If the American actress Peri Gilpin retweets this article (or, to be more precise, if she retweets my or this publication’s tweets that include a link to this article), it could reach some of her more than thirty-six thousand Twitter followers.
Gilpin, who is best known for portraying Roz Doyle on the popular NBC sitcom “Frasier,” is a celebrity. Hers might not be a household name, but, statistically, the number of people more famous than her rounds down to zero.
If Gilpin retweets this story, the benefit to me would not end at clicks from her followers. My guess is that it would also yield a nice “earned-media” situation in which traffic-hungry Web sites would write meta stories about how Peri Gilpin retweeted this one. It seems right up the alley of the A.V. Club’s “Great Job, Internet” column, just as one example. I’d imagine their story would include a link to this article, Gilpin’s retweet, and other social-media users’ delighted reactions to her participation in the gag.
What’s in it for Peri Gilpin? For one, Gilpin’s retweeting this article would reinforce her reputation as a funny person and a good sport. Also, I’d probably thank her on Twitter. Sample text: “@GilpinPeri Wow, thank you! I can’t believe it worked! You’re a funny person and a good sport!”
Why choose to lobby for a retweet from Peri Gilpin and not, say, Beyoncé? As I write this, Beyoncé has 15.7 million Twitter followers. But there is no way she’s going to share something I write. There’s nothing for her to gain by doing so. Beyoncé, if you want to prove me wrong, please go ahead. I’d welcome your support.
It might be a reach for Peri Gilpin to retweet this story, but it’s at least plausible. I think I recall her sharing “Frasier”-related Web content in the past, and this article is all about her!
I want to be clear that my choice of Peri Gilpin, while selfish and calculating, is in no way ironic. I’m not going to lie to you and say that Gilpin is my favorite artist in the whole world, but I enjoy and respect her work, in as much as I know it. “Frasier” was a great TV show, and her performance as Roz was on target. Gilpin has had a fruitful career and continues to book jobs to this day. At the start of the pandemic, when I wrote a sitcom pilot, I included a cameo for Gilpin as herself, and trust that she’d be great in it. (Let’s not pretend this pilot is ever going to be produced; I’m just trying to illustrate that I admire her as a performer.)
On the other hand, I don’t want to overstate how closely I’ve followed Gilpin’s career. I know her as Roz. If she retweets this, I want it to be for the right reasons—not because I’ve conned her, even through omission, into the impression that I am a superfan.
My second choice was Max Collins, the lead singer of the band Eve 6. He’s been very active on Twitter in recent months, referring to his hit “Inside Out” as the “heart in a blender song,” and I suspect that he’d retweet anything silly about his band. But he’s received a lot of attention from other outlets, and I want to seem original.
In the interest of full disclosure, there are levels of success for this article that do not require Peri Gilpin’s retweet. First of all, if you’re reading it, someone has already accepted it, published it, and agreed to pay me for it. And, if you’ve made it this far, it’s already commanded your attention for a minute or two. So, yes, this article does have some worth outside of Peri Gilpin’s retweeting it—but that value still relies on the premise that Gilpin might share it. If that weren’t a possibility, there’d be no reason to write it at all.
Here’s some fun Peri Gilpin-related trivia I learned while reading one of the books about “Friends” that came out around the show’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Originally, Lisa Kudrow was cast as Roz on “Frasier.” She was fired and went on to play Phoebe on “Friends.” That personnel move changed television forever—and, if Kudrow had remained as Roz, it’s possible that this article would be about her. Considering Gilpin’s iconic role in this article, it’s hard to imagine Kudrow replacing her—but it’s a fun thought experiment.
If you enjoyed this article and are Peri Gilpin, please don’t hesitate to let others know via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or e-mail. You also have my permission to share this article if you are someone other than Peri Gilpin.