Tag Archives: american idol

The Wednesday Outlook: October 12, 2011

This is where the magic happens… or doesn’t happen, as the case may be. My corner of the world.

You’ll never guess who I woke up thinking about this morning. No, I mean, you really won’t guess. It’s not anyone currently on Dancing With The Stars. No, not Oprah. Not Steve Guttenberg.

Brian Dunkleman.

Dunkleman was on the first season of American Idol. He was Ryan Seacrest’s co-host. It seems strange now that they thought the job required two hosts. Maybe it was a season-long tryout. “Look, we can’t decided between the two of you so consider this season sort of a cage match to the death.”

[Click here for a photo of just how orange Ryan Seacrest was during Season 1.]

I watched that first season of American Idol and what I remember, more than any of the performances, etc., was Brian Dunkleman’s disappointed face. Or his angry face. Simon Cowle would do his Simon Shit and Dunkleman’s jaw would clench up and twitch, trying to hold it all inside.

Here is what it has to say about the situation on Wikipedia:

In appearances on The Howard Stern Show, he had insisted that he intended to leave Idol to pursue a career in stand-up comedy and acting, but in 2008, Dunkleman admitted to Stern that leaving the show was a mistake. Dunkleman conceded that he experienced several months of depression, and also still harbored resentment against current show host Ryan Seacrest, but has come to terms with his situation. Stern has compared Dunkleman to Pete Best of The Beatles and several other famous celebrities who chose to leave (or were forced to leave) successful show business careers, only to wind up as has-beens. Dunkleman good-naturedly put up with the ribbing from the Stern crew, but insisted he was happy with his current life.

Wow, Pete Best of The Beatles? Harsh.

Dunkleman still does stand-up comedy in L.A.

I recently saw a profile of Ryan Seacrest on CBS Sunday Morning and what I concluded after watching it was this: if you show up for things and work relentlessly, it sometimes does not matter if you have the personality of a shoebox. It really doesn’t. I mean, if you were a painter or a sculptor it would matter if you had no inherent talent, but not if you’re hosting New Year’s Eve broadcasts or producing meaningless reality TV shows.

In the interview, Seacrest denied the gay rumors and defended his relationship with Julianne Hough but I’ve read enough volumes of Hollywood Babylon to understand the concept of a career-boosting beard. He needs her and she definitely needs him. I wonder if there is some secret Hollywood Gay/Straight Relationship Broker you can call who then puts the word out.

“Trust me, I’ve done all the big ones. I lured in Katie Holmes for Tom Cruise- that was a coup. My first gig was Kelly Preston and John Travolta. My only mistake was Liza Minnelli and David Gest – that guy just can’t keep the closet door latched, if you know what I mean.”

In other news:

Reading: Just finished My Korean Deli, a memoir about a family who buys… uh… a deli. In Brooklyn. It was funny and also had a lot to say about the outlook and worldview of first generation immigrants and their children versus Protestant/Waspy people who’ve been here for awhile (the author is a Waspy Protestant whose ancestors landed in Plymouth and he married a Korean woman whose parents immigrated
to the U.S.).

Which reminds me of a strange run-in I had in front of a hardware store while working on a freelance writing assignment. I started talking to a guy who I thought could be useful for my assignment but a few minutes in it became clear that he was insane. Here is a sampling of his  thoughts:

Him: I miss 1962. That was the perfect year to live in Minneapolis. Everything was clean and beautiful and perfect and there were no immigrants.

Me: How old were you in 1962?

Him: Four.

Me: How do you remember 1962.

Him: Because I have a photographic memory! Where’s my landlord? He’ll tell you. I remember everything that ever happened to me.

[Landlord was shopping in the store, so unavailable to verify photographic memory.]

Him: I can say whatever I want because I’m part Native American. But I’m also English, Scottish and Welch. My people were not immigrants, they were pioneers. There’s a difference.

Me: How much Native American are you? Like, an eighth?

Him: One sixty-fourth. But it still counts. The problem with immigrants today is that they are opportunists. They just want to make money.

Me: What’s wrong with that? Everyone likes money.

Him: They should do that in their own countries.

Me: Maybe their own countries won’t allow them to.

Him: Well, that’s just too bad, isn’t it?

Then landlord appeared, saving me. Insane man toddled off to Great Harvest Bread for a free piece of bread.

Watching: Not nearly enough. Just finished watching all seasons of Arrested Development (ready and waiting for the new stuff, guys!) and also went to see 50/50, aka The Hipster Terms of Endearment. It was funny, well-acted, blah blah blah, but ultimately hyped too much. Poor storyline and use of the talented Dallas Bryce Howard as Evil Girlfriend Who Bails When She Feels Overwhelmed By Boyfriend’s Cancer. They really should have just outfitted her with devil ears, tail and pitchfork.

Doing: Excited for the Day of the Dead Sale at Zinnia Folk Arts at GUILD in St. Louis Park, the Twin Cities’ Vintage Clothing, Jewelry & Textile Sale at the State Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday and the Twin Cities Book Festival on Saturday.

Also, still working on a novel. It’s called The Grand Tour and someday soon it will be finished (in rough draft form). That’s what I do a lot of the time in my corner of the world.