"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 24 March 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

One-Pick Pony



Jenny McCarthy is not a bimbo.

No, really.


A bimbo flaunts her body and

displays an obvious lack of

intelligence. Jenny McCarthy, on

the other hand, picks her nose

and makes funny faces while she

flaunts her body and displays an

obvious lack of intelligence.

Ergo, Jenny is not a bimbo; she

is deconstructing the entire

idea of bimbo. She comments on the

bimbo construct, presents a

clever critique of the

sex-object mystique. Not that

she doesn't look good in




MTV has bought into the idea, and

has given its digging-for-gold

girl a show of her own. The

station is hoping that this

hybrid of the orifice-oriented

humor of Mssrs. Beavis and

Butt-head, combined with the

typical T&A of its spring

break programming will distract

ornery critics from its malaprop

of a name, and reinvigorate the

channel's drive to become

cable's one-stop content

provider. After all, it now has

"game shows," "talk shows,"

"news," "sports," "sitcoms,"

"variety shows," and don't

forget commercials.


Jenny plays the

I'm-so-dumb-I-must-be-smart role

with all the conviction and

sincerity of Claire Danes as

Juliet. Frankly, that's the

only interesting part of her

performance. Somewhere in that

blond and bland head of hers she

must honestly think that if

she mines for the gold in her

nostrils enough times her

audience (or someone) might

actually take her seriously.



"People are getting sick of me,"

she said on her first show, the

verb tense only hinting at her

lousy sense of timing. But MTV

is confident that its 24-hour

megamarketing machine can muster

a hit. Just look at what it did

for Joe's Apartment.



MTV would like to position itself

as a market-friendly, savvy

version of Star Search, and

while it does have an impressive

track record of prying payola

dollars out of A&R pockets

in order to get

flash-in-the-band acts like

Weezer and No Doubt into the

cultural Buzz Bin, it has had

little luck getting its

home-grown talent into anyone's

heavy rotation. Most MTV

personalities (the official

label) vanish back into the

vacuum whence they came

(remember Jake Fogelnest?),

while others cling desperately

to whatever scraps of screen

time their agents can muster.


Colin Quinn crops up on Saturday

Night Live, another show famous

for its career casualties, while

Kevin Seal has a cameo in

postal-delivery ads and Ken Ober

is reduced to tired, ironic

moments in music videos. Martha

Quinn has bounced around so much

that her career has dribbled

down to some seldom-seen

face-cream commercial. Adam

Curry might be the most

prosperous MTV alum, and his

online ventures came only after

a bitter break with his former

employer. Before she jumped ship

at MTV's flesh-pressing game

show, Jenny should have stopped

to remember that the Titanic was

a luxury liner before it hit the

big berg. It may have been going

down, but at least it was a nice



[Jenny in her Panties]

Still, Jenny wasn't content to be

a snot-obsessed Vanna White, she

wanted to show the American

viewing public she had more to

offer. Jenny's première

program had her autopsying her

Playboy pictures for a small,

visibly perplexed audience,

describing every alteration and

airbrushing that had been done

to her image. A shocked observer

asked, "Why didn't they just use

a corpse?" As if the image of

Jenny on MTV was any less

massaged, managed, and

manipulated for the station's

own narrow demographics. By the

time MTV gets through with her,

Jenny might have nothing more

than a pot to piss in. That

might be just fine. Candie's

shoes has provided the former,

while Jenny has supplied floods

of the latter. Jenny would also

like it noted that being

photographed naked for an

advertisement is nothing like

being photographed naked for an

adult magazine.



Playboy, like MTV, perceives of

itself as a media emperor, but

with even fewer clothes. The

magazine has long positioned

itself as the casting-couch next

door, providing its playmates

with a shot at the more

lucrative casting-couches of

Hollywood. Hef and Co. endlessly

endorsed Kim Basinger before she

became a Bond girl or a Baldwin,

and has always displayed a

remarkable obsession with

late-night cable staple Shannon

Tweed. For every Star 80,

however, the Playboy Empire has

had countless misfires. For now,

however, Playboy is content to

practice its usual career

necrophilia, and may just yet

out-hard-sell its syndicated

rival with their shared current



McCarthy's true gripe with her

erstwhile method of promotion is

that she can no longer make a

buck off her buck-naked body, at

least not from Playboy, which is

content to print all the

pictures it owns from its

original shoot with McCarthy.

Jenny, however, would rather

distance herself from her

stapled past. She doesn't want

to nit-pick, but she wants

everyone to know that while she

might have used her body to

promote her own career, it

wasn't a true representation of

her talent. We would beg to

differ, but MTV believes it has

picked a winner and is

displaying her on the end of its

finger for everyone to see.

courtesy of the Hanging Judge

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