2005: The Year in Pictures, Day 1

In the annual search for the perfect photo for the Sigman Holiday Greeting (tm), there is much hemming and hawing, deciding just who is worthy to be featured in the two much anticipated cards (two because, well, just because). Following a grand tradition that includes celebrities such as Mario "AC Slater" Lopez, Dennis "Mr. Belding" Haskins, Reba McEntire, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Barry "Greg Brady" Williams, and, my personal favorite, Fabio, potential card stars must meet many crucial criteria to make the cut. Sadly, some must be left behind.

But, over the next two days, I will present some pretenders to the throne. They fought hard, but, ultimately, they just didn't have that special something that alternately says, "Happy Holidays!" and "Wow! James really has too much free time!" Tinsel and Rot salutes them in their valiant effort.

Speaking of valiant (killer segway), this photo was taken at the Valiant Brothers Wrestling Reunion Convention held earlier this year in Carteret, New Jersey. Lanny Poffo (alternately "Leapin'" and "The Genius") vied to become half of the first brother tandem to appear on the Sigman Holiday Greeting (he is, of course, kin to Randy Savage). The sequined jacket and the man boobs made him a strong candidate, but the Polaroid nature of the photo, the general population's lack of knowledge of Mr. Poffo, and the homoerotic undertones of the photo eventually stymied his inclusion.

Taken at the same convention, this Polaroid features the Dream Team, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, both of whom, you may note, look very nightmarish. The awkward pose from me, coupled with Brutus's shears and zebra bodysuit, kept this one in the running, but, well, the Dream Team just looked too disturbing to properly wind up on a jovial holiday greeting.

Paul Feig, creator of "Freaks and Geeks" and author of "Kick Me" and "Superstud," posed for this shot at the Union Square Barnes and Noble on the same night that one of the photos eventually chosen as a Sigman Holiday Greeting was taken. It was an historical evening. Unfortunately, the woman at Barnes and Noble chopped off the top of our heads and the celebrity of Paul Feig is perhaps larger in my apartment than in the rest of the world. So, this one didn't quite measure up.

A few years ago, Dan Aykroyd, with his hands full at the time, responded to my request for an autograph by briefly stopping and asking me, "How?" I figured maybe putting down what was in his hands for two seconds might have been an option, but what do I know? That day, a tiny piece of Young James Sigman died. For the star of "The Great Outdoors," "Dragnet," and "The Blues Brothers," three of Young James Sigman's favorite movies, had proven himself to be a little bit of an ass. Still, when he was booked to do a signing of a new book on John Belushi earlier this month at the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble, I figured it was worth a shot. So, scurrying from the Tower Records across the street after Marah's in-store performance, I went to get the autograph. Aykroyd was pleasant enough, though he insisted on being connected to his cell phone almost the entire time. But he was obliging photo requests, so, what the hey? Too much bad blood to make it to the Greeting.

Viva la James! This picture of me and Bam Margera was taken at the Union Square Virgin Megastore during a signing of the Viva La Bam DVDs. It was one of the most entertaining signings I've been to, mainly because kids kept asking Bam to slap them in the face. And after making sure that that was really what they wanted, Bam obliged. Never seen that before. Ultimately, though, the photo just didn't make the cut. No strong reason. Just tough to crack the top two this year.

TOMORROW: If that aint country...

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