Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Yes, I can now say I was on AMERICAN IDOL. Okay for four nanoseconds in a crowd shot but clearly I had the “Wow” factor during those four nanoseconds.

The show is actually done at CBS Television City. So is THE PRICE IS RIGHT and it must be strange for the pages to seat audience members who didn’t have oxygen tanks.

All cellphones and pagers are confiscated at the door. You only get them back if you promise not to vote for Sanjaya.

Once seated, pages come around with paper caps making us spit out our gum. Fifty people chew with their mouths open and it ruins it for the rest of us.

I was right! The cast from DRIVE was there. And maybe Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter. It sorta looked like her but they sat her way in the back behind the teleprompter. How the mighty have fallen when Sanjaya’s sister gets a better seat.

We were sitting right behind Sanjaya’s sister. In person she’s very hot… and still looks more masculine than him.

Wisely, there are no monitors. The audience has to watch the show not themselves. That was fine for everyone but the cast of DRIVE.

First off, a warm-up guy who looks like Lou Costello in a bowling shirt comes out and whips the audience into an absolute frenzy by giving away one T-shirt. Judging by this group, the only item that would have excited them more was a Scooter Pie.

The theme was Latin night… I think. It is so LOUD in there. Either Latin or Manhattan. You have no sense of the singers’ vocals. But there is an energy being there that more than makes up for it. I hear the same is true on THE PRICE IS RIGHT.

Jennifer Lopez giving singing tips is like Eddie Griffith giving driving tips.

But at least she didn’t mentor the girls on how to choose a boyfriend.

I talked my wife out of bringing a banner that read: “HEY JEWS! YOU CAN NOW EAT BREAD AGAIN!!”

You can’t help but be impressed by how polished the show’s production is. Clearly these folks have it down.

And Ryan Seacrest makes it look easy. Fifty years from now he’ll be hosting THE PRICE IS RIGHT.

Despite what Simon said, I liked Melinda Doolittle’s rendition of “Sway”. She was very Ella.

Staff members on the show say Melinda is the most supportive of all the other contestants. I’m not surprised.

LaKisha Jones looked like a 64 ounce bottle of Coke in that red and black dress. And dancing was not a terrific idea. Whenever she moved in one direction there were always parts of her that moved in at least three other different directions.

It was hard to hear Randy but so what? He says the same thing every time.

It was also hard to hear Ryan asking LaKisha that viewer question. When she mentioned her daughter, Brionne, I thought she said “Frionne” and wondered why she’d name her child after an anti-freeze.

Chris Richardson sounded MUCH better live than on TV. But Paula was up dancing and twirling and doing everything but putting him in a sack and taking him home.

How fitting that Haley would do “Turn the Beat Around” by Andrea True, a former porn star. Best part of her performance: She got up on that audience ramp and I was eye level with her crotch. I almost threw her a dollar.

Idol fact: Director Bruce Gowers also directed Queen’s famous “Bohemian Rhapsody” video.

When J-Lo said Phil Stacey gave her goose bumps I think she spoke for all of us in the audience as well. At one point in his song he got off the stool and stepped downstage. As if by reflex, everyone backed up a step. If our phones weren’t confiscated at least ten kids would’ve called their mommy to come pick them up.

When Blake Lewis sings, all you have to do is look around at the girls in the audience to see he’s a top three finalist. They all have that Paula Abdul drool.

Simon is smooth. During a break a blonde in a brown top asked him what he thought was the sexiest thing in a woman? He said, “A blonde in a brown top.” I’m sure Paula thought he was talking about her, not realizing that she isn’t a blonde.

I thought Jordin Sparks gave the performance of the night. Her joy is just infectious. I applaud her for not having castanets just as I applaud LaKisha for not wearing a Carmen Miranda hat.

When Ryan introduced Sanjaya I was right behind him on camera and was all ready to cry and everything but at the last second got blocked out by a Sanjaya sign.

Sanjaya should have been wearing a Carmen Miranda hat. I don’t think he’s washed his hair since Brian Dunkleman left the show.

But he was not the worst of the night. And for that fact alone, my wife and I can say we were at the most memorable AMERICAN IDOL show of the year. They’ll be talking about it all summer.

Thanks to M & P for getting us in.

After the show I went in search of the page to get my gum back.


Willy B. Good said...

Having the chance to win a t shirt by a Lou Costello look alike sounds a very classy production and well worth the price of admission alone as you are one lucky man Ken to get free tickets to that comedy show even if gum was outlawed for safety reasons.

Jenn said...

I was just sad that there was no name on screen under Mickey Dolenz. I'm younger, but I'm a huge Monkees fan. Glad you had a good time and let us live vicariously through you with AI, Ken.

? said...

The show sucks. Enough already.

Tallulah Morehead said...

I could hardly help noticing that when LaKisha turned around, she had what looked like a second set of breasts in back, hanging over the back of her dress. Talk about a wardrobe malfunction.

Sanjaya must have been nervous last night; He forgot to wax his upper lip.

So what number do we call to keep you from being voted out of the audience?

Anonymous said...

Blarneyman, Ken's clearly intends to review AI every week. Your complaining about him writing about what he choses to write abuot in his own blog each week is getting really old. If you don't want to read about it, skip reading Tuesday's column. Meanwhile, you seriously need to stuff a sock in it. You're starting to make me sympathize with the English.

Anonymous said...

The theme was Latin night… I think. It is so LOUD in there. Either Latin or Manhattan. You have no sense of the singers’ vocals.

Having worked on several American Music Awards shows held at the Shrine Auditiroium when I lived in LA, I can tell you that the sound the house audience hears and the sound the TV audience hears are nowhere near the same. While the TV audience hears the music only after it's been equalized, compressed, limited in volume and balanced to meet with broadcast standards, the house audience may as well be at Woodstock -- the sound levels are deafening, and consist (as far as I could ever tell) of mostly heart-stopping bass accompanied by a cacophony of undefinable instruments and unintelligible vocals.... One year when both Motley Crue and Metallica were scheduled to play, the producers were so fearful of the sound levels they would generate that they actually attached earplugs to the programs for anyone who didn't want their brains to be turned into cream of mushroom soup by the noise... Being at a TV show where a rock or pop musical act is playing is a whole different experience, and not necessarily beneficial to one's hearing....

Oh, and one more thing: when Sanjaya gave that longing glance into the camera and sang "Besame mucho," I seemed to sense some strange, almost disturbing feelings starting to stir within me... (a) I think I'd better call my shrink, and (b) restrict my TV watching to a steady diet of WWF SMACKDOWN for the next six months or so.....

Anonymous said...

That does it, I'm voting for Sanjaya.

And I'm going to outsource further voting to a small firm in Mumbai.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, porn star Andrea True's hit was "More More More." "Turn the Beat Around" was Vicki Sue Robinson's one hit, later covered by Gloria Estefan.

Anonymous said...

Sanjaya's peach fuzz was so thin he couldn't muster the R and the N to finish off the Porn Stache. All he was left with was a Po' Stache.

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- what passes for entertainment today is pathetic.
Although I wonder if the people who sit transfixed by this dreck would recognize talent if it fell on their heads!
And I'm always fascinated by the fact that 3 absolute no talents sit in judgement of other no talents. Can you say "the blind leading the blind."

VP81955 said...

Tom Quigley said...
One year when both Motley Crue and Metallica were scheduled to play, the producers were so fearful of the sound levels they would generate that they actually attached earplugs to the programs for anyone who didn't want their brains to be turned into cream of mushroom soup by the noise...

You mean their brains weren't already in that state before entering?

Howard Hoffman said...

Mr. Hollywood said: "Can you say "the blind leading the blind."

This season, it's more like the blind leading the bland.

Bryan CastaƱeda said...

>>Although I wonder if the people who sit transfixed by this dreck would recognize talent if it fell on their heads!

According to this story, they wouldn't:

Mary Stella said...

Ken, what a banner night. The cast of Drive, you and Mickey Dolenz in the audience. Who the heck does Mickey know and why was he there on Latin night instead of 60s night? Maybe he didn't want anyone to see that he hasn't aged quite as well as Peter Noone. (And Mickey was my favorite Monkee when I was a kid.)

Overall, I thought last night was the worst. The only group performing worse, as a whole, are my Philadelphia Phillies.

You know it's bad when Sanjaya gives one of the night's best performances, although Blake and Melinda were still better. Speaking of Sanjaya, there's no way he grew a goatee in a week. They clipped hair from his head and glued it to his chin.

Simon was brutally truthful to Haley. I expect she'll perform next week in a thong.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Ken, I'm sorry I missed you. I spent yesterday losing several hundred dollars at a casino.

It is less painful than watching IDOL...

maven said...

Thanks for your report from American Idol "Central". It's almost like I was there myself. You looked like you were really enjoying yourself during your 4 nanoseconds of fame! Over at The Lost Community the joke going around is that Sanjaya is replacing Namaste as a greeting! LOL

Unknown said...

If you get me in there, can I bring a sign that says "CATHOLICS CAN EAT MEAT ON FRIDAYS AGAIN"?

Cap'n Bob said...

Everyone but Burke was drowned out by the music. I thought Haley did a good job, but she seems to have a target on her back. LaKisha, on the other hand, seems to have a bye week every time even though her last three performances have been lousy. I didn't care for Melinda's rendition of "Sway." Too wan and blah. Sanjaya acts like he knows the fix is in and he's going to win, pathetic as he is.

Diane said...

I thought Melinda had a Shirley Bassey vibe, which should make her a shoo-in for the next Bond movie theme song. Latin isn't her strong point, but she does have a great voice.

And Haley proved two things - she has great gams, and she can walk around a stage in stripper quality heels

VP81955 said...

Mary Stella said...
Overall, I thought last night was the worst. The only group performing worse, as a whole, are my Philadelphia Phillies.

That's only because they haven't played my Nationals yet.

Mike Barer said...

Good report, Ken.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...


I do my own review of AI for various people on my own blog. Anyway, I mention this because I've haven't done a Dunkelman joke yet this year till this week, and now I see you did it too.
That I thought was funny.

Glad you had a great time and Passover is done. Go get a bagel and some pizza.

Anonymous said...

As good as Blake was I don't think he's a finalist. The problem is I'm sure he comes over better live than on TV. My wife accurately pointed out that he has "dead eyes." In order to win, you have to know how to work the camera. Even Sanjaya did a better job of that last night. Unless she performs in a thong next week, it's time for Haley to go.

VP81955 said...

This just came over the AP -- the loss of another sitcom production great:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stan Daniels, an Emmy-winning TV writer and producer who worked on two of the most acclaimed comedies of the 1970s, ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show,'' and ``Taxi,'' has died. He was 72.
Daniels died of heart failure April 6, according to Mount Sinai Memorial Park.
Daniels won eight Emmys during his long television career, including three as co-creator and executive producer of ``Taxi'' and three as a writer on ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show.''
He wrote for ``The Dean Martin Show'' and ``The Bill Cosby Show,'' and early Cosby situation comedy, before joining ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show,'' which ran from 1970 to 1977. He also wrote for the Cloris Leachman spinoff series, ``Phyllis.''
He and three MTM Productions colleagues, James L. Brooks, David Davis and Ed. Weinberger, left in 1977 to set up a production unit at Paramount Pictures, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time. Their show ``Taxi,'' starring Judd Hirsch, Marilu Henner and Danny DeVito, debuted the following year and ran through 1983.
Daniels also co-created the Brenda Vaccaro series ``Lily,'' and co-wrote, with Brooks, the 1978 TV movie ``Cindy,'' a retelling of the Cinderella story with a black cast.
Among Daniels' other TV credits were ``The Kid,'' ``For Richer, For Poorer,'' ``Glory! Glory!'' and ``The Substitute Wife.''
On Broadway, he composed music and lyrics for ``So Long 174th Street,'' a 1976 musical version of the play ``Enter Laughing.''
Born in Toronto, Daniels attended the University of Toronto and before receiving a fellowship to study at Oxford.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Alene, and four children.

By Ken Levine said...

I saw that about Stan Daniels. He was a lovely man. I will say more in a later post. He was one of the true giants.

maven said...

Gosh, sorry to hear that about Stan Daniels. I worked with him on the last year of Mary Tyler Moore show. He was the nicest man, and very quiet, but, of course, knew comedy.

Globegirl said...

Completely agree about Melinda. I was actually thinking of Ella when she funny you should say that.

I was really hoping Sanjaya would sing 'Jenny from the Block'.

Anonymous said...

In "So Long 174th Street" Stan wrote the music and lyrics to "The Butler Song" a classic built around the line "He's screwing Delores Delgado". It's one of the funniest comedy sings ever written.

Stan wrote a LOT of great comedy, but it's the author of "The Butler Song" that I will miss first.

A great talent.

Anonymous said...

Oops. I meant Delores Del Rio, not Delgado. Delores Delgado is a fictional character in a novel. I'm an idiot.

? said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
By Ken Levine said...

People. This is a fun blog. Let's not get all heated over an American Idol post.

I generally don't like to delete posts but things have started getting nasty and I had to drop blarneyman's latest comment to Seymour.

Guys, come on. This is American Idol.

Anonymous said...

Is Delores Delgado the mother of Tina?

Stacey N.S. said...

Hi Ken,
Just stumbled across your blog and thought it would be a good idea to contact you.
I'm developing an idea for a pilot. Actually, the story is developed, laid out in four acts and everything.
What do I do next?
I'm an actor and this is my first serious attempt at selling something i've written.

Stacey N.S. said...

If you choose to conatct me my address is

thank you and hope to hear from you; thanks!

By Ken Levine said...

I will do a post on Saturday about Stan Daniels.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Now I'll never know whatever horrible thing the B-Man was saying to me. The suspense is terrible.

Glad to see Haley go. Will enjoy your AI posting next week.

Really, really sorry about Stan Daniels. What a giant.

? said...

Basically Seymour I found what you said deeply offensive. I don't like AI, but I like Ken. I don't why you should be drudging up painful history between the English and the Irish over my thoughts on f**king AI. You want to sympathize with the English and their historical atrocities towards Ireland and its people, fine, but don't you dare expect me or any other Irish here to not find what you said just ugly.

Jill Monroe said...

Great post. I stumbled over here via Karten's blog and glad I did. I never watched AI until the season with Bo Bice, so I missed the Dunkelman jokes...

Anonymous said...

Blarneydope, You seriously lack a sense of humor. And having now read a number of entries in your blog, I can only imagine the obscene language you must have employed in the deleted comment, given what a potty-mouth your blog presents. David Mamet would find you too foul-mouthed

Oh, and I'm half-Irish myself. Grandfather, and many generations ahead of him, born in Belfast.

But then, the Irish Republican Army did murder a friend of mine back in the 1970s, blew him up on his front porch in London, in front of his children, which was a nice Irish atrocity. So my English-Scandinavian roots give me considerably more pride. The alcoholics in my family are all from the Irish side.

But you really need to lose the stick up your butt.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused about something when it comes to AI. Do they not announce who won until the next day?


? said...

Seymour, having an Irish Grandfather would make you a quarter Irish you moron. And considering 1.5m Irish died from British oppression picking an choosing your atrocities is a little rich. By the way, a terrorist organisation is not representative of Irish people, but Irish extremists. I lost many more closer to me thanks to UVF attacks. It's how it was. Horrible. And right now I am really tired of your small-minded bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Grandma was from Belfast also. Sorry if I am more familiar with my relatives than you are. However, I bow to your greater knowledge of "Small-minded bullshit," of which you are a major dispenser, and your ability to get it out around that stick is impressive.