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IT ONLY HURTS
WHEN I SIT DOWN
By Dennis Miller
Holy Heidi Fleiss! Just because yours truly recently prostituted himself a smidge by brown nosing a certain unelected fraud, suddenly I am being vilified by everyone who fails to perceive that the Earth has reverted to being flat. Look around you, idealists of America – Palm pilots and microwave popcorn notwithstanding, we are on a glide path to return to the 12th century, and anyone who doesn’t go with the flow will be crushed flatter than a whoopee cushion at a convention of Linda Tripp look-alikes. In any event, I don’t understand why I am being criticized now; I thought it was obvious to everyone that I sold out years ago. What does seem highly inappropriate is that you lefties are supposed to be as soft and gentle as a roll of Charmin (twin ply), yet you are jumping on me as though I were Barb and Jenna passed out naked at an Ashton Kutcher crack orgy.
Allow me to explain something to all of the Sore Loserman subversives out there: I am still one of you – on the inside. Deep, deep inside. There are, however, a couple of things that you self-righteous Children of the Corn have apparently failed to factor into the equation prior to spanking my adorable buttocks.
Yes, it is true that I have sacrificed whatever nominal dignity I possessed in order to suck up to a guy who is too dumb to play solitaire unless Karl Rove puts post-it notes on all the face cards. Still, there are sound financial reasons that fully justify my whorishness. Despite what you may want to believe, we live in a capitalist dictatorship. Freedom of speech is a beautiful myth, but performers who bash the favorite politicians of Corporate America do not get sponsors to underwrite their careers. I would absolutely love to be a martyr like Ed Asner, whose highly rated show “Lou Grant” was cancelled because the Reagan administration put the squeeze on CBS to jettison any programming that was critical of Bonzo’s sidekick. Unfortunately, I happen to require the big bucks so that I can afford a Lamborghini, because owning a first class foreign sports car makes it infinitely easier to pick up starlets while the missus is attending Lamaze class.
It is also important to consider that I have no discernible talent. This is the reason that I do “obscure topical reference” humor instead of “witty, thought provoking, timeless” humor. I am not George Carlin, although I have grown a beard in a futile attempt to convince people that I am. Carlin is “wet your pants” funny – the only way my audiences are ever going to laugh hard enough to pee on themselves is if they were already incontinent.
I lack the ability to entertain people by saying “clever” things. I must therefore rely on redundantly inane allusions to Captain Pike from the original Star Trek pilot and sly references to Hop Sing from Bonanza, who was the Lucy Liu of his day. Occasionally, in order to establish my intellectual bona fides, I quote Marcia Brady.
You see, I have this poorly kept little secret: Dennis Miller material is like the old gal who is stranded on the floor in those late night commercials – my jokes have fallen and they can’t get up. Just between you and me, during fallow periods of creativity, I have been known to plagiarize Carrot Top. Simply put, I am just too marginal of a presence in show business to risk alienating the powers that be.
Lenny Bruce died while being persecuted by the same breed of Huns who rule the roost today, but at least he had the luxury of knowing that he would be remembered as a genius. If I am remembered at all, it will be as the comedic equivalent of the Bay City Rollers. I have reluctantly come to terms with the fact that I am merely the heterosexual version of Drew Carey. When I die, my legacy will be having videotapes of my best jokes shown in seminars on humor during the section titled “Don’t Let This Happen To You”.
Given my appalling lack of skill, my career will survive only if I succeed in ingratiating myself to the Bush cartel by coming up with painfully unfunny jokes that slander the people they hate. That would be people like you, bubby. The brutal reality is that telling the truth in modern day America does not pay. From a vocational standpoint, siding with the poor, the working class, and the middle class against those who are screwing them makes about as much sense as getting on a Cessna with Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper.
If you long to see someone go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, thrill seekers, feel free to put on a wetsuit and do it yourself. I, for one, am disinclined to either self-destruct or apologize for doing what it takes to survive. I will never emulate Jimmy Swaggert by tearfully begging the jeering masses for forgiveness like a Pentecostal Fredo Corleone on mescaline. I just do not have that Roskolnikov sensibility, babe, so if you holier-than-thou liberal virgins are yearning to see someone expiate his sins, then go pick up a copy of Crime And Punishment and bliss out until Charles Foster Kane rises from the cinematic grave to save us all.
Oops! For a moment there, I lapsed into my act. After experiencing my material real time, you can now see why I live in fear of becoming destitute. Criticize me for selling out if you must, but understand that you are condemning me for being smart. If I did the honorable thing and stood up for the ideals that you and I share, not only would I gain your undying respect, I would also gain an honored place at the back of the government cheese handout line. The only price I would have to pay for being honest would be the aforementioned loss of the corporate sponsorship of my career.
What would that mean? No more Dennis Miller TV shows. No more $50,000 speaking fees for appearing at industry events where all the venal executives think that the “W” in George W. Bush stands for “Wonderful”. No more weekend romps in Cancun with conservative comfort woman Laura Ingraham. No more of the good life for the person I most admire – me.
Other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, how was the motorcade?
Here’s the deal – if you want me to place my severely atrophied cojones on the chopping block, first you must convince a majority of the American people to put down the Schlitz Light and turn off the Dukes of Hazzard retrospective long enough to vote against the corrupt politicians who are destroying this country. Until that time, I will continue to interact with Bush as though he was Mike Tyson and I was his cellmate. If that means that I must spend a lifetime haunted by self-loathing (and huge paychecks), it is a price I am willing to pay.
It isn’t easy looking in the mirror and seeing Vidkun Quisling staring back at you, but the thought of losing my seven-figure annual income makes feel me as paranoid as Rick Santorum at the cast party of La Cage aux Folles. Maybe those of you who are ideologically pure will feel a little better knowing that I am tormented by guilt each time I view the sunset from the deck of my ten million dollar estate at the exclusive Malibu Colony. Every day, as I ogle topless supermodels jogging down the beach, I must somehow come to terms with the knowledge that I have exchanged my principles for nothing more than an incredibly massive amount of money.
I realize that I have made myself vulnerable to the slings and arrows of the madding crowd. There will be the inevitable unflattering comparisons in which I will be contrasted unfavorably with Van Lingle Mungo, Katherine Kuhlman, Rodney Allen Rippey, Leon Czolgosz, Morris Albert, Leni Riefenstahl, Huitzilopochtli, Rabbi Baruch Korff, Thomas Crapper, Rosie Ruiz, Haystacks Calhoun, Topo Gigio, Uri Geller, Anaxagoras, Sacheen Little Feather, Hannibal Hamlin, the Incubus, Leonardo Fibonacci, Patrice Lamumba, and Hank the Angry Dwarf, among others. Yet, not unlike Chief Dan George, I will endeavor to persevere.
Parenthetically, in order to better appreciate the profundity of some of my more inscrutable references, feel free to visit www.insufferableass.com.
All I ask from you belligerent pacifists is that you tar and feather me with a little less gusto. The next time you are trembling with rage as you witness me sucking up to the cave dwellers of the far right, try to remember that I am hardly the first weasel to opt for luxury over veracity. And never infer from my seemingly psychotic praise of very bad people that I have suddenly lost my mind. Despite what often appears to be ironclad evidence to the contrary, I am still completely in touch with reality. If that makes you even more contemptuous of lil’ ol’ Dennis for choosing to become President Gilligan’s courtesan, well, pass me a crying towel. And, of course, a tureen of caviar.
So when you see a certain comic hipster on TV outrageously claiming that Tom DeLay is the reincarnated St. Thomas Aquinas, don’t blame me – blame Bank of America. If B of A would just allow me to deposit liberal ideology instead of money, I would be happier than Patrick Buchanan on Kristallnacht. However, until good citizenship becomes the legal tender of the United States, I will do whatever it takes to get all the coinage of the realm that my greedy hands can possibly grab.
And if in order to maintain my opulent lifestyle I have to render unto Bush what is Bush’s, then count on me to grab my ankles so fast that it will seem as though I am the moderator on Meet the Press. Fortunately, I have become sophisticated enough to repudiate the antiquated concept of self-respect, so now bending over for the Republicans only hurts when I sit down.
Please remember that MakeThemAccountable will receive a portion of the proceeds when you purchase Mr. Miller’s upcoming autobiography, Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Comedy I Learned By Sniffing Airplane Glue (Random House, $24.95).
Please click here if you believe that Dennis Miller really wrote this piece.
Podvin, the Series