A&E announced today that they are producing a reality show about former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards. Now, normally, a reality show about an ex-politician that airs on a network best-known for shows about debilitating psychological issues, duck stuff, and weirdos buying and selling other people’s garbage would register a big fat goose egg on my patented Give-A-Dang Meter. But for those of you who aren’t familiar with Edwin Edwards, here are a few fun facts about him: 1) He is a Character with a capital C. 2) He once said of a political opponent, “The only way I’m losing is if I get caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.” 3) He has a smoking hot wife. 4) Who is 50 years younger than he is. 5) Who he started dating while he was in prison for accepting bribes while in office.
THE AMERICAN DREAM!
The Governor’s Wife will star 85-year-old Edwin Edwards, along with his 34-year-old wife, Trina, and several of their children from previous marriages. Edwards served four times as Louisiana’s governor over the course of three decades, and also served eight years in federal prison for crimes committed while he was in office. In 2001, Edwards was convicted on bribery and extortion charges. He became pen pals with Trina during his prison stint and they married after his release.
The show will focus on Edwin and Trina’s May-December relationship and follow Edwin’s daughters (Anna, a 62-year-old, four-time divorcée and Victoria, a 60-year-old ex-showgirl) along Trina’s sons (Logan, 15 and Trevor, 13). [EW]
Hoo boy. Anyway, if you’re trying to kill some time this afternoon, I really recommend reading up on Edwin Edwards. The always excellent Wright Thompson wrote a story about him last year for Grantland that is littered with bonkers anecdotes like this one…
People heard the stories: about gambling, about the women, and about how his demeanor suggested he didn’t consider himself governor so much as king. The heir to the Kingfish himself. He seemed roguish in a wonderfully Louisiana way. During his famous campaign against former Klansman David Duke (who also later went to prison), he hopped around the state in a private plane, surrounded by his advisors. Everywhere they went, said a magazine reporter who spent time on the plane, a briefcase followed. Finally, the writer told me, she got a glimpse inside: guns, a bulky cell phone, breath mints, dental floss, and a bunch of college football point spread sheets.[Grantland]
… and when I asked our own Louisiana resident Cajun Boy for a comment on Edwards, he quickly replied with this:
I have encountered Edwin Edwards exactly twice in my life.
The first time was roughly twenty years ago. I was on a date with my high school sweetheart. We were having dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Lafayette when suddenly Governor Edwards entered and began “working the room” as people like Edwards do, going from table to table introducing himself, shooting the shit with the patrons of the joint. When he finally made his way over to our table he locked eyes with my date, took her by the hand and began conversing with her, showering her with compliments, exuding charm and power the whole time. He barely acknowledged me, except to say that I’d done well for a boy from where I grew up. My date, meanwhile, was blushing and squirming nervously in her seat, flipping her hair subconsciously. I realized within seconds that he could probably bone my teen lover right there on the table in front of me if he wanted to, and there’s nothing I could have done to stop it.
The second time I encountered Edwards was some time in 2001, shortly after he’d been convicted and was awaiting sentencing, in a Jack-In-The-Box in Baton Rouge. He was with his quite young wife at the time — a tall blonde named Candy — who was kind of checking me out as Edwin ordered for the two of them. She smiled and told me “Hi” — I smiled back and told her “Hi.” I was convinced that I could have had her right there on a table at Jack-In-The-Box and he couldn’t have stopped it. It was more than a little surreal as it struck me as something of a full-circle moment. It was also kind of sad.
When he went away to prison, I never thought Edwards would live another day as a free man, so God bless him. He’s one of the more fascinating characters in the history of American politics. I’ll watch the sh-t out of any show about him and his life.
So, yeah. You might want to consider DVRing this one.