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EDITORIAL: Missing Link?

May 29, 2007

By Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.

May 30--Over the years, a handful of lame humorists have suggested the Richmond area is populated by more than its share of Neanderthals. We've always preferred to avoid stereotypes, ad hominem or otherwise. Not so the ABC television network, which announced recently that its fall schedule will include a new sitcom called "Cavemen."

ABC -- using language only a TV publicist could love -- describes the half-hour show as a "unique buddy comedy that offers a clever twist on stereotypes and turns race relations on their head." It's a little hard to imagine this turf as fertile ground for fun. Then again, we don't get "Survivor," either.

"Cavemen" boasts a strong local angle. It's based on characters who star in an ad campaign for GEICO, the big car insurance company. And those characters were created right here in Richmond by The Martin Agency. Joe Lawson, one of the many imaginative types who roam the Shockoe Slip agency, has taken a sabbatical to help write and produce the show.

The folks at Martin also hatched the beloved GEICO gecko. Don't let the little guy's limey accent fool you -- the advertising icon is Richmond born and bred.

We can imagine quite a few ripples if "Cavemen" beats the odds and become a ratings hit. For starters, local boosters might want to start promoting the Prehistoric Richmond Region. And traditionalists will have to face the fact that the area's most famous contributions to current pop culture could be a trio of hypersensitive cavemen and a green talking lizard who walks upright.

But at least all the attention should alert the rest of the country that a town with this kind of creative talent isn't really mired in the past. Ugga-bugga!

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Copyright (c) 2007, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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