Everyone has problems. Some are bigger than others. Poverty, death of a family member, struggle to figure out their purpose, and about 300,000 other things.

My problem was Johnny Sancho. Sancho, who’d never really existed to me, existed plenty to plenty of people. Our show ran for 9 very long seasons. The people spoke and the network listened.

So I spent three quarters of each year on a soundstage and pumped out aptly timed cheesy quips day in and day out. After the third year I was pretty satisfied with my efforts and started showing up just to collect a paycheck. I think a large part of that was how exhausting it was to spend so much time as Johnny.

You see, even when I took vacation after we’d wrap a season, a handful of people at the airport wanted to meet Johnny Sancho. The families at the skiing lodge wanted to take pictures with Johnny Sancho for their photo albums.

The bummer was, I couldn’t blame them. Hell if I saw Jack Nicholson or Tom Hanks I’d melt right there in front of them.

So I began to try to accept it. That this was how the public would always treat me. It may sound rich, you know, since I’m an actor, but I got pretty good at wearing a fake smile.

Somewhere around our 7th season, something changed.

I first thought it was a lucky streak, that my fans just happened to *not* be in the right place at the right time. But after a few months it’s hard to not connect the dots. I hadn’t been stopped for a photo or signature in almost a year.

Then another year came and went. And a couple more. Until finally, we arrive at today, some 25 years removed from the reign of the show. A time when I’d give just about anything to trade a day of being Ben Staples for a day of being Johnny Sancho.

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