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July 15-22 , 2002

"Life in the Shallow End"
(COURTESY OF IMPULSE MAGAZINE)

"Seriously, my only ambition in the world is to go to Egypt,
stand on top of the central pyramid and piss all over it."
-The Monarch of Mutter, Ozzy Osbourne

While the majority of hipsters under Mensa member George Bush's America spend their summer days trying to dress and act like some groovy extra from an Austin Powers movie, I have been spending them not dressed at all, on my couch, watching not real people trying to act like celebrities but celebrities begging for the opportunity to act like real people. (Which is about as hopeless as Rosie O'Donnell trying to swear off her love affair with herself and anyone who will have her). Of course, I'm talking about the new genre: Celeb-Reality TV.

As the lifestyles of the talent-less and famous were being pitched, and I grew more despondent about the pabulum we are being spoon-fed, the only thing that kept me from putting on the Captain and Tenille's "Muskrat Love" and sticking a gun in my mouth, was the anticipation that some narcissistic celebrity may beat me to it.

Good news: the odds are looking good. Ever since the Whizzer of Oz struck gold in the Emerald City--aka MTV--the cast of characters who have come out of the woodwork and their favorite rehab centers to attempt to follow the Osbournes down the Yellow Brick Road of dysfunction reads like a Who's Who of Hollywood's own Greek Tragedy, or soon to be one.

Let's begin with the effervescent Brandy who (according to her website) "after a three-year break from the glare of spotlights, a three-year period of growth, of self-evolution and re-examination, stepped back onto the world stage in a major way this time." Enter MTV, our bastion of cultural crack, to enlighten us with the life-affirming Brandy: Special Delivery. If you think about it, how could a 30-something male, or any human being let alone an alien, not gain valuable life lessons from following Brandykins around while she prepared to have her first baby? The biggest lesson I learned is that having a baby is scary stuff, people--especially if you happen to be the baby and your mother's Brandy.

Also frightening is the thought that music executives are probably pining to clone the diva so her website credo "Forever Brandy" will hold up, well, forever. Which is just fine by top-notch music critic Jenny Fields of the Sioux Falls Junior High School Gazette who said: "Brandy deserves to be known as more than just 'that actress' from Moesha. She is like a totally talented goddess who deserves every moment of worship she gets." Let's hope that includes time I spent behind closed doors with her many magazine spreads. Not.

The other blip on the radar of faux-goddesses about to hit the airwaves (and let me preface it by saying how indebted I am to the E! Network), that sexy BBW, Anna Nicole Smith. While watching the build up to the Anna Nicole Smith Show, I couldn't help noticing that poor Anna still seems to be mourning the loss of her 165-year-old hubby--as well as his fortune she can't manage to get her hands on. But it's all good, because Ms. Emotionally Stable gets to hang out with creatures on her show that make the Osbourne kids look like Rhodes Scholars.

E!'s executive in charge of the production, the compassionate Jeff Shore, thinks people will flock to Anna's show--like desperate, flat-chested actresses to a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon--because "Anna's life is a train wreck." And with honest statements like that, we won't need to round up the usual suspects when Miss Bouncy Bouncy's hourly dose of Paxil disappears, because let's face it: anything short of a house dropping on the woman who swears she is not a bad witch is a downright failure for E!

Other self-absorbed celebrity names that have been pimped about include: the Artist Formerly Known as Puff Daddy--Mr. Diddy would like the cameras to follow him around as he scours the back alleys and strip joints for "talent," i.e. the nearest diva with an ass big enough to pistol whip. (Sorry P., Ms. Lo is not available for the sequel.)
Kato Kaelin has filmed a couple of episodes of his marvelously original Houseguest, in which the leech, whose 15 minutes of fame expired the day his daddy's sperm shot down his mommy's fallopian tubes, knocks on doors of unsuspecting families and asks to spend the weekend. And it just won't be a fulfilling house-party until we hear: "Mr. Kaelin meet Dr. Hannibal Lecter…Dr. Lecter meet your next barbecue."
Cybill Shepard has been developing her show, pitched as a cross between Sunset Boulevard and Sex in the City, for two years. Two whole years! Ms. Shepard has gone from quality movies like the Last Picture Show to already installing a camera in her bathroom (in case a network bites) and I ask you: Is this not one of the most rewarding career arcs since Paul Reubens was caught rosy-handed? Ms. Shepard says she would like to explore where a star of her stature goes at this point in her career and I can only suggest: the Lifetime Network where millions of menopausal women will gush when they see her settle onto the duvet to wash out the Hollywood pestilence.

"I'm ready for my close-up now, Mr. DeMille."

Add to the list of insatiable, adoration-starved whore-mongers inflated heads like the flabby spandex king David Lee Roth, Tommy Lee and his mighty python, Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock of the Hepatitis C Club, and you get the idea: the skies the limit on the celebrity freak show circuit.

But wait, there's more!

Let's join former Facts of Life star and security guard extraordinaire Gary Coleman as he fights crime and being vertically-challenged at the Fox Hills mall in Los Angeles!

And if you like that Court TV, how about this one, sure to go perfectly with the preceding pitch. (Cue dramatic music and that idiotic trailer guy's voiceover.) "Two trains are off their tracks and on a collision course in: Shopping with Winona Ryder…at the Fox Hills mall."

Which brings me to the ultimate idea for the Travel Channel, shopping with Angelina Jolie. Who wouldn't want to be on hand as Ms. Billy-Bob "His Blood in a Vial Around Her Neck" Thornton travels the globe in search of the perfect babies to adopt? Maybe Ang can follow up Around the World with 80 Babies with a show on the Discovery Channel as she channels the spirit of Mother Teresa--with the help of Miss Cleo--and discovers a cure for AIDS.

"What you talkin' bout, Willis? I'm tall enough to bite some perp's kneecaps if I gots to."

Last but not least, I vote that Big Brother (AOL-Time Warner) launches a Little People's Network so we can follow Vern Troyer (aka Mini Me) and his Big Wheel around while he searches for hookers and blow, and the financing so he and Gary Coleman can star in the Wizard Of Oz II: The Attack of the Killer Munchkins.

Because let's face it, our lives are such that we need freak shows to distract us from the more pertinent things in life-like trying to figure out why we never made the cut on Survivor, or why our Big Brother slept with our spouse (who turned out to be a hermaphrodite) and Jerry Springer just won't accept our calls.

Now, before we're sucked dry of all Mensa moments, I have to make my own call. I'm going to dog-paddle out of this shallow end and do something worthwhile with my life--like put on some clothes and get out of the house before I am tempted to sing along to those groovy lyrics: "Muskrat, muskrat, candlelight…" Because he who avoids suicide today, lives to rip pop culture another day.

Do I make you randy, baby?
Comedy Ave's:

The Horny Men's Club
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