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March 10 - 16, 2003

 
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 President Bush's Cousin Makes A Deal
Now that game shows are considered reality television, it's only a matter of time before every old game show gets a hasty facelift and shoehorned into the busy schedule of soul-sucking flotsam. Such is the case for that old 60s-70s-80s Monty Hall-hosted chestnut Let's Make A Deal, which just began its refurbished run (executive produced by Hall) in NBC's Tuesday night prime time schedule, from 8-9 p.m.

For those gentle readers who don't remember the Let's Make A Deal deal, contestants dress up in stupid costumes to get Hall, who had a smarmy winking wit, to notice them, and then they make deals that start small and work up to trading for what was behind Door Number 1, 2, or 3, which meant you could win a sparkling new washing machine or a lifetime supply of Turtle Wax.

You can see why the "dressing up in stupid costumes" aspect of the show would appeal to desperate opportunistic TV execs anxious to find ways to humiliate willing narcissists who'll do anything to be on television. All they needed was a host. But these days, a host is supposed to be bland enough that all sorts of people from all walks of life will feel comfortable and relate to him.

And if there's one person we can all relate to, it's a member of the privileged, patrician presidential dynasty.

Yes, the host of the new Let's Make A Deal is 31-year-old Billy Bush, who, besides being a former morning DJ and East Coast entertainment reporter for the smarmy, brown-nosing Access Hollywood, is a first cousin of George W., and nephew of George H.W. That's blue blood, baby.

In his favor, according to The New York Times, Bush's contract with Access Hollywood includes a provision that prohibits them from mentioning his connection to the president. Still, if he really felt that strongly about not appearing to carry on the Bush family tradition by trading on the name to get ahead, he could have gone by one of the many matronym/patronyms the Bushes name each other, like Walker, Prescott, or Moneykins.

So, here we have the first cousin of a sitting president on national television either interviewing the J.Lo/B.Lo axis, or making deals with a woman dressed as a kitty, or a guy dressed as a pimp. It's kind of weird...but not weird enough to make you tune in, because the new Let's Make A Deal is essentially just another boring game show.

Another weird thing about the new Let's Make A Deal is that its announcer is Vance Degeneres, who used to be one of the very funny correspondents on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. He left his Daily Show gig, and now he's...the announcer on a game show remake hosted by Billy Bush? Hindsight is 20/20, Vance, but still, come on. There's gotta be something else you can do besides be a glorified Johnny Olsen.

Ultimately, it's clear that Bush blood runs in Billy's veins, because he clearly understands a basic Bush rule: Always be in the position to make the deal.

Angry Girl


 


What's next for the Bush clan?


This. Laura Bush's How-To-Be-A-Better-Housewife Brand line of self-flagellation whips.

No, This. It's simple: Bush Girls Gone Wild.


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