Category Archives: 15 Greatest Hollywood Tragedies

List o’ the Week: 15 Greatest Tragedies #3-1

Just jumping into the list? You can see the previous installments to the list (covering #’s 4-15) by visiting the “15 Greatest Hollywood Tragedies” category button. Meanwhile, while you hop into your blog-Delorian, the rest of us are moving onward and upward (or is it “downward” when you’re talking tragedies?) with the Top 3 of the 15 Greatest Tragedies list. You could also just keep scrolling down this blog page.

Without further delay, it’s on….it’s on…it’s on….it’s on. Get the Patron, we’re finishing this jawn up!

The Kids Don’t Get It 15 Greatest Hollywood Tragedies #3-1

#3 Silk Stalkingssilk_stalkings-show

Man, kids nowadays don’t know how good they have it, and yet, how bad at the same time. Proof: the internet and Silk Stalkings. The internet, home to videos, websites and ‘movies’ of people doing each other with the reckless abandon and tenderness of tasered monkeys, made a show like Silk Stalkings completely obsolete.

Before we get any further, a brief word or 400 about Silk Stalkings. It was, first and foremost, awesome. Silk followed the seedy, sexy cases that took place in Palm Beach, Florida where everyone was murdered after banging each other. Fortunately, the series’ detectives, Chris and Rita, were always on the case (and sometimes each other!). And what cases they were too. These cops had the sweetest gigs ever, as Silk Stalkings’ writing staff created the sort of compelling, one-of-a-kind cases that’d have thousands lining up for a career in law enforcement:

  • murder at a nudist colony: Chris and Rita, we need to you to infiltrate the colony. Don’t take clothes, “no” for an answer or anything called ‘Extenze’–just find our (wo)man.
  • murder amongst suburban couples group orgy parties: Chris and Rita, we need you to go undercover as a new couple in the n’hood. Sleep with everyone–all the suspects, the mailman, the mail, the dog–just find our (wo)man
  • murder at a hedonist hotel weekend: Chris and Rita, go undercover as newlyweds, hatef-ck each other in the lobby to draw attention, then fan out, banging everyone possible. I don’t care if they’re checking-in, checking-out or turning down the blankets–just find our (wo)man

The show was great in that formulaic way later emulated by shows like Law&Order. On Silk Stalkings the show started, without fail, either having or preparing to have sex. These scenes all involved scanty lingerie, hot wax on someone’s belly, and a knife. Instead of Law&Order’s “ripped from the headlines!” tag, Silk Stalkings was “ripped from Penthouse letters pages”. The show was ridiculous for its low production budget for extras, scenery and music–I think all their resources were shared with Bedtime Storiesa and whatever movie Shannon Tweed was shooting that lunch hour. But now, with the increased, boundless energy devoted to making every show silk-gp-shot1on TV sex-laced, gone are the coy, winking lines that I loved ‘catching’ on Silk Stalkings; you know, lines like:

  • (Chief): Rita, did you talk to the delivery man believed to be sleeping with Mrs. Obama? (Rita): Yes and I can see why she was; he looks like he knows how to deliver his packages.
  • (Chief): Chris, you’ve been gone all afternoon–I hope you were working on the Liotta case. (Chris): No worries Chief; I met with Jada, the millionaire’s lingerie model daughter. I have a feeling she’s going to keep me abreast of things for awhile.

Awesome. But now let’s look at how those lines would be written in today’s society, where the term/idea ‘sexy’ has been replaced with the more explicit ‘fucksy’:

  • (Chief): Rita, did you talk to the delivery man believed to be sleeping with Mrs. Obama? (Rita): Yes and I can see why she was; he looks like he knows how to f*ck.
  • (Chief): Chris, you’ve been gone all afternoon–I hope you were working on the Liotta case. (Chris): No worries Chief; I met with Jada, the millionaire’s lingerie model daughter. She’s going to keep me abreast, and by that I mean she’s a double-D: Dirty and Down for Whatever. She’s also huge taters. Hell, I think she may have even killed her father herself; she muttered something like ‘I killed him Chris’–but I was busy picturing missionary-style sex with her.

Bye-bye Silk Stalkings; you perhaps single-handedly saved the USA Network, got me through Saturday nights and spurred a wave of candle stores like Illuminations to open–only to be replaced with 80 nightly episodes of Cheaters.

#2: Family Guy:

I spent 1/2 the weekend trying to best sum up my feelings for a show who has 1/2 the wit of The Simpsons and 2x the vulgarity of South Park. The Family Guy is kin to movies like Transformers 1-2, American Idol and Megan Fox’s overly-done-fucksiness: loud, brash, directionless and probably diseased. It’s as one-note as you can get (thin plot, shock joke shock joke violent scene Stewie/Peter off-color joke end of episode).

Family Guy funny? Looks like the joke's on you.

Family Guy funny? Looks like the joke's on you.

Somewhere, some how, Seth McFarlane got a hold of 80’s grade cocaine (last seen in the Alf writer’s room) and slipped it into a Fox Exec meeting….then one at Cartoon Network…and then a bit more to the folks at Fox (who have now consumed enough to green light another spin-off, because, you know, American Dad is hilarious).

And then some into your TV set.

….and now,

The Kids Don’t Get It 15 Greatest Hollywood Tragedies List’s # 1 Tragedy

There were of course, many, many possible candidates for the #1 Tragedy spot–the cancellation of the Arsenio Hall Show, the continued employment of the Wayans family, Ben Stiller’s career, R. Kelly’s life–but really, honestly, there’s only one plausible entry, really. The rest of those are all freak accidents –but this tragedy, our #1 offender, is different because the story’s still being written.

It’s been observed in the past that the state of hip-hop is under attack. I’ll let these lyrics say it for me:

Creatively hip-hop is being destroyed….a lot of rappers really need to be unemployed…..because the topics that them talk about has got me annoyed…..The pile that’s only designed for pop charts that contradicts thought……that’s the reason we brought….it back cause honestly it lacks talent and creativity….***

Icouldn’t agree more, and that’s why, it’s with a heavy heart, but tremendous glee, that I present Our Greatest Hollywood Tragedy:

The Black Eyed Peas

Hip! Funky! Fresh!

Hip! Funky! Fresh!

A group known for such hip-hop damning hits such as Let’s Get Retarded (sorry Jenn), My Humps, Shut-up, and most recently, Boom Boom Pow.

In-between all this they also appeared in a Best Buy commercial, got politically-active through GAP t-shirts and Will.i.am appeared as fallen Jedi Knight in CNN’s first use of hologram technology, a meeting pitch that must’ve gone like this:

“We need to test our new hologram technology, but we have to be careful who we choose as the first person because they’re going to appear thin and rather see-through, so we don’t want to have anyone that we’re going to want on CNN again. Any ideas?” (Wolf Blitzer, Larry King, Anderson Cooper and even f-cking Soledad chime in at once): Will.i.am.

Their latest song, “I Got a Feeling” I assume deals with what happens after someone sleeps with Fergie, with the next single “Piss Piss Burns” uniting with “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Got a Feeling” to complete the trilogy of Songs About Banging Fergie.

The BEPs are our greatest tragedy because Will.i.am.a.sell.out and Co. traded in creativity, identity and talent to create the sort of music that you’ll now hear at places like American Eagle, Fuddrucker’s and bars with the names “Tiki”, “River”, “Hut” or “O’ Shea’s/Milligan’s/Cooper’s” . They went from a vibrant, energetic West Coast hip-hop B-boy hip-hop group to the artists most likely to appear promoting Summer’s Eve with their music.

Imagine if someone said to Will Smith, “hey, slow down–Fresh Prince was great and all Will, but really, acting? I mean Hollywood’s already got Omar Epps, Wesley Snipes and Cuba Gooding Jr.–those guys aren’t going anywhere! Why don’t you just go back to music?”

You know what would’ve happened? The Black Eyed Peas, just a lot sooner, and probably under the name of “Big Momma’s Boyz” or “Jiggytown Heroes” or something else equally Will Smith-ish. And instead of former meth-head turned over-singing media whore Fergie, we’d have Debbie Gibson or Amy Grant in “Jiggytown”. Ugh. This shit hurts my penis just typing this. Constant kick to the crotch.

I see right through you, Will.

I see right through you, Will.

So yes; the BEPs looked around and said, WWWSD (What Would Will Smith Do), complete with Will.i.am’s declaration, “I want to be this generation’s Baja Boys, or, worse yet, hip-pop Dave Matthews Band”. So they changed their sound from B-boy fun to Now That’s What I Call Shit 22! (boom) got Fergie (boom) and proceeded to release My Humps and The Duchess, which brought us the testicle-rending ‘London Bridge’ (pow).

And their story’s still being written.

***from the song, ‘Bringing It Back’ from the Black Eyed Peas album, Bridging the Gap, (2000)

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List o’ the Week: 15 Greatest Tragedies #6-4

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Oh my, my, my, chicken wings, breasts, and thighs –we’re getting close to end my friends. Our journey to this point is of mythic proportions….it’s like Sam and Frodo making it to Mordor….like Luke making it to the Deathstar…..like Billy Bob finally getting to make Halle “feel good” in Monster’s Ball….we’re near the end!

Can you feel it? I can!

#’s 6-4 are up at bat, and we’re banking on you agreeing with us that two women, separated at birth, but forever united on talentless, will make you a believer that Hollywood is a trail of sadness, tears and tragedy.

The Kids Don’t Get It 15 Greatest Hollywood Tragedies: #6-4

#6: Tyra Banks:

If this doesn't get me on 'A Current Affair' nothing will!

If this doesn't get me on 'A Current Affair' nothing will!

Watching the Tyra Show doesn’t just lower IQ, it lowers everything possible:

  • Sperm count
  • Cholesterol
  • Hope for humanity
  • Belief in black female talk-show hosts

When I saw her first show where she donned a “fat” suit and ambushed guys on blind dates by showing up in the suit and then berating them for not being into her. As I watched the “journalistic pride” in her eyes recounting each incident, I said, “they are going to have to pry this show from her fingers like David Koresh in Waco, TX”.

More amazing? Even after revealing herself to be Tyra Banks, not a single dude seemed interested in taking her out.

And they’re single!

And they’re out meeting people on blind dates!

And she’s a super model!

Not a bite. Not even a nibble.

The Chris Webber network runs deeper than you think.

Tyra tries to find the right combination for ratings success.

Tyra tries to find the right combination for ratings success.

Needless to say, that was a heavy episode.  By the end of the show I concluded that the Tyra Banks Show could only result in getting someone killed.

And while it hasn’t gotten anyone killed yet (to include, sadly, Tyra’s career), it’s bound to happen soon. Just take a look at her upcoming topics, which all sound like email subject lines in your spam folder:

  • “pregnant bunny”
  • “sexting”
  • “can people guess your race?”
  • “what’s up everywhere else?”
  • “here’s your future face”

Gee; I wonder what Tyra’s future face would look like? Maybe…..

wendy will

Wendy ALSO auditioned for the "Alf Teaches the Tanners the Shocker" episode.

#5: Wendy Williams

I often find myself wondering, “if Chewbacca and Tyra were to hatef-ck each other, and that hatef-cking resulted in a baby that they had to abandon in NYC, and that baby grew mean, huge and dong-like and became a media personality with little class and even less talent, how many horse tranquilizers would it take to subdue it?”

Not sure the answer to the question, but with time I think we’ll know how much it takes to knock-out “Wendy-bacca” Williams.

Wendy Williams started her career on the radiowaves in NYC, and is the epitome of the phrase “you have a face made for radio”. She’s also Tyra’s future face if Tyra spends the next 20 years doing hardcore porn, HGH and Joe Camel impersonations after eating Ru Paul.

WW is basically the “Hulk” to Tyra’s “Bruce Banner” except the Hulk has a smaller dong.

Recently, the long-running self-proclaimed Queen of Media brought her radio show, The Wendy Williams Experience to TV in an attempt to piss black people off even more now that Flavor of Syphilis and I Love Making Mistakes New York are no longer on the air.

You know how Family Guy is a poor retread of The Simpsons and South Park? Well, the Wendy Williams TV Show is a poor retread of the Tyra show.

Wendy spends her time talking “girl talk” on her show* and conducting some of the poorest interviews I’ve ever seen. I honestly think that Helen Keller and an unmanned Muppet could do a better job.

Her presence on TV now, along with with her uncanny TYRA BANKS TO THE XXXTREME-like appearance, means that we’re not book-ended with bad TV, and the last saving graces for black female talk show hosts lie in

They couldn't find a He-Man costume in her size.

They couldn't find a He-Man costume in her size.

Whoopi “I ate my eyebrows” Goldberg and Oprah—who I can’t decide if she’s God’s cruel gift to Earth, God or Godzilla.

*please note that “girl talk” nowadays means openly talking about your coochie and making snarky comments about The Hills and Angelina Jolie.

#4 Ice Cube:

"I'm here to take your daughter to the prom? B-tch I said get ya daughter and tell her it's time to r-i-d-e with Ice!"

"I'm here to take your daughter to the prom? B-tch I said get ya daughter and tell her it's time to r-i-d-e with Ice!"

I used to always cringe at the end of every episode of The Price Is Right whenever Bob “let pop-pop touch your titty Barker Beauty” Barker implored everyone to have their pets spayed or neutered. Why, you ask?

Ice Cube.

As a member of hip-hop group N.W.A. (Nice to Women Alwayz), Ice Cube, along with Dr. Dre and Easy-E was one of the hardest, most gangster-ish guys around–largely because at the time Donald Rumsfeld was too busy trying to kill Harry Potter’s parents.

Anyway, Ice Cube went from AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted to America’s Funniest Home Videos. If you go to IMDB and look at his filmography, it’s quite compelling.

Just look:

  • Boyz n’ the Hood (ghetto life in CA, with bullets)
  • Friday (ghetto life in CA, with weed)
  • Anaconda (big-ass snake tries to eat J. Lo’s big ass)
  • The Players’ Club (Ice Cube and a strip club)

    Ice, Ice and baby.

    Ice, Ice and baby.

So far, so good, right? Then:

  • Barbershop (…..ok, ok)
  • Barbershop 2: I’m Starting to Sell Out (…uh, ok….I mean…ok)
  • Torque (Ice Cube rides a motorcycle, little weed seen)
  • Are We There Yet? (Ice Cube babysitting….wtf?)
  • Are We Done Yet? (Ice Cube renovating a house? WTF? Maybe he’s uncovering his weed stash?)

I mean this transformation was amazing…..amazing. The last time someone turned around this fast and f-cked their fan-ship was at the AVN Awards after party. I find it odd that he does these films under the name “Ice Cube” still. How do producers not read the casting call and exclaim, “ICE CUBE???? ICE CUBE wants to be in Howard the Duck 2: Right Quack at Ya!?? But that Smurf’s crazy!”

Ice Cube is perhaps the Real Life Fresh Prince of Bel-Air story.

I heard he has his radio stations pre-set buttons all tuned to NPR.

I heard he even locks his doors now when he rolls through Princeton, NJ.

I heard he was the person that called the cops on Henry Louis Gates Jr.

I heard he voted for McCain on the grounds that Barack Obama “sounded too ghetto”.

This, my friends, is a tragedy.

But not as bad as our Top 3 Greatest Tragedies. Tune in soon!

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List o’ the Week: 15 Greatest Hollywood Tragedies #9-7

Uh-oh, looks who’s back faster’n you can say “cash for clunkers”.

The Kids and our Greatest Hollywood Tragedies (as seen by me) list!

You can read the first two installments #15-13 here and #12-10 here.

We’re sliding deep into the Top 10 now and we’re in for a doozy.

Are you ready? Are you READY?

I said DID YOU OR DID YOU NOT ORDER THE CODE RED ON THIS LIST?!

You’re Bat-damn right I did!

#’s 9-7—step up!

The Kids Don’t Get It: 15 Greatest Hollywood Tragedies List: #9-7

#9: ALF:

Promo poster for the unaired "Alf Teaches the Tanners The Shocker" episode.

Promo poster for the unaired "Alf Teaches the Tanners The Shocker" episode.

Alf, in short, was another TV Exec Coke Session from the 80’s that must’ve went something like this:

Exec 1 (sniiiiifffff): Okokokokokokokokokokokokokok. I just f-ckin’ came from taking my kid to see Police Academy 3:Back in Training, ok? Okokokokokok. So it hits me while I’m watching this movie: I need more coke. But also: New show. Fall 86 season. New show.  Alien at home. F-cking aliens.

Exec 2 (snortsnortsnortsnort): WTF; that f-cking alien’s going to eat everyone of those f-cking people in that house, man. Eat’em. Like f-cking Denny’s. There’s an alien in the corner right now waiting to eat us. Been watching him. Gonna shoot’im.

Exec 1 (nose bleeding): okokokokokokokkkokokok. He’ll eat cats! YES HE’LL F-CKING EAT F-CKING CATS. (starts convulsing)

Exec 2 (wildly swinging gun around): …..He’s on your face now. I like it. I like it. And maybe maybe maybe-just shutup alien, I f-cking see you–maybe we can get your kid to play the part.

Exec 1 (now rubbing coke onto his tongue): F-ck that kid. Sold him for more coke. We’ll get a midget. We got all we need now: alien. family. outer space. midget. Start writing season 1.

(gunshot)

And that’s how Alf was born. But not only did Alf kill it for the wild 80’s–Madame’s Place, Small Wonder, Short Circuit, Batteries Not Included, Star Search were all popular during this decade–but the show also killed a respectable career line for midgets.

I mean, they wouldn’t even hire midgets when they made The Lord of the Rings. Leaked producer notes on midget auditions for the trilogy all said the same: “butts too dumpy-looking”; “creepy fingers only look good for coloring books”; “eerily reminiscent of Alf”. And that was basic it for Midget Hollywood post-90’s: the dude from Willow, Danny Devito and Beetlejuice from The Howard Stern Show.

Fun “Definitely on Coke” Fact about Alf creator Paul Fusco:

Fusco is notoriously secretive about his character. During the show’s production, Fusco refused to acknowledge that the puppet ALF was anything other than an alien. All involved with the production were cautioned not to give away any of ALF’s secrets.”

#8: Lisa Marie Presley:

In a moment of weakness, Lisa Marie turns to KD Lang for attention.

In a moment of weakness, Lisa Marie turns to KD Lang for attention.

Rare Air Alert: Is connected to the groin of three Kings of Music (Elvis her father, and Michael Jackson, her lesbian android lover) and one King of Bad Acting (Nicholas Cage). Amazingly, she refuses to speak about her relationships with any of these men.

I can understand the first two; at the height of his binge-eating Elvis was seen biting Mickey Mouse’s face at DisneyWorld, while MJ probably insisted on Bubbles being in the room anytime they “Billie Jean”-ed. But man, if you’re Nicholas Cage you’ve got to PriscillaPresleyfeel pretty low…lower than when you shot National Treasure and then National Treasure 2: Still Not Indiana Jones.

Times like that, a girl needs to turn to her mother for guidance–unless your mom is Priscilla Presley, who starred in a movie with OJ and then decided to see who could outdo who in a Plastic Surgery Whoreface competition with Lil Kim.

Yeah, unless that.

#7: Jessica Rabbit:jessica-rabbit

When Who Framed Roger Rabbit came out in 1988, I was a 10 yr-old boy. After seeing the movie for the first time, I was a man. All thanks to Jessica Rabbit, Roger’s seductive, voluptuous cartoon wife. It must be tough to be a real woman on that set when you know you’re being outdone by No. 2 pencil lead.

But Jessica Rabbit, smokily voiced by Kathleen Turner, was seared into my eyeballs. I remember Entertainment Tonight doing a piece on the movie close to its release, and the central focus was Jessica’s character. As soon as she appeared on screen my grandfather, who is rather conservative, said, “leave the room…….and close the door….and turn out the lights.”

The next day we saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and then went to KB Toy Store and bought every bit of WFRR? merchandise there was from stuffed dolls to….stuffed dolls.

And at home, I quickly decided that I needed to see Every Kathleen Turner Movie Ever–until I saw that she looked more like Bugs Bunny than Jessica Rabbit.

Because of the fervor that she embarrassingly released in men across the country (coloring book sales went up 7000% during the Roger Rabbit summer), no one was ever drawn the same way again–Cheetarah was more ‘cat’ than ‘pussycat’, She-Ra was ready to castrate you at a moment’s notice and Jem was on heroin.

Granted, there was Kim Basinger’s character Holli Would in Cool World, but my boy says that like most of Warner Bros been up in that.

Jessica Rabbit left a legacy of sorts though, as she created the unique dynamic of “WTF Couple” where one partner is so ridiculously, obviously out of the league of the other partner.

For example:

  • Heidi Klum and her Unmasked Phantom of the Opera husband, Seal
  • Beckham and his “Czech prostitute” wife, Posh Spice

    Christina telegraphing what Quasi did to win her over.

    Christina telegraphing what Quasi did to win her over.

  • Michael Jordan and ex-wife Juwanna Man Juanita
  • Christina Aguilera and her husband, Quasimodo
  • Salma Hayek and anyone that’s with her

That, my friends, is a legacy. Jessica, you will be missed.

Fun sidenote: while Googling for pics of Jessica Rabbit and her “Googles”, I came across this pic of Heidi Klum dressed as Jessica Rabbit. What’s worse–marrying a Seal or a Rabbit?

Coming up next: the Top 6, with appearances by the other Williams sisters (not Serena and Venus), we cool down with some Ice, and try not to get a black eye as we make our way to #1…..

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List o’ the Week:15 Greatest Hollywood Tragedies #12-10

……aaaaand we’re back.

A couple of days ago, The Kids started a list counting down the 15 greatest Hollywood Tragedies as seen by me instead of the stoopid folks over at E! entertainment, who’d done  a similar program a couple weeks ago.

Anyway, the first installment of this list covered the majestic rise and fall of Mr. Belvedere, the latch-key loser kid doll My Buddy/Kid Sister and the hodge-podge of colored shenanigans that was California Dreams. In this installment, we crack open your childhood a little further, and feed it some vodka.

Let’s go!

The Kids’ 15 Greatest Hollywood Tragedies: #’s 12-10

#12: Gobots:

Time to transform into homework, guys!

Time to transform into homework, guys!

For a stretch of time, back around, say, 2004-06, it was sorta vogue to get the knock-off versions of brand-name stuff. Like I’d walk around town and women were openly and proudly sporting knock-off Coach bags (with some variation like “Coach” spelled “Cooch”) and guys wearing knock-off designer sneakers and whatnot. Well, thankfully, overall that trend has died down a bit, but little known fact is that the knock-off movement has its roots in……cartoons.

The Gobots were the cheap alternative answer to the shinier, more fun Transformers. They were like the government cheese to Transformers’ Velveeta. They were the Winslows to the Transformers’ Huxtables. The Gobots were inferior to the Transformers in every way possible. Just look:

  • Weapons: Instead of laser guns and blasters, the Gobots used their hands. Hands! Fuggin’ robot-skeet everywhere.
  • Transformations: the Transformers turned into cool, loud things like monster trucks, cannons, boom boxes and dinosaurs. The Gobots meanwhile turned into things like scooters (more on that in a second), motorcycles and Xerox machines. Fun!
  • Names: Transformers: OPTIMUS PRIME (big-rig truck), MEGATRON (super duper mega-blaster gun), STARSCREAM (fighter jet), GRIMLOCK (tyrannosaurus rex), DESTRUCTICON (big mother-f*cker)–names so kick-ass that I didn’t even realize I’d written them in caps until now. Meanwhile, Gobot names: Scooter (a…scooter), Tank (a……tank), Dive-Dive (a submarine). These names, nay, the entire concept of Gobots seems straight out of an ESL creative writing class; the ideas are there, but the vocabulary just begs for expansion. Even their group name is lame; calling roving, transforming robots “Gobots” is like having a battery-operated doll that’s called “Walkbaby”.

It’s like the entire line was made to be sold on the Chinatown sidewalk.

Not surprising, the Gobots lasted roughly 4 years, whereas the Transformers continued on, going through several cartoon incarnations and experiencing a recent resurgence in the last 2-3 years thanks to Michael Bay’s Transformers movies, starring Shia “Hollywood is trying hard to make you love me” LeBouf and their most popular Transformer to date, Megan Fox, who can go switches from “Thinly Contrived Movie Whore-pot” to “Poorly Contrived Celebrity Skank”, and (fun fact!) is actually based on the earlier model, Lindsay Lohan-bot. Sadly, there isn’t more than meets the eye with either one.

#11: Lark Voorhies (aka Lisa Turtle):

Showgirl, Lisa Turtle

Showgirl, Lisa Turtle

As a friendless, dateless virgin from ages 13-22 (TMI?) Bayside’s boys and babes and Mr. Belding were like my best friends. I came raced home everyday after school to catch the latest hour-long installment of Saved By the Bell during a glorious period of TV viewing when the show was nigh inescapable:  Fox in the afternoons,  TBS in the evening and new episodes Saturdays on NBC. It was, in a word, prettyfuckingawesomeeverydayofmylifeduringthatperiod.

But like all good things–Robbie the Robot, A Diifferent World, The Search for the New Pussycat Doll, hair–eventually it came to an end. There were of course Gobot-like attempts to recapture that magic: most notably  SBtB: The New Class and California Dreams (which would’ve fared better if the cast was on Californication).

And that’s what makes this tale all the more tragic. Just look at the post-Bell years for the cast:

  • Jessie became an actress that even insulted strippers in Showgirls,
  • Kelly became The Psycho Nympho Girl You Dreamed Kelly Capowski Secretly Was on Beverly Hills 90210,
  • Zach hatefucked his career into weirdness by joining NYPD Blue and now Raising the Bar only to appear as Zach Morris on the Jimmy Fallon Show,
  • Slater going into “creepy old guy” at the club territory by hosting America’s Best Screw Dance Crew
  • Screech did porn.

But what of Lisa Turtle? While everyone else went onto various forms of fame and stardom, Lisa–who had to spend her ‘Bell years being chased by Screech “Likely Chronic Masturbator” Powers and get ‘tang-teased with only one hook-up with Zach when she was his candy-stripe nurse for a week at the hospital (though in real-life they dated for 3 years!).

She was cute, spunky, funny–you can’t tell me that Mr. Belding and the boys didn’t wonder what Turtle had going on under her shell–and yet, once the lights went out, Lark was left in the dark. I Googled around for her (“lark voorhies homeless”; “lark voorhies desperate”; “lark voorhies desperate so is now stripping”; “lark voorhies naked”) and finally found out the following: she appeared in a movie called Civil Brand which starred Da Brat. Lisa Turtle opened the door for every vapid wannabe valley-black girl that came after, like 1/2 the Huxtable kids, Wendy Williams, Tyra Banks, Oprah and Ms. Jaye on America’s Next Top Model. I mean Smurf, she can’t even get a Tyler Perry role.

#10: Small Wonder:small wonder cast

If there’s any further proof ever needed to argue whether or not the 80’s was a cocaine-fueled decade, one only need to direct your pals to the TV show Small Wonder. Small Wonder was about a middle-class family that raised a cyborg little girl they kept in the closet named “Vicki” who posed as the family’s child–because 80’s suburban people were too coked-out to have sex. Go ahead; read that sentence again if you need to.

That’s how Smurfing insane the 80’s were; shows like this were greenlit with reckless abandon. For further proof of the cocaine binges that TV execs were suffering from, no other period had so many black shows on the air:  227, Amen, What’s Happening Now!, andthe Cosby Show were all quality shows. I mean, hell, they put on cop shows named TJ Hooker and Hunter–hookers and blow, kids, hookers and blow–do you need anymore proof?

Of course, once the coke wore off and the money dried up, execs came to their senses again, and now we just have Flavor of Love.

Well I for one want more of Small Wonder because Vicki could do anything. Because of her computer brain and robotic strength, there were episodes were Vicki would dunk basketballs from the end of the driveway, lift cars, and carry grown men like blankets. Naturally, her suburban caretakers wanted her to be kept a secret (hence the closet a lot) and typically used her for largely domestic chores–I remember an episode where she had to do the taxes, all the family ironing and make breakfast all at once–and then back to the closet Vicki, until Ted came down at night for some “computer love”. But like Mr. Belvedere, Vicki inspired a new wave of immigrant labor that surged in the 90s.

Next up: when it’s ok to pull a Rabbit, the King is spinning in his grave and midgets with fur!

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