For us everyday laborers, watching TV can be a soothing escape from a stressful workday. For some of the people we see on TV, however, their awesome jobs are their reward. Let's take a look, in no particular order, at some of the dream jobs we'd like to escape into for a day. Real World/Road Rules Cast Members Making a Living on Real World/Road Rules Challenges
This award goes to Mike "The Miz" Mizanin, Eric "How You Like These Abs" Nies, Katie "Crazy Eyes" Doyle, Coral "Beat B#*ches Up" Smith, Beth "Will Be Turning 50 and Still Doing This" Stolarczyk, Veronica "Mean Girl" Portillo, and the grand-daddy of them all, Mark "Mackin' on Every Girl Half His Age" Long. If my sneaking suspicions are correct, none of the aforementioned veterans have ever filled out a W-2 form - what job would let them leave for a month-long jaunt in Jamaica/Brazil/Puerto Vallarta/any Hot Steamy Locale twice a year?
These reality stars earn their income the old-fashioned way: by putting together giant puzzles, hanging upside down in pools, jumping off ledges 100 stories high, eating moose testicles and earth worms, and melting ice sculptures with their own body heat. Hats off my friends - if you've found a way to earn your living risking your lives by day and boozing on a hammock by night, I guess you've found that elusive job we've all been searching for. The Judges of American Idol
, Paula Abdul
and Simon Cowell
. Two of those three names were unknown seven years ago, and one was on the tail end of a plummeting career. But thanks to a juggernaut known as "American Idol" they are the Three Wise Men of millennial reality television. Each has worked hard and made their fortune through music, but now they're living the languid life of 65-year-old retiree in Boca Raton - stroll in at 5 p.m., sit down for an hour-long taping, say a few "dawgs," "you look beautiful's" and "not that good..sorry's!" and in bed by 9. These three are at the forefront of creating national recording superstars and are grinning like Cheshire cats at their good fortune. Gayle King - Sometime Contributor to the Oprah Winfrey Show
Technically Gayle, the BFOO (Best Friend of Oprah), does not have a permanent TV gig, but her fulltime job as BFOO easily lends itself to multiple, envy-inducing appearances on the "Oprah Winfrey Show." Discounting that painful cross country trip with Oprah, a joy to us television viewers but an excruciating exercise in dealing with diva behavior for Oprah's sidekick, Gayle's guest appearances have included testing out the best pizza in the country, finding the best cheeseburgers, being set up with some of Chicago's finest men, and joining Oprah when their favorite performers such as Tina Turner
and Josh Groban
perform. It can't be easy being Oprah's best friend, but somebody has to do it, and Gayle, you sure picked a stellar best friend to have. Padma Lakshmi - Host of Top Chef
Try sitting down at 10 p.m. on a Wednesday night showing of "Top Chef" and count how many times you wander into the kitchen after salivating over the dishes these competitors cook up. A recent episode had Padma and chef Rocco Dispirito
tasting deep dish pizzas made by the contestants, and that buttery, golden crusted pizza dough seemed to leap from the TV onto our taste buds. 'Seemed' is the operative word because for Lakshmi, a model and cook book author, those meals don't seem to hit her tongue, they are on her tongue. Her only job thereafter is to give a slight nod of the head, an almost imperceptible "hmmm," or a mild look of confusion. Padma, if you get tired of all those truffles, cheesecakes, and seared steak skewers, let me know. Samantha Brown - Host of "Great Hotels" and the "Passport" series
In one episode, Brown traveled to the most highly rated hotel in the world - the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Shaped like a lone, billowing sail, its car service only deals in Rolls Royce, the interior resembles a futuristic Versailles, and its outdoor landscape is situated on a private island attached to the mainland with bottom lit pools and acres of palm trees. Did we mention Samantha Brown got all of this without spending one penny from her own bank account and simply had to make witty commentary as a camera crew followed her around all day? Now multiply that by as many cities as you can imagine, from the Amalfi Coast to the French Alps, and you get a sense as to why Samantha Brown might have the best job in the universe.
Story by Tiffany Bagster
Starpulse contributing writer