‘The Lord of the Rings’ meets Seinfeld: Minister of Culture

November 17, 2017 GMT

‘The Lord of the Rings’ meets Seinfeld: Minister of Culture

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Last week I was fooling around on the internet when I came across this shocker on a website called Verge.com.

“Earlier this month, news broke that Amazon was trying to close a deal to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to life as a television series, and now it looks like it’s actually going to happen. Amazon has announced that it has acquired the TV rights for the book series, with a multi-season commitment. But the twist is that this will apparently be a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, rather than the story audiences already know so well.”

I’m not a “Lord of the Rings” fanatic in any sense of the term (I’m more of a C.S. Lewis guy), but I certainly recognized the gravitas involved in doing a LOTR prequel for television. Talk about ambitious! Talk about chutzpah!

Now I’m sure Amazon owner Jeff Bezos already has his plan in place for this audacious and unprecedented prequel. It’s been said that he paid as much for the rights to this franchise as he did for the Washington Post, which was something upward of $250 million. A few bucks here, a few bucks there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money, as someone once said.

I’m sure JB has an army of literary historians and a team of seasoned television writers hard at work like busy beavers figuring out just how they are going to come up with something that both honors and competes with the fanatical following LOTR has garnered over the years.

Luckily for Mr. Bezos, I have a great idea of my own for a LOTR prequel. I’m also willing to share it with him. Jeff B. gets first refusal rights. After that, I’m shopping it to my pal Les Moonves over at . . . where is he now? NBC? It’s so hard to keep up with these guys.

OK, are you sitting down? It’s a sitcom called “Frodo and Sam: The Early Years.” Think of “Seinfeld” but situated in Middle-earth instead of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Are you with me?

Episode 1: Frodo and Sam are sitting in their cold, dark underground hovel rubbing their hands over a small fire complaining about the lack of hobbit females to keep them company. Just out of boredom, Frodo tears off a piece from a loaf of bread, puts it on a stick and holds it over the fire. He shares it with Sam and both their eyes light up. They can’t believe how good it is.

“What should we call it?” asks Frodo. “I don’t know. How about ‘toast’?” says Sam.

Then Frodo asks: “Do we have any cheese around here anywhere?”

Sam says they have a hunk of leftover Jarlsberg somewhere back in the kitchen. The two of them get busy, and before long they are eating a toasted cheese thingamabob.

“What should we call it?” asks Frodo.

“I don’t know. ‘Toasted cheese,’ ” Sam replies.

Roll credits.