Ways Charles Darwin Could Jump the Shark

By DAVID NG

He makes exploitative
prime-time-television cameos

Darwin appears as the “man in need of a haircut” in an episode of Gossip Girl, and is the first contestant voted off Survivor: Galápagos. Eventually makes Barbara Walters’s list of most fascinating people of the year. Cries during interview.

He sells Darwinian fashion accessories

Darwin takes advantage of the current interest in natural fashion products. Begins marketing items like organic-cotton neckties and honey-flavored lip gloss. Darwin-sanctioned “stylish feces beads” appear soon after.

Reviews movies

Darwin becomes a staff writer at Rolling Stone. Is asked to critique animal-related movies. Loses credibility when caught gushing over Catwoman.

Hosts free holiday cruises

Moonlighting as an authority on nature and boats, Darwin takes advantage of free holiday cruises. His cruise talks are very successful and Darwin becomes the No. 1 hit when Googling the words “lido deck.”

Guest-stars on The Dog Whisperer

Memos to the effect of “He sailed on a boat called the Beagle. Isn’t a beagle a dog?” begin to circulate. Capitalizing on this attention, Darwin joins The Dog Whisperer as a dog-anatomy expert. Wins Emmy for segment on comparative dog-tail structure. In acceptance speech, cites the fact that “dog” spelled backward is “god” as evidence of a Christian conspiracy.

Joins the Ice Capades

Darwin is hired for small part in a Lion King–themed ice show. Takes skating lessons and practices hard. Soon nails both the triple axel and the triple lutz. Is fired from the show when he tests positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Loses his mind

Darwin endorses Scientology.

Dresses up as Santa Claus during holidays

Sporting his full white beard, Darwin is hired to impersonate Santa Claus at the local mall. He initially does well in this job, looking the part, being punctual, amicable, and knowledgeable about reindeer. However, he soon begins to insist on teaching children words like “invertebrate.” He also starts giving out stylish feces beads instead of candy canes. Later, he gets in an argument with another Santa Claus in another mall over biologically sound explanations for Rudolph’s glowing nose. The “Darwin vs. Santa Claus” fistfight goes viral on YouTube.

(Originally published at McSweeney’s for Darwin’s bicentennary)