CBS is at an all-time low. The sit-coms suuuuuck, the nonstop golf coverage on the weekends is excruciatingly unnecessary, Dave Letterman is a mere parody of himself and Craig Ferguson’s anti-funny monologues are cringe-inducing-ly embarrassing, The Early Show’s hosts are more soporific than 20 Xanaxes chased by a fifth of Jack, and even 60 Minutes isn’t what it once was. Does anyone really need any more fucking celebrity interviews? And I’m all for seeing “Leggy” Lara Logan onscreen, but just because she has spent some time on the ground (and reportedly in the sack) with U.S. troops in far-off deserts doesn’t mean she has anything significant to say.

The CSIs are –– unintentionally –– hilarious. “My name’s Horatio, and I talk in a real hushed voice, and I always end a conversation with a one-liner while turning my back to you. I’m a real badass.” Yeah, you’ve got that right, Horatio. You’re indeed bad, and you are an ass.

Texas Book of Beasts 300x250 JPG

The only two things worth a damn on CBS are Criminal Minds and the perennial Emmy winner for best reality competition show, The Amazing Race. (Numb3rs is OK, too, I guess.)

Worst of all is CBS’ pro football coverage. With the exception of host James Brown and analyst Boomer Esiason, who back when he was a color commentator never, as far as I can recall, missed a single penalty call and could figure out a team’s tendencies before the opposing head coach could, the analysts –– Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, and Shannon Sharpe –– have the collective football IQ of about 50. Oh, you say, but Cowher coached a Super Bowl-winning team. Yeah, but if you actually watched every Steelers game during his tenure –– I did; I’m a Steelers fan –– you would have realized that he could have won five Super Bowls based on the sheer caliber of players he had. How run-left/run-right/throw-an-incompletion not only got him to the Super Bowl but also landed him a Super Bowl victory is beyond me.

And Marino is stiffer than a five-ounce shot of rumplemintz, and Sharpe –– does anyone even know what the hell he’s saying? Has he ever even uttered a complete sentence or finished a complete thought?

Marino, Cowher, and Sharpe were their usual anti-charismatic, non-football-knowin’ selves yesterday before and after the Super Bowl, and the two guys calling the game –– Jim Nance and Phil Simms –– were their usual big-dog-little-dog selves but to particularly annoying effect. Here’s a re-enactment of a typical Nance-Simms exchange from yesterday.

Nance: “That was some run, wasn’t it, Phil? Wasn’t it?!”

Simms: “A great run. But that’s because the guard …”

(Replay of guard faceplanting and nipping a defender’s shoelaces on the way down.)

Simms: “… makes an excruciating block on the linebacker, just blows him right out of the hole!”

Nance: “Do you like strawberry daiquiris?”

Simms: “I tell you what, the Indianapolis Colts have to do a better job of tackling the Saints’ running backs.”

Nance: “I have two tickets to Belize –– we could leave right now.”

Simms: “The Saints are probably thinking, ‘We could do this all day. Just run plays and gain yardage.’ ”

Nance: “Sleep with my wife.”

Simms: “The Saints and Colts are playing.”

Nance: “I love you.”

And so on. And you’d have to think that the halftime entertainment –– a mini-concert by Jurassic rockers The Who –– had something to do with the fact that three Who classics are regularly aired during episodes of CSI: New York and all 900 CSI spinoffs. Which brings up another point: CBS’ unabashed, perversely gleeful willingness to bend over to any advertiser. Food Network’s Guy Fieri, whom I normally like, actually had to do a segment on Ritz crackers and all two ways you can use them. And now the food guy with the spiky blond hair will be balls-deep in peroxide and crackers for the rest of his life.

The good news for CBS was that the game itself was all that any fan of American-style football could want from a Super Bowl. The commercials? That’s another story. Or 12.



  1. Boomer Esiason? Was anyone listening to the radio broadcast of the game, if so what type of weed is Boomer Esiason smoking? He was so adamant about the 2 point conversion being incomplete that he was reading the rule book over and over about maintaining possession into the endzone. What he failed to mention was his eyes were deceiving him as Moore had complete possession. Hello Boomer!

  2. James Brown is the only one of the bunch that I can stand to hear talk. The rest of them scream a bunch of nonsense AS LOUD AS THEY CAN so it will seem more urgent and important than it really is. The halftime discussion among those idiots was painful to listen to.

  3. I agree regarding Letterman, but Ferguson? He is, by far, the best of all the latenight guys! His audience grew the most last year. He’s destroying his competition and is even beating the “young” Fallon in the important demos.

    More importantly, he’s the only guy trying to do something different with the stale format. He’s also the only one brainy and clever enough who’ll give you Shakespeare and Kierkegaard references while throwing in fart jokes and double entendres. The only downside is that he’s so damn clever I have to watch the entire show, unlike the other guys who I might watch just to see a particular interview.

  4. Just goes to show if some commenter named “Meli” eats his/her own feces for a hundred years, he/she learns how to leave generic comments on a blog. Face.

  5. Craig Ferguson’s anti-funny monologues are cringe-inducing-ly embarrassing? Yikes… when exactly did you lose your sense of humor?

  6. I’m sorry. I’ve suffered through at least a dozen of his monologues, and people whose opinions I highly regard think he’s brilliant. And while I understand his biting intentions, I just … I … he’s lame; so lame that I get embarrassed FOR him. And his mother. What the heck am I missing?

  7. Perhaps your expectations are too high, or your sense of joy too low? I don’t know… it’s hard to say. I mean, those people with the highly regarded opinions seem to like him. And I can’t watch his show and NOT burst into hysterics (not *every* time, mind you, but most of the time — sometimes he’s not meant to be funny, such as the eulogy episodes he did for his parents, or the various 9/11 episodes he’s done), so it’s hard to know why something that millions of people think is brilliantly funny isn’t funny to someone else. *shrug*

  8. In many ways, Craig Ferguson harks back to the glory days of the old Steve Allen Tonight show and his later variety shows. Smart and erudite, he never talked down to his audience and always managed to mix lots of humor and anarchy into his shows. Letterman learned (and borrowed) a lot from Allen. Craig Ferguson, however, is much closer to Allen’s style of intelligent wit and silliness than Letterman, and miles beyond any of the other late night hosts, most of whom couldn’t conduct an interesting interview if their lives depended on it; and whose monologues are mostly a series of one-liners written by a cadre of writers. When you’re listening to Ferguson’s monologues, you’re hearing a man speaking extemporaneously, at length, with but a few scripted jokes thrown in.