Thursday, October 18, 2012

Khloe Kardashian To Help X-Factor Jump The Shark

To "Jump The Shark" is a Hollywood term that dates back to the 1970's, when "The Fonz" made a water-ski jump over a shark on the sitcom "Happy Days."  It identifies the point at which a TV show or series has turned the corner from legitimate to ridiculous, and usually marks the beginning of the end for the program.
That moment has come for the long litany of "talent" shows on television.
For starters, there are a lot of them. 
It's no secret that networks ran out of imagination and creativity about a decade ago.  Instead, here's how things now work in Loopy Land:
A struggling last-place network, desperate to try anything, will trot out an idea they stole and repackaged from the earliest days of television.  For example, the new ABC show "What Would You Do" is touted as this ground-breaking hybrid of reality TV and news documentary. 
Yeah.  It's "ground-breaking" all right.  As in, the ground should break open over the grave of Allen Funt, the creator of the old "Candid Camera" show from the 1950's, and the dead host should start handing out butt-whoopings and lawsuit subpoenas to anyone even remotely involved with this tired ABC ripoff.
But the show will probably skyrocket the way Simon Cowell's blatant copycats "American Idol" and "X-Factor" hit the stratosphere on the wings of "Ted Mack's Amateur Hour," similar television gold from the 1940's.  Of course, even stealing Mack's idea (which he actually stole from radio host Major Bowles in 1948) isn't particularly original, since Ed McMahon did the same thing with "Star Search" back in the 1980's.
Anyway, once the new version is rolled out and gets some ratings attention at a dying network, executives at every other network on the planet will scramble to "create" their own version of the same lame ripoff instead of actually offering something original of their own.
And that, children, is how you wind up with the "America's Got X-Factor Voice Idol Singing Bee Talent" hodgepodge of screeching Kelly Clarkson wannabes.
Fortunately, the signs of the apocalypse have arrived, heralding the end of the world.  Or at least, the end of these no-talent shows.
And it came upon a pale horse named Kardashian.
Initially, I thought the end of the era was marked by American Idol's decision to blend their Star Search clone with the reality show "Real Housewives of Atlanta," a mess created when they hired has-been Mariah Carey and talentless never-was Nicki Minaj as judges.  The catfight queens were hired to replace two real musical stars -- Steven Tyler of "Aerosmith" and Jennifer Lopez of big-butt fame -- who must have been humiliated or seriously hung over to have ever agreed to appear on this farce of a show. 
According to recent news reports which have carefully and salaciously been leaked by Fox, a very ghetto feud has erupted on the set between Mariah and Minaj.
Even President Obama has weighed in on the nonsense, which is just ratings gold for the network whose news sibling has made a career out of hating the president.
But the real "jump the shark" moment for singing shows was announced earlier this week.
The X-Factor is so starved for attention, it took a similar dip into the reality-TV cesspool and came up with its very own Kardashian.  According to the report, Khloe Kardashian will be co-hosting the show with Mario "Dimples" Lopez in the upcoming season.
In its own way, the hiring is another "ground-breaking" move.  It will now spotlight a host who isn't attractive, can't act, can't talk, can't think, and can't do anything much beyond whining about her more famous but equally untalented older sister.  Basically, she's the Anti-Vanna.
Who would have thought it possible that the show which features singers who can't sing has finally managed to find a host that can't host?
So the era of the singing show is officially over.  And we should be grateful.
All that's left is to find Simon Cowell a leather jacket and a nice pair of skis.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Official Guide To Pets

I’m an animal lover.
That’s not to be confused with the human-hating, anti-leather, fur-destroying, rodeo-bashing vegan lunatics that pretend to like animals but really just enjoy imposing their obnoxious views on a majority that still likes ground cow and deep-fried poultry.
Yes, Pamela Anderson, I’m talking about you.
I love most animals, with the logical exception of those who would like to eat me for breakfast.
(I’ve often wondered where the PETA zealots are hiding when some kid in Florida gets munched on by a creature that will soon become a set of boots and matching handbag.  Why don’t we have a group called “People for the Ethical Treatment of People?”  For that matter, how about “Alligators for the Ethical Treatment of Humans?”)
In America, we’ve gotten a little bit off kilter when it comes to what constitutes a pet.
Snakes and lizards and big freakin’ spiders have actually made appearances in pet stores as candidates to replace the dog as man’s best friend.
In my humble opinion, these are not pets, and I’ll tell you why.
First, consider the name.
It is also a verb, meaning to gently glide your hand along the back of an animal in a pleasant manner without fear of losing digits.
You can pet a dog.  You can theoretically pet a cat, if you can get it to sit still and stop ignoring you long enough. 
You can’t pet a lizard.
I had a friend who had an iguana.
He tried to pet it once.
That particular display of affection required three stitches to stop the bleeding and three weeks in a metal cast while the broken finger healed.
My daughter has a friend who loves snakes.
Unfortunately, the snake needs contact lenses, because it frequently mistakes the girl’s fingers for its noontime meal of mouse on the hoof.
Which brings me to another qualifier for the term “pet.”
If your pet requires that you feed it other pets, it isn’t really a pet.
I once had another friend who had an oscar, which is a fish that enjoys eating other fish.
I recall that his oscar had an affinity for French food.
Frog legs, to be exact.
I won’t gross you out with the bloody details, but I can say that you could almost hear the theme from “Jaws” playing in the background when it was feeding time at his house.
I think mice, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs can qualify as pets, although they are as hard-headed as cats when you call them.
Horses make nice pets, too.
You can pet them, some of them will come when they’re called, and they show loyalty.
Of course, unlike some of the more traditional pets, it’s tough to get your pet horse to sleep at the foot of your bed.
Unless you’re a movie producer with mob ties.
At first glance, it would be fun to have a chimp as a pet.
However, if you’re going to have to contend with putting on a diaper, watching as it makes a mess of your kitchen, and endure endless screaming, howling, and nose picking, you might as well go ahead and have a baby.
Or adopt a teenager.
Another rule is that the critter has to last longer than a CBS sitcom, or two weeks, whichever comes first.
My daughter had fish.
I don’t consider them pets.  They’re decorations.
She even named them.  I never learned their names, mostly because they weren't around long enough to really establish a relationship.
I’ve heard that turtles make nice pets.
I recommend desert tortoises.
There are two big drawbacks.  First, if you decide to take your tortoise for a walk around the block, you better set aside plenty of time.
Like, the entire month of October.
Second, don’t get caught by the BLM police.
Otherwise, YOU’LL be the one in a cage, waiting for someone to feed you something disgusting in a plastic bowl three times a day.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Brain Implants A Better Bet

While attending a recent function at a libations facility (what we used to call in the old days “a bar”), I noticed a young woman who wanted to be noticed.
It’s just one more indication that I’m getting old, because instead of taking notice because of her large breasts and thinking “Wow, those are large breasts,” I noticed and thought “You know, she could have put that $5,000 to much better use.”
I’m sure you’ve encountered these women before, the kind that somehow managed to get their hands on five grand and decided that stocks and bonds weren’t nearly as valuable an investment as a good set of implants.
Usually, as in this case, it’s someone who was already attractive but felt that God’s handiwork just wasn’t quite good enough.
Like Dennis Miller, I’m always amused when someone has this procedure done, then gets that surprised look on their face when the Surgeon General suggests that maybe filling an important body part with the same substance used to grout the tile in your bathroom isn’t such a great idea.
Some of the more sophisticated women with money to burn and time on their hands often purchase that particular procedure the way some people buy new cars. 
They don’t really need it, but they have to keep up with the Joneses.  Or the Andersons.  Or the Spearses.
Then you have those like the one in question, who make the purchase then want to drive around town with their new "Corvettes" so everyone will notice them.
I began to think about all the things this individual could have put that money toward which would have given her better dividends.
For example, the money could have been better spent on an English language tutor.
With just a few short lessons, “Iuntnuthrbeeeer” could actually sound like “I want another beer.”
(Did you ever notice that the people who use the word “Iuntnuthrbeeeer” are usually the ones who need another beer the least?)
Wardrobe would have been another more reasonable expenditure.
The woman in question could have bought a couple dozen t-shirts that said “Look at me!” in 24-inch letters and still had enough left over for those English lessons while producing the same result as the implant option.
Speaking of lessons, dance lessons might have come in handy.
One of the unfortunate by-products of this particular body enhancement is that it makes it nearly impossible to slow-dance with someone without looking like you’ve invoked the “book rule.”
The “book rule” is one that used to be imposed at school and church dances, where proctors who felt boys and girls were dancing too close would take a thick-tomed book and place it between the couple with the admonition “no closer than this.”
The difference is that in this case, the book is replaced by silicone.
Then of course is the alternative of taking those five g’s and putting them toward a college degree.
Not a four-year university diploma, mind you, but five thou can get you a pretty decent AA degree from a community college.
Unless your name is “Bambi” or “Blaze,” a certificate in dental hygiene is probably going to earn you more money than some new appendages that will soon have their own nicknames.
Fewer dates, maybe, but more cash.
Personally, my favorite nickname for fake bazoombas is “fire hydrants.”
There is an obvious similarity in shape.
But more importantly, like real fire hydrants, their biggest attribute is the number of dogs that inevitably will come sniffing around.
You would think that a man my age would have an appreciation for artificial breasts.
But like I said, I’m getting old, and staring down the barrel of a future that will probably involve an artificial hip, artificial knees, and artificial heart valves somehow makes the idea of one more artificial body part much less appealing.
Yes, even that one.