I Get That A Lot: Disguised Celebrities “Play Retail”

CBS had an “April Fool’s Day Special” last night called I Get That A Lot that was a surprise ratings hit. It’s the exact same thing as Punk’d, but reversed: celebrities work menial jobs and are assholes/idiots and regular people are secretly taped reacting to them. It was like what Sacha Baron Cohen does, but without his talent or the victims’ egos and/or racism. Yeah, I can’t believe I watched it, either, but I thought it might be a really terrible lesson in the huge gap between the rich and the poor in this country — an uncomfortable reminder of the barriers that prevent people of different classes from interacting. Either that or I was a little tipsy. But it totally did turn out to be kind of like that!

The celebrities were Heidi Klum as a pizza counter girl, Jeff Probst as a supermarket checkout clerk, Jared Fogle as a Subway sandwich maker, Ice T as a shoe salesman, LeAnn Rimes as a waitress, Mario Lopez as a hot dog seller, and Jessica Simpson as a Geek-Squad-type computer repair person. I know this was a stupid show that doesn’t deserve to be viewed with a critical eye, but watching Heidi Klum prance around eating off the pizzas and dropping them on the floor in a real restaurant as real pizza cook guys made real minimum wage as they tried to work around her was distracting at best, insulting at worst. And did every celebrity, when recognized, have to say: “Do you think I’d be HERE if I were _____ _______?????” I mean, I know that’s the point. It was just weird. Anyway, Jessica Simpson was actually not terrible or un-entertaining as the computer repair geek, even though there’s no way she didn’t have someone writing all her jokes for her and whispering them into a tiny microphone in her ear. There’s no way Jessica Simpson is even this funny:

My favorite part was at the end when she says “Playing retail today was very…interesting? I saw a lot of different kinds of…personalities?” Yes. Just like a regular person who isn’t surrounded at all times with people on his or her payroll. If this show accomplished one thing other than making people who weren’t insulted by it forget about their problems for an hour, it was making six pampered celebrities and Jared Fogle forever nicer to regular people just trying to do their jobs. Six down, hundreds to go.