Headline: Actor proved equality is possible
February 6, 2007
Long before Sam learned to crib from his peers, he was memorizing television dialogue. This incredible power of imitation wowed teachers, who somehow never suspected he was turning in other students' homework. Today, Sam just can't squeeze a fifth straight column from Rachel Dissell's feature on juvenile justice, but it's okay — his nose for scandal senses a major scoop at the Cleveland Play House. While digging hard through the cast notes of a new play, he discovers the daughter of his favorite childhood TV actor, Greg Morris of Mission: Impossible. Bingo! He asks her to dinner, hoping that in between courses she'll dictate a column on her dad's pioneering impact. Sadly, she was only 6 when the show debuted. That Sam to spend most of the column covering his favorite subject: Sam. It's all conveniently wrapped around lecture No. 982,928 on the paucity of black actors on TV in the 1960s. Though he's only 40 years late getting to the subject, editors are pleased that he at least spelled everything properly.
2/10. After the Dissell debacle, Sam's been barred from contact with the PD's Metro staff, but his sticky fingers still manage to sneak a gem from the fax machine by the arts desk. Sorry, Mark Dawidziak.
2/10. Iona Morris called her father "Dad?" She loved him even before he was a big TV star? Stop the presses!
Sam Gets Poetic:
"Barney — played to perfection by Cleveland native Greg Morris — was different. His face was the color of dark chocolate, just like mine. Maybe the import of that is hard to imagine today. But when I was a child, it was radical." Historians contend this was the precise moment Sam discovered blackness.
The Master Has Spoken:
"Finding Barney, a proud black man who wasn't killed off before the second act, was one of those Aha! moments in my childhood development." Forget Sidney Poitier. For a chance to use his expense account, Sam'll take the gadgets geek from Mission: Impossible.
What Sam Reveals About Sam:
When you've echoed relevance for two weeks, it's okay to take a day off.
Overhaul the system... who cares about teens... don't fault the parents... inaction equals nightmare ... Think, damnit! Can't she argue anything else for me? ... Guess I'm in my own, at least until I swing by the arts desk. (Tiptoes. Sound of paper rustling.) "Cuttin' Up" at the Play House! That might work. Let's go through Dawidziak's mail for the promos! Maybe the cast notes? No....no...no. Iona Morris. That sounds familiar. Hey, wait a sec... it says here her dad was Greg Morris! Hey, man, that's Barney from Mission Impossible! Waaaaaazzzz uuuup, girl? Let's gruuuuuuubbbb!