Look ... nowadays, being POTUS (President of the United States) — acronyms rock Kip — is more about being an actor than, say, a real actor. To become president, you must present an image; you must convince the American public that you are the best candidate by means of being the most outstanding thespian.

Having long been a fan of the cinematic arts and not a particular connoisseur of political theatrics, I did bravely watched snippets of the GOP presidential debate on Sept. 22 — there wasn’t much else on TV.


I’ll tell you, with the value of entertainment provided by the Republican candidates for the White House, I would have not watched a second had “Napoleon Dynamite” been showing on cable.


Seriously, out of 477 channels, I perused not one second of Pedro’s campaign speech for class president. Just once, I want Mitt Romney to let everyone know his “skills” are good enough to “hook up with chicks.” Pedro knows how to woo the voters. But does Michele Bachmann have the cunning and prowess of a Liger? I think not.


Look ... nowadays, being POTUS (President of the United States) — acronyms rock Kip — is more about being an actor than, say, a real actor. To become president, you must present an image; you must convince the American public that you are the best candidate by means of being the most outstanding thespian.


If you are of Matt Damon ilk, then you move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and proceed reading heart-warming speeches from a teleprompter. Nevermind solving the worse economic crisis of three generations; you can spray hope among the masses with Orson Welles-like precision.


We did, actually, have a president who was an actor. Oddly enough, he was a pretty darn good president in his own right. Yep ... he gave good speeches, too. Without feigning an Alex P. Keaton air of undying loyalty to ole Ronnie, I’ll say he was actually an above-average leader of our country. And who didn’t adore the chimp in “Bedtime for Bonzo?”


If art does indeed imitate life, I’m begging for a little art infused with the presidential campaign. Where is Pat Paulsen when you need him?


I’ll never forget April 24, 1997. Where were you that day? Can you recall when you heard the news that Pat Paulsen passed away? It was the end of the greatest campaign spoof of all time. For decades, the comedian jokingly ran for president under the STAG (Straight Talking American Government) platform. He was way ahead of his time. I’d give anything for a straight-talking politician in Washington nowadays.


It was 1968, and the United States was knee deep in unrest. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, as was Robert Kennedy. Americans were protesting the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The Zodiac Killer terrorized California. Apollo 8 completed an orbit around the moon. Mini skirts became a fashion statement.


And then you have Pat Paulsen’s declaration on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” that he was running for president. Richard Nixon actually defeated Hubert Humphrey in that election, but Paulsen’s campaign actually lightened the mood of a country enduring plenty of darkness.


If only we had another Paulsenian candidate. I did hear rumors that Matt Damon was being prodded to run for president, but that was more of a serious political possibility. I could go for Will Hunting in the White House, though. It would be classic to look Nicolas Sarkozy in the eyes and say, “You like apples? I got Yingluck Shinawatra’s number. How you like them apples?”


Fast-forward to 2011, and we’re once again facing dark times. Economic stress has taken a toll on the American psyche in tsunami-like proportions. People are suffering from lack of work. Families are struggling to make ends meet. What we need is some light-hearted political satire. And for you sarcastic readers out there ... Rick Perry jokes don’t count. That’s too easy.


Perhaps Steve Martin can launch a campaign. He’s a wild and crazy guy, right? Robin Williams could run for president. His campaign speeches would be out of this world (blatant “Mork and Mindy” reference). Billy Crystal could take a stab at the White House. He would look absolutely marvelous. After all, you don’t need to be brilliant right? I saw “Wag the Dog.” I know what’s really going on in Washington.


We need someone who can handle a budget, but I don’t think Ben Stein could be talked into a presidential stump. Too bad Richard Pryor passed away. He had experience. He played Montgomery Brewster in “Brewster’s Millions.” He had 30 days to spend $30 million with absolutely no assets to show for it. So he ran for president under the “Vote for None of the Above” campaign. Sounds pretty much like he could have fit in with the Washington crowd, eh?


Michael J. Fox, of late appearing on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” is still going strong despite his illness. I know for a fact you can order an “Alex P. Keaton for President” T-shirt at www.80stees.com.


Oh well, if we can’t have another Pat Paulsen candidacy, I’ll take my vote and blend a little of Paulsen and Monte Brewster. I’ll employ a straight talking American approach and vote for “None of the Above.”