Thursday, December 14, 2006

TeriHey John—I got your voicemail. Or, I saw that I missed your call. I didn’t actually listen to your voicemail. I was at a shoot. For Desperate Housewives.

Listen, I heard that you were basically fired from the United Nations. I’m really sorry. You were so certain in your career, and now suddenly your world is shattered.

Here is the thing, John: You cannot throw in the towel. That’s the last thing this world needs right now. A world without John Bolton would be like a sky without sun, or a Desperate Housewives without Teri Hatcher. Any of those situations would be horrible, and unimaginable.

That is exactly what I told myself when I was in that seven-year career lull between 1997 and 2004. It was the dark period between the series finale of Lois & Clark and the series première of Desperate Housewives . “Teri,” I would whisper to myself. “Teri, do not let this world down. This world needs you. This world without Teri Hatcher would be like a sky without sun.” And I believed what I told myself.

John, you are going to bounce back from this. Just like I did: I am now the star of Desperate Housewives. You are going to bounce right back like my hair does in those cute Clairol ads for which I am now the spokesmodel. And believe me, John, I never thought that I would bounce back. I was in a terrible place. All I seemed to have were my long, endless legs and my daughter, Amelia Rose. Excuse me—Emerson Rose. My daughter’s name is Emerson Rose.

But then, not unlike the hunky Mike Delfino suddenly moving into the vacant house on Wisteria Lane, so too did I land some lucky spots in Two Girls from Lemoore, A Touch of Fate, and Two and a Half Men . It wasn’t the jackpot, but it was something.

This is merely a speed bump on the road to the championship, John.

Have you seen the Desperate Housewives episode where I accidentally set Edie Britt’s house on fire? That was a setback, John. Just like you being essentially fired from the United Nations. But what did Edie Britt do? She calmed down, collected herself, and moved in with the suspicious elderly neighbor Martha Huber. And what will John Bolton do? He will calm down, collect himself, and enthusiastically lead the Yale class of 1970 to the most successful Annual Giving Campaign in years. Go Bulldogs!

Wait a minute: Did you know George Bush when you were both undergrads at Yale? You guys were there at the same time.

John, have you seen the Desperate Housewives episode where I accidentally fall through the upstairs bathroom in Mike Delfino’s house? Right through the floor, John. That was not an easy stunt to do. Marc Cherry kept pleading with me: “Teri, Teri, we have stuntwomen for this sort of thing. Let me get you a stuntwoman!” But I refused, saying, “That is not the Teri Hatcher that I am. Have you ever seen the Lois & Clark episode where I fall into a trashcan? That, too, was my own stuntwork. Teri Hatcher does her own stunts.”

Later I found a gun and a huge wad of cash in Mike Delfino’s kitchen cabinet. Suspense! That Marc Cherry sure knows how to write a Desperate Housewives episode.

John, I know that your pride has suffered a mighty blow. Nobody likes you. Not in the U.N., not in the Senate, possibly not even your wife. Certainly not your poor daughter, Jennifer Sarah. She was blatantly hosed from the Yale chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta because all of the sisters know that she is related to you. And nobody likes you.

This whole situation reminds me, almost eerily, of a passage from my memoir, Burnt Toast. I won’t quote the section here, but it describes a stage in my life where nobody liked me. It was for a couple of months during sophomore year at Fremont High. Alison Meigher decided that it would be funny to start a rumor that I had some sort of freak thyroid disease, because my legs were so long and endless.

But I didn’t have a thyroid disease, John. I just had really long legs.

Do not lose faith in yourself. For though the house doth shake, still the foundation stands firm. Do not forget how you successfully passed Security Council measures seeking to crush the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea. Do not gloss over the fact that you established a U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon after you ended the war there.

And do not shave your mustache.

It is always darkest just before the dawn. Remember when Elaine accidentally falls into my naked breasts in the sauna at that New York City gym? I thought that Jerry had purposely sent Elaine in there to determine whether or not my breasts were real. In the end, it turns out that my breasts actually were real (and spectacular!), but by that point, I had already decided to stop dating Jerry.

A lot of people don’t realize that it was me who played that part on Seinfeld. I had bigger breasts back then.

I’m going to bed now, but I’ll check my e-mail in the morning. I have to be on set at 5:30 a.m. In the scene we’re shooting tomorrow, I am in the middle of getting ready for a romantic date when I accidentally explode a pie.

I’m thinking of you, John. You need to shoot for the stars, and beyond. Which is exactly why I think you should consider running for president in 2008.

Presidents don’t need the approval of some silly Senate.


Ellie Kemper is a woman actor and woman writer living in New York City. She was recently tripped on the sidewalk, on purpose, in the middle of a Tuesday, on 50th Street between Broadway and 7th, by a middle-aged businessman probably on his way to Lehman Brothers. She thinks that he was just having a frustrating day. Ellie is a contributor to The Onion and McSweeney’s.

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