MILWAUKEE, November 12 – The hallowed halls of WLKE-TV3 were sweating Wednesday morning after executive producer Tater Beutler shocked the Milwaukee Talk “11:01 meeting” when she pitched Mary Margaret’s four year-old son, Elliot, as the one to take over co-hosting duties from Mary when she begins her maternity leave in 3 months.
The room fell ghostly quiet when the scheme was pitched, but Beutler was quick to defend herself stating that an hour under the harsh TV lights falls well below the FCC regulations for children performers.
Station owner Honus Knox III, who was in attendance at the meeting, was taken aback. “How could a four year-old host Milwaukee’s most durable and most watched show?!” an outraged Knox blurted. Beutler held her ground and maintained that viewers were already familiar with Elliot via Mary’s cute on-air stories as well as the constant Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts to her fans.
“People love watching kids, it’s touchdown television every time. How could anyone NOT see that?” Beutler shot back at Knox.
“Beutler,” Knox began, “there’s a rule in television about not working with kids and animals. I’m telling you right now we’re not working with any kids, but I’m beginning to think that I’m unfortunately already working with a jackass”.
According to an unnamed source, “it’s what everyone in the room was thinking”. There is growing evidence of a swath of “Tater Haters” who are fed up with Beutler’s constant wild segment pitches and “studio rules” they deem are just for the sake of change. There has also been a run of anecdotes about Ms. Beuler’s unrelenting OCD-fed episodes.
“There was that time about a month ago in the control room when Tater “blew a gasket” when she noticed Mary Margaret was wearing her DIY home repair “Milwaukee Smock” instead of the “Milwaukee Frock” which Tater insists should only be worn during knitting and sewing segments.”
Knox hastily adjourned the meeting when Tater began ordering the staging crew to install baby gates on the top of the second floor and safety locks on the cupboard under the kitchen sink of the new two-tiered Milwaukee Talk set. Knox is on record as saying the new set cost more to build than his North Point mansion did in 1976.
For now, Beutler is hoping Elliot will be able to learn all his numbers and letters so he could at least give the time, temp and station ID during the show. She’s ordering her producers to gear the research and story ideas to emphasize toddler’s fashions and toy reviews. She’s also ordered Mary to phase out Elliot’s 10:30 nap by the time he makes his debut 10-11AM every weekday morning across the Wisconsin and western Iowa viewing areas.
Inside sources claim Beutler sees the hiring of Elliot as a masterstroke win-win situation. In Beutler’s mind, this means that Mary would be showing up on-set to be with Elliot even when she is on maternity leave, and is hoping that she will even make appearances on the program during that period. She sees this as part of society’s overall continuing push towards integrating home and work life, a concept Beutler clearly backs.
It would also clear up another issue that has been nagging Beutler for months now: finding a replacement co-host that Mary deems suitable. There has been a myriad of guest hosts on the show since former longtime chit-chat packer Vic Shell left the show after a disagreement with station owner Honus Knox III over the firing of executive producer Allen Kew. Once Mary returns, and if Elliot has the chops for television, it seems highly likely that Beutler would offer the co-hosting gig to Elliot.
When reached for comment about the prospect of using Elliot as a co-host, current host Mary Margaret was simultaneously insulted and flattered. “On one hand, if Tater thinks that a 4 year-old can do this job then she thinks very little of me and my skills. But on the other hand, she may have to consider extending the show to 90 minutes. I think Elliot is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met and I could personally just stare at him all day long.”
How scattered and cheap was Tater Beutler? Now that we know she was the writing/directing/editing/producing force behind the short, extremely low budget, and low production value life-tips segments that were seen on Aunt Mary’s Great Trip, the truth is – if we were to use her own words – she was quite very.
Here’s a fine confusing example of her trying to reinforce the simple value of looking both ways before crossing the street…