Monday, June 06, 2005

To The Ghetto, Alice!

Former Cheaters Host Hopes To Return

Burt Reynolds once topped the marquee of "The Longest Yard". "Batman Begins" is a popular comic book that less than a generation ago received the Hollywood treatment. "Bewitched" was a nomally successful sitcom. Even H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" was famously remade as a hoax by Orson Welles in the 1930s.

Does Hollywood have any new ideas? Whether it's a lack of courage from movie executives or a true dearth of talented writers, it's no wonder movie receipts have been down for the last 15 weeks.

One upcoming movie seems to be the oddest of the bunch. The Honeymooners have been remade with Cedric The Entertainer and Mike Epps in the roles made famous by Jackie Gleason and Art Carney.

Nothing racial is meant by my critique, in fact, I find the transposition of the downtrodden and struggling white Ralph Kramden of the 1950s reworked as a movie with African-American actors portraying, presumably, below middle class characters, downright prejudicial. Is Hollywood saying black people are the only poor class in America?

How about "Dynasty" with black people, "Hogan's Heroes" with Iraqi prisoners, "A Raisin in the Sun" with white folks or even "Mary Poppins" with Chinese people?

I'll admit I'm a "Cheaters" junkie, but what happened to the former host, Tommy Grand?

Grand, aka Tommy Habeeb, created the show with producer, Bobby Goldstein. In 2003, Habeeb was ousted from the show by Goldstein. Habeeb has a pending lawsuit filed against Goldstein. According to Habeeb's website, he hopes to make a prodigal return to the tawdry latenight program. There is also an online petition calling for the manly host to return to stalking unfaithful lotharios.

The show was in the news last month for ambushing an on-duty Corpus Christi police officer during a romantic tryst. The policeman was driving an unmarked car at the time. Local authorities are investigating the potential misuse of public funds.

There is some question whether "Cheaters", primarily based in Texas, will enjoy the same leniency from the police department. There is no word when, if ever, the episode will air. As Tommy would say, "I think we need some closure. You should be ashamed of yourself."

Watching Simon Cowell on "American Idol" and chef Gordon Ramsey of "Hell's Kitchen", both on Fox, reminds me why our founding fathers felf it necessary to revolt against the snobby British crown.

While Cowell has toned down his "bloody" barbs, Gordon Ramsey's in-your-face style reminds me what implored the citizens of Boston to tar and feather the British stamp sellers.

No comments: