Brothers and sisters of the Internet, we are living in a Golden Age of the strange. On any given day, you may see Germans declare war against all ice and motherfuckers or watch the proud people of Norwegia have some time with traditional burga moving. Yet in the lifespan of every medium there is a sweet spot -- a place where the perfect timing meets the perfect failure or the perfect enthusiasm to create a moment of sublime insanity that will never be duplicated. Let's look back on the "best" moments from six different areas of America's rich and absurd pop culture.
#6. Literature -- How to Be Famous, 2009
There have always been and will always be celebrities who are famous for nothing. The fact that they exist tends to baffle and infuriate industrious people, but that's a good thing -- uniting in our disgust of objectively terrible people is how we won World War II. About five years ago, we saw a huge spike of empty celebrities. The Writers Guild strike turned TV into a wasteland of reality programming, and hundreds of people were making a living by being stupid bitches with anger management problems.
Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt were probably the worst examples of this. Everyone hated them, so they got more media coverage, so everyone hated them. They were so successful at being douchebags that they wrote a book about it. It was only published in English because it translates into a declaration of war in every other language.
The dumbest and worst among you are probably saying, "Those two made money by doing nothing -- they just knew how to game the system!" They didn't. Heidi and Spencer are DNA swabs that somehow grew to adulthood and escaped the crime lab. Their book makes it clear that all they did was anything and everything to get attention with no foresight or regard to their dignity. Spencer Pratt would put his cock in his own father if he thought it would get his proctologist to ask him to move. And it's strange that I bring up fathers and asses, because Heidi Montag's penis was actually formed from her father's ass tissue. It was an unorthodox procedure, but when the Argentine plastic surgeon with a bag of her father's ass and a gun to his head asked her if she was sure, she replied, "Yay, someone's looking at me!"
Huh. You'd think a human toilet made out of plastic would have more insight into butt implants than "Babble, babble, get breast augmentation."
I don't want this to only be personal attacks. These cancerous fucks wrote a book, and I'll review it. First of all, How to Be Famous was written as bad advice for people who are currently reality TV stars. It won't help you get famous in any way, and in fact, it will get people to like you less if you already are. It is simply a list of things Heidi and Spencer have done to get noticed since they appeared on TV. If you asked a 4-year-old girl to list the fastest ways to get ice cream, it would be almost the same book.
"When you're the bestest at smarting, you attribute quotes to yourself in your [own] work." - Seanbaby
In How to Be Famous, Heidi wrote a chapter on how to make a face like you hate someone. Can you imagine being this moronic? This loosely fastened pile of silicone and pulp was staring at herself in a mirror, and instead of saying, "Who left all this pastrami on my skeleton?" she said, "I look mean! I should be a mean-face-making coach!" Heidi, you elastic cow, even assuming that this ability wasn't built into every face ever, who needs that skill? Cats? Women who want to have sex with angry men, only one time each? Not everyone is your mother.
The best part of the book is Heidi and Spencer's delusion. They truly think they are outsmarting everyone who looks at them. They talk about how they spin their own media coverage, but only give two examples. One, they never go out at night, since their paparazzi photos don't look as nice by flashbulb light. And two, they came clean about Heidi's record-breaking amounts of elective plastic surgery. Because of their honesty, the story was not "Speidi Rumors: Did This Insecure Slut Rebuild Her Entire Physical Structure Out of Hot Dog?" No, after Spencer Pratt cleverly pulled the media's strings, the headline was "Heidi Montag Confesses! 'Why I Look Like a Sex Doll That Crawled Out of the Ground After a Warlock Peed on Its Grave!'"
Does the book work? Well, Heidi's music album cost $2 million to produce and her fame helped sell slightly over 1,000 copies. And she and her husband were so "great" at being famous that in 2009, the E! network took a poll of its viewers, and they agreed that Heidi and Spencer should be banned from the network. To put that into perspective, E! has 11 shows about fashion critics judging the tampons they steal from the Kardashians' trash. When E! looks at you and says, "We're better than this," you've violated the warranty on your human soul.
#5. Comics -- Billy Ray Cyrus, 1995
There have been a number of strange celebrity comic books and bizarre crossovers. For 18 years, Bob Hope had a comic about sexually assaulting women; Eminem the rapper beat the crap out of the Punisher; and Jay Leno once helped Spider-Man defeat ninjas. They all pale in comparison to the Billy Ray Cyrus comic from the Marvel Music line.
In 1992, you couldn't get rid of the song "Achy Breaky Heart." It was the Lyme disease of music. For the entire year, it was how most radio stations told listeners that another 180 seconds had passed. If you lived in the country, this song spent more time in your ear than ear mite eggs and cousin tongues combined. Marvel Comics knew it had to create a comic based on Billy Ray Cyrus while he was the most famous singer in the world. Unfortunately, this comic didn't come out until three years and zero hit songs later.
Billy Ray Cyrus was written by Paul S. Newman, who holds the Guinness Record for most comics published -- 4,100. Obviously, you only get numbers like that by selecting your projects carefully and giving each of them your best effort. Which is weird, because this comic seems like something you would only write if you were looking for a fun way to tell the other Scooby-Doo scriptwriters that you quit.
The story begins with a young boy telling Billy Ray Cyrus about a Cherokee ghost he saw in an old fort. Billy Ray Cyrus believes it and invites him and his girlfriend backstage, where Cyrus is mostly nude and adjusting his mullet with a horse brush. He shirtlessly insists that they put on cowboy costumes and go camping with him. Most stories would end here, but this is Kentucky, where children are taught only to be afraid of snakes and fitness because "molestation" is too difficult to spell. So they agree. To everything.
The singer gives his new children friends rifles and flashlights, and they spend the evening looking for ghosts. In a fun twist, a nearby Cherokee scout sees them and thinks they are ghosts. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to play the victim near Indians under any circumstance, but this is a very hurtful stereotype. Some of my best friends are white, and yes, we sometimes get together and chase Pac-Man, but that does not mean all Caucasians are ghosts.
After deciding that the two teens and the country music standout were definitely ghosts, the Native Americans start a war chant and open fire on the fort. I'm not sure what's stranger -- the fact that mid-'90s Indians had a protocol in place for defeating fort ghosts, or that it was just yelling and arrows. I wasn't expecting proton packs, but shouldn't they summon spirit coyotes or weave a dream catcher or something? They went from "Hey, I think someone's over there" to "Kill the ghosts!" in less than five minutes. How many tourists have these maniacs accidentally killed?
I should mention that Billy Ray Cyrus and the kids think that the Indians are also ghosts. I don't blame them, since at this point literally nothing else would make sense. Billy Ray forms a brilliant plan -- he fire blanks at the undead with his vintage gun! Scientists say it's the same way he conceived Miley Cyrus.
Due to a weird stroke of luck, the Indians were using toy rifles, too. Wait, what? How many fucking ghosts are there in Kentucky that none of the state's gun owners thought they'd ever need real bullets?
After hearing two gunshots come from the fort, the Cherokees are now sure they're dealing with ghosts that have rifles and run the other way. By this point, some of the Native Americans are probably figuring out that nobody here is a ghost, but that would have no effect on their reaction. Running the other way is how all non-white people react when Billy Ray Cyrus makes noise.
The story ends with the chief fleeing into a bear, fleeing back toward the fort, and shrieking for the ghosts to shoot it. It's like the esteemed writer Paul S. Newman mistook "plot twists" for "Indians changing directions." By the time all the confused characters realize that the ghosts are Native Americans, Billy Ray Cyrus, and a terrified teen couple with nothing in common with ghosts in any way, they are completely numb to insanity. Which is good, because in the next story, the Billy Ray Cyrus tour bus accidentally drives to A.D. 1295, where he stops a medieval army with a laser gun.
I'm kind of amazed that you thought I might be kidding.
There are limits to fantasy. Even the author of this Billy Ray Cyrus comic, who felt that it was OK to send him back in time to fight knights and dragons, was unable to picture a world where anyone could tolerate his music.
#4. Video Games -- Link: Faces of Evil, Zelda's Adventure and Wand of Gamelon, 1993-94
Most bad video games happen for obvious reasons. For example, your producer decided to make Queen Latifah the star of a basketball game, or you did badly enough in college that you had to take a job adapting the Mike Myers Cat in the Hat movie for the Game Boy Advance. The Legend of Zelda CD-i had a more complicated origin. In the early '90s, Philips was in negotiations to create a CD drive for the Super Nintendo. Their competitor had one, and the Sega CD games were so bad that the company was nearly arrested for smuggling sewage out of the country. Maybe because of this, Nintendo decided that their system could get by without a CD drive.
In order to maintain their relationship, Nintendo gave Philips the right to make games based on Nintendo's most beloved franchises like The Legend of Zelda. Philips was launching a new CD-based system, and they took this opportunity to make the three sloppiest, ugliest, clunkiest games ever sold in retail stores. To this day, "Wand of Gamelon" is how Xboxes and PlayStations call each other the C-word.
These games still wouldn't be that notable except, like all developers using these new compact disc things, Philips figured that if they have all this storage space, they'd better use it, and outsourced cartoons that were as inept as they were fruity. The cartoons on the CD-i Zelda games were apparently produced in a prison arts program by asking serial killers to close their eyes and draw fear and Easter. Look at this shit: