With the news that Paul Henry will be taking over TV3’s breakfast television and radio, Joseph Moore imagines the final episode in the fake-book laden late-night lair of The Paul Henry Show (please note this work is entirely fictitious although, has anyone actually seen Jesse Peach recently?) //
“2 minutes, Mr. Henry!” a voice from a recently AUT-graduated intern echoed through the small TV3 studio, waking Paul Henry from his pre-Paul Henry Show nap. Paul hated being woken from naps. He liked naps, and dreams. He hosted a semi-tolerable late night news slash entertainment show in his dreams as well.
Reaching into the fake bookshelf set behind him, Paul pulled out three fake books, and biffed them crudely at the intern, “piss off you shit!” he yelled, with all the glee of someone who has just been told they are maybe allowed to say “piss” and “shit” on late night television. The books missed the intern entirely, instead taking out a hundred thousand dollar camera. Paul scoffed with laughter, banging his hands heartily on the Paul Henry Show desk.
Shit he was having fun here, Paul thought to himself. It was almost a shame that tomorrow it would all change. Paul had recently been offered the job hosting the new MediaWorks Breakfast show on both television and the radio. A format which totally makes sense. Maybe the point of it is to watch it on TV and listen to it on an old AM radio held up to the side of your face like an old man at the cricket? Who knows? Paul sure didn’t, all he knew is that he had been offered a deal which involved an enormous pay rise, a permanent car park, and his pick of the The Block houses.
He’d miss his current gang. As far as Paul was aware, he was the only person heading to the Breakfast show. Janika had picked up a gig on the replacement show in the 10:30pm time slot – half an hour of her sitting across from Paul’s empty chair and laughing supportively anyway.
Jesse Peach was unavailable. He had been doing a live cross from a mechanical bull competition a few months earlier, and had hopped on himself, certain of ratings gold. He remained on it to this day, too polite to ask the organisers how to turn it off. Rebecca Wright had been fired after it was discovered she was stealing the Kia Serato at the end of every single unsuccessful “9 in 10”.
It was all up to Paul. From tomorrow, the nation would be munching on their Weet-Bix and looking for their car keys to the sights and sometimes sounds of him. “Thirty seconds Mr. Henry” the intern shouted, as the studio filled with the rockin’ theme song by not-quite-The Black Keys. Paul Henry wiped his glasses and faced the camera, this is what he was born to do.
Everything went as planned. Janika read the news, some young entertainment reporter in a t-shirt came on and talked about a video game, there was another guest who was a woman, and Paul Henry said “shit” a cheeky (but not complaint-worthy) four times. It was the perfect show.
“We’re going for final night drinks – you want to come Mr. Henry?” The intern approached Paul cautiously, as men in hard hats started disassembling the fake bookshelf. “Be there or be square!”. Paul didn’t say anything, and instead just smiled. He knew he wasn’t a square. He wore Chuck Taylors with his suits! He threw another fake book at the intern, got into his Kia, drove it around the corner to his actual car, and headed home.
The next day Paul forgot to set his alarm for 5am, arrived on the Breakfast show halfway through it, said the n-word accidentally on seven separate occasions, and inexplicably managed to set his coffee mug on fire. He was promoted to CEO of MediaWorks the following day.