Apprentice
The Final Showdown

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Lesson Twelve: The Customer Is Always "Right"

Chris and James meet with Joe Piscopo over dinner. I'm a stripling of a baby person, but I remember at least who Joe Piscopo is. On the off chance, it's pretty simple: Stand-up comedian turned bodybuilding enthusiast turned shiller of anything. It's been a long, strange road for Joe, and he's never really been that funny or that cool, never really made the jump from personality to celebrity, you know, but he's a nice guy, relatively smart, and he's getting back to a more normal size for a person, so let's be nice. After all, Joe Piscopo hates pediatric AIDS, and I think we can all agree this is a sign of a decent guy. He's really excited about this, supposedly, but spends the entire dinner grinning cagily, because -- just like every fucking season -- he's going to pull out of the emcee job at the last second, and it seems clear that he knows this, so it's weird. Chris is really working him, just being incredibly sweet, and he and James work really well together, in that Glengarry Glen Ross kind of hard-sell yipping way. Joe is very into all of this, but not a great actor. Walking home, the boys laugh about how "Oh, last night at dinner with Joe Piscopo," and how he's basically the "entire event" and Joe's ready to "give his all" and the world will come tumbling down if Joe somehow doesn't come through, and it's like Mark Burnett is a lady and his dress is tucked into his pantyhose? You're insulting my intelligence and you don't even know it, and I don't know on whose behalf I am more upset, yours or mine.

Rebecca admits that her team -- since they've been sequestering it up for a while now -- is way more awake than she is right now, and she tells them that she feels bad about not going to meet Piscopo, but that she will just have to meet him tomorrow, and Chris tells us about his continuing respect for her, and tells her she's doing a great job. He interviews that she's clearly exhausted -- physically, emotionally, mentally -- but continues to be amazing. She's "proven herself as a player," and he says that as much as he loves and respects Randal, which by the way he does not mean in a gay way, he thinks that Rebecca's going to give Randal a run for his money.

The plan is that Marshawn and Mark are going to meet the radio guys doing color commentary, and they're like famous or something, but then you know it's doomed because they're supposed to meet them at 10:15, and as we all know, that's the Hour Of The Wolf on this show. Soon enough, it gets pushed back a little, and then a little further, as for no reason they can fathom one by one they are pulled into the visit to Party City. Marshawn wants to go because she's the VIP reception person: fine. Josh wants to go because...well, you know. He's "like Chris." Marshawn's kind of nervous about going on the shopping trip, because that's 75% of all members of Excel, going to buy party favors and plastic crap, but Josh and Randal agree that she should be going. Which is true. Except she should be going alone. Randal summons Mark, and he's like, "I'm supposed to be meeting Jim Kerr," and Randal doesn't care. "Move it to eleven!" Mark's like, "That's Randal's call, I guess." So fine, they're all going to the Plastic Crap Party for no reason. Weird.

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Apprentice

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