Gary Busey: Tinsel and Rot Hall of Famer

I was all set to induct someone else into the Hall of Fame this month, but that person will have to wait. Sunday night, someone grabbed the attention of the Tinsel and Rot Board of Directors and kissed them on the neck.

I am speaking, of course, of Gary Busey and his performance on the red carpet at the Academy Awards:

I didn't think anyone could make me upset that I missed the red carpet arrivals. Leave it to the genius of Mr. Gary Busey.

I'll be honest: I haven't seen a lot of his film work ("The Buddy Holly Story" is on as I write this, but since I'm trying to watch a hockey game and listen to a radio show, something's gotta give). In fact, I would probably label his star turn as Chet "Rocket" Steadman in "Rookie of the Year" as my favorite Busey cinematic performance, though I recall enjoying him in "Lethal Weapon," too.

But his recent rebirth as a batshit crazy reality show guy has dazzled me at every turn. "I'm with Busey" was a bona fide gem, a show that you knew was fake to some degree but didn't really care, because Busey's craziness was clearly real (I want my DVD!). Then there was "Celebrity Fit Club 2," where he became the show's breakout star. And, as Sunday night proved, there seems to be no end to his insanity. I am of the same opinion as Howard Stern when it comes to his assessment of Busey's attack on Sunday: E! or the TV Guide Network should have him wandering around the red carpet at every awards ceremony. And I will go one step further: there is no show on television that could not be improved by the addition of Gary Busey--not Gary Busey playing a character, but Gary Busey playing Gary Busey, just wandering around and saying crazy things and inappropriately touching people. C'mon, Hollywood. Make it happen.

Gary Busey, welcome to the Tinsel and Rot Hall of Fame.

Some of Busey's greatest hits:

Busey as Buddy Holly

Busey the Philosopher

Busey on "Late Night with David Letterman"

YouTube yanked the insane Busey/Paul Butterfield/Rick Danko performance of "Stay All Night, Stay A Little Longer," but you can find it here. I think that's definitive proof that he was crazy before the motorcycle accident.

And if you want to watch the glorious "I'm with Busey," you can find episodes here.

Answers to Questions Posed in the Subject Headers of Spam, Vol. 1

Today's Question Posed in the Subject Header of Spam:

Ever heard the sound of a huge one slapping against a tight woman's butt?

Answer: I'm not entirely sure what "one" refers to (clearly you could use some work on being more specific in your writing), but I think I have a good idea. And if that idea is correct, and I'm being honest, I'm gonna have to say "No." And, since I'm being honest, I'm not sure I'd really want to. Nothing personal. I'm sure there are plenty of people who would--again, if my assumption of what you mean by "one" is correct. If I'm wrong, then I can't really be sure. I would ask you to clarify, but maybe it's best if we just let it be.

Best of luck in your future endeavors.

Pledge Time

WFMU's Annual Music Marathon is now under way. And that means you should donate to Jersey City's finest contribution to the world of music (or at least tied with Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show's Dennis Locorriere, but he's not asking for donations, at least as far as I know). Now. Or, preferably, Tuesday night during "The Best Show on WFMU," which is still, in fact, the best show on WFMU. But there are other good shows, too.

So, give the free-form folks at 'FMU some of your cash if you've got some to give. It'll make you feel better.


Time to Start Getting Real: Part III

OK, let's wrap this up so you know how to vote.

Roommate You Love to Hate
Nominees:Beth (Los Angeles), Coral (Back to New York), Puck (San Francisco), Trisha (Sydney), Tyler (Key West)
T&R Analysis: The casual RW watcher looks at the category and says, "Gotta be Puck." Not so, though he probably comes in as runner-up, easily out-distancing Coral, Trisha (who?), and Tyler. But he can't hold a candle to the incessant annoyance that is Beth from L.A. My skin still crawls at the sight of her on the various Challenges/Gauntlets/etc. (which I'm back into after a long absence...I may not fully be an adult after all!). Oh, that voice.
T&R's Choice: Beth (Los Angeles)

Biggest Playa
Nominees: Brad (San Diego), Cara (Chicago), Colie (Denver), David (New Orleans), Syrus (Boston), Teck (Hawaii)
T&R Analysis: I think I may just have to go with who I like best out of the nominees, as I'm having trouble recalling their playa behavior...excuse me, behavia. So, let's knock out Brad and Colie first, then take out Syrus. I liked Teck, and he was indeed a playa, but I'm gonna have to say no. That leaves Cara and David. David and his monster jam "Come On Be My Baby Tonight" hold a high spot on my list of all-time favorite Real Worlders, but Cara, to the best of my recollection, was definitely a bigger playa. I hate tough decisions.
T&R's Choice: You can't go wrong with either Cara or David, but I'm gonna give this one to Cara (Chicago)

Phone Call Gone Bad
Nominees: Dunbar (Sydney), Flora (Miami), Jacquese (San Diego), Montana (Boston), Paula (Key West), Shavonda (Philadelphia)
T&R Analysis: A two-(w)horse race between Flora and Montana (though upon first viewing, the Dunbar phone call is pretty entertaining). Montana gets bonus points for having a boyfriend named Vaj, which I didn't really appreciate the humor of until now (kinda like a few years ago when I really thought about Rusty Kuntz), but Mitchell screaming "Hello?!?!" still makes me laugh all these years later.
T&R's Choice: Flora (Miami)

Gone Baby Gone (a/k/a Best Departure)
Nominees: David (Los Angeles), Irene (Seattle), Puck (San Francisco), Shauvon (Sydney), Trisha (Sydney)
T&R Analysis: Finally! A nomination for Irene! That makes this one a no-brainer. Puck and David's departures were surely memorable, and I guess the Sydney girls were fine, too, but Irene is the greatest. I would, however, like to take this time to point out that I have David's autograph, but that's because he used to hang around with Dave Chappelle and when Chappelle did the Letterman show about fifteen years ago, I asked Dave for an autograph thinking he was Chappelle (I know, I know, they look nothing alike). When I told him how much I enjoyed him in "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," David informed me--quite nicely I might add--that I had the wrong Dave. And that, dear readers, is by far my most embarrassing moment in autograph collecting.
T&R's Choice: Irene (Seattle)

Best Dance Off
Nominees: Adam (Paris), Jenn (Denver), Johanna (Austin), Melissa (New Orleans), Tyler (Key West)
T&R Analysis: This really needed to be a category? Best Dance Off? Is this some sort of "Dancing with the Stars" tie-in? (Note to that show's producers: If I didn't watch when Slater was on, I'm not watching Guttenberg...keep trying, and maybe someday I'll cave). After watching the clips, I've narrowed it down to Melissa and Johanna, the latter just because I think she's hot (probably should've at least gotten a nomination in that one). Melissa's is funnier, so we'll go with that.
T&R's Choice: Melissa (New Orleans)

There you have it. Now you know how to vote. Last day for voting is February 29. The big show is a month later. Look for postshow reactions here. Unless I find something else to do that day.


Time to Start Getting Real: Part II

Can you still feel the excitement surrounding the Real World Awards? I sure can. Unless that excitement is really the flu.

In any case, let's take a look at the next four categories.

Steamiest Scene
Nominees: Alex and Jenn in the shower (Denver), the Austin cast in the hot tub and shower (Austin), Brooke and Jenn (and Tyrie) in the hot tub (Denver), Steven, Trishelle, and Brynn in the hot tub (Las Vegas), Tyler and Bhakti in the pool (Key West)
T&R Analysis: Oh boy. Can I go with the Monty Brewster vote and go with "None of the Above"? I only actually saw two of these, and I don't really find either of those particularly steamy. I've checked the clips of the others on the site, and I'm not really feeling any of those, dawg (Brooke and Jenn "making out" just looks disturbing). Tough call.
T&R's Choice: Let's call it for Steven, Trishelle, and Brynn (Las Vegas).

Best Brush with the Law
Nominees: Robin arrested on the same night as Brad (San Diego), Brad arrested on the same night as Robin (San Diego), Johanna steals a rose (Austin), Tyrie peeing (Denver)
T&R Analysis: I've actually seen all of these. I think I almost made it through the whole Tyrie peeing episode, making it my favorite Denver episode, but still not a winner here. Johanna stealing a rose was stupid, so that's out, leaving us with the double-arrest night in San Diego. The circumstances of the Robin arrest are funnier, but I'm a sucker for a meathead yelling at people in the middle of the street. Man, the people of San Diego must've really hated the "Real World" kids.
T&R's Choice: Brad arrested on the same night as Robin (San Diego)

Best Meltdown
Nominees: Brooke is in hell (Denver), Brooke is so the prettiest girl (Denver), Melissa opens Dan's mail (Miami), Paula's not right (Key West), Rachel yells at Nehemiah (Austin)
T&R Analysis: Again, MTV's anti-Irene bias is stunning. Not including her farewell breakfast speech (where she goes from laughing to crying to laughing in, like, five seconds) is incomprehensible. Clearly, Irene doesn't play the political game well enough to get a nomination. Disheartening.

Anyway, I don't need to be an avid Denver watcher to know that Brooke is the favorite in this one. Both of her meltdowns are pretty epic, and certainly trump Rachel's drunken shouting and Paula's hysterics. But, as you can tell, Tinsel and Rot is old school. I have a hard time giving an award to the new kids, even someone as clearly deranged as Brooke. And, man, did I love that Dan and Melissa fight. Sorry, Brooke.
T&R's Choice: Melissa opens Dan's mail (Miami)

Favorite Love Story
Nominees: Alton and Irulan (Las Vegas), Amaya and Colin (Hawaii), Cohutta and KellyAnne (Sydney), Danny and Melinda (Austin), Pedro and Sean (San Francisco), Steven and Trishelle (Las Vegas)
T&R Analysis: Another category in which I'm having a hard time determining a favorite, mainly because they were all kind of annoying. Amaya and Colin? I don't think so. Cohutta might be the most annoying Real Worlder ever, which, unfortunately for him, is not a category. Danny and Melinda? Eh. I've already given one award to Vegas, so those two couples are out. And that leaves me with Pedro and Sean, whom I'm not picking for some righteous, progressive reason, but because they are the least annoying of the lot, probably because they had the least camera time (I'm guessing on Cohutta and KellyAnne...I see that dude on the screen and I find anything else to watch).
T&R's Choice: Sean and Pedro

UP NEXT: Wrapping it up with Roommate You Love to Hate, Biggest Playa, Phone Call Gone Bad, Gone Baby Gone, and Best Dance Off


Time to Start Getting Real

Now that the strike is over, we can fully devote all our attention to the big awards show coming up. We can fill out ballots for the office pool, weigh the merits of the worthy contenders, and decisively choose the nominees we believe deserve that most prestigious of prizes.

I am speaking, of course, of the forthcoming Real World Awards, due to air (as if I have to tell you) on MTV at the prime viewing time of 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 29. Oh, it's still a long ways off, but Internet voting ends in just 10 days! And with 13 categories, how ever will you have the time to fully dissect all the nominees?

Fear not. Tinsel and Rot is here for you.

Today, we will look at the first four categories: Hottest Female, Hottest Male, Favorite Season, and Best Fight.

Hottest Female

Nominees: Cameran (San Diego), Irulan (Las Vegas), Jacinda (London), Jamie (San Diego), Jenn (Denver), KellyAnne (Sydney), Mallory (Paris), Melinda (Austin), Svetlana (Key West), Trishelle (Las Vegas)

T&R Analysis: OK, first things first: I've never seen a Sydney episode, I vaguely remember Key West, and I forgot there even was a Denver season. So I'm gonna have to knock those three out of the running right off the bat, despite two out of three piquing my interest after watching the 30-second clips on MTV.com. If Las Vegas ended after two episodes, maybe Trishelle gets the nod. But it didn't. Irulan also would've benefitted from a severely shortened Vegas season (if I remember correctly, that Vegas season lasted 18 years). Cameran from San Diego started strong, but gradually had the Hottest Girl in the House crown wrested away from her by Jamie, who, alas, suffers from not being a camera whore and thus not providing a strong enough sample. Jacinda was a looker, but, if I'm gonna be honest, I was a Kat man in London. So I'm gonna have to take Jacinda out of the race. Melinda's a solid candidate, but she falls just short of the person who may have been the only reason I watched the Paris season.

T&R's Choice: Mallory (Paris)

Hottest Male

Nominees: Alex (Denver), Alton (Las Vegas), Brad (San Diego), CT (Paris), Chris (Chicago), Danny (Austin), Eric (New York), Isaac (Sydney), Eric (New York), Jason (Boston), Johnny (Key West)

T&R Analysis: Do you really think I'm gonna analyze this one? Like I need to scare off any other women who question my heterosexuality. But I do know some women who would be outraged that David from Seattle wasn't even nominated. Honest. I know women.

T&R's Choice: Um, how about we give one to the old school? Eric (New York) it is.

Favorite Season

Nominees: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Miami, Boston, Seattle, Hawaii, New Orleans, Back to New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Paris, San Diego, Philadelphia, Austin, Key West, Denver, Sydney

T&R Analysis: OK, right off the bat, you knock off any season near a beach. Adios, Key West, Miami, San Diego, and Hawaii. Vegas is out next, for reasons explained earlier. Then you take out Denver and Sydney because they provided nothing compelling enough to make me watch more than 10 minutes. Next out are London and Paris, for reasons I shouldn't have to explain to anyone who's seen those seasons. Austin, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Back to New York are the next to exit because, well, who needs a reason? (If you really need one, how about "they were inconsistent," or, in the case of Philadelphia, "it blew"?) I've let New Orleans stay this long merely out of respect to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. So, we're left with the Final Four: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. It's tough to knock the first two seasons out (especially New York), but I don't think they stand up to the other two. San Francisco had the Great Puck and Pedro Battle, but Seattle had David's Boston-inflected screaming in a car, Lindsay's friend's suicide, and the War Between Steven and Irene, culminating in the Great Slap.

T&R's Choice: Seattle

Best Fight

Nominees: Brynn throws a fork at Steven (Las Vegas), Tami and Dave screaming match and blanket pull (Los Angeles), Tyrie punches a garage door instead of Davis (Denver), Pedro and Puck face off (San Francisco), Julie and Kevin discuss racism (New York)

T&R Analysis: I thought this would be a lot tougher than it is, mainly because Steven and Irene's fight is inexplicably off the ballot. I need answers on that one, MTV. Until I get those answers, this one's easy as pie. Brynn throwing a fork was lame, the clip of Tyrie and Davis bores me, the Pedro and Puck battle doesn't have the fire to take the prize, and Julie and Kevin's sidewalk shouting falls just short of legendary status. There is only one legend in the category. If it doesn't win, the voting process needs to be examined.

T&R's Choice:Tami and Dave screaming match and blanket pull (Los Angeles)

NEXT TIME: Steamiest Scene, Best Brush with the Law, Best Meltdown, and Favorite Love Story


Bowling with the Presidents 2008!

For those interested in the results of the 2nd Annual Bowling with the Presidents at Bowl Rite Lanes, Union City, NJ, here they are (last year's results here:

Game 1: JAMES MADISON (120) def. Benjamin Harrison (117)
Game 2: MARTIN VAN BUREN (124) def. James Garfield (116)
Game 3: JAMES MONROE (152) def. John Tyler (121)
Game 4: HARRY S TRUMAN (162) def. Gerald Ford (100)
Game 5: RICHARD NIXON (132) def. William McKinley (116)
Game 6: DWIGHT EISENHOWER (163) def. George Washington (107)
Game 7: JIMMY CARTER (122) (unopposed)

Tough day on the lanes for me personally, as aside from an inability to make spares, I bid farewell to the bowling shoes that carried me from high school to the man I am today. The right shoe literally came apart in Harry S Truman's final frame (karmic payback for Hiroshima and Nagasaki?), and the left soon followed. The shoes received a proper burial at the Ninth and Congress Light Rail Station in Hoboken, NJ. Goodbye, old friends.


Random Thought Born While Listening to BackSpin on Sirius

I wonder if Weird Al Yankovic thought about doing a parody of Ice T's "Colors" called "Crullers" but backed off because he was afraid of Ice T. Because it really seems like a natural to me. And a damn shame that it never happened. What a missed opportunity.

I suppose I will just have to make my own parody in my head. Feel free to do the same.


Feeling proud

15-for-15 on this "Saved by the Bell" quiz. All those years spent watching the show have really paid off. It's a lesson to you kids out there.


Train keeps a rollin'

Big ups to 17-time Grammy winner Jimmy Sturr, who took home the Grammy for Best Polka Album last night. Man can't be stopped.

And congratulations to T&R-approved artists Willie Nelson & Ray Price, Levon Helm, and the Soweto Gospel Choir, too. (We'd congratulate Steve Earle, but we think that album blows.)


Don't-Be-Ridiculous Tuesday

When historians look back on Tuesday, February 5, 2008, they will remember it as a monumental occasion for celebration.

Will they do so because it was the day the improbable Super Bowl Champion New York Giants were feted on the Canyon of Heroes?


Will they recall it as the day the future President of the United States won a decisive victory in his or her party's primary?


Will they remember the Dances of Joy that enveloped the nation when the first two seasons of "Perfect Strangers" were finaly released to a hungry public?

Of course they will. Don't be ridiculous.

Yes, dear friends, before I could wrap up the "I Want My DVD: Perfect Strangers Edition" blog entry, the powers that be at Warner Brothers have decided to release a two-disc set of the first two seasons of the adventures of Balki and Cousin Larry. The rain and thunder. The wind and haze. I'm bound for better days.

There was a time in young Tinsel and Rot's life where there was no cooler show than "Perfect Strangers" and no cooler peron than Bronson "Balki Bartokomous" Pinchot. I'm pretty sure that time has now passed, but it was quite a ride. I'm extremely hesitant to watch the DVDs, because I'm certain the show will not be as good as it was when I was 12 (most things, in fact, aren't). But I will watch anyway, and likely sing along to a theme song that still holds strong in the Top 10 TV Themes of All-Time.

It is a bit frustrating, though, that it's only the first two seasons. As we all know, the show didn't hit its stride until season 3, when Larry and Balki ditch Twinkacetti and get jobs at the Chicago Chronicle. There's the Carl Lewis guest spot. And the episode with the plumbing misadventures. And, of course, the bibbi-babka episode, an all-time classic. Warner Brothers better get to work on the season three disc. If the entire run of "Full House" can be out there, there's no excuse for "Perfect Strangers" episodes to be held back. For crying out loud, "Perfect Strangers" was the original TGIF anchor (original lineup: "Perfect Strangers," "Full House," "Mr. Belvedere," and "Just the Ten of Us"--no weak links, at least in my 12-year-old mind), and, lest we forget, indirectly begat Urkel ("Family Matters" spun off from "Perfect Strangers"). Respect must be paid to Balki and Cousin Larry.

OK, need to calm down, be glad the first two seasons are out there, then do Dance of Joy.

Balki 4 Life!


What I Liked About January

*Photo time with Bob Nystrom and Clark Gillies, Bryant Park, NYC
*Grown-Up Dinner Party, Cash/Lyons Estate, Malden, MA
*My Sirius Stiletto Radio
*Paul Thorn, Living Room, NYC

*The short but magnificent tenure of Frenchy on "Rock of Love 2"
*Swath, The Delancey, NYC
*Pizza night, Balber/Sherman Estate, Hoboken, NJ
*Nicole Atkins, Union Square Barnes & Noble, NYC

*Meeting Johnny Bower in Saugus, MA
*John Train, Fergie's Pub, Philadelphia, PA
*Will Kimbrough/Amy Loftus, Living Room, NYC
*The willingness of people with cars to drive me places