Jewish World Review March 14, 2002 / Rosh Chodesh Nisan, 5762

Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales
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Consumer Reports

IN THIS CORNER SUSAN LUCCI AND STEPHANIE ZYMALIST! | By the time you read this, the Fox Special, "Celebrity Boxing," will probably have aired. Those of you who had hoped to see Tonya "The Kneecapper" Harding face off with Amy "Long Island Lolita" Fisher, I'm sure were disappointed.

Ms. Fisher was replaced in the pugilistic event by Paula "Kiss n Tell" Jones. But that's just not the same, is it? In preparation for this event, she told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that "she's not concerned about the notorious skater." Her first concern? "Messing my face up," she said. "I just got my nose done, and I don't want to mess it up." I'm no Mike Tyson, but I don't think you should step into the ring with Tonya Harding if you're worried about your nose job.

If we're going to have bizarre hasbeens punching each other, at least let it be two of equal ability. Tonya and Amy were both proven in courts of law to be capable of causing bodily harm to others.

I suppose there was the consolation of watching Barry "Brady Brat" Williams and Danny "Partridge Punk" Bonaduce duke it out, but when Amy Fisher dropped out of the combative competition, I'm willing to bet-- I can't prove it-- but I'm willing to bet something broke inside America.

No matter what the producers do, in fact, this concept is bound to disappoint viewers. For one thing, the celebrities don't try to kill each other, as their claymation stand ins do on MTV's "Celebrity Death Match." That is a great pity. For another, no matter who is matched with whom, for the most part, Americans are going to feel that empty feeling in the pit of the stomach.

For every citizen who cheers when he learns that Heidi Fleiss and Monica Lewinsky are going to box each other, there will be another who will pout, "I wanted to see Anna Nicole Smith punch out Monica!" And another will want to see Heidi Fleiss, the Mayflower Madam, and Camille Paglia in a three-way grudge match.

Even the potential contestants are picky. The producers approached Rick Rockwell, the poor sap who married Darva Conger on "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire" a few years back, but when told they him his opponent would be Joey Buttafuoco, he backed out. Whether this refusal came from a sudden burst of dignity, or if he was holding out for Kato Kaelin, I don't know.

Fox is also said to be looking for a suitable opponent for Vanilla Ice. Well, he'll fight anybody who will have him, that's a given. But who would step into the ring with HIM? MC Hammer maybe?

I certainly don't want to dwell on this show too much. Obviously, its very existence is proof that the latter days are upon us. But still, if they could just get Mike Tyson and O.J. Simpson in the ring together, I would be so there. Come to think of it, I'd even watch that on Pay-Per-View.

JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.


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© 2001, Ian Shoales