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March 27, 2007


Tallulah Morehead

Thank God you saw Sanjaya's hair too. I thought it was the vodka. But it did accomplish it's primary purpose. No one mentioned that he forgot his lyrics again as he "sang." And now, when he's kicked off, he has something to fall back on. They can use him as a toothbrush for Mount Rushmore.A couple weeks back Sanjaya wore a perm, then Chris Sligh started wearing the perm. Will we see the Roman-gladiator-helmet brush hairstyle on Mr. Sligh next week?I'm no fan of Ryan's but even he's not as bad as Howie Mandel. Watching Jordan sing, it occurred to me that David Copperfield could just flick his wrists and her earrings would be linked. And then it occurred to me that I'd rather be seeing that. I know I've sunk to the depths when I'd rather watch a magician.I don't know who's voting for Sanjaya, but I've noticed that for the two hours after the broadcast each week, you can not get tech support.Gotta go. Eddie Griffin's here to drive me to the Liquor Barn.Cheers.

Rory L. Aronsky

*bows down for all eternity to Ms. Morehead*All classic comments. I could never follow that.


I've been watching the show occasionally this season, and frankly the thing that makes me laugh the most is the fact that the crowd boos everything remotely negative Simon says, even if the performance completely blew.I start to feel sorry for him for a split second and then remember that he runs the show and just bought a brand new Ferrari F430 Spider. That somehow makes my compassion fade a bit.


Props for the Peter MacNichol reference.


Myrna, not Myra!


"I know I've sunk to the depths when I'd rather watch a magician."So... why are you watching? Oh, right. So you can make snarky comments. Got it.


Snarky, maybe, but it's quality snark.


You all must know that the producers will not let Sanjaya win, now that he is in the final ten, he will assist in the ticket sales when the top ten start their tour. (all the tweens sreaming at the sight of him)

Mr. Hollywood

Ken, I'm amazed you waste precious time watching any of this IDOL dreck! Remember when TV variety shows had entertainers with talent on them? But thank God these shows are on because otherwise there would be nothing for the inane morning TV talk show hosts to chatter about!


I agree with Mr. Hollywood--I'm sad to see you contributing to the American Idol gossip and attention. Especially from you, Ken, who makes his living writing scripted works of fiction. Reality and (no-)talent shows like AI are slowly killing off fictional television shows--and when you add in formulaic dreck like Law & Order (19 flavors), CSI (15 flavors), etc., there's even less actual dramatic and comedic content than ever.

Mary Stella

Sanjaya, the whole Foghorn Leghorn hairstyle is so... never. Haley, Sanjaya's hair had more volume than you last night.Phil did a great vocal performance, but with that knit cap pulled down low and his intense stare, he looked so creepy he turned Every Breath You Take into a stalker anthem.I think Chris R. and Chris S. will be in the bottom two, along with Haley with Chris Sligh going home tonight.

Ken Levine

Some thoughts:I do love AMERICAN IDOL. I love how good it is and I especially love how bad it is. And what I love best is that in this day and age of narrowcasting it's one of the few remaining shared experiences in the country. AMERICAN IDOL didn't kill sitcoms as much as bad sitcoms did. There's plenty of room for AMERICAN IDOL and the next SEINFELD. And Tallulah, my Myra Loy hat is off to you again. Tip top tipsy review.

Paul Duca

The other Paul...forget about one automobile. I heard on the radio a couple of weeks ago that said Simon Cowell paid a tax bill of $41 millon--so figure no less than a nine figure gross income.Ultimately, I say...nice is overrated (it certainly isn't overpaid)

Mr. Hollywood

Ken, I understand where you are coming from, although I find nothing "good" about this show. What gets me is how singing today has morphed into "screaming"!One suggestion for the no-talents on this show: listen to Ella, listen to Frank. That's singing. And all of you do what they do -sing ... don't scream.


Mr. Hollywood said... Ken, I understand where you are coming from, although I find nothing "good" about this show. What gets me is how singing today has morphed into "screaming"!One suggestion for the no-talents on this show: listen to Ella, listen to Frank. That's singing. And all of you do what they do -sing ... don't scream.I remember a Motown special in the late '60s on which Ella appeared, and someone asked who influenced her, and she said, "Connie Boswell." This drew a collective blank from the Motown performers on hand (although I'm certain Berry Gordy, who grew up a jazz buff, knew darn well whom she was), and thankfully Connie was then still around to hear someone sing her praises. But listening to the Boswell Sisters collectively and Connie individually on CD, it became pretty obvious Ella knew what she was talking about.


I can't stand the way reality shows are killing good sitcoms. Reality shows are damn cheap to produce, poorly written and edited in a horrible cookie cutter manner. I support Howard Stern bashing on Idol. It's time Fartman goes on Idol and farts in the producers' faces. Kinda like this - http://www.atomfilms.com/film/fartman_caught.jsp

Michael Zand

Like it or not, AI is the greatest shared cultural experience we have. All this hand wringing about Ken or any of us watching is pompous drivel. AI is a guilty pleasure we indulge in because it IS trashy and these post mortems are what makes this blog so much fun. I agree with Ken that bad sitcoms are what killed comedies. As far as quality dramas, look no further than "Rescue Me" "The Riches," "The Wire" and the recently departed "Rome" to find shows that are as good or better than anything that has ever been on tv.


I don't have DVR or TIVo, so I just can't commit to the 20 minutes of actual programming they pack into 1.5 (soon to be 2) hours a week.I assume that watching the top rated shows is a good idea for anyone who wants to write or otherwise be involved with television.What are the other 'shared experiences'? Commercials? Is that why we'll soon be blessed with a sitcom featuring the cavemen?CJ

Tallulah Morehead

Thank you, Ken darling.And to anonymous, RE: "I know I've sunk to the depths when I'd rather watch a magician."So... why are you watching? Actually, now that there's no chance of seeing Brandon Rogers shirtless, I watch to hear LaKisha and Melinda sing. Those ladies have major pipes.Simon last night said to Gina about her improvement "It was literally chalk and cheese."Apparently this Englishman never learned English, as he had just told her that she was, in fact, a piece of cheese. I'm sure he meant that she was LIKE chalk and cheese. The man needs to look up the meaning of the word "Literally".Cheers

D. McEwan

Paul,Re: "Ultimately, I say...nice is overrated (it certainly isn't overpaid)"I worked for years for Sweet Dick Whittington. His motto, repeated many times, was "Nice pays scale."


"FAT-asia"???I usually love your columns, but this is really insulting. Resorting to schoolyard taunts for a perfectly well sized woman? Beneath you, Ken.

WSOP Floor Supe

Found your blog a week or so ago. A great read for those of us that wish we were part of the biz. But then realize we are older than 20 and were never prom King(s) or Queen(s). Have managed to read all of the archives since I am an insomniac. Great stories and I even liked the travelogues. Two requests before I get to the AI stuff. 1) I have seen a lot of references to Teri Hatcher, but no real stories or points of reference. More on why you diss her often. Of course that may just blow my "I meet her by chance somewhere and we have instant chemistry and live happily ever after" fantasy. Then again, it may just be a blanket reference to all 40 something way too skinny actresses. Wish the "higher ups" of Hollywood would realize the value of curves. 2) More casting stories. Who was cast in a part, why, who else was up for the part(s), which show was recast? You get the idea. Ok, now for the AI stuff. WTF was up with Sanjaya's hair? Looking for the 80's crowd vote? Too bad he will probably stay on for much too long. Wait, he already has. Wonder which company the parents of all those tenny boppers that vote for him are going to sue when they get the phone bills and see dozens of charges for the 866 #'s? I think Gina kicked ass last night, she won't win, but I like her style. Phil was actually watchable with the hat. Without it, he looks like is spent the last 10 years locked up in someone's basement. A good performance as well. Haley has to stay just because she is the only female willing to feed our male need to see legs, and bouncing boobs. Chris S, dude looks like a care bear that went through the dryer on high. Melinda has my vote despite the earrings the size of Catalina. She has pipes and what seems to be real excitement. The rest are screamers and need to go sooner than later. Why oh why do they think screaming hides the lack of pitch or the ability to carry a tune. Keep up the good work....Funny, the episode of Frasier just came on where Daphene runs off with Niles on her wedding day. Always love the behind the scenes stories about that show.

Karen Scott

I agree with Mr. Hollywood--I'm sad to see you contributing to the American Idol gossip and attention. Especially from you, Ken, who makes his living writing scripted works of fictionDon't pretend you don't go home, take yourself in hand, and proceed to wank yourself to within an inch of your life over Haley Whatsherface. Just sayin. *g*


Browsing the news sites, the radio and elswhere on the web today, I find the most interesting this is the growing discussion/speculation/fear that somehow Sanjaya might actually win the thing because of the growing goof factor (among Stern's fans and elsewhere). Of course, Fox may be pushing this along secure in the knowledge that it absolutely will not happen, in which case we could be seeing a modern-day version of the movie "Quiz Show" few years down the line, but if the voting is on the up and up, Simon and the suits over at Fox have got to be a little concerned that the "goofball factor", played perfectly with the William Hung PR surge of five years ago, has simply gotten out of their control when they allowed Sanjaya to advance to the round where the decision is in the audience's hands, instead of the judges. They may not be in full panic yet, but the thought of actually having to promote this guy's CD/single sales after all the sabotaging voters have left would actually make for a pretty good comedy premise (and one that has been used in some form or another often in the past).


I am on the East Coast today and just saw the results show. The long national nightmare is not over.

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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