Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And so it was, later, as the Miller told his tale, that my face at first just ghostly turned a whiter shade of pale

Oh, my god. So help me, I'm actually starting to feel sorry for Dennis Miller. Like a lot of people, I used to think he was a pretty great comic; I liked him a lot.

I used to quote his lines very often, some I still do, like the one comparing therapists to hairstylists: "When I leave, my head looks great, an hour later I can't get it to look like that again." Even saw him live in San Francisco once--with a bonus walk-on performance by Robin Williams, yet.

But now? It's not just that he's no longer funny. It's not that his political vantage point has changed. It's that I fear for his sanity. And not for the first time. I noticed back in 2004, writing about his low-rated MSNBC show:

Miller treated his invited guest the way a sulky adolescent treats a chore he doesn’t want to do, like homework.

Then there's this post I wrote two or three years ago, saying of an appearance with Bill O'Reilly,

Watch this and tell me if at some moment you don't get the feeling you're watching a man who is literally out of his head.

Whether or not that's from drink and/or drugs or just his mind snapping from the sheer weight of his stupidity is not for me to say.

And most recently, like 15 minutes ago, I was trying to be brave and watch him on the Ferguson show. Literally the first words out of his mouth are an Anthony Weiner joke. Always on the cutting edge.

But then a little bit later he and Craig get to talking about some tour he's doing with the self-same O'Reilly. Craig throws a line about how they should do a set "like Martin & Lewis," with O'Reilly trying to sing straight and Miller cutting up the act with interruptions.

Ten seconds later (I swear to you), Miller says, "Oh, like Dino and Jerry." In other words, for ten full seconds, he'd had no idea what Ferguson was talking about. He totally spaced.

Now, granted that Dean and Jerry's peak was around the early '50s (give-or-take), when Miller was born. It'd be one thing if, like, some CW drama star named Brandon (they're all named Brandon) was not hip to the reference.

But for a 58-year-old man, a comedian, someone who was alive when the team was still working together as a duo to go up on that...well for me at least, that moves past sad through scary all the way up to spooky.

Then after Craig talked about how he prefers to avoid politics on his show for the most part (which is true), Miller's reaction was to take a couple of swipes at Nancy Pelosi. And just when I think that I couldn't dislike him any more, he takes a shot at Jonathan Winters. In fact, you know what I was saying about feeling sorry for him? Forget that.

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