UNLIKE the Academy Awards or the Tonys or the Emmys, there's never a shortage of deserving nominees when it comes time for the annual GOOF (Greatly Overhyped and Overexposed Fool) Award.
Last year's winner was Jerry Springer. The year before that, it was Dennis Rodman. You get the idea.
Before we crown our winner, let's pay tribute to some of the 1998 nominees.
-- Oprah Winfrey. For singing her own theme song, for hammering us over the head with her charitable greatness, for making the nearly unwatchable bomb "Beloved," and for the New Age nuttiness on her show that threatened to drive away a good portion of even her most devoted fans.
-- President Clinton. Liar.
-- Mary Bono. Mourned Sonny, ran for his congressional seat, won election in a romp, sheared and darkened her blond hair, turned against her mentor Newt Gingrich and called for his resignation, dissed Sonny for drug use in TV Guide, took up with a country singer stud and lobbed softball questions at Kenneth Starr, all within the span of a single year!
-- Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The syndicated sensation -- who is raking in tens of millions of dollars with her unique brand of common-sense advice peppered with niceties like, "Don't be a loser!" and "No wonder you don't have any friends!" -- was humiliated twice this year, first when Vanity Fair published a scathing profile, and then with the publication on the Internet of nude photos from about 20 years ago.
The photos weren't all that humiliating. Dr. Laura was smokin' back in the '70s!
-- Ryan Leaf. "I'm a big, rich, good-looking, talented quarterback in the NFL!
-- Jack Kevorkian. For co-starring in and producing the first prime-time, network-broadcast snuff film in TV history.
-- Kenny Anderson. According to the New York Times, Mr. Anderson budgeted $120,000 for "hanging out money" during the NBA lockout, but he was considering a few cost-cutting moves like selling one of his seven luxury cars (the Mercedes), and he was concerned about being able to support the four children he has fathered with three women.
Richard Roeper is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Pub Date: 12/14/98