Thursday, July 07, 2005

Tonight's Tube

Julie Chen continues to lower her Q rating by hosting the latest edition of the inexplicably popular Big Brother on CBS.

This year's twist: friends, co-workers and significant others will play the Big Brother game as secret duos.

Interested yet? No? Me either.

Nets Showing Their Age

The Big Six are getting a bit long in the tooth.

A study released by ad firm Magna Global USA reveals that the broadcast networks' prime-time audience in the 2004-05 season had a median age of 48, its oldest ever.

The median age for NBC's Joey audience was 43.9 (four years older than for Friends). NBC and WB have aged the most over the past five years.

Other shocking revelations in the study: Newsmagazines tend to attract geriatric viewers advertisers shun; reality appeals to the youngest; and pro wrestling appeals to those with the lowest IQ's.

OK, I made that last one up. At least, I have no hard data to support it.

Vetrini Not Surprised By Latest Firing

Ereka Vetrini says she's not bitter about losing her job as Tony Danza's second banana.

"I saw it coming, but I don't understand the reasoning behind it," said Vetrini when asked about getting her second set of TV walking papers (she was fired by no less than Donald Trump during the first season of The Apprentice). "They never really thought about my role and what it could be."

Speculation continues that producers wanted to mute the Italian tone of the show. Perhaps giant cannolis and pizza tossers will also make fewer appearances in season two.

The writing was on the wall for Vetrini when she was demoted from her sidekick role earlier this year and named "correspondent," which nearly eliminated all of her airtime.

Vetrini was axed from the struggling show along with two top show producers.

Shore Seems Like A Sure Way to Lose $250,000

As a publicity stunt for his new TBS series Minding the Store, "comedian" Pauly Shore will give $1 to any viewer who gets through the half-hour show without laughing.

Wisely, he's limited his "money back guarantee" to the first 250,000 people who write in.

Of course, we'd be surprised if that many people watched his show in the first place.

Sportztyme! Glutton vs. Glutton

I know you've been sworn in, I have read your complaint......

Those who know me know it takes quite a bit to offend me. I am usually the offender, taking my enlarged sense of humor over the line. I can usually find either humor or value in just about every scenario you might encounter. Either that or I just don't give a rat's ass about it.

However, this past Monday, I watched an event so disgusting, so revolting, so utterly American I felt drawn toward violence. You know it better as Nathan's annual Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.

I realize this is a "competition" that has been around for a number of years... perhaps starting at county fairs as local displays of endurance. What this has blossomed into is an exercise in excess, gluttony, and bad table manners.

The man to beat in this "sport" is a Japanese national named Kobayashi. He's not your typical big eater: he stands less than 6 feet tall and weighs less than 160 lbs. But somehow, last year, he managed to down 55 hot dogs (buns included) in 12 minutes... the arbitrary length of time given these "competitors". This year... he only managed 49 or so... still more than enough to extend his winning streak to a fifth year.

The commentators had the gall to proclaim Kobayashi as "the Lance Armstrong of our sport". Were I the best cyclist in the world, I'd ride across the Atlantic expressly to beat the living hell out of that guy. They continued to describe this action as if they were witnessing an actual athletic event. It was putrid, vile, and the biggest waste of time and food I've ever seen.

Allow me to get on my soapbox for a moment. This is precisely why some people have the hatred towards this country that they do. We have people, kids, going to bed hungry tonight, and yet some feel that eating a lot in a little amount of time is something to be celebrated and honored. There are families working multiple jobs just to keep the staples on the table... and yet we parade freaks of nature in front of TV cameras to cram their pieholes with food they don't even want to eat... all in the name of sport.

It is a testament to our society and democracy that we have the freedom and the resources to actually have a contest such as this. But wouldn't it be nice if, next Fourth Of July, we have a Nathan's Hot Dog Giving Away Contest?

Uncle Buster writes Sportztyme every Thursday. He prefers Sabrett hot dogs with mustard and sauerkraut.