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The bride of Jerry Lewis

By Owen Paine on Thursday January 1, 2009 02:05 PM

I avoid the Mini-Me beat like a kerchief avoids the nose, but a comment here, among the rubble of Gaza, about a piece of gabble by Rachel Maddow -- the smirking success story shown at left -- hit a nerve.

Seems I retain some live ones even after all these years on the back burner.

It wasn't the combo of topic and talent that sent my higher fibers to zinging. It was just the damn talent herself ...it's like Curly hearing "Niagara Falls." Slowly I turn ... step by step ...

This lady of the lake originally got my goat over the holidays. I'm not a MSNBC watcher, so until the recent Yule season, I hadn't any notion that such as she existed on TV outside Sitcomville.

It was pure chance I happened upon her and her regularly cablecasted show. I was -- in all innocence and playfulness -- hunting in vain for what's his name, Keith Guberman or Luberman or whatever, inspired by a SNL skit.

But that's another story. At any rate I found this princess of whitebread self-satisfied fatuity instead, and what a rumpus she did make within my cerebrum.

Tell me, dear friends of SMBIVA, what in hell's bells is it about this pear of a wit that could possibly command an audience of any dimension? There are chef shows on the food network with more charisma in their sauce pans.

But that by itself, I hope, is not enough to set the neurons abuzz in my ghost box. No, it's ... well, I can't get my N-dimensional perceptron all the way around it actually, but suffice it to say Jerry Lewis now has a nonconsenting bedmate. She does to today what poor Telethon Jerry did to the 70s.

Comments (6)


New York magazine, as we all know, is the place to go if you want a read on the sensibility of a certain type of self-delighted urbanite, for whom brand choice is identity. Here's chapter and verse from the Bible of the Top Ten list:

... she’d show up to interviews looking like, she says, “a 14-year-old boy” in puffy Samantha Ronson sneakers with iPod headphones dangling from her ears—but then she’d easily segue into an informed foreign- policy or economic discussion that ended with a Daily Show–worthy punch line. Her résumé is similarly unexpected: A Rhodes scholar and an Oxford Ph.D., she’s done stints as an AIDS activist, barista, landscaper, Air America host, and mascot in an inflatable calculator suit. She’s a civics geek who reads comic books, goes to monster-truck rallies, likes to fish, calls herself an “amateur mixologist” of classic cocktails, and even Twitters.

There’s something about the mix of personal details that is—to a young, educated, left-leaning, cosmopolitan audience—instantly recognizable. As one New York acolyte told me, “She is more like one of my friends than anyone else on television.”


OK, who is this "pear-wit"?


Here is a primer on this "ballsy gremlin of the left" (not to mention "a combination of crisp thinking and galumphing good cheer").


Thanks, SK. I was afraid he was talking about the other ballsy gremlin on Air America, Randi Rhodes. Not perfect, I know, but enjoyable when you're stuck in traffic.

As ad critic Leslie Savan says, follow the flattery.

This over-enunciating Dembot pimpette knows less than half of what she thinks she knows. But her self-conscious wonk style and constant mentioning of her credentials bludgeons the listener into not thinking about severe limits of the repackaged dreck she peddles. If you listen to her, you just must be smart and hip...


Eh. Maddow has been shilling for the dnc since Hector was a pup. She's "left" much in the same way Nosferatu was "vegetarian."

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