Journey to the Stars is a new presentational space show which recently opened at the Hayden Planetarium. The description sounds fascinating enough; "Featuring extraordinary images from telescopes on the ground and in space and stunning, never-before-seen visualizations of physics-based simulations, the dazzling new Journey to the Stars launches visitors through space and time to experience the life and death of the stars in our night sky, including our own nurturing Sun. Tour familiar stellar formations, explore new celestial mysteries, and discover the fascinating, unfolding story that connects us all to the stars. Those who come along for the journey may never see the night sky in the same way again." I can dig that.
Wanna know who's hosting this space program? Whoopi Goldberg. Whoopi. Goldberg. Whoo. Pi. Gold. Berg.
Now, if I was making a list of the top 10 individuals I would least associate with space (I do this on occasion), I'm pretty sure Whoopi would be somewhere in the top 6. However, Whoopi seems to be one of the very few public figures that can pretty much slide into any role of expertise and nobody would question it. James Earl Jones also fits in this category. However, I cannot help but wonder what the selection process was like for the host of Journey to the Stars. My imagination conjures up the following...
(Setting: Sound stage, Wednesday Afternoon. Casting directors Nancy and Brad lead the proceedings)
NANCY: Alright, we've narrowed it down to the two of you. Each candidate please step forward and say a few words about yourself.
DR. PADDINGTON LIVINGSTON III: Salutations, my name is Dr. Paddington Livingston III, I have spent thirty-seven years studying with NASA, teaching advanced astronomy at Rutgers and testing my own anti-gravitational tank in my back yard. Additionally, I have corresponded with every space team on their mission to the moon for the past twenty-six years.
BRAD: Oh...ho. And you?
WHOOPI: My name's Whoopi Goldberg. I was in How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Sister Act. Oh, and Sister Act II.
NANCY: "Back in the Habit"?
BRAD: That was hilarious! I think our decision just got a lot easier.
LIVINGSTON: Excuse me, but I deduct that my qualifications are far more relevant to this particular presentation!
BRAD: Um, okay Dr. Livingston, how many Sister Acts were you in?
LIVINGSTON: Well, none...but...several accomplished astronauts have studied under me! I was a special consultant during the movie version of Apollo 13 just to make sure the shuttle scenes were accurate! I designed the first indestructible space vessel that can also travel underwater!
BRAD: Blahblahblah! BO-RING!J
NANCY: I think we've made ourselves clear. She's got you beat - two Sister Acts to zero.
LIVINGSTON: Why this is an outrage!
BRAD: But don't worry, we've got a super special job for you that only someone of your skill level could possibly do!
(hands LIVINGSTON cue cards)
LIVINGSTON: Well I never...!
This is definitely exactly what happened.