The other morning I watched Live with Regis and Kelly and then some of the new and improved—The View (G’bye Star—Hello Rosie)!
During the day and at night I listen to 70s pop and rock when I write, but early in the morning I love coffee chat shows. Perhaps I should delve into this with my therapist one of these days.
I feel this odd attraction for watching/listening to Live with Regis and Kelly for a number of reasons. For starters, over the past year or three it’s become abundantly clear to anyone with at least three of their five senses that Regis is rapidly slipping into old age dementia. It’s most noticeable during the part of the show where they interview guests—the ones who have been nice enough to stop by to visit. (They do this bit during almost all the talk shows, especially Conan O’Brien, who should know better by now, and it drives me 100 percent bonkers. It happens at the end of the interview and it goes something like this…“Thank you so very much for finding time in your busy schedule to come by and visit us, Mandy Moore. And thanks for telling us all about your new movie that’s opening this weekend and maybe we’ll see you soon—perhaps you’ll visit us just in time to tell us all about the next new movie/CD/Afternoon Special that you crap out of your talentless ass!”
Please don’t treat us like we’re three months old, guys. Nobody does anything for anyone out of the kindness of his/her heart in Hollywood. The closest thing they’ve got to impromptu out there was planned three to four months ago.
So like I said, It’s fun to watch the decline of Regis. Seventy years of having his brain baked under those hot studio lights has taken its toll. He can’t pronounce the names of most of the guests, even if they’re sitting right there in front of him. Fantasia Barrino becomes Anastasia Burrito, Amy Lee and Evanescence becomes Effervescence, and desperate housewife Nicollette Sheridan somehow turns into Nicole Ritchie. The cool thing is to watch Kelly Ripa sitting next to Regis. She knows perfectly well who the guests are and she probably knows perfectly well which names Regis is going to botch and mangle, but she always waits until he’s buried his foot deep into his mouth and has floundered a while before coming to his rescue.
Ripa sits there laughing AT Regis just as much as she laughs WITH him. As she cackles and pats his liver-spotted hand, she does her impression of a family member stuck talking with an ancient relative at a family affair.
Another fun thing to watch for on Live with Regis and Kelly is when Regis zones out. He just flat-out drifts away to his happy place while Kelly is busy gabbing with Jessica Simpson or someone important like that. After a few minutes his internal timer kicks in and in a mad panic his eyes do that auto focus sort of thing and he’ll repeat the last thing he heard Kelly said and will suggest that they look at a clip from Jessica’s latest movie, even though they just did.
Regular visitors to the show like NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon or maybe Queen Latifah are in on the joke and they play along, but every now and then they’ll have a politician or an author on. Suddenly from out of left field Regis will ask them if they work on a computer or an old fashioned typewriter, and then he’ll ramble on about his AOL account and how he can’t check his email or phone messages, and then ask whatever happened to writing someone a letter on a piece of paper. The guest being interviewed will look around like he’s being Punk’d or something and then will visibly mouth, “What The F**k?!?”
Plain and simple, this is too much fun to pass by.
About halfway through Regis and Kelly I would normally switch over to music, or just turn the television off, but then one day I stayed around and watched The View. I’ve had a minor crush on Meredith Vieira since she was on Chicago news during the early 1980s. My wife doesn’t get it; just like she doesn’t understand my attraction to Susan Sarandon or Jamie Lee Curtis. That’s fine. She doesn’t need to understand. The only thing she has to ‘get’ is that all three women are on my list, so if the stars align and I find myself locked in a hotel room with any or all of them, she can’t complain. (Just like I can’t complain if she finds herself hooked up with Bruce Willis or Justin Timberlake. Willis I can see, but come on, Justin Timberlake?)
If you’ve never seen it, The View has a somewhat interesting format. When the show begins the four or five ladies will sit around politely slurping coffee and talking about hot topics of the day. It starts out slow, but five or ten minutes in they’ll all be shouting and clawing for camera time. After they’re done with their Hot Topics and a stretch of commercials for feminine products, the featured guest (normally a man) will nervously climb into the viper pit and try to look as comfortable as possible while dodging meat hooks and puddles of estrogen.
I don’t miss Star Jones a whit. She annoyed me to no end and made my stomach roil. See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.
I don’t really miss Meredith Vieira as much as I thought I would. Her role on the show was as a player/coach who worked hard to both keep the peace and to keep the show moving along at a lively pace.
Barbara Walters has positioned herself between the two potential powder kegs, Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar, but that won’t last too long. Everyone has been playing nice since Barbara unleashed her power by cutting Star Jones free. It’s crystal clear that this is her show and people are going to play by the rules or there’s the door.
She’s only a couple of weeks in but O’Donnell’s comedy isn’t meshing with the other women. She used to make me laugh years ago, but not so much now. She talks about her kids a lot, which wouldn’t normally bother me, but when she recounts their activities she has to narrate what happened talking in baby talk. Her kids are almost teenagers and they still talk in baby talk? Baby talk by adults should be outlawed. I hate it with a passion. My wife and I never talked to our child like she was an idiot, so she never did it in return. God, I hate baby talk. It’s like my kryptonite.