Happy Thanksgiving to one and all and a big thank you to readers of this column who submitted candidates for Beck/Smith Hollywood’s 35th Annual Tacky Taste Awards! Yes, we received votes for both President Barack Obama and former governor Mitt Romney this election year — but our tackiest Top Ten drew more. There are so many celebrity turkeys this year, we’d better get started before indigestion sets in:
It’s that time of year again, when we ask readers to select the entertainment celebrities most deserving of our annual Beck/Smith Hollywood Tacky Taste Awards. This year marks the 35th such cavalcade of the crass, the churlish and the contemptible, and obviously, you will have no shortage of candidates for Tackiest Celebrity in 2012.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, with his memoir that capitalized on his own tacky and embarrassing behavior, is bound to get some attention. So is Kristen Stewart for cheating on Robert Pattinson – and Chris Brown for cheating on Rihanna, right on the heels of the unwise rekindling of their rocky romance. It was a year when the showing of more skin than intended made for the strangest of celebrity groupings: the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and…Hulk Hogan? The sad spectacle of Lance Armstrong’s fall from hero status may elicit some Tacky votes. And no doubt various tacky types at the forefront of politics this election year will, too. We’re sure that, as always, readers will remember many more.
Tell us who’s your choice for Tackiest and why – by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by dropping us a note in the comments area of this post. The winners, if you can call them that, will be announced Thanksgiving week.
SPEAKING OF POLITICS: “It’s hard to find the funny sometimes. You get so upset,” admits political humorist Will Durst, who’s been keeping crowds laughing throughout the run-up to next month’s election. “You just have to plumb deeper.”
Durst, whose writings include his Elect to Laugh! A Hilarious, Common Sense Guide to American Politics book, his syndicated column, and his pieces on Huffington Post and elsewhere, takes jabs at Republicans and Democrats – and performs before audiences of both persuasions. “I do theater shows and corporates, and they’re two different crowds, but they laugh at both sides,” he tells us. He’s received his share of angry emails. However, he notes, “The only real trouble I’ve had is with the true believers – Orange County and Berkeley.”
Durst cites an anecdote that he used in his book, recalling an occasion when Abraham Lincoln told a joke – and a woman approached him to complain. “Madam,” he reportedly said, “we all laugh in order not to cry.”
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all, and a big serving of gratitude to the readers who contributed their votes — and wit — to this annual celebrity turkey shoot. Our cornucopia overflows with tackiness, so let’s get to it:
1. Snooki. Just in time for her 23rd birthday this week (Nov. 23), the petite “Jersey Shore” vixen becomes the top vote getter in the 33rd Annual Beck/Smith Hollywood Tacky Taste Awards. Yes, Snooki, nee Nicole Polizzi, won the hearts — or at least, the attention — of Tacky voters across the land.
“Cute little figure and dumb as a box of rocks. Snooki is my Tacky Princess for 2010,” writes R.M. of Anaheim, CA. “Snooki and ‘Tacky’ go together like Cheetohs and orange fingers. Ya gotta love her,” says Jamie L. of Canton, OH. Referring to her arrest this past summer for loudly stumbling around drunk on a beach, Teri99 points out: “When a judge calls you a ‘Lindsay Lohan wannabe’ it just doesn’t get tackier than that.” Carlos G. of New York brought up Snooki’s surprising “Happy Birthday” Twitter exchange with John McCain: “Look out. This is how it all began with Sarah Palin.”
2. Lady Gaga. “Lady Ga-ga’s dress con carne pushed her into the gag-o-sphere of tackiness” as reader Bernice R. of Naples, FL cleverly puts it. She adds, “I propose a last name for her: ‘Maggot.’ Then, she could be called, ‘Lady Gag-a-Maggot.’ Grace H. of Burbank, CA, concurs: “She seems to be the figment of a deranged mind. She really went too far when she was dressed in slabs of meat. Now that Mr. Blackwell is gone women will do anything.”
3. Kate Gosselin. “She claims to ‘do it all for the kids’ but goes around dressed like a $2 whore and never misses an opportunity to denigrate and bash her ex-husband,” says reader Dee W.. Tell us how you really feel, Dee! She continues that Gosselin “treats other people as if they are less than human, including her own children. This not only is bad for the children, it’s now showing up in the kids’ behavior as well, with 2 of them being expelled from kindergarten (!!) for bullying and mistreating their fellow students.”
4. ‘DWTS’/Bristol Palin. “The politicizing of ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ their fawning over Sarah Palin, and all the Tea Partiers voting to keep the clearly
inferior Bristol in the competition all these weeks, has ruined the show for me. I won’t be watching any more,” proclaims Joanne R. of West Haven, CT. Others, like brucekn write, “It’s ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ Since when is Bristol Palin a star?”
5. Mel Gibson/Oksana Grigorieva. “I certainly don’t condone Gibson’s terrible behavior, what with the racist rants, the verbal abuse and threats he’s heaped on Oksana, and the fact he left his wife for this nasty woman. However, I feel sorry for him because he is obviously mentally ill and she took advantage of
that to trap and extort him. The whole situation is beyond tacky,” writes TrulyJenC. Her sentiments are echoed by Rory from Atlanta: “All she cares about is $$. These tapes exploit his bipolar disease. Stop posting them!” But others are less sympathetic to the rage-spewing star. Tim G. of Northridge, CA, blasts, “Set up or not, Gibson is an abuser, pure and simple. His claim of being ‘broke’ is funny. I thought he had a $900 million fortune not so long ago. So, now he’s down to $300 million and feeling the pinch? I should be so broke.”
6. David Arquette, for “going on Howard Stern’s show after the announcement of his marital split from Courteney Cox and airing all their dirty laundry? Announcing his having sex with another woman? Ugh. I wonder how Courteney stayed with this idiot for so long,” wrote Rochelle T. of St. Louis.
7. Charlie Sheen. “I don’t know which is worse: Sheen or his Hollywood enablers. He tears up a NYC hotel room and clocks a hooker and they say it’s an allergic reaction?! As long as the checks are good, right folks?” — Rich M., Newark, NJ
8. The Kardashians. The celebutante/socialite sisters Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe seen on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” drew tacky votes for various reasons. “Kim flaunting her sexual relationship with Miles Austin in front of ex Reggie Bush shows again she’s a total skank” — Tenney, Brooklyn, NY. “Khloe’s ongoing comments about finding it hard to conceive with Lamar Odom are tacky T.M.I.” — Brenda K., San Diego, CA. “I still don’t get what these three sleazy man-eating @#!$es are famous for.” — Pat O., El Paso, TX
9. Joaquin Phoenix. Clearly, Casey Affleck’s “I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix” hoax was a dud. Bernice R. skewers Joaquin thusly: “Wacky jokester but otherwise talented, Joaquin Phoenix’s nauseating hair and beard garnered him literally tens of fans worldwide this year, bringing the total attendance to his last movie to 72 virgins, but only if you count the enamored camels.” Ouch.
10. Laura Schlessinger. A past Tacky Taste winner returns, with complaints over her tackiness summed up by G.H.: “Laura Schlessinger used the ‘N’ word repeatedly as she was talking to a caller who was black.”
Dishonorable Mentions. They’re not celebrities, but many would agree with Michael B. of Rockford, Il, when he says “The brain trust at the Transportation Security Agency who came up with the virtual strip search and sexually invasive pat downs to which travelers are suddenly being subjected are tackiest of all this year.” Then there’s “Stephen Colbert’s appearance before the Senate hearings on migrant workers. [It] will stand forever in the annals of tackiness, otherwise known as the Congressional Record. Single-handedly, Colbert elevated a government committee up to the level of cheap entertainment. Kudos also go to Jon Stewart for calling the President of the United States, ‘Dude,’ to his face.” — B.R., FL
And that’s it for this year. Here’s hoping all your turkeys offer the very best of taste.