April 03, 2007

And in 10 years, Dan will think of a great Monica Lewinsky joke to tell you


Remember Arsenio Hall? Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy sure does. Here’s the lede of his Sox column today, about how much the team blew it yesterday in KC:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Worse than Ellen DeGeneres's first night hosting the Oscars. Worse than Arsenio Hall's first shot at late-night television. Worse than Patriots coach Clive Rush's first press conference, when he was nearly electrocuted.

That’d be fine as an out-of-nowhere reference -- Arsenio! Hah! Haven’t thought of him in a while! -- but it isn’t. Every few years, Dan trots out Arsenio as if he’s a contemporary example of The Worst Thing Ever. What did Arsenio do to you, Dan? Sleep with your wife? Go back in time and personally trade Babe Ruth? Leave the man alone already. He’s been off the air since 1994; kids in middle school today weren’t even born when he was telling us about the things that make us go “hmmmm.”

Here, thanks to LexisNexis, are some of Dan’s past swipes at Arsenio:

Sept. 8, 2001. Headline: “Pitching Pedro a Scheme That Must Be Tossed”. Swipe (in lede): “NEW YORK - In the all-time ranking of bad ideas, pitching Pedro last night was right up there with ‘The Arsenio Hall Show,’ New Coke, and the Bay of Pigs.”

November 5, 1998. Headline: “Taking measure - Doug vs. Drew”. Swipe (comparing Doug Flutie to Drew Bledsoe): “Doug was big back in the days when Larry Bird was big. Doug was big when Michael Dukakis was big (aren't they actually the same height?). Doug was big when Ted Danson had hair and Arsenio Hall had talent.”

May 2, 1996. Headline: “Of course, you know Nipper caused the Blizzard of '78”. Swipe (in talking about then-pitching coach Al Nipper): “There's more. Lots more. It turns out that one Al Nipper personally created New Coke, ‘Ishtar,’ Milli Vanilli, ‘Central Park West’ and the ‘Arsenio Hall Show.’

December 29, 1994. Headline: “Boston vs. Cleveland? Clash of cultures is no contest”. Swipe (while comparing the two cities): “Late Night Comedians - Us: Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. Them: Arsenio Hall. Whose guys are still on the air? Edge: Us.”

November 8, 1993. Headline: “This is bigger than all of us”. Swipe (in relation to Bill Parcells trying to help the Patriots): “There is no way he could have known. You can prepare for cold snowy winters, Red Sox collapses, nuclear attack and unwanted advances from Amway salesmen and Bob Packwood. You can prepare for famine, pestilence, death, destruction, Arsenio Hall, ESPN 2 and Bob Woolf.”

Posted by Jason Feifer at April 3, 2007 06:27 PM


Hmmm, you know I just love hacks who revert to their past knee-slappers as if they were copy/pasting a craigslist ad every 48 hrs and have it saved in Word. And incidentally, Arsenio was a success. Not that I cared about his show and all, but for the early 90s that dude had a hit that lasted longer than, oh let's say that show about the Mexican janitor that was actually God. Wasn't it called a.k.a. Pablo?

Posted by Johnny Cat at April 3, 2007 11:43 PM

Wow, six references in 16 years.

Is there a point here?

I didn't think so.

Posted by objectivebruce at April 5, 2007 03:22 AM

People's minds definitely get stuck in loops. When I'm editing crosswords, I'll often see the same word clued very cleverly...and then clued very cleverly the exact same way six puzzles later. When you write a whole lot of clues on a regular basis (as one does when writing a weekly crossword, say), you tend to forget them as soon as you write them, so the second time a word crops up in a grid, you have the same "How should I clue this?" thought process that you had the first time, and then suddenly you've written the same clue twice. Doesn't surprise me that columnists have the same problem.

Posted by Francis at April 5, 2007 04:53 PM