Jury Selection

Would you be able to remain impartial if the defendant were a celebrity? • Simon Rich
  Art by Farley Katz

Art by Farley Katz

B

efore I can appoint you to the jury, I’ll need to ask you a few questions.

 Go ahead.    

Do you believe in the death penalty?
Death penalty? Does that mean this is a murder trial?
    
I can’t reveal any details about the investigation.
Right, of course. I’m sorry.
    
That’s okay. Next question: Would you be able to remain impartial if the defendant were a celebrity?
Whoa! A celebrity killed someone?
    
Sir, again, all information about this trial is confidential.
Right. Sorry. 
    
That’s all right. Next question: Are you familiar with the popular series of Progressive Insurance commercials starring a character known as Flo?
Holy shit. Did Flo murder somebody? 
    
That’s confidential. Next question: Say, hypothetically, the defendant’s alleged murders were sexual in nature. Would that make you more inclined to support the death penalty? 
Can you please just tell me a little bit about what happened?
    
Next question: Do you believe the state has a legal right to chemically castrate hebophiles?
What’s a hebophile?
    
It’s a female pedophile.
If I guess what the trial is about will you tell me if I’m right?
    
Maybe.
It sounds like the actress who played Flo in those commercials is being accused of some kind of horrible sex thing with a child.
    
I cannot confirm or deny any details about this trial.
Damn it.
    
Next question: Are you familiar with the popular series of Six Flags Great Adventure commercials starring a dancing old man in a suit?
He’s part of this thing, too??
    
Can’t say. Next question: Say, hypothetically, two well-known commercial spokespeople were accused of a conspiracy to commit sexual war crimes, and their ringleader was the guy with the deep voice from “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego…”
Come on!

Okay, last question. This trial will be extremely lengthy. Do you swear, under oath, that you’ll serve for the duration?
Yes! I’ll quit my job and serve on the jury for as many years as it takes! 
    
Okay, you’re on the jury.
What’s the trial about??
    
Construction zoning violations.
Fuck!
    
Works every time. ◊
 

This piece originally appeared in The American Bystander #2.

Simon Rich
I
wrote for Saturday Night Live from 2007-2011. The author of six books, his latest is Spoiled Brats.
Simon Rich wrote for Saturday Night Live from 2007-2011. The author of six books, his latest is Spoiled Brats.
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