Jewish World Review March 19, 2002 / 6 Nisan, 5762
Celebrity boxing, Minnelli wedding
spark fears of national has-been
Freak-Shows Draining America's Supply of Showbiz Castoffs, Experts
Last week saw both Liza Minnelli's oddity-studded wedding and "Fox Celebrity
Boxing" with Tonya Harding and Paula Jones - two heavily hyped freak-shows that
have placed a dangerous strain on America's supply of unexploited has-beens.
That's the word from experts who warn the nation may now be facing a serious
has-been shortage for the first time in its history.
"People thought that our supply of has-beens from such old TV series as 'The Brady
Bunch' and 'The Partridge Family' would last forever," says Professor David Bagwell
of the University of Missouri. "We're now learning that this is most definitely not the
With its annual output of failed sitcoms, bomb movies, and one-hit recording artists,
the U.S. has long been seen as a dependable global supplier of showbiz castoffs
But the rising popularity in recent years of such programs as VH1's "Behind the
Music" and "Where Are They Now?" has taken the nation's has-been reserves down
to perilously low levels, Dr. Bagwell says.
"The Minnelli wedding and the Harding-Jones boxing match were particularly
worrisome because they happened just one week after ['80's recording artist]
Tiffany appeared naked in Playboy," Dr. Bagwell says.
A further threat to America's has-been supply could have come about, Dr. Bagwell says, if former
Second Lady Tipper Gore would have decided as some speculated she might, to run for the U.S.
Senate from Tennessee.
"If Tipper Gore became a Senator, America would have lost yet another precious
has-been," Dr. Bagwell says. "On the positive side, we will still have Al
JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, a former president of the Harvard Lampoon, is a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author, most recently, of "Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading" and "Rationalizations to Live By". Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
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© 2002, Andy Borowitz