"The Secret Revolutionary Council of Iran will come to order. We will now hear a report from our Secret Minister of Information, Mullah Plack."

"I just received the overnight Arbitron ratings from our embassy in Washington. We got a 32 share of the audience on Walter Cronkite, a 30 on NBC and a 30 on ABC."

"That's not too bad. Are our student demonstrations getting a play?"

"No. The American TV audiences are bored with the demonstrations. We're going to have to come up with something different soon or all three networks may cancel us for the new season."

"How is Ayatollah Khomeini doing?"

"He's sinking in the Nielsen ratings. The networks are complaining that he doesn't do anything but sit on his rug and stare at the ground."

"What can we do about that?"

"I think he should stand up for a change and look into the camera. It would really jazz up things in Qom."

"Has anyone suggested it to him?"

"I did and he got very mad. He said if he wasn't sitting down and staring into the ground nobody would know who he was, he claims it's his trademark."

"What else did he say?"

"He's blaming us because his interview with Pakistani television didn't get on prime time in the United States."

"Did you tell him it was on the ABC wrap-up at 11:30 at night?"

"Yes, but he complained bitterly that they put him against Johnny Carson. He said if it happened again he was going to find himself a new Secret Revolutionary Council."

"It looks like our show is in trouble. This week's Variety says it isn't even playing in Peoria."

"How is Foreign Minister Ghotbzadeh doing?"

"Sadegh's overexposed. Every time he sees a TV camera he steps in front of it. Also people are now wise to the fact he doesn't know what's going on."

"Can't we keep him off the air for a while?"

"Are you kidding? He eats it up. He's even offered to go on 'The Dating Game.'"

"If the show gets canceled we're all going to face an Islamic court. Maybe we ought to get some new writers."

"Why don't we let the hostages go? They would preempt the Super Bowl for that one."

"The Ayatollah won't go for it, and neither will the students at the U.S. Embassy. Once the hostages are released the networks will pack up their cameras and go home."

"I'll tell you why we've been slipping. It's all the fault of Ayatollah Shariatmadari. His people are putting on anti-Khomeini demonstrations in Tabriz and the American audiences are eating it up. They had one show last week where 300,000 people went into the streets screaming 'Down with Khomeini' and we didn't even get on the air."

"That's bad. Before we know it every ayatollah in the country will want to be on American television and we'll have a civil war on our hands."

"We have already. Mullahs, unless we come up with a gimmick Tehran will no longer be the show biz capital of the world."

"And all of us will be pounding the streets looking for jobs."

"All right, we know the problem. Let's run some new ideas up Ayatollah Khomeini's flagpole and see who salutes."