AJ Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker runs every Friday. Email him to let him know what you think.
Dumpy talk show host Jimmy Kimmel's banning from Monday Night Football based on what MNF producer Jay Rothman called his "classless" and "disappointing" comments is quite a monumental achievement, especially since it appeared he had a cozy, collegial relationship with the WWL. Whether it was ESPY-hosting gigs or his consistent shout-outs from the Sports Feller, Kimmel appeared to be on the network's good people-list. That is until Monday Night Football, when he playfully tweaked Joe Theismann and made some Brady-model-impregnation joke. Faster than you could say "Tirico Tits!", Kimmel was vanquished.
I understand that in life and especially in work there are lines that needn't be crossed (really, I do), but this seems excessive — even coming from a company who doesn't allow its employees to take home up-rooted trees to be re-planted. But a banning a comedian who works at your own network, who gets paid (essentially) by the same employer, is harsh. I have experienced the humiliation from an utterly dumbfounding banning.
Here's the situation: I was hanging out at my friend Rich's house with a couple other friends. His parents weren't home. We were watching the videotape of "Fanny Hill," a low-budget porno that someone had secretly taped the night before off cable. I went into his bathroom to go piss, but realized that I was still sporting an erection that can only occur when an 11-year-old just watched a grainy porno featuring an ample-chested redheaded woman getting boinked in a haystack for the first time in his life. The sucker wouldn't go down, yet the urine was coming. I did not have time to take the requisite three steps back nor control the trajectory of the stream. I hit the top of the toilet. The walls. The rug. Underneath the bowl. By time this unholy yellow geyser had dissipated, the bathroom was ruined. I couldn't have made a more disgusting mess had I walked in there blindfolded and hurled a pee-filled water balloon.
Apparently, my clean-up abilities were also a bit off. And apparently, the purple hand-towels with the flowers were not to be used to sop-up such dreadful things and, if they were used for that purpose, they were not to be sloppily re-hung on the wall while still damp. Rich's mother came home later that evening, long after I'd left, and, terrified, yelled to her son "Who Pissed All Over The Bathroom?" It didn't take long to figure out that I was the culprit, being that I had nervously left his house in a panic soon after the incriminating accidental explosion. The next day my mom received a phone call from Rich's mother. Between the afternoon of conspicuous "Fanny Hill"-watching (she found out about that as well after the tape was left in the VCR), her urine-soaked guest bathroom and ruined hand-towels, she relayed to my mother that I was no longer a welcome as a guest in their home. I was a reckless savage. In fact, one could probably categorize these actions as a little disappointing and classless.
But Jimmy Kimmel? Not so much. But his predicament sends a strict message to all future guests stepping foot inside that hallowed booth: compose yourselves accordingly or risk permanent banishment.
So this week, I'm flicking Joe Theismann's inflamed prostate, pissing all over Jay Rothman's hand towels and placing odds on the next guest to be permanently booted from Monday Night Football this year.
John Elway, October 29th, Green Bay at Denver: 3/1
You can't broadcast a Monday Night Football game from Denver and not have John Elway come up for a visit. Or could you? If Elway doesn't sufficiently promote the Arena League and starts warbling about the halcyon days of Vance Johnson and Karl Mecklenburg, well, there'll be a problem. Jay Rothman's got orders from the Bristol mafia. It doesn't matter that you're a beloved Hall of Fame quarterback. It's pay-to-play here, bitch. So, beat it, chompers.
Chris Cornell, November 12th, San Francisco at Seattle: 4/1
Candles burnin' yesterday, somebody's best friend died... shut it! The brooding rocker will make a brief appearance in the booth in an attempt to promote his new solo album, but be forced into a conversation by Kornheiser about what it was like growing up a Seahawks fan, Steve Largent and what it was like to live with Andrew Wood. (Kornheiser's a huuuge Mother Love Bone fan.) This will piss Cornell off who doesn't like to talk about his grunge-y past, setting off an uncomfortable silence in the booth broken only by a muffled cough from Jaworski. Jay Rothman's a Tad fan anyway. Poof.
Arthur Blank, December 10, New Orleans at Atlanta: 2/1
Blank will be promised some booth-time hob-knobbing with crew in exchange for a few juicy details about what's been going on with Michael Vick (Have you spoken? How's he feeling?). If Blank doesn't give Mike Tirico anything significant or revealing, or starts complaining about Sal Paolantonio sleeping on his porch the last month, then not only will he be tossed from the booth, but the Falcons will be left off the Monday Night Football schedule forever. Even if they win the next four Super Bowls and give every dog trapped in a shelter to orphanages, it's not happening. Rules are rules. Go shave your shnoz-stache.
Kendra Wilkinson and Hugh Hefner, December 24, Denver at San Diego: 1/1
Although she's a proud Chargers fan and equipped with heavenly jugs, she still has to ditch the old man if she ever wants to get back in the booth. Look, everybody's talked to Hefner nine million times, and that stupid robe of his is doing nothing right now but concealing his portable catheter. Sure he's lived every man's fantasy life, but we know that. Now he just smells like tomato soup and moldy slippers. And Kendra? Come on, you're pretty and all that, but you're still dumber than a box of mongoloids. Mostly everyone in that booth would rather listen to Emmit Smith recite Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" poem than have you vapidly giggle through two plays. Now, tits out.