This "I Love the Whatever-Decade"-style look at pop singers who hit and then missed and missed was completely redundant. Everything anyone ever needed to know about Right Said Fred and the top one-hit-wonder song "The Macarena" was in the recent '90s installment, without Sheryl Crow vainly attempting to master the deceptively simple dance. However, to see that "Mickey" singer Toni Basil still had a career choreographing commercials for the Gap should give some hope to American Idol grads who are sure to be featured on an updated version of this special in a few years.
Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon
This timeless Labor Day tradition continues, with a slightly stouter Jerry Lewis still raking in big bucks annually to help the needy souls who are suffering from this terrible disease. But this never-ending special needs some serious modernization. The names may have changed, but this telethon looks exactly like it did when I was a kid. It probably doesn't help that I'm visiting my childhood home and watching portions of it with my parents, but I digress. The sweet-faced little kids and families who are struggling to live with this disease, or in some cases who have lost their battle, made me weepier than the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition rerun that was airing tonight. On the downside, comedian Norm Crosby's material was staler than six-year-old milk. And Elton John's giant stage show with massive inflatable phallic-looking fruit? Oh goodness, he'd better be a rocket man, or someone is clearly overcompensating.
In Search of the Partridge Family
Yay! A whole new meaning for the phrase "Get on the bus!" In this Idol-style reality show, producers are searching for a new Shirley, Keith, Lori and Danny for an updated remake of the popular '70s series. In scenes scarily reminiscent of To Tell the Truth, Partridge wannabes announce that they are Lori Partridge et al. But they seem to have forgotten that there were younger children on the show, too — I don't really remember their names, I just thought David Cassidy was dreamy — but there were younger kids. I swear. Eh, I guess no one else can recall anything about those tots either.
This show is addictive and the "Come On Get Happy" vibe is compelling. I already have my favorites: I'd love to see Teddy Geiger be the new David; he's got nice eyes and a John Mayer-look. And that Allison Considine girl is a dead ringer for Susan Dey. All of the potential moms were cute, but I can't see anyone but the lovely Shirley Jones in that role. Matt Vrchota would make an adorable Danny, but that Peabo scares me. He looks way too old for the part, and I couldn't help but scan the audience looking for one of those Showbiz Moms and Dads who said, "You have red hair — you will audition for this part."
Next week sounds promising, too: The potential "I Think I Love You" crooners are off to Partridge boot camp, where they'll presumably talk about girls and how to properly feather their hair before they face off in the "Battle of the Keiths." That I don't want to miss.
Dave Chappelle: For What It's Worth
Chappelle's Show is some darned funny TV, but this Showtime special isn't nearly as laugh-out-loud funny. Without the constraints of regular cable, Dave is running wild with the N-word, masturbation jokes and constant swearing. Not that I'm a prude or anything; I love some good dirty jokes. But the endless discussions about race — from his discovery that San Francisco is segregated to making a Native American cry by littering — get old after a while. But it did make me laugh when super-skinny Chappelle actually fell over laughing during one of his jokes.
And in more Idol chatter, first-season contestant Ryan "formerly Tiffany" Starr has found a new reality show, and the 21-year-old is in way over her head. Not only is she barely a celeb — even Jerri Manthey was a bigger name — but she doesn't want to share a room with boys or look at male strippers, and proves she's not quite as edgy as she'd like to be by revealing her past affection for the New Kids on the Block. For his part, the former NKOTB pretty-boy Jordan Knight comes off really poorly, from telling someone on the phone that he feels "like a prostitute" for doing this show, to stealing Ryan's room, to barricading himself in with big boxes so people won't bother him. Oh, yeah, that's really hangin' tough. But it did bring us to the Quote of the Night:
"She don't want to sleep with Brigitte Neilson because she's a crazy beeach." Charo, while trying to help find a roommate for Ryan.
Brigitte does seem quite a bit off her rocker, arriving on horseback, often going topless and drinking excessive amounts, but Public Enemy rapper Flavor Flav is enjoying the ride, and even acts considerate by trying to get the sloshed chick to eat something. Good sport of the night goes to Full House's Dave Coulier, who bristles at Jordan's mention of the hot now-18-year-old Olsen twins, but otherwise just looks baffled at the multiple versions of English that are being spoken in the house. The low-maintenance quasi-celeb seems so thrilled to be plucked from obscurity that he doesn't even object to sleeping in a closet. The people on Big Brother get better treatment than that, and they don't even qualify as D-listers! I just feel sorry for the poor house dog, Boogie, or Chuchi, or whatever. That li'l pup is going to end up schizophrenic after this.