He had promised an “all-star” gathering of “winners” the likes of which you’d never seen, name-dropping A-list luminaries such as the Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, as well as decorated coaches Mike Ditka and Bobby Knight.
And he gave us Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Scott Baio.
Yes, on Saturday night’s edition of the Fox News program Justice with Judge Jeanine, Baio announced that he’d been personally selected by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. And, judging by Baio’s description of the hasty invite, it seems not only that he’s been in part supporting Trump for the subsequent media exposure he’s received, beaming over the amount of “interviews” he’s conducted since his endorsement, but also that Trump is desperately scrambling for any sort of celebrity cachet he can inject into his stale RNC lineup.
“It’s been fantastic, Judge. It started with you, and from that I’ve gotten so much time to talk about Donald Trump, a man that I believe in, and I’ve done I don’t know how many interviews, and radio, and print, and things like that,” said Baio. “I was at a fundraiser for Mr. Trump the other night with my wife, and he invited me to speak at the convention—which was completely unexpected and out of left field. I mean, he had given a speech and he was walking out and I looked at him and I said, ‘Mr. Trump, Scott Baio…,’ and he said, ‘Oh my god!’ And he said to me, ‘Do you want to speak?’ and I said, ‘Here?’ and he goes, ‘No, no, at the convention!’ And I went, ‘Ugh… o…okay,’ and we went inside the house where the fundraiser was.”
Baio, who made a name for himself starring as ladies’ man Chachi on the sitcom Happy Days and its spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi, and later as the title character on Charles in Charge, claimed he’ll be speaking Monday night at “around 8 o’clock,” adding, “I don’t know exactly what it is that I’m talkin’ about [at the convention].”
In addition to endorsing Trump, Baio has in recent months taken to Twitter to feud with teens on his desired POTUS’s behalf (his Twitter avatar is a photo of him giving the thumbs-up with Trump), is firmly in the #AllLivesMatter camp, has insinuated that President Obama is “a Muslim or a Muslim sympathizer” who wants to “totally eliminate” the United States, and likes to post photos of himself wearing Trump’s face on his feet.
He’s also tweeted a meme calling Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton a “cunt,” and back in April earned himself some conservative talk-show hits when he tweeted out a photo of a Starbucks cup with the name “Trump” scrawled on it, claiming that the barista refused to call out the name on the cup—which apparently led to some sort of altercation between Baio and barista. Totally normal behavior.
Baio has, quite conveniently, generated a lot more publicity for himself since joining the Trump train. Prior to that, his career had gone cold. His last TV role was in the Nickelodeon series See Dad Run, which was canceled in 2014, and the last Hollywood film he starred in was 2004’s Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, which received a score of ‘9’ on Metacritic, with The Wall Street Journal calling it “unspeakably ghastly,” as well as the distinction of being the No. 3 worst-rated movie in IMDb history—behind the Turkish action flick Code Name: K.O.Z. and Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas.
The addition of Baio means that Trump’s so-called “celebrity” speakers at the RNC will include two former VH1 reality show hosts—Baio starred in Scott Baio Is 45… and Single, while Sabato, Jr. appeared in the dating competition My Antonio, where a group of women vied for the heart of the ex-model. It will also include Natalie Gulbis, who in 2015 was the 363rd-ranked female golfer in the world and appeared on the second season of Trump’s reality competition series Celebrity Apprentice, as well as UFC President Dana White.
Aside from his reality show bona fides, Baio also seems to share Trump’s misogynistic views towards women. In a 2007 interview with Howard Stern—a platform that Trump used to trash the looks of several of the most famous women in the world, including Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, and Angelina Jolie—Baio bragged about his numerous female conquests, grading them on how well they performed in bed, and confessed that he’d slept with “less attractive” women as a way of charity, or in his words: “giving back.”
“I wish that people could meet Donald Trump. I really do,” said Baio during his recent Judge Jeanine appearance. “He’s such a regular guy, and every time I’ve been with him and talked with him, he’s a guy… he’s just a guy… who is very successful. And that’s one of the things I hope will connect with millions of Americans.”