Monday, March 21, 2011

Has-been Apprentice

Maybe the saddest show in the history of television is CELEBRITY APPRENTICE. This is entertainment on the same level as watching a dog try to eat a caramel. We see F-list celebrities so desperate to remain in the public eye that they subject themselves to nationwide humiliation. Any trace of dignity these people once had they gladly forfeit to be on television. Now granted, in some cases like Gary Busey, so what? The man has lost his mind. Dignity is not an issue. How to hold utensils to eat food is.

The celebrities (and I use that term in the loosest possible sense) claim they’re only doing the show to support their favorite charities. And that’s certainly admirable, but who are we kidding? Meryl Streep and George Clooney are very committed to charities, you don’t see them in the boardroom trading insults with Jose Canseco.

I look at the list of celebrities and don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

GARY BUSEY – A one-time fine actor now reduced to a cautionary tale for why you should always wear a helmet on a motorcycle.

DAVID CASSIDY – Former teen throb who now dyes his hair a color not found in nature. Was Richard Hatch's bitch in like eleven minutes .  Already fired.

NENE LEAKES – How many of you are going who??? NeNe Leakes was one of the REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA. This apparently qualifies her for stardom. Don’t be surprised to see her hosting the Oscars next year.

RICHARD HATCH -- Winner of the first SURVIVOR. He was later inducted into the SURVIVOR HALL OF FAME. Be sure to visit it the next time you’re on the Cook Islands. Ultimate reality show weasel. Spent three years in a federal pen for tax evasion.  How do you declare to the government you have no money when you win a million dollars on national TV?  And now he's serving another nine months for the same thing.  Soon to be inducted into the MORON HALL OF FAME. 

MARLEE MATLIN – A former Oscar winner. Way too classy to be included in this bunch. It’s only a matter of time before one of the other nut case women complains that “Marlee doesn’t listen.”

JOE CANSECO – Certifiable. I speak from first-hand experience. I was hosting a talk show on KABC radio about a year ago and had Jose on as my guest. The show was live. I introduced him by saying he was ostracized by baseball but his charges of steroid use proved to be true. So I was hardly a hostile host. I asked him what he would say to those who still doubt his claims and he said, “I’d say they’re fucking assholes and they can kiss my fucking ass.” He continued on this blue rant and of course I cut him off. Thank goodness for the ten second delay. What was he thinking? It’s not like he’s never been interviewed before. And it’s not like anyone forced him to do the interview. He’s completely out of his mind. Just the kind of person you put on national television.

LA TOYA JACKSON – What about that family is not sad?

HOPE DWORACZYK – Former Playmate of the Year. Has the distinction of being Playboy’s first 3D centerfold. Not a lot of people know the face but she has the most recognizable vagina in America.

LISA RINNA – Actress best known for being married to Harry Hamlin and now having too much work done. Already fired.

MEAT LOAF – Much too talented to be doing this shit. Not just a terrific singer but a damn good actor. Instead of running around trying to sell pizzas he should be interviewing new agents.

LIL JON – Hip hop artists often associate with the wrong crowd. This is proof of it.

NIKKI TAYLOR – It says in the NBC bio: She began modeling at the age of 14 and immediately captured the heart of America with her girl-next-door charm and undeniable beauty. Today she has huge tattoos running up her left arm. The biker chick next door. Of all the women she seems the brightest and most down-to-earth.   Fired last night.

STAR JONES – Nightmare. And of course she has her little doggie, too. LSD bad trip nightmare.

JOHN RICH -- Country star. It's either this gig or Six Flags Over Texas. 

DIONNE WARWICK – This is the saddest of all. Dionne Warwick is music royalty. She’s an icon. A treasure. And she’s 70 years-old. We shouldn’t see her struggle to learn how to use a cash register. Let her drugged out niece, Whitney Houston do that.

Beyond the celebrities, the show is the exact same as its always been. Inane tasks tied into shameless product placement, interview segments where contestants either boast about themselves and take shots at others, and Donald Trump in the boardroom acting like he has the biggest dick in the room, even though we all know Star Jones has Trump trumped. 

Let me know how the season goes. I won’t be watching. But the week Jose Canseco kills somebody on camera please send me the YouTube link.


VP81955 said...

To Burt Bacharach and Hal David: Please rescue Dionne by writing one more great song for her.

Mary Stella said...

I never watch the show but just reading the post depressed me.

emily said...

Those celebrities will have pie in their hair for weeks.

Mike Bauman said...

Next week, Gary Busey tries to make brooms dance. It is then explained to him that this isn't Celebrity Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Thank you, I'm here all week.

Please Don't Eat Me said...

Dionne Warwick long ago lost whatever dignity she had by front for the Pyschic Scam Network and Star Jones? She was a joke long before she became the laughing stock of The View (which is saying something given that crowd of morons).

Mike Barer said...

Let's face it--America loves a "train wreck", after all, Charlie Sheen is coming to Everett and is sold out or at least that's what I hear.
Trump takes himself so seriously that I would not be surprised if he found this post and went into a tirade. Either he, or some imposter will post some angry response. I am a big fan of daughter Ivanka, she seems somewhat grounded and down to earth.

Great Big Radio Guy said...

Elton John should have talked Dionne out of this. That's what friends are for.

LA Nuts book said...

You scoff, but wait until the episode later in the season when the teams have to pitch a TV series to AMC.

Grubber said...

Wow, Marlee Maitlin, she made phone polling sexy on the West good do you have to be to do that!?

wv: outers.....just ironic considering this topic.

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ on Lisa Rinna - she is certainly best known for having the most ridiculous-looking lips in the entire universe.

Bruce Wolf said...

If it's any consolation I had Canseco on our FoxChicago morning show the day after he testified before Congress, and even though he was essentially telling the truth, I flustered him so much with my cross-examination that he canceled all his remaining appearances that day in Chicago.
At least I got something out of my law degree. Would have preferred announcing the Sox games.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

All reality TV is potty.

Except for Billy the Exterminator, that show's actually entertaining.

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

I still remember Jose Canseco on The Simpsons, back when he appeared on that legendary 1992 baseball episode (and Mike Scioscia actually made a second appearance this very season!).

I had no idea Marlee Matlin was involved with this bunch. She's too classy and doesn't deserve it. I miss her West Wing years.

Gary Busey has not aged well. And he looks as nuts as he did on Entourage.

Naz said...

Marlee Matlin, Oscar winner was also on the roast of Donald Trump. That was even worse considering she shared the stage with "The Situation" from the Jersey Shore.

As for Dionne Warwick, who beautifully sang all those Burt Bacharach and Hal David classic songs has turned into a mean old bitter woman.

Jim, Cheers Fan said...

Marlee Matlin, Oscar winner was also on the roast of Donald Trump.

Roasting Donald Trump is like appearing at a Kennedy Center award ceremony compared to being on this show (which TV Land Lady did they get to do the Betty White/Cloris Leachman stunt swearing? Shirley Jones? Marlo Thomas? Linda Lavin?). I don't get Dancing With the "Stars", much less this nonsense. I can't even watch that pathetic buffoon Trump on Letterman, I can't imagine people watching a show in which he's treated with some kind of seriousness.

Mark D said...

Bravo, Ken. Right on the money.

Mike Doran said...

Am I the only one who thinks that David Cassidy is steadily turning into a dead ringer for his late father Jack Cassidy?

I saw him playing a half-burned-out Vegas entertainer on an old Malcolm In The Middle; he's even starting to sound like Jack.

If he stops dyeing his hair the job will be complete.

Too bad Peter Falk apparently won't be doing Columbo any more. It'd be kind of sweet if David could play a murderer, just as Jack did three times.

About Donald Trump:
Ever since he set up his bait-and-switch condo tower here in Chicago, it just confirmed what I'd long suspected:
He's not just a jerk, he's a crook.

Maybe that's his appeal - deep down, people really enjoy seeing the Trumps of the world get away with things, and nobody is able to do anything about it. Treating the world's has-beens like dirt is just the icing on the cake.

Mac said...

Dionne Warwick?! Meat Loaf?!!
Warwick is a friggin' legend in her genre, as is "Loaf" in his - he sang on one of the top-selling rock 'n roll albums of all time. Now they're dicking about in front of Donald Trump. For reality TV.
Man, its a long way down.

gottacook said...

David Cassidy was actually quite good in that Malcolm episode. It's not his fault that there are so few roles suited for him, is it? What, you want the Partridge Family to re-form and go on tour (as indeed three of the Monkees, all past age 65, are doing this summer)? That would be more dignified?

(I saw Jack Cassidy as well as Linda Lavin in the musical comedy It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman on a trip to NYC with my folks in 1966; my first Broadway show. Jack was top-billed; Linda sang "You've Got Possibilities." Both their characters were invented for the show.)

D. McEwan said...

I''m pleased to say I've never watched any episode of any season of THE APPRENTICE, as I simply refuse to watch that piece of horseshit Donald Trump on anything. When he comes on Letterman, SNAP!, off goes Letterman and on goes the DVR or the DVDs.

Gary Busey was always a mess. Here's a true story about Busey. I was working as a doorman/emcee at The Comedy Store full-time 30 years ago. One night Gary Busey came in, and hung out with us. I smoked pot with him (My pot. Gary hadn't brought anything, and it didn't occur to me that he was only hanging out with us because we had drugs.)

It seemed very cool. After all, this was between when he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar and the night he lost it, so he was a current Oscar-nominee then. Had a great time, Fun.

Then he went on home, except he "forgot" one tiny, unimportant-to-him it seems, task, paying his bar tab. He'd run up a bar bill of over $100, and he ran out on it. His waitress, who was working for minimum wage plus tips, had to pay it herself, or be fired. We employees took up a collection to help her pay Busey's bar bill. A fucking Oscar-nominee, but it was cool with him to let a poor, struggling waitress buy his drinks for him, and me to get him stoned.

So I've known he was a shithole for 30 years.

Technically, Hatch is back in stir for violating his probation. I wonder if it's for associating with known criminals, namely Trump.

5 of these 'celebrites" are people I've never heard of.

Mark Burnett will work with anyone, as long as they're vile: hence his producing this show for Trump, and Sarah Palin's Alaska. This is why in Tallulah's Survivor pieces on The Huffington Post, I always refer to Burnett as "Palin's Pimp."

Mac said...

For American readers "The Apprentice" is a British export.
We started the idea with Alan Sugar, whom you might not have heard of, in the 'Donald Trump' role.
Sugar invented the Telephone Emailer, which you might not have heard of, but it was in fact a truly dreadful piece of crap that no-one who can be trusted to cut up their own food would buy.
He's also head of the Amstrad Hi-Fi empire, which you might not have heard of, but it actually produces equipment that that makes your favorite music sound like hell.
In 2005 Alan Sugar predicted that the iPod would be "Dead by the end of the year." Bear with me, the man's a fucking visionary.
If this all sounds a bit negative, rest assured that Alan Sugar is as much of a dick as Donald Trump.
And Dionne Warwick, who was gifted with an astonishing, transcendent ability, is now hamming it up in front of the US version of Alan Sugar.
Dear God, I'm depressed. What this world can do to people who don't deserve it.

Jeffrey Leonard said...

Meatloaf on "Celebrity Apprentice"? I guess two out of three ain't bad!

Donald Trump said...

Did I hear my name?? I prefer to be referred to as "The Donald".

analee said...

I agree that the saddest thing for celebrities is for being apprentice.

cshel said...

Donald Trump is repulsive on so many levels that I can't watch him. Even when I try, my mind wanders off on a tangent about his can somebody with all that money have hair like can his children not put an end to that hair can he look in the mirror at his hair and think it's okay to go out in public like that - let alone on his hair made from a badger's behind...???? And next thing I know, the show was over an hour ago.

Pat Reeder said...

The reference above to three of the four Monkees reforming reminds me of one of the rare examples of level-headed career foresight I've ever heard from a rock star, and it was from the fourth Monkee, Mike Nesmith, who made sure he retained his wealth so he doesn't have to do demeaning things to stay in the public eye.

In a documentary one-off episode of the Monkees TV show in the '60s, a camera crew followed the guys as they performed live, appeared on radio stations, etc. In one scene, Nesmith was riding in a car with the director, Bob Rafelson, and told him this great story:

He said he had friends that were in big name bands, and before he was famous, they'd invite him to sit in at shows at huge arenas. After rehearsal, they'd leave, but he'd stay behind, drag a chair to the middle of the stage, take his guitar and play his songs for the empty seats. He said, "I'd imagine they were filled with screaming fans, and think, 'Someday...someday, it's gonna happen."

Then he said that now, he plays those same venues, he looks out into the sea of screaming fans, and all he can think is, "Someday...this will be OVER."

And that's why Mike Nesmith has apprentices, rather than having to be one.

Roger Owen Green said...

And still, it has more star power than the current season of Dancing with the Stars.

Tom said...

Pat Reeder wrote:
"Mike Nesmith, who made sure he retained his wealth so he doesn't have to do demeaning things to stay in the public eye."

Mike Nesmith's wealth isn't from his Monkees days. It's a combination of inheritance (his mother invented Liquid Paper; see and savvy business acumen in the video industry including winning a multi-million dollar lawsuit against PBS.

Anonymous said...

Mac, The Apprentice is actually a US show originally, we bear no shame. Except for Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, The Weakest Link, etc etc

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim from Cheers- you know who they got? Your mom! OWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!

Mike Doran said...

It was not my intention to put down David Cassidy for coming to resemble his father over time.

If anything, I wonder why he hasn't taken more advantage of this.

Jack Cassidy worked pretty steadily over the years, his career ending only with his accidental death.

No reason in the world why David Cassidy couldn't revive his dad's special brand of roguery, and maybe expand on his own earlier popularity.

*maybe I'm just a lousy writer*

VP81955 said...

Donald Trump wishes he were William Randolph Hearst (another mogul who sought the White House), but at least Hearst had thoughtful ideas (before he devolved into a crusty right-winger in his final 15 years, he did a lot for the progressive movement, though he was admittedly inconsistent) and taste (San Simeon has it, despite its wide array of artistic styles; none of Trump's palaces do). And when it comes to mistresses/lovers, no man in his right mind would take Marla Maples over Marion Davies.

Pat Reeder said...

Nesmith's mother invented liquid paper when he was 13, but he invested his Monkee money to help build it into an international brand, after which he ran his own record label, then opened his own studio, Pacific Arts, that basically invented MTV and home video. Point is, he's always been a sharp cookie, which is why he sits on Trump's side of the desk, not Gary Busey's, and only sings Monkees songs when he feels like it.

VW: "ovedocy" - Charlie Sheen's typical mood, i.e., "I'm feelin' a li'l ove'docy today."

Fitz said...

I'm 64 and remember in college when Dionne would "perform" blind drunk. I've talked to sidemen about her and eyebrows were raised. How can you do that for forty years and have any brain cells left?

Cap'n Bob said...

Watch out, Doug. You might be bad mouthing our next president, and I have a feeling he's not above keeping a shit list.

Walking out on a bar tab while stoned may not be an intentional act. He was probably proud of the fact that he could walk at all.

gottacook said...

For the record, I'm a fan of both the Monkees and Jack Cassidy - and, in theory, David as well, based on that one Malcolm episode although I have always avoided The Partridge Family. I do like the idea of David in Jack-type roles, although of course that would require letting his hair go gray or white, wouldn't it?

I last saw the (three) Monkees in 1986, at the Carlton Celebrity Room in a Minneapolis suburb, the same venue where Jose Feliciano appears in Fargo. But no, I wouldn't see them today except maybe for free.

Mike Nesmith, remember, had a real (although brief) songwriting career too, unlike the others. I wouldn't have minded being able to write "Different Drum" in my early twenties, pre-Monkees as far as I know.

VP81955 said...

Mike Nesmith also wrote the Buddy Holly-esque "The Kind Of Girl I Could Love," one of the highlights of the Monkees' second album.

D. McEwan said...

"Cap'n Bob said...
Watch out, Doug. You might be bad mouthing our next president, and I have a feeling he's not above keeping a shit list.

Walking out on a bar tab while stoned may not be an intentional act. He was probably proud of the fact that he could walk at all."

1. Trump will never be president. Sarah Palin could get elected before he could.

2. Busey wasn't that loaded. And we had people every night who were so drunk their companions had to carry them out (Mitzi didn't water the drinks), but they didn't leave without paying. For one thing, Busey only got to run a tab because he was a movie star. (Big mistake!) What he was proud of was that he could stiff us on his bill. Remember, this was three decades ago. He wasn't yet the wretched, burnt-out mess he is now, but he was already a shithole.

David Cassidy has neither the great looks nor the charm and panache of his dashing dad, nor the self-mocking sense of humor (Remember him as Ted Baxter's brother on The Mary Tyler Moore Show?) nor the steely menace he could summon up as in his Columbo's or in that Clint Eastwood movie where Clint abandons him to die in the middle of the desert.

LinGin said...

gottacook - I saw "It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman" when it tried out in Philly. Was sitting in a balcony box so when Superman was going to 'fly' I saw him back up to the wings and the stagehands attach his wires.

"Superman" was actually a pretty good show (somewhere I have the OCR in vinyl)and Linda Lavin sang the hell out of "You've Got Possibilities." First time I saw her and Jack Cassidy and became a fan for life.

And for the life of me I can't remember who played Superman or Lois Lane; they were as forgettable as Lavin and Cassidy were memorable.

gottacook said...

LinGin: You're in luck (if you want to call it that); I have my April 1966 It's a Bird Playbill right here from the Alvin Theatre... with the first autographs I ever collected: Patricia Marand (Lois Lane), Michael O'Sullivan (the mad scientist Dr. Abner Sedgwick), and Bob Holiday (Superman). Jack Cassidy regrettably didn't make himself available after the show.

Holiday (it says here) had played Mayor La Guardia's office assistant for two years on Broadway in Fiorello!, and Marand had been the female lead (teamed with Cassidy) in a musical called Wish You Were Here, for which Amazon offers an original cast recording - evidently it dates back to 1952, which would have made Marand no spring chicken in '66.

This Playbill also has a non-fiction humor piece by none other than Bruce Jay Friedman about renting a villa in Europe with his family.

Greg Ehrbar said...

There's actually a book about the Superman broadway show here:
It's an interesting read, especially in view of all the injuries on the recent Spiderman musical. When Bob Holiday, as Superman, accidentally fell to the stage once, he simply got up and told the audience something like "A fall like that would have killed a mortal man," and the audience cheered.

BTW, today's Jack Cassidy is Will Arnett. Looks similar, and plays the same kind of roles with similar panache.