So far Amazon's "Alpha House" has some great Hollywood guest stars, with comedian Wanda Sykes and Cynthia Nixon of "Sex and the City" fame playing Democratic senators. But, later in the season, real Washington types are represented by a handful of cameos, too.
Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist, chatting to Whispers, said he, along with political consultant Dick Morris, NBC's Tom Brokaw and CNN's Jeffrey Toobin, all appear in the show's final episode of season one, having been tapped by executive producer and former Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter. "Jonathan Alter's a guy I knew in college," Norquist said of why he got the call.
The show, which stars John Goodman and Mark Consuelos, among others, charts the antics of four Republican senators who bunk together on Capitol Hill and was modeled off the real-life row home of Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.
Norquist and his press aide, John Kartch, spent a day in New York City two weeks ago filming a funeral for a dead senator. Another living senator approaches Norquist during his brief scene and says he's keeping Norquist's famed Taxpayer Protection Pledge. "Hey Grover, I'm living the pledge, I'm living the pledge and I said, 'great senator,'" Norquist recalled of his exchange, his first talking television cameo.
Previously, he appeared twice in the background of the movie "Atlas Shrugged Part II," but had no lines. Additionally, his name was mentioned on "Saturday Night Live" and "Gilmore Girls," because of his role as a quintessential Washington conservative. "It's like becoming Kleenex," Norquist said. "Conservative guy: Grover."
Norquist said he had fun acting, even if he did only play himself, because the exchange would never happen in reality. "This is in, of course, [Jonathan Alter's] fantasy of how people talk to me, nobody says that, everybody keeps the pledge," Norquist said. "It's a liberal's idea of how conservatives talk when they get together."
As for future creative endeavors, the ATR head said he'd love another cameo, but he'd also have to eventually join the Screen Actors Guild – something that a conservative might not want to do. Norquist, however, was open to it. "Oh, vaguely annoying," he said he would find it. "But I'd survive."
Norquist has other ambitions first. After winning the D.C.'s Funniest Celebrity contest in September, Norquist hopes to take his comedy act to the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, being connected to the venue by Pauly Shore, whose mother, Mitzi, owns it. "Pauly Shore invited me, so that's on my list of things to do," Norquist said.
Last, but certainly not least, the anti-tax advocate is training to be a magician. "I'm starting to study magic, so that's my next project," he said. Norquist's wife gave him two boxes of magic books and he has a staffer at ATR who is a former magician. "So not only do I have my beginning little collection of tricks that I can work on, but I have a tutor," he said.