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GREAT IDEA, PHIL! AN EXECUTION WOULD BE ONE KILLER OF A SHOW

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I knew it would come to this sooner or later - Phil Donahue has asked a North Carolina court to grant him permission to videotape the June 15 execution of convicted murderer David Lawson.

This would be a first for the talk shows, and Oprah and Geraldo are gnashing their teeth that their booking agents hadn't thought of it first.I can't wait to see the Donahue show because it should set off sparks.

The entire program will have to be moved to Death Row Studio A at the prison and the audience will be bused in.

The show will probably go something like this: The condemned man is brought into the room, he hugs Phil and then takes his seat in the electric chair as everyone applauds.

Phil has control of the mike. "How do you feel, David?"

"What do you mean how do I feel?"

"Nervous, squeamish, remorseful - what's going on with you knowing that in less than one hour you will fry?"

"I didn't do it."

"Right."

Then Phil runs up the stairs. "This lady here."

"I saw `Hard Copy' and I think that David is a skunk. I hope he gets a thousand volts for each crime he committed."

The audience applauds and Phil sticks his mike out.

"The gentleman over here."

The man speaks. "I'm against capital punishment and I think that this whole show is a farce."

The audience boos.

Phil runs down the stairs and says to Lawson, "Did you ever think that you would wind up in the hot seat?"

"Probably when I was a kid, but it was just a fantasy."

"Maybe you should have listened to your mother."

"I know I should have listened to her before my lawyer."

Phil runs up the stairs and sticks the microphone in a lady's face. She asks:

"Is it true that they give you a good meal before they pull the switch?"

Lawson responds, "That's what they tell you, but I found out that it wasn't true. I asked for a medium-rare steak and they served it well-done. I complained to the warden and he said that it was up to the governor to decide if I could send it back to the kitchen. The governor refused. So I was stuck with a tough steak. The apple pie was good, but I passed up the coffee. I didn't want it to keep me awake."

Phil jumps over three rows of guests and a man grabs his mike, "Is there any chance of you getting a pardon?"

David says, "I hope so, even though it might ruin the sweeps for Phil's show."