Gather round, all ye
non-believers and outlanders, ye Wildlings of the Winter, ye Stone Men of the Northlands, ye Staunch Truehearts
of the Free Kingdoms, ye wide-eyed Mummers of the Riverlands, and
Screw it. OK, all of the aforementioned can just take off. Everyone.
Just get up and leave. No not you: you Generation-Y direlings.
You stay. Sit. Gather 'round the fire while I open up the ancient scrolls, those
that the elders of our village sealed for antiquity, only to be opened in times
of the foulest of circumstances.
What? No, this is worse than the League and that Sue Dibney/Dr. Light
Are you ready? Here goes: In 1982, all of humanity stood united as one
in the face of the gravest of threats. The Bildebergers, the Gnomes of Zurich,
the Trilateral Commission, the Children of Eris, and all of the other factions
from the Illuminati board game organized an Army of Man, banded together with
purpose and determination not matched since the collective human loathing of
We killed the Variety Show.
You have no idea... no concept... of the severity of this
blight that threatened all of humanity. I won't even begin to describe the pain,
the suffering, the brutal destructive forces unleashed by the Variety Show. It
made the triple whammy of Vietnam, Watergate, and Up The Academy seem
like an episode of Zoom. But this time, there was no Ubbi-Dubbi
language to save us. Instead, we stood enslaved before our Satanic Overlords,
subject to their capricious whims and sadistic pleasures. Don't believe me?
Let's take a gander at their ranks:
- Shields and Yarnell
- Captain and Tenneille (thousands were instantly obliterated at the
sight of "The Bionic Watermelon")
- Donny and Marie
- The Starland Vocal Band
- Sonny and Cher
- The Mandrell Sisters
- Donny and freakin' Marie
- Pink Lady and Jeff
- Tony Orlando and Dawn
- The Carpenters
- Howard Cosell
- Leif Garrett
- Do you get it yet? DONNY AND MARIE!!!
Still not convinced? Are you one of those Variety Show revisionists who
deny the horror, the destruction, the cultural genocide perpetrated by Variety
I give you my final piece of evidence: The Star
Wars Holiday Special. QED.
So on a chill autumn evening
in 1982, we (and by we, I mean every Carbon-based lifeform in the
Universe) assembled at the shores of Lake Minnetonka, and, after the ritual
sacrifice of Tim Conway (it didn't take), we buried the Variety Show. For all of
eternity, and then some. And for good measure, we had Prince convince Appollonia
to shed her clothes and jump in again.
But alas. Like Pandora playing with her box, two over-hyped,
moderately-talented, and under-whelming pop stars
resurrected the Variety Show to stroke their already inflated
sense of self-importance. Yes, I'm talking about the seemingly inescapable Nick
& Jessica, the two lovestruck darlings whose MTV reality show (of which I
haven't seen a single frame) has apparently captured the hearts and minds of
mouth-breathers everywhere. Apparently, the young couple's staged antics have
proved to be something of a hit, as they have become something of a pop-cultural
inevitability. The result? The Nick and Jessica Variety
Hour, a 44-minute program filled with "zany" comedy sketches and oodles
of "rousing" musical song-and-dance numbers. There are guest-stars aplenty:
Johnny Bench, Mr. T, The Muppets, Kenny Rogers, and Jewel all make appearances.
There's a sense of farce and satire to the entire affair, and clearly nobody's
taking a single moment of this event seriously. And I must admit, the sight of a
scantily clad Ms. Simpson singing, bouncing, and gyrating to Donna Summer's "She
Works Hard For The Money" makes a rather potent argument against agnosticism.
But this... what was the reason for this? Why? And in what way? An utter
exercise in ego-appeasement and pre-teen girlish wish-fulfillment, The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour has little to offer,
save for those waiting for a sure sign of the imminent return of