First things first. The article is titled "Martin Sheen: Catholic President on Prime Time," and was written by Greg Heffernan, a friend, or at least, acquaintance and co-parishioner of the man who portrays President Jed Bartlet. From Mr. Heffernan's reminiscences, I've learned some things about Sheen that simply do not lend themselves to snarky, satiric commentary. For instance, Mr. Heffernan mentions that the Malibu parish youth group journeyed to Mexico to volunteer at an orphanage. Upon reading this, I prepared to sink my teeth into a premise that sounds ripped right out of 90210 or The Real World: Spoiled California teens feeling noble about actually speaking to the poor, and manage to get a nice tan while doing so. But, alas, then I read this sentence: "Martin encouraged [the author] to let the children in Mexico minister to the teens from Malibu -- not just the reverse." For some reason, that took the wind out of my sails.
There's more along those lines. Without belaboring the point, I quickly abandoned all hope of satirizing Sheen's sincerity. (Say that three times fast.) There were, however, a few other bits of trivia which might merit further exploration. For instance, the article mentions that Martin Sheen and Moira Kelly previously worked together in a movie called Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story. Who Dorothy Day is, and why she entertained angels, not to mention how, is currently under investigation by my research team. Unfortunately, the expense of shipping cookies cross-country has forced me to make some budget cutbacks, and so my research team currently consists of several Animaniacs Happy Meal toys who sit on top of my bookcase. Despite their purported "animated" status, their efforts to assist me are rather disappointing, and thus far I have not received any updates from them regarding the identity or hobbies of Dorothy Day.
Returning to the article, Martin Sheen's family was mentioned a few times. I must admit that, forgetting my source, I was briefly optimistic that, at the very least, some salacious gossip could be found. Even if Martin Sheen is every bit as great a guy as portrayed, surely there is some comedic material in Charlie's many encounters with the legal system, or Emilio's former Brat-Pack status. Instead, Martin Sheen related an anecdote about a lesson in humility provided by his son, Emilio Estevez, while Sheen was in India for the filming of Ghandi. Already you can see my problem, because I've been forced to write a sentence containing the words "India," "Ghandi," "humility," and "Emilio Estevez." This is the story, as told by Martin Sheen himself: