Lordy, I hope there's an HBO movie.
First, I have to thank New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik for putting me out of the misery of trying to place former FBI director James Comey's voice, by pinpointing Bob Odenkirk's character in AMC's Better Call Saul, Jimmy McGill.
There aren't many 6-foot-8 actors available to play the towering former FBI chief, and in the end, Comey's performance at Thursday's hearing of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee is likely to fall to someone more like Tom Hanks, whose ability to project sincerity without being syrupy is what's called for here.
Because from a TV perspective, Comey, who's also a former prosecutor, was his own dream witness: seemingly relaxed, folksily patriotic, and perhaps most important of all, playing it down the middle.
It wouldn't have been hard for even casual viewers to tell Republicans from the Democrats from their questioning (a good thing, too, since most of the time, the networks' quote-heavy chyrons blocked out the identity of the questioners after a moment or two). One group sought to downplay the possibility that the president had obstructed justice, the other to play it up.
Comey, who'd be questioned again in the afternoon on classified matters, wasn't helping either side posture, reminding senators at one point that the investigation into Russian interference was "about America, not about any particular party."
He prefaced several answers with, "I could be wrong," a disclaimer that carries particular power in a town where it's seldom heard.
Another, even more self-deprecating disclaimer, "I don't want to sound like I'm Captain Courageous," added to the sense that Comey was positioning himself against a president who doesn't believe in displays of humility, even those that might be classified as humble-bragging.
"Lordy, I hope there are tapes," was almost certainly the quote of the day, an allusion to Trump's May tweet: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"
"If he did [have tapes of their meetings], my feelings aren't hurt. Release all the tapes," Comey said.
Beyond that, TV-friendly soundbites included, "If any Americans were part of helping the Russians do that to us, that is a very big deal," and "I'm not going to sit here and try to interpret the president's tweets."
Other thoughts on Thursday's Senate show, which was carried live on both broadcast and cable news: