Tag Archives: ryan seacrest

What Would Ryan Seacrest Do?

Remember when Jesus died on Good Friday, rose again on Easter Sunday, and then somberly looked into our eyes and said, “I’ll be back?”*  Jesus has proved to be a man of his word, rising from the dead to hobnob with Thomas the Apostle, have a resurrection fling with Mary Magdalene, and appear in a bucket of pizza sauce.  Indeed, Jesus has been sighted many times, but not only in inanimate objects like fish sticks and pancakes… In fact, I am resolute in my belief that JC is back; he’s inhabited a body (fake-Locke style),  and he’s living right here amongst us mortals in Southern California.

In fact, you may have heard of him.

And the modern-day resurrection of Jesus is…

(Wait for it.)

(Wait for it.)

(Commercial break.)

(Long yawn.)

(Thought we were back but it’s just another commercial break.)

(…OK, we’re done here.)

Yes, Ryan Seacrest is the modern-day resurrection of Jesus.  (Shock, awe, teen screaming, and applause.)  In case you haven’t heard of him, Jesus is the guy with long hair who walks on water.  Seacrest is the ubiquitous face of Hollywood, the host of American Idol, the host of E! News, the host of American Top 40, the host of his own daily 5-10 AM radio show, and the host of Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve (with Ryan Seacrest).  Unless you drive a horse and buggy to work, you know who Ryan Seacrest is.  He catapulted Kelly Clarkson to fame. He kickstarted the Kardashians to infamy.  He is a hosting hog (he’ll show up at your son’s bar mitvah, demanding the mike).  He’s been on TV more often than Brian Williams, Oprah, and God (or, who he calls, “Pops”).

You might be skeptical.  But there is evidence suggesting that Ryan Seacrest, is, indeed, Seasus.  First, he has six jobs.  Six.  The fact that Seasus has six jobs is a testament (pun intended) to his ungodly work ethic (let’s just assume that from now on, all puns are intended).  Second, he was born on December 24.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Some disbelievers might say that Jesus was actually born on the 25th — well, Bethlehem is 7 hours ahead of Dunwoody, Georgia, where “Ryan Seacrest” was born.  So it was still the 24th in the ATL.  What up.  Third, both guys had/have girl issues.  Jesus supposedly had a lover in Mary Magdalene; Seacrest supposedly is straight.  The life of do-gooding bachelorhood seems to fit them both, though it’s a shame that Seasus got rid of His free-flowing locks (better to attract hair gel sponsors, I suppose).  And finally, if all that isn’t convincing enough, then just take a look at Jesus’ modern-day moniker: if you rearrange the letters to RYAN SEACREST, you get CRY, SATAN SEER.  (It only took me about two minutes to get that one — for some reason, “Satan” just jumped right out.)

So, that is Seasus.  He’s able to preach his gospel through the church of radio.  He’s got more Twitter followers than the populations of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont combined.  He’s liked by many, hated by few, but known by everyone.  And for all those wondering, What Would Seasus Do?, I imagine that it goes something like this: He wakes up at 3 AM, talks for five hours on His radio show, throws jabs with Simon Cowell on American Idol, oversees a Kardashian episode where a hissy fit is thrown, does prep for American Top 40, takes an Underdog pill around 6 pm, blows through His E! News gig, calls up Dick Clark to see if he’s still alive and if He can finally change that show’s name to Ryan’s Rockin’ Eve, hangs up once He hears a croaky voice, calls up Pops, has a discussion with the man upstairs for the umpteenth time about Dick Clark (“It’s his time! He’s like 105!”), loses the battle once again, and before you know it, it’s 3 AM and He’s telling his radio show producers that “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”  Good one, Seasus.


* Yes, I did Wikipedia “Jesus”…But no, this quote is not in there.  At least, not anymore.  I hate when they edit out my Jesus quotes.  I’m confident he did say it at some point:

Free-riding man in street: “Hey Jesus, will you pick up some barley?”

(Jesus sighs, rolls his eyes)

Jesus: “I’ll be back.”

See?

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In Memoriam: Paula Abdul, A True American Idol

Today, we bid a final farewell to Paula Abdul, 47: beloved American Idol judge, compassionate music producer, and shining example of what drugs can really do to a person.

americanidolAbdul has been with American Idol since its auspicious start in 2002, back when Simon Cowell was still an unknown British crank, and Ryan Seacrest was just the spiky-haired sidekick to Brian Dunkleman.  Throughout the years, Abdul has established herself in Idol circles as the “caring” judge: one who rarely insults, and who always offers an encouraging smile (aww, shucks).

While Abdul has often been criticized by critics for not being critical enough, this criticism is ultimately flawed (just like this sentence).  Although Abdul’s contribution to the judging panel may be limited, I truly believe that her presence has transcended American Idol.  With Paula, she’s not just there for the music.  Instead, she is so much more.  She has brought critical issues to the forefront, opened dialogue on everything from healthcare reform to prescription drugs, and spearheaded long-needed change to America.

Some examples of her most important work:

A Shout-Out to Healthcare Reform: In 2005, Abdul landed on the cover of People Magazine, detailing her “Medical Nightmare.”  In the article, she discusses the chronic pain from an old cheerleading injury that had led to some of her bizarre Idol behavior (eg. slurring her words, falling asleep, clapping as if she had flippers instead of hands).  Although she didn’t say it explicitly, Abdul was making an unmistakable call for  reform.  After all, if one of the wealthier women in the country can’t get adequate care, then how is Joe the Plumber going to survive?  Plumbing is more taxing than cheerleading, you know.

An Example of Feminism: Controversy arose when dismissed season 2 contestant Corey Clark claimed that he had a 3-month affair with Abdul during the show’s taping.  His book, “Sex, Lies, and Paulatics” not only stretched the homophonic properties of the English language, but also exposed a potentially sordid side of Idol.  However, (if true) the affair only reveals that Abdul used her power to lure young men to her britches.  She is just following the timeless example of men who have used their influence to get women.  If powerful men do it all the time, then why can’t powerful ladies get in on the fun?  Thus, Abdul’s only transgression is that of being a cougar with bad taste.  To this, we say, you go girl!  Get that nasty creep!

Serving as an Economic Bellwether: paulamoneyAbdul reportedly turned down a $5 million+ deal to return to Idol… though, of course, her rejection may just be a clever negotiating tactic to get more cash in her clunker (we’re waiting for Idol reps to tweet back).  With such a move, Abdul has clearly proved to economists that the recession will continue as long as buffoons are still being offered ridiculous amounts of money.  I mean, I’d be happy to bank $5 million for getting drunk and making nonsensical comments.  I often do it for free.  So, thank you, FOX, for subverting the principles of economics and showcasing America’s finest.  No wonder NewsCorp. lost $203M last quarter…

I think I have proven my point: Paula Abdul is so much more than a singer, dancer, choreographer, serial divorcee, and American Idol judge.  She is also a true humanitarian.  As she would say, “You’ve got a sensitive side of you… got, uh, total, uh spicy side of you… You are real.  You’ve… got… to keep going.”  Ditto, Paula.  We feel the same way.  We will miss you.

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Semi-Serious Ideas in Entertainment

singled-out1. MTV FOR OLD PEOPLE: With a rapidly aging population and a surplus of baby boomers who still want to stay hip, I propose the creation of a new TV network for the older demographic. Like its teenage counterpart MTV, FOP (“For Old People”) could feature variations on popular shows. There could be FOP versions of classic MTV hits, like Singled Out: Octogenarians, My Super Sweet One Hundred (Esther gets a new motorized scooter!), or True Life: I’m a Denture Capitalist. Some other ideas for FOP programming: Survivor: Nursing Home, Are You Smarter Than a Senile Old Coot, and The Amazing Race to Heaven.

 

madoffd2. RENAME PUNK’D: In our new recessionary era, Madoff’d is the new Punk’d. The pilot episode could feature a $65 billion bonfire, with Bernie lighting up dollar bills while Alan Greenspan roasts marshmallows over the flames. Then Kutcher’s lackeys can go around to all of Madoff’s former investors and give them their pile of ash, along with a S’more. You just got Madoff’d! This can be followed by a new Publishers Clearinghouse show, where we watch Ed McMahon as he goes into people’s houses with a big camera crew and, “Surprise!” — forecloses their homes.

sesame

3. MODERNIZE SESAME STREET: With these hard new times, let’s see the effect of unemployment on the Street. Are Bert and Ernie worried about paying bills? Does Big Bird look extra-frazzled? Is there a surplus of unemployed day laborers in the neighborhood? This is a great opportunity to get toddlers thinking about the impact of credit default swaps on their cookie jar. “A is for AIG, B is for bankruptcy, C is for collateralized debt obligations… and F is for failure.” And speaking of cookies, maybe we can also encourage the Cookie Monster to watch his waistline. Yogurt Monster might not be as fun, but he’ll probably live longer.

gladiators

4. AMERICAN GLADIATORS MEETS C-SPAN: Every few years, we deal with the same drama in House, Senate, and Presidential elections. There are counts and recounts, hanging chads and run-off votes. There are promises and lies, hacks and phonies, Joe the Plumbers and Sarah Palins. (No wonder there’s political apathy in this country.) What if there was an easier way to decide it all? Why can’t we just run all our politicians through the Eliminator? (Junior Senators and House reps can opt for the easier Aggro Crag on GUTS instead.) The real decisionmakers, though, must perform Gladiator-style. They must face ‘roided up men and manly women. They’ll joust with Justice and try to deport Helga. The Eliminator will test their physical strength and mettle, and all of it will be shown on national TV. Then after the competition, Ryan Seacrest will announce the winner: “America, you voted… The new President of the United States is… Find out after the commercial break!”


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Random Thoughts on… Comedy

A Consultant’s Interpretation of Comedy

consultingmatrix

A Layman’s Interpretation of a Consultant’s Matrix

STARS: These jokes have the potential of getting big laughs from a widespread audience. Classic bathroom humor, fashion faux pas, Amy-Winehouse-style cocaine addiction, and making fun of Ryan Seacrest? …Topical, relevant, and always hilarious.

CASH COWS: These are the jokes that just fall into our laps… they’re still crowd pleasers, but there’s not much else to say. We’ve already tapped everything Britney has to offer, and Sarah Palin has been completely comedically vetted, from her grandma hairstyle to her moose-skin Timbs. And even though we’ve heard the same Ohio jokes over and over, it’s still easy to enjoy making fun of the state’s finest: undecided voters, Cleveland, and Joe the Plumber.

QUESTION MARKS: There’s a lot of comic potential here, but will people actually find it funny? With all the layoffs, is it too painful to joke about the recession right now? Is it too soon to make fun of our golden boy president? And is Helen Keller permanently off limits? Say it ain’t so, HK… or, well… never mind.

DOGS: Death, funerals, and killing of cute, cuddly animals (like penguins) is generally not funny. And while Jersey has seen its cash cow heyday in the past, it’s not the butt of all jokes anymore… Well actually, that’s untrue: the only reason why the dirty Jerz is in the “Dogs” quadrant is to place it near the pictures of the gun and the funeral. Naturally.

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Democratic Elections in the United States of Florida

Apparently democratic nations are entitled to a system of “one man, one vote.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to the United States, or else Al Gore would have become President in 2000, and either we’d a) all be driving hybrid cards and the world would be at peace, or b) we’d all be dead and the animals will have taken over our planet, a la the zombies in I am Legend. In actuality, “one man, one vote” really comes down to “one man in Florida, one vote that actually counts,” and “one man in MA/CA/NY/TX/KY/TN, go out for Tuesday night’s all-you-can-eat pasta at Uno’s instead, because your state’s already decided… so your opinion just doesn’t matter.”

Now, of course, someone will argue that if everyone in these states believed this were true, then there might come the election day when no one would vote, Uno’s would be filled to the brim, and Ralph Nader would be elected president. Thankfully it seems that only cynics and cost/benefit economists would actually boycott voting in a silent protest against the system on election day. The rest of the country proudly does its civic duty so that the world doesn’t capitulate into a zombie-like state with an incompetent man as its leader… (insert Bush joke here). Still, I am sure that there are many people who would have voted but didn’t, because they knew their voice would not be heard… unless they moved to Boca Raton.

Apparently there were reasons for the electoral college back in the day of T-Jeff and G-Dubs (the original). And there is historical precedent as to why Iowa, of all states, is first in the all-important primary season (surprisingly, it’s not because of its astounding diversity). But how is our system democratic today, when only a few decide for us all? It sometimes seems like Iowa and New Hampshire give us our choices, and Florida and Ohio pick our President. Is it so hard to hold a two-hour event where our candidates make speeches, perhaps sing, and then Americans just call in to vote? Ryan Seacrest could host. That’ll show those guys in Iraq what real democracy is all about.

But in all seriousness, I’d like to see a change in the system that has produced us Mr. George W. Bush…twice.  Why not have an election-year lottery to determine the order of voting in primaries? It could be a family event, like watching the NBA draft lottery or the Powerball numbers. And why not get rid of the electoral college in favor of a truly democratic vote? I know that would drag me away from the pasta bowls to actually do my civic duty.

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Justifying Our Love for David, Justin, Britney, And Of Course, Madonna

It starts with shortness of breath. Next comes the hyperventilating, the eye twitches, the body spasms, and mangled speech. The flailing arms come out soon after, trying to seek reassurance from anyone passing by: “Did you see that? Did you see him? That was him! That was him!” Deep breaths. Regain composure. Put the crazy face away, and try to look nonplussed that David Beckham just walked RIGHT by you, and grazed your shirt with his arm. David Beckham. His arm. Your shirt. That shirt will never get washed again.

Sound familiar, or likely?

It can be easily argued that we live in a celebrity culture. With resources like People.com, TMZ, and the ever-infallible Perez Hilton, we know more intimate details about celebrities than we do our own friends and family. I may not know the name of my best friend’s ex, but I do know that Jared Leto used to date Cameron Diaz, who used to date Justin Timberlake, who used to date Britney Spears, who used to date Kevin Federline, who used to date nobody famous… that is, before dating, impregnating, marrying, and divorcing, Britney Spears. Through the celebrity-stalking bible known as Us Weekly, I’ve learned that Michael Phelps likes Chinese food, Ricky Martin likes boxer briefs, and Lindsay Lohan likes women. From watching E! News and listening to Ryan Seacrest on the radio, I have developed a wealth of celebrity trivia that would make my high school US history teacher cringe. What year did Madonna’s first album come out? 1983. Who played the little girl in Remember the Titans? Hayden Panettiere. What did Jessie take that got her “so excited” but yet “so scared”? Caffeine pills. No, I may not know exactly what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do, or where to find Pakistan on a map, but I can tell you that back when they were married, Dennis Quaid cheated on Meg Ryan. (Plus, I’m guessing that Fannie/Freddie and Pakistan/Iraq aren’t all that important anyways.) It may be hard to justify, but celebrity stories trump news stories every time.

For many of us, celebrities are just incredibly fascinating. Typically most of us would think that it’s crazy to camp out on the sidewalk for hours, just to get within screaming distance of a children’s book author. We would find it odd to reach out and grab at random strangers’ arms, legs, and (other) body parts. Perhaps we want to get close enough to verify that celebrities are, indeed, human. And so we change our shopping route to follow them at the supermarket. We stare at them, enraptured, as they do mundane things that all of a sudden seem fascinating. We try to take a picture of them buying carrots with our camera phone. Maybe all of it is just to confirm that they too eat food, walk places, and have boring days. Maybe it’s to reassure us that they are, kind of, just like us.

Then again, if they were really just like us, they wouldn’t be celebrities. So we live vicariously through their awards nights, champagne parties, airport rampages, and drug busts. We dedicate our whole day to wait in line for tickets to see Madonna, and we set aside The Shirt That David Beckham Touched for framing. It may not be right that we place celebrities on a higher pedestal than prime ministers, Congressmen, royalty, philanthropists, teachers, doctors, firefighters, police officers, community organizers, war veterans, environmentalists, public defenders, public servants, social workers, human rights activists, and often in the case of young people, parents… BUT, celebrities have brought us entertainment in the form of Britney & Kevin: Chaotic. So, I feel quite justified.

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