In my lifetime, I've seen a b-movie actor become President of the United States (Ronald Reagan) and The Terminator become Governor of California (Arnold Schwarzenegger), to name just two notable examples of people who've made the transition from the silver screen to politics. Going in the opposite direction, Fred Dalton Thompson is a a lawyer turned actor turned politician turned actor turned Presidential candidate. I'm sure there are dozens of other examples. To cite a new example: Variety is reporting that former Philippine president Joseph Estrada is planning a return to the big screen -- in a comedy, no less.

Before he became president, Estrada "was known to most Filipinos as a film star," according to BBC News. IMDb lists 158 films in his credits, starting in 1954 and continuing through 1989. Estrada entered politics in 1969 and was eventually elected president in 1998. Just two years later, the country's senate opened an impeachment trial, and he was ousted from office in a 2001 revolt. He was imprisoned during his years-long trial before finally being convicted in September 2007 and sentenced to life in prison. Six weeks later he was pardoned by his successor. Variety says that Estrada is reportedly negotiating to star opposite Ai Ai de las Alas, "Concert Comedy Queen" turned actress.

Many pundits have commented that actors and politicians have a lot in common. For example, both groups have to feel comfortable in front of a camera and make people believe what they're saying. (I hesitate to say that all politicians and actors are good liars, but you can draw your own conclusions.) At least Estrada says "he wants to make people laugh again." I'm laughing already.