I didn’t even know Las Vegas resident Wayne Allyn Root was the Libertarian vice presidential nominee in 2008, and I didn’t know he co-produced the hit TV show “Ghost Adventures.”
But he gives me news: He and his “Ghost Adventures” partners are working on a new TV show called “Mormon Wives of Utah” in St. George.
In “Mormon Wives,” pretty housewives moan about their husbands and fight about religion, because some wives are Mormon and some are ex-Mormons. They all go to therapy weekly.
“We convinced the therapist to allow our cameras in the therapy session.”
Yay, reality TV. It only gets better?
Root was “the idea man” for “Ghost Adventures” and “Mormon Wives.”
So he put “Ghost Adventures” cohost Zak Bagans (who lived in Vegas) in touch with people who put that show on the Travel Channel. And he met Mormon wives and connected them to higher ups. But Root isn’t active during production.
“I get producer credit. I get a check all the time.”
It’s not clear yet which network will pick up the Mormon show.
Root, 52, is also promoting his book, “The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide: How to Survive, Thrive, and Prosper During Obamageddon.”
Root cuts videos for conservative websites. He has insights about video headlines:
“If the word ‘Obama’ is in the title, it gets monstrous traffic. Any time I do one that doesn’t have Obama in the title, it gets half the traffic.”
When Root makes a “nice” nonpolitical video, “nobody comes” to watch it.
“There’s got to be something outrageous in the title, or nobody wants it.”
Root complains constantly about President Barack Obama, but he concedes there’s good money in bashing him.
“Barack Obama,” he exaggerates for effect, “is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Root, a longtime professional sports handicapper, co-hosted his own TV show, the gambling series “King of Vegas” on Spike, which got renewed until his political party intervened.
“The month they agreed to pick it up, Congress — Republican Congress, you know, my friends — banned online gambling. Well, all the sponsors of the show were poker sites. They called me back and said, ‘You know that renewal we did for that show? We canceled it. There are no sponsors for it anymore.’ ”
Root — who has four kids, and he’s paying for a daughter to go to Harvard — just put his house on the market for $2.88 million, and he sold his ski house in Park City, Utah.
But he tells me a much more interesting real estate story.
For 11 years, Root’s neighbor, a Hong Kong billionaire, has flown to Vegas one day a year to throw a two-hour Chinese New Year party in his house — but he sleeps at the MGM mansions.
The billionaire once told Root, “Oh, I would never sleep here” in his Anthem Country Club home.
Root asked, “So why did you pay $4 million for the house?”
The billionaire said, “Because I wanted to tell my friends I own a piece of Las Vegas. (But) that’s no big deal. I paid $20 million to own a house on Laguna Beach, and I’ve never slept there either.”
Root is astonished.
“For 12 years, guys come every week to clean the pool. No one’s ever been in the pool. Guys come every week to mow the lawn. No one’s ever stepped on the lawn.
“But he’s spending all this money on the economy. See, I praise rich people,” Root says.
And that’s why Root doesn’t consider himself rich.
“I consider myself upper middle class, at best.”
Doug Elfman’s column appears Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.