The 134th running of the Kentucky Derby was this past Saturday. The actual race lasted no more than two minutes, yet NBC devoted two and a half hours to Derby coverage. So with the bourbon and beer flowing like grease off Kentucky Fried Chicken, E Dagger and I present to you the First Annual Kentucky Derby Too Much Coverage Awards!
Best Awkward Interview: Lennox Lewis and Heidi Montag
E Dagger: I don’t think there has ever been a better celebrity pairing in the history of mankind than this one where Lennox Lewis, noted for being the most boring world champion in the history of boxing sidled up to the smarmy interviewer on the red carpet while he finished up with Heidi Montag, noted for being incredibly stupid and appearing on the irredeemable black hole of television: The Hills (One celebrity pairing competes with this: Milton Berle and RuPaul at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards. Comedic legend gets sassed by tall drag queen and fires back at her on live television: Awkwardly hilarious!).
Lee S. Hart: Much love and respect to Berle. Berle is always a funny guy, and always willing to take one in the name of comedy. Even let himself get heckled by a couple of puppets on The Muppet Show…
Dagger: Anyway, Heidi unsuccessfully tries to name two horses in the derby, which prompts the smarmy guy to invite over the former champ. After Lennox introduces his wife to Heidi and her airhead companion Spencer, resulting in one of the most bizarre celebrity interactions in recorded history, Heidi peaces out, and the interviewer asks Lennox, “So, do you ever watch The Hills?”
Lennox’s response: “Um, no.”
After a couple of awkward moments, the interviewer tries hastily to change the subject.
“So, what brings you to the Derby?”
Lennox’s response: “Well, we heard Muhammad Ali is going to be here.”
Brilliant. He can’t even be bothered to make something pertinent to the race up. I loved this interview mostly because I’m so delightfully annoyed by Lennox Lewis, and watching him interact with someone so undeservedly famous like Heidi Montag put a cap on the surreal nature of the Derby. If we can get Lennox Lewis, Heidi Montag, and this douchebag interviewer their own sitcom, I can die happy.
Hart: Lennox Lewis spoke with the eloquence and vocabulary I would expect from any boxer, which he matched with a rather foppish English accent. He should really keep Don King around to talk for him. Hmm, I wonder if Don King ever watches The Hills?
Funniest Guy Who Clearly Never Gives a Fuck: Fred Willard
Dagger: With the possible exception of Norm MacDonald, Fred Willard has got to be the most underappreciated comic of the last 10 years. He is the funniest guy in every Christopher Guest movie (and that’s saying something), I can’t recall watching anything he sucked in, and his interviews are always gold.
Hart: I would have to agree. I would also like to add how brilliant he and Martin Mull were as a gay couple on Roseanne. This marks the 2nd time I mentioned Roseanne in an article. I may watch, or have watched, that show too much.
I really wasn’t a fan when they jumped the shark and Roseanne won the lottery. What made it worse was when the show finally came to an end and they revealed that they never won the lottery, it had all been a story that Roseanne was writing. What a cop out. Oh, by the way, nobody shot J.R. either, that was just a dream.
Dagger: Meanwhile back at the Derby, NBC’s douche baggy microphone jockey caught up with Fred, and did his best to interview him. Fred didn’t care, and slipped seamlessly into his Best In Show shtick as Blow Dried McDouche-a-lot stood there making the Peyton Manning Face. Fred was wearing a ridiculous suit, didn’t seem to know why he was there, and overall, made the entire pre-game show for me.
Hart: Of course Fred didn’t care. Fred knows this guy’s job is a joke. This microphone jockey (jockey, derby, haha I get it) may be part of the inspiration for Fred’s character in For Your Consideration.
Best Running Gag: Terrell Owens
Dagger: When they interviewed Terrell Owens, Hart and I spent the entire interview saying, *sniff* “That’s my teammate. That’s my quarterback.” *sniff sniff*
Now that Brett Favre‘s retired, thank God we have someone to mock for crying like a little girl. No matter where he is, what he’s wearing, or what he’s talking about, Terrell Owens will now forever in my mind be sitting there with tears streaming from behind giant sunglasses whining about the media’s treatment of Tony Romo.
We got this joke to play all day.
Hey Terrell, did you offer Tony a mint julep?
“That’s my teammate… my quarterback.”
So… no, then?
Hart: In a bump that segued into the commercial break Owens asked us if we had our popcorn ready, then proceeded to pour the popcorn over his head. Has Owens finally lost it? What the hell was that about? Terrell, did you ask Tony if that was a good idea?
“That’s my teammate… my quarterback.”
Best Celebrity Punk-Out: Pam Pryor Over Bobby Flay
Hart: What would modern T.V. be without synergy? NBC doesn’t want to find out, so to promote The Food Network they came up with this piece. Speaking of which, Kohl’s has just launched a line of Bobby Flay house-ware items. I don’t know how good they are, but they’re brightly colored.
Dagger: Pam Pryor makes omelets at Wagner’s Pharmacy, the jockey and trainer hangout in Louisville. Bobby Flay is an Iron Chef, and someone Masaharu Morimoto one time called, “not even a real chef.” How would his omelet stand up to Pam’s?
In short, Pam beat the living snot out of the often too-big-for-his-britches Flay, trash talking him the whole time.
Hart: This leaves me to believe that the Bobby Flay line at Kohl’s isn’t very good. At least it’s bright.
Dagger: In a world where everyone seems to want to be famous and people get star struck encountering even the most low-level celebrities.
Hart: I once met Mike Nelson.
Dagger: Hart, I ought to hit you.
It was refreshing to see Pam Pryor take no prisoners in her (playful) war against Flay. For honesty like this, you almost have to go to the South. God knows everywhere else you go would see people kissing Flay’s ass even though he just grilled a lemon, covered it with mango chutney, and served it to you in a hollowed-out pumpkin. Would you eat that? Of course not.
In this battle, Pam filled her omelet with ham, peppers, sausage, onion, tomato, cheese and hot sauce while Bobby put (in addition to some of the same stuff) avocado and watercress in his. Whose would you rather eat?
Hart: Pam’s made me hungry for omelets. Bobby’s performance fleece made me hate yuppies.
Saddest News Item: Eight Belles
Dagger: I don’t even have a joke here. If you want a morbid joke about a dead horse, email Senor Limon. He made some awful jokes about Barbaro two years ago that I still find somewhat in bad taste. Putting down an animal is never good times. Best of luck to Eight Belles’ trainers, owners, and all parties that care about this horse. My heart goes out to you.
Hart: Well put. How about a moment of silence?
Best Way to Make a Julep: Cool down the syrup, then pour it over ice. Add bourbon.
Dagger: Seems simple enough, right? We didn’t figure it out until the second drink, and even then, the charm of the mint julep escapes me. See the next entry.
Hart: My bad.
Worst Way to Make a Julep: Pour heated syrup into bourbon-filled glass melting all the ice and cooking your bourbon slightly
Dagger: Drinking a julep this way will make you want to kill yourself. There’s nothing quite like hot bourbon and sugar water with some plants floating in it, is there?
I like bourbon as much as the next guy, but who the hell came up with the idea of mixing it with mint and sugar water? What, did William Wrigley, Jr. and that insect guy from Men In Black played by Vincent D’Onofrio need some sort of common cocktail to meet over?
Hart: Maybe they did. I think the real question is why they were meeting in the first place. What kind of shit could be going down that these two need to meet?
Dagger: These days everything has a corporate investor. The insect guy is soliciting Wrigley to be his backer in his bid to destroy the galaxy.
No, No No! It’s Big Brown, you dummy!
Hart: That makes sense. Wouldn’t that cause some bad PR for the Cubs, considering that they play at Wrigley Field?
Dagger: Nah, the Cubs are now owned by a soulless jagoff named Sam Zell who is currently trying to sell the naming rights to Wrigley Field. I hope Mark Cuban buys them, but god knows the colon-clenching owners of baseball will never let that happen.
Hart: For true. Maybe that’s why Vincent D’Onofrio is trying to broker a deal with Wrigley. He wants to destroy the galaxy (which is on Orion’s belt, you know), and own the Cubs.
Dagger: Sounds about right. Billy goat, Bartman, black cat, huge genocidal insect wearing human skin wanting to own their park. Go Cubs!
Hart: Your team sucks.
Dagger: Anyway, people tell me juleps are supposed to be refreshing… I don’t know. I just can’t understand this logic. Even at its coldest, bourbon might be the least refreshing beverage on the planet. Have you ever finished a run and thought to yourself, “Boy I hope there’s some bourbon at home! I’m parched!” I’m exaggerating, but you get my point. Adding mint makes bourbon no more refreshing than drinking Maker’s Mark with a piece of gum in your mouth.
And when you’ve got Hart as your bartender pouring bourbon like he’s Billy Bob Thornton’s character in Bad Santa, well, you’re in for a long day. After two of these and a couple of beers, I was on my ass. How people drink these all day in the Kentucky heat is beyond me.
Hart: Alright, Captain I Went To Bartending College, you could have stepped in and help make the juleps, ass. In retrospect, we probably should have just had bourbon on the rocks. Why would we want to ruin that flavor with sugar and mint? What were we thinking? That’s along the lines of putting fruit in beer.
Dagger: You did better than I would have, don’t get me wrong. One final note: Mint Julep + Pacifico Cerveza + Parliament Light = Most Wretched Tasting Breath Ever. I almost barfed on my keyboard thinking about it again.
Hart: Me too.
Best Horse Name Sexual Innuendo: Big Brown
Dagger: This sounds dirty. Could be the nickname of some guy’s penis. Could be a euphemism for some illegal act of sodomy. Whatever the case, I loved listening to everyone saying “I’m taking Big Brown today,” or, “My money’s on Big Brown.”
Hart: So when Greg Grunberg asked that douchey microphone jockey for a “Big Brown hug,”
What was he really asking for? Or do I want to know?
Dagger: Probably not. Douchy microphone jockey would do anything on camera, I’ll bet. Follow-up note: The name is much funnier when adding the words “upside down.” Sounds much dirtier this way. Watch….
Dagger: “So, what’d you do last night?”
Hart: “What do you think I did? I gave her big brown upside down.”
Best Culinary Decision: Jose O’Shea’s
Dagger: Since we were piss drunk off mint juleps, obviously there’s nothing to pre-empt the next day’s hangover like some greasy Mexican food. I heartily recommend the #4: Shredded beef burrito, chicken taco, cheese enchilada with rice and beans. It’s a shitload of food for about $8, plus they bring you bottomless chips and salsa for free!
Hart: I kind of wish we had gone out for omelets. If it were possible to get without an eight-hour drive, The Bacon Cure form The Durango Diner would have been the tops. That’s an omelet to the max. Eggs, bacon, cheese, hash browns all smothered with homemade green chili. Oh man. We should go to Durango.
Dagger: I am convinced this is the best idea in the history of mankind excepting maybe when I bought those Funyuns I bought in Vegas after a long bender at Mandalay Bay. Never have Funyuns, the movie Ghostbusters and a hotel bed sang so harmoniously. But, you know, 20/20 hindsight and all that.
Worst Interview: Hugh Hefner and his pack of bimbos
Dagger: Alright, so Blow-Dried McDouche-a-lot is a terrible interviewer. This much became apparent after watching the Derby for 5 seconds. His low point came when talking to Hugh Hefner. It’s easier just to watch the clip. Do we have a clip?
Hart: Yes, yes we do. I was amazed to see Hef not wearing his smoking jacket.
Dagger: Holly obviously knows nothing about anything, Bridget and Kendra aren’t allowed to speak for fear of Holly’s evil alpha-bitch wrath, and Hef couldn’t care less about this peon after doing crap like this for roughly 40 years.
Hart: The bimbos are quick to comment when asked about the party. Big surprise.
Dagger: Now, if Fred Willard were interviewing Hef, this would be a compelling segment. As it stands, McDouche-a-lot seems to have contempt for his journalism degree taking him to asking disinterested celebrities softball questions on some red carpet. Therefore, his vaguely condescending questions to an American cultural icon make for some shitty television, indeed.
Most Disappointing Food-Related Discovery: Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers
Dagger: It’s easy to applaud Wendy’s for keeping their value menu at 99 cents, but understand that as costs increase, Wendy’s has to do something to compensate. Case in point: The Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. These used to roughly resemble a normal sized hamburger with two solid strips of bacon filling up your broke ass.
Now they look more like White Castle sliders. You open up the wrapper, and there’s this puny, sad-looking quasi-hamburger staring back at you – a mere shell of the robust money-saving bastion of goodness you remember growing up. What a kick in the crotch.
Hart: Wendy’s has gone down hill since Dave Thomas went teats up. Not just the tiny hamburgers, but quality as well. In attempting to create a larger, more varied menu, they’ve forgotten what it was that made them a competitor, tasty sandwiches.
Dagger: Of course, you’d think with a real job and no debt, I’d be able to afford something off the big kids’ menu. But I ended up paying for two burgers and an order of fries with two singles, 90 cents in silver coins, and 30 pennies. That’s fucking sad.
Hart: I applaud your effort to not sell out.
The band is starting to play which means our time is up. We had a few laughs, enjoyed some drinks (or not), and everyone has been a good sport, even Tony. Right, Terrell?
“That’s my teammate… my quarterback.”
I’ll take that as a yes.
Join us next year to see if Lennox Lewis will keep his title, or which celebrity chef will be made a fool of by Pam Pryor. Also there will probably be a horse race, but I doubt the juleps will make an appearance.
See you next year!
06 May 2008 CJS Staff