Failed 2016 Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton dropped in with a cameo in an attempt to boost the re-boot of the left-wing 1990s sitcom Murphy Brown.
Clinton appeared at about the midpoint in the debut episode with a one-off joke that she was interviewing to be a Murphy Brown’s new secretary.
For the Clinton bit, Brown (Candice Bergen) is returning to TV because she is furious that Donald Trump became president — no really, that is the extent of the motivation for re-booting this show. Indeed, Trump has a bigger part in the show — without ever actually appearing — than Clinton. President Trump is mentioned in nearly every scene.
Brown is told that there will be a few candidate interviewing to become her secretary, the cue for Hillary to emerge from an elevator at the back of the set. “Hello, I’m here to interview for the secretarial position,” Clinton said to thunderous applause from the studio audience.
Looking shocked, Brown notes how much she looks like Hillary Clinton. “I get that a lot,” Clinton deadpans. “But my name’s spelled with one ‘L,'” she said.
“I want you to know I’m not afraid of hard work; I’m qualified and ready on day one,” Clinton said as “Hilary.”
Bergen asks if she has secretarial experience and Clinton replies, “Absolutely, for four years I was the secretary of a very — I was the secretary of a very large organization.”
There was also a joke about emails. Asked if she has experience with computers, “Hilary” replies, “Emails – I do have some experience with emails.”
Clinton did not interact with any other character on the show during her spot and after the bit with Bergen sauntered off stage to the applause of the studio audience.
Still, love her or hate her, Clinton’s spot was actually the only somewhat amusing bit on the entire, dismal episode. The new Murphy Brown joins an already crowded field of anti-Trump, anti-Republican TV shows making it wholly unremarkable in that respect. But, the premiere episode was one sustained, angry scream after another. There was a celebration of “Women’s March” pussy hats and anti-Trump protests, hate for climate change deniers, attacks on Trump appointees, snide remarks about average GOP voters, and one slam on Donald Trump after another.
Speaking of computers, one of the themes of the episode was that Brown was a tech dinosaur still using a flip phone and was forced to join social media (upon which she naturally becomes a star immediately) with her return as a TV commentator. But, in real life social media was less forgiving. Not once during the episode did #MurphyBrown trend on Twitter or Facebook. So, promos where Bergen told the audience, “admit it, you missed me,” apparently missed the mark for reality.
If it were not for the studio audience laughter, one might miss the fact that Murphy Brown was supposed to be a comedy. In fact, the show almost seemed like an epitaph marking the death of the old liberal elites of TV.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.