your final answer is in fact your final answer. I get paid $25,000 for every time I say ``final answer.''
WALTER: Gosh, Regis, I just don't. . . (He looks over at Boomer, who is drawing a ``D'' on the floor with his paw.) Regis, I'm going to say... ``D.''
REGIS: Is that your final answer? Final answer? Final answer?
WALTER: Regis, yes.
REGIS: ``D'' is correct! You've won $100!
MUSIC: BOM BOM BOM BA-DOMMMMM
(Walter collapses. The audience cheers wildly. Boomer makes the Weewee of Triumph on the studio floor.)
REGIS: Whew! Talk about drama! Only 14 more questions to go for a MILLION DOLLARS! Are you nervous, Walter?
WALTER: Well, Regis, I. . .
REGIS: Shut up. Your next question, for $200, is: How many legs are there on a standard cow? (A) None; (B) One; (C) More than one; (D) The Grand Canyon.
REMOTE CONTROL: Click.
Dave Barry is a humor columnist for the Miami Herald.