"Law and Order" star arrested with Jane Fonda on Capitol Hill

Veteran actor Sam Waterson lived 78 years of his life without getting arrested. That changed Friday on the steps of Capitol Hill thanks to his pal Jane Fonda. Waterson was arrested along with Hanoi Jane during her second Fire Drill Fridays protest.

“We want to congratulate Sam on his first arrest.” Someone in the crowd can be heard yelling that as Waterson is handcuffed and led away by Capitol Police. Watch the clip and notice that he delivers a less than stellar performance while he stands next to Fonda as part of the protest. He looks uncomfortable and as though he’d rather be anywhere else but there.

I almost feel sorry for the old guy except he’s a grown-ass man who allowed his friend to talk him into wasting a perfectly good Friday. Now he can add this story to his repertoire of life experiences he can tell to the grandkids if he’s not totally embarrassed by it.

Waterson was dressed more like a college professor than a hipster climate change protester. He wore a pullover sweater over a button-down shirt and non-descript gray trousers while Fonda was in the same red coat as last week but she changed up the cap. Maybe this is a new trend – Hollywood protest chic.

This is all a part of Fire Drill Fridays, Fonda’s new pet project. She’s enjoying a four-month vacation in Washington, D.C. and weekly arrests by Capitol Police all in the name of climate change. She’s proving her commitment, you see, by moving to The Swamp and becoming one of its creatures. I can only imagine the number of social invitations she is receiving from politicians and D.C. gadflies.

Waterson is best known in recent years for his role in “Law & Order”, the second-longest-running scripted primetime TV series in the US. (The Simpsons holds the record.) Currently, he and Fonda are two of four longtime Hollywood actors who star in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie – Waterson, Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Martin Sheen. Last week Fonda announced that Tomlin will join her in the upcoming weeks. Maybe Waterson thought it was a good idea because his character in Grace and Frankie gets the protest bug during his retirement years. He can remain in character. Perhaps the full cast will appear together eventually.

It must be embarrassing, though, that the Fire Drill Fridays protests aren’t really growing in the number of participants. Last week it was reported that Fonda was joined by 15 others while this week the reports are that there were 17 arrests, which I assume include Fonda and Waterson.

Capitol Police said in a statement: “Today, the United States Capitol Police arrested 17 individuals for unlawfully demonstrating in the unit block of First Street, SE. All were charged with D.C. Code §22-1307, Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding.”

You’d think after the breathlesss media coverage last week as Fonda kicked off her Friday protests that she would have garnered more enthusiasm. After all, we are constantly told that climate change is the single most pressing issue of Americans. We only have 10 – 12 years left, depending on whomever you listen to on the subject, you know. It looks like to me that her low turn-out is more of a comeuppance. Most Americans don’t have the luxury to protest every week as they have jobs and lives to attend to. When President Trump wins re-election, as he is poised to do at this point if you believe predictions from Moody’s Analytics, once again the traditional concern of most Americans will prove to be the economy and their pocketbooks, not the absurd aspirations of the Green New Deal.