Well, 2003 is over. Happy 2004! This is one exciting year for Jackie Harvey. It's a leap year and an election year all rolled into one! What better way to start off a big year than with a big 2003 year-end wrap-up?
Item! As an entertainment writer, it's my responsibility to choose the Entertainer Of The Year. And unless you were living in a hole, you know the honor goes to none other than the wild and crazy guy himself: Mr. Steve Martin! This year alone, Steve starred in the instant comedy classics Bring Back The House, Looney Toons: Back To School, and Cheaper As The Dozen. Oh, and lest I forget, he released the long-awaited follow-up to his book Cruel Shoes. I'm waiting for the paperback edition, but if the book is anywhere near as funny as his hosting of the Grammys, it'll be gold.
The film event of the year? The Cat In The Hat. Who but Michael Meyers could breathe life into such an old book? As the cat in the title, he magically prances through the land of imagination. It awoke the kid in me without putting the adult in me to sleep. I can't wait for the sequel!
Item! Saddam? We got him! All the best military operations are named after '80s action films, and this one was no exception. Operation Red Dawn was a smashing success, flushing the Butcher Of Baghdad out into the open and bringing him to justice. Justice for all! Hooray!
This was also the year of the big celebrity love affair, and the biggest of all was the love affair shared by Aston Kucher and Demy Moore. Is it just me, though, or does there seem to be a bit of an age difference between those two? Well, it's not for me to judge. Like they say, love conquers all.
Speaking of couples, whatever happened to Huey Long and Terry Hatcher in those Radio Shack commercials? Not since Moonlighting has a real-life married couple made such a splash on the small screen, but I haven't seen one of their ads in a long time. I sure hope Huey and Terry aren't planning to get a divorce. That would be a tragedy!
I finally got around to renting Pirates Of The Caribbean on VHS, and I'm sorry, but it's just Cutthroat Island without Regina Davis. Save your money and rent something that'll really make your night, like Who's That Girl?
Item! After three years, The Lord Of The Rings is finally over, and it went out with a bang. I don't usually go in for that magic and dragon stuff, but this series was great. Or at least the commercials look great. I haven't seen the movies yet. I still need to watch the first two, and who has the time to sit still for nine hours? Not I!
Snickers has a new Marathon energy bar. I found out the hard way that it's not the Marathon Bar we all remember. Those were chewy and caramel-y and long and delicious. I wish I could recall the Marathon Bar jingle, but all I can dredge up is the Hubba Bubba song.
Item! The fall TV season was quite the train wreck! Skin was in, and then it was out. Coupling got uncoupled. Tarzan was lord of the flops. Alicia Silverman's Miss Match went down in flames. The Mullets were… I'm still looking for something bad that rhymes with "mullet," but I can't think of anything right now. That's only a few of the season's flops, but I don't want to be too mean. I'm trying out this new writing style, but since it comes at the expense of a lot of decent, hardworking people in showbiz, I don't think I'll do it again.
Congrats to Britney and Mr. Britney! Best wishes on your sudden, unexpected marriage!
Have you heard that song about the milkshake they keep playing on the radio? Every time I hear it, I get thirsty. My favorite milkshake flavor is strawberry.
Speaking of music, when are we going to get the next installment of American Idol? I've just about worn out my Kelly Clarksville and Clay Aikman CDs. Time to bring on the next big star so I know what music to buy.
Item! Paris who? If you hadn't heard of Paris Hilton until a few months ago, you're not alone. Her show Life Is Simple is one of my guilty pleasures. Seeing her work on a farm with P. Diddy's daughter is a real hoot. For some reason, I've been getting a lot of unsavory e-mails about Paris lately. Isn't it a shame when people feel the need to drag someone through the mud? Someone out there must be jealous, because Paris fought the odds to make it as an actress. Don't worry, Paris—keep your chin up. I've been the victim of undue cruelty, too. The incident is too painful to go into now, but it involved a writing contest and a friend from high school. 'Nuff said!
Well, that's it for this installment of The Outside Scoop. In case you were thinking about missing my next column, it will include an exciting tidbit about a certain sitcom actor and his new greyhound ranch. Until then, take a seat, plant your feet, pop in a good movie, and join me again…on the Outside!
Jackie Harvey graduated from Viterbo University with a degree in English literature in 1990. After honing his writing and copy-editing skills at The Sunshine Shopper, he became The Onion’s entertainment columnist in 1994, replacing the outgoing Archie “Arch” Danielson. Currently, Harvey writes his regular column, "The Outside Scoop," as well as his blog, "Harveywood!"