Tag Archive for reality show

Rewind: Talk Show Burnout?

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the BilgeBucket Gazette. Our first issue was on May 19, 2003 and we’ve been shoveling it to the public, just like the corporate media, ever since. We changed our format to a WordPress blog in 2011 so all of our earlier material was archived. We’ve been reposting many of those archived articles, headlines, photo-toons, BilgeBucket Lists and other content over the past twelve years. In honor of our 20th, and because we’re sick of the current state of affairs in the world, we’ll be reposting more items from 2003 through 2009 throughout this year.

Let’s face it, folks – television is not what it used to be. Reality television SUCKS and the daytime talk shows are just a revolving door of SUCKAGE. We can’t watch two seconds of any daytime talk show without flipping the channel for something else . . . anything else . . . even commercials! Back in the early eighties, there were only a couple talk shows like Donahue and Sally Jesse Raphael. Then Oprah conquered the airwaves which brought a massive influx of semi-celebrities trying to duplicate her success. Then hosts like Maury Povich, Jerry Springer and Jenny Jones came on the scene and television was officially swirling the drain. We’ve often marveled at the people in the audience, especially Springer gawkers and wondered why the hell they’d want to be in the audience and watch this bilge in person. Surely, they must be paid to sit through these crapfests. Which brings us to our article published on December 22, 2006 where we speculate on the very real phenomenon of professional talk show audience member burnout. Maybe folks at The View will cover this important issue in a future show.

Professional Talk Show Audience Member Burns Out

Marla Donnelly, a professional audience member for talk shows ranging from Maury to Dr. Phil has resigned from her position citing exhaustion. She is the third professional audience member in the last three weeks to quit her position. Larry Dawson quit in early December and Kathy Corcoran quit last week.

“I just couldn’t do it anymore,” said a sullen Donnelly. “I mean that last Oprah’s Favorite Things giveaway was grueling, but then Ellen had her 12 Days of Giveaways. I mean a person can only get so excited about a cappuccino maker. I don’t even drink coffee so it was really tough screaming like a banshee when I saw it. Then we were asked to have an orgasm over towels from Ye Olde Hardware Shoppe. Towels for Pete’s sake! I just couldn’t be a screaming Mimi anymore. I had to get out of there.”

Dawson agrees with Donnelly. “I had to take time off because I just couldn’t fake enthusiasm when inside I felt like vomiting. I was doing the Maury show last month and I’m telling you, after the tenth failed paternity test, you just stop caring. Come on! The woman’s a slut if she can’t even pick out the father out of ten guys. These women are worse than Paris and Britney combined. And don’t even get me started on Springer. If I never see another love tryst between a redneck, his three hundred pound wife and his transvestite lover, it will be too soon.”

Corcoran said, “What did me in was the Rachael Ray Show. That rotating platform made me nauseous. Plus we had to applaud every time she added a pinch of cayenne pepper or dash of oregano. I’m sorry, oregano just isn’t that exciting. Not only that, Rachael was just too damn perky. No one’s that perky. Not even Katie Couric was that perky. At the end of one of her shows, I was ready to kill and I sing in my church choir.”

“It’s not surprising,” said audience member manager, Fay Goodman. “It’s not easy these days being an audience talk show member. Back in the old days, there was just Donahue. Then Oprah came on, then Springer, then Jenny Jones. Then everybody and their brother were getting talk shows. Remember Tempestt Bledsoe’s show? Or Charles Perez’s show? Thankfully, most of us have forgotten those timewasters. Now there are so many different shows on so many different networks. I know several of these women rush from Emeril to Martha and then over to Montel. It can really be quite grueling.”

Donnelly however didn’t rule out a return in the future. “I know I’m tired of the routine now but you never really get it out of your system. I know that sometime in the future, I’ll be watching Oprah and I’ll instinctively jump off the couch and start screaming like a howler monkey and send my seventeen cats up the draperies. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Rewind: Commercial TV

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the BilgeBucket Gazette. Our first issue was on May 19, 2003 and we’ve been shoveling it to the public, just like the corporate media, ever since. We changed our format to a WordPress blog in 2011 so all of our earlier material was archived. We’ve been reposting many of those archived articles, headlines, photo-toons, BilgeBucket Lists and other content over the past twelve years. In honor of our 20th, and because we’re sick of the current state of affairs in the world, we’ll be reposting more items from 2003 through 2009 throughout this year.

The writers are on strike which means some of our favorite comedy shows have shut down production. This stoppage brings up an old article from our June 26, 2007 issue when we pondered a fall TV season where all the shows featured popular characters from commercials, like the cavemen from the Geico commercials (yes, the cavemen actually had a deservedly short-lived TV show on ABC). Look at the progression: sitcoms, game shows, informercials, reality shows, more reality shows, a reality show President. Everything TV in the 21st century sucks! How many Real Housewife shows do we need? Not even one, if you ask us. Let’s face it, folks; the golden years of Hollywood are very far away in the rear view mirror.

Fall TV Season: All Commercials

Recently, ABC announced that is was going to create a sitcom this fall about the cavemen from the popular Geico commercials. It didn’t take long for the other networks to follow along like lemmings and announce that they too will broadcast shows featuring characters from popular television commercials. As a matter of fact, the whole fall schedule is now devoted to shows based on commercial characters.

“This is an amazing development,” said Brantly A. Burke, assistant programming exec for Fox. “Eight years ago, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire ushered in the era of prime time game shows. Then Survivor started the reality show trend which spawned dozens of copycat shows. Well, the new wave is here and its TV shows about commercial characters! What better way to produce revenue for the network than a half hour or hour long commercial. This will be revolutionary! We already have infomercials, which are quasi-entertainment. Why not take the next step and create entire sitcoms which are not only crowd pleasing but also sell a product. It’s rampant commercialism on steroids.”

Geico struck it rich by not only getting a sitcom about the cavemen but also a sitcom featuring celebrity spokesmen Verne Troyer, Peter Graves and Little Richard as door-to-door insurance salesmen and another sitcom featuring the Geico Gecko and his adventures in modern day London.

“It’s really not all that surprising,” said the Geico Gecko in his trademark British accent. “People like to be entertained and they find me adorable. Why not have me on more frequently? It’s like if someone offers you free pie and chips. You’re not going to turn down free pie and chips. It’s pie…and chips…for free. Stop me if you’ve heard this before.”

Burke expounded more about the shows. “Now the whole show won’t be one big sales pitch. There will be some semblance of a plot. But there will be subtle product placement and discussion of the product sprinkled liberally throughout the show. For instance, here’s a sample of dialog from the show featuring Little Richard and Peter Graves.”

Graves: Wow! I’m wiped out. I’m too old to be a door-to-door insurance salesman.

Little Richard: Wooooooooo! I sure hope you have Geico Life Insurance in case you drop dead. Woooooooooo!

Graves: You bet I do! And boy is it affordable!

“See,” said Burke. “Very subtle.”

Examples of some new shows this fall include:

  • Those five knuckleheads from the Alltel commercials battling each other every week in Sell Phone
  • Those wise-acre stand-up comedians from the Sierra Mist ads working, living and laughing together in Play Sierra Misty for Me
  • The Burger King buys an RV and travels the backroads of America creeping out people from all walks of life in Burger King of the Road
  • The return of the Taco Bell Chihuahua in Yo Quiero Mindless Entertainment
  • The Mentos kids starring as MacGyver-like adventurists, who get in and out of trouble each week in a different location around the world thanks to their unlimited supply of Mentos in Have Mentos, Will Travel

The American viewing public seemed very receptive to the new wave of programming. Robin Weller of Boston, Massachusetts said, “Wow! This promises to be very entertaining! It should keep my interest for at least thirty seconds. Oh look. A fly. Bzzzzzzzz. What were we talking about?”

Peter Johnson of Lake Pleasant, New York said, “What a perfect marriage of entertainment and commerce. Being a typical American consumer, I look forward to buying any product that is pushed in front of my face and placing myself in even more debilitating debt.”

Barry Bealle of Jackson, Kentucky said with a glazed look in his eye, “Can’t talk. Must find TV.”

Americans Sure Love Train Wrecks

Well folks, Donald Trump had a really bad week. Speaking of train wrecks, we’ve dug up another appropriate rant by the Bucket’s resident crusty curmudgeon, Chester Einstein. In it, he complains about the abundance of reality TV shows which revel in people’s crashing, burning and wrecking all for our amusement. We think this rant was ahead of its time considering the current disaster that is the Donald Trump campaign.

This is from our April 25, 2005 issue.

Chester Einstein’s Words of Wisdom

Chester Einstein - BilgeBucket GazetteAmericans Sure Love Train Wrecks

It’s April again in Cactus Corners. The temperature is almost one hundred degrees and it you haven’t got your air conditioner working yet, you’ll probably be sweating your ass off this summer. I’ve been trying to figure out these past few months how so many people got duped into voting for that walking disaster area Dubya and it got me thinking. I’ve observed what’s on television, what’s in the news, and what’s going on in general in this country and I’ve come to one conclusion; Americans love train wrecks.

Now those of you who have read my columns before are probably saying, “You’re just a cranky, old fussbudget. Shut up you old coot!” Well, dag nab it! Just hear me out. Look at the crap that’s on television nowadays. We get our jollies watching people eat maggots, reindeer testicles and slop we wouldn’t feed our sewer systems. We love watching people self destruct and getting voted off an island or kicked out of an apartment or dragged through the muck by an oxen in a wacky race around the globe. What’s next, a reality show where the losers get the chance to catch live ammunition?

And what the hell is it with our obsession with celebrities. Now Oprah and Jerry Springer I can understand. They’ve both got moxie up the ying-yang, I tells ya! But Anna Nicole Smith, Ozzy Osbourne and Paris Hilton? These people can barely dress themselves. It’s a miracle Osbourne can even sit in a chair. I’m not sure Anna Nicole even has a brain. I’m sure it’s just ganglia. And that Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie are nothing but stone cold hoochies! They get through life by batting their eyelashes, flashing a little leg and showing their ample, young, cleavage. Wait! What the hell am I complaining about? I like it when they do that!

And what about the big celebrity trials of the last decade; O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake, Martha Stewart and that freak Michael Jackson. These trials have been three ring media circuses. I mean people were cheering O.J. on while he’s driving down the freeway, running from the police. Jacko admits he likes to sleep with boys and people are rooting him onward. Those ubiquitous entertainment shows were covering Blake like he’s Jesus H. Christ. Hey everybody! Look at the celebrity in trouble! Let’s watch the wreckage!

Speaking of wreckage, I’ve just seen Growing Up Gotti. What the hell is that! Just because she’s a gangster’s daughter who’s richer than the Vatican, we need to watch their everyday life? Now that Victoria Gotti is pretty hot, but those kids of hers need a good spanking! They gave me an Excedrin headache! Maybe I’m just a simple cactus groomer/web satirist, but people who are poor are interesting, too. Why don’t we see reality shows about Fred Markowitz, the plumber; Gladys Rogers, the social worker; Austin Jackson, the sandwich artist? All we get on television these days is stupid reality shows about incredibly rich, stupid people.

Our society seems to worship stupidity nowadays. What’s one of the most popular shows on television? NOVA? American Experience? No! That airhead Jessica Simpson and her mindless reality show. Even on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, or Lamo as I like to call him, that Jaywalking segment celebrates mediocrity. The funniest people are the ones who completely screw things up. These human train wrecks don’t know history, science, math, geography or anything else for that matter. Are you paying attention Dubya? But hey, they may be stupid, but they sure are funny! Sure they’re going to crash and burn, but let’s watch and be entertained.

Well, I’ve ranted enough for today. I’ve got some cactus to groom on the back forty. Maybe I’ll take a video camera with me and tape myself running into a cactus. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get my own reality show. Or better yet, get elected President.

Rewind: Extreme Trump Makeovers

In honor of ‘the Donald’ leading the other Republican clowns in the early months of Con-a-thon 2016 and Dubya writing a fundraising letter for his brother Jeb, we’d thought we would rewind back to a photo-toon we did in our April 25, 2004 issue; back when Trump was king of reality television with his new hit ‘The Apprentice’ and Dubya was using scare tactics on the American sheeple so he could have four more years of ‘presidentin’. Ahhhh! Fun times!

George W. Bush, 'Dubya', uses scare tactics on the American public on the first episode of the of the new reality show, 'Extreme Trump Makeovers'.

Members of the Bush Administration are the first contestants of the new reality show, 'Extreme Trump Makeovers'. From left:Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld.


The Junior Corporate Lackey

Wow! Is Arizona lucky or what? We don’t just have one senator who filibustered the recent constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, but two! Arizona’s junior corporate lackey, Jeff Flake, joined with the ‘maverick’ corporate lackey, John McCain, to let corporations give as much money as they want to candidates who support their special agenda. Mr. Flake comes from a wealthy and influential Mormon family in Arizona’s sparsely populated White Mountains and despite being a supposed champion against ‘corporate earmarks’, he has continually supported and voted for corporate interests since his days as a congressman. So it shouldn’t be any surprise that he would vote to protect corporate interests because to Mr. Flake, people and corporations mean the same thing. And because Mr. Flake is a political opportunist much like his fellow Mormon Mitt Romney, he’s decided to show the world how ‘bipartisan’ he is by appearing on a reality show for TLC with a Democratic Senator to prove that people in congress can work together. In reality, Mr. Flake is one of those true conservative Republicans who continually votes along party lines against anything the Democrats and President Obama want. So this ‘reality’ show is anything but; it’s pure political theater and grandstanding. We’re Arizonans here at the Bucket and as such we feel we have a right to say this to Senator Flake on his obviously transparent actions…and smile.

Senator Flake Sir, YOU SUCK!!!!

Arizona senator Jeff Flake is a man of the people, if by people you mean corporations and he will also pretend to be bipartisan on his new reality show when in reality he's extremely partisan.

Arizona junior Senator Jeff Flake is not only a man of the people(corporations), he will also pretend to be 'bipartisan' on his 'reality' show, even if in 'reality' he's extremely partisan. Yeah, he knows. He sucks.