Hollywood McGraw

By The West Virginia Record | Apr 8, 2011

In a 1980s advertising campaign for Vicks 44 cough medicine, soap opera stars Chris Robinson and, later, Peter Bergman, uttered the immortal phrase, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV."

The obvious but illogical implication of this professional confidence was that being a doctor in a dramatic role somehow gives an actor the authority to dispense medical advice about over-the-counter drugs.

In a similar manner, Robert Young parlayed his role as Marcus Welby, M.D. into doctorly endorsements for Sanka decaffeinated coffee to caffeine jumpy and irritable consumers.

Why not hire a real doctor to pitch a product with alleged health benefits? For one, not many doctors can act. Being a doctor and playing a doctor are two different things, and just because you are a doctor doesn't mean you can portray one well.

Someone should explain this phenomenon of non-transferable authenticity to Darrell McGraw. Old Quick Draw is, in real life, a state attorney general, but he also plays one in a new music video entitled "Who Ya Gonna Call?," being broadcast online around the state disguised as a public service message. Though we'd love to see him pack up and head for Hollywood, it's safe to say he won't be getting a call from Tinseltown any time soon.

If you ever wanted to use the word execrable in a conversation but never could find the opportunity to work it in, this is your chance. Ask your friends and acquaintances if they've seen "Who Ya Gonna Call?". If they haven't, tell them it's "execrable." If they have seen it, challenge them to find a better word than "execrable" to describe it.

Posing as a public service announcement promoting the AG's consumer protection hotline, it is –- as typical of McGraw -- a thinly disguised, taxpayer-subsidized promotion for the attorney general himself.

McGraw has uniquely distinguished himself as both a real state attorney general and a play-acting one. In both roles his performance is execrable.

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