TLC’s announcement that Jon and Kate Plus Eight will soon be minus Jon has been long-expected, especially by the few remaining viewers who’ve seen Jon’s participation in the show decrease week by week. (Just 1.7 million watched last Monday, according to People, compared to the more than 10 million who tuned in for the divorce episode in June.) Personally, though, I’m sad to see Jon go. Being charitable, Jon was the 10th-most charismatic person on the show. But, since the separation, he’s become that rarest of species: a reality show performer who openly despises being on a reality show. And, earrings and new girlfriends aside, that’s made Jon surprisingly compelling to watch.
So what’s next for JG? If he follows the Kevin Federline playbook, we can expect to see him playing himself in a self-deprecatory Super Bowl ad, guest starring as an impending corpse on a CBS cop show, and emerging as the surprisingly sane parent after Kate goes on a head-shaving bender. But I think Jon’s got a brighter future. He unfortunately wisely opted out of a show called Divorced Dads Club which would have co-starred Michael Lohan. That tells you he’s smart enough to know a complete train wreck when he sees one (perhaps from experience.)
Here are the best options I can see for Jon’s next step towards glory:
- Host a self-help show. The most entertaining thing about recent episodes of J&K+8 was the complete disconnect between Kate’s outspoken grief and Jon’s tunnel-vision jauntiness. Kate says, “Things have been hard, our family is falling apart, I miss Jon”; Jon says, “I’m gonna build a bonfire!” I see Jon doing an inverted Dr. Phil, where people come to him with their problems and he responds by complaining about his own problems and describing how much better his life is since he moved to New York.
- Open a J&K-themed luxury restaurant. The six waiters complain endlessly and injure themselves. The two chefs bicker constantly. The curiously coiffed female hostess mediates between them all and ends up cooking everything and serving every table. Meanwhile, Jon sits on a sofa in the center of the dining room and does nothing.
- Star in a film by Steven Soderbergh and not realize that Soderbergh is mercilessly deconstructing him.
- Become a volunteer park ranger. Viewers of the show know how much Jon loves his great outdoors. By volunteering in a national park, he’d bring some much needed attention to the environmental movement and astronomically increase his chances of running afoul of an apex predator.
- Write a behind-the-scenes memoir. Yes, it would be narcissistic, it would be Kate-bashing, it would contain unconvincing pleas of victimhood. But aren’t you intrigued to get a glimpse into what life was like in the Gosselin house off-camera?
- Write a totally non-autobiographical fiction novel about a plucky father of eight rescued from a demonic wife by a reality TV show.
- Spend 22 years living in a hotel and then, when he’s broke, fabricate an elaborate stomach cancer story to move back into the family house so he can ingratiate himself with his emotionally distant children and break up Kate’s impending nuptials with Danny Glover.
- Become a Tony Robbins-style counselor for the men suffering from emotional abuse. It would probably look something like this.
What do you think Jon should do next, PopWatchers?
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