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Wonderfully Awful: Quickies

A blogumn by Robin Rosenzweig

As we know since we just went through it, Thanksgiving is a time to not only gorge yourself on ridiculous amounts of food until you pass out in a tryptophan-addled drooling heap, but it’s also a time to give thanks for the many blessings in your life. Over this particular Thanksgiving weekend, I encountered a number of Wonderfully Awful items for which I am incredibly thankful, if only because these things I stumbled across have given me all sorts of fodder for today’s blog. So please join me in giving thanks for these little quickies that made my Thanksgiving weekend not just wonderful, but Wonderfully Awful…

On Thanksgiving, I drove down to Palm Springs to have dinner with my parents. After dinner at the country club where they live (upside: all you can friggin’ eat; downside: no leftovers) and some nice conversation with the ‘rents, my boyfriend I headed back to L.A. On the way back, I kept my eyes peeled for a billboard that my sister told me about the last time she drove home from Palm Springs – and eventually I found it. The billboard was for a new housing development in Beaumont called Cougar Ranch. Since everything in the desert is either named after former presidents, rat pack members, or wild animals, it’s likely that the Cougar Ranch naming committee just played a game of name roulette and simply landed on cougar. But I’m thinking maybe they should have spun that wheel again. With the new and exciting definition of cougar being bandied about today, and considering the general demographics of those living in Palm Springs and its surrounding areas, Cougar Ranch sounds less like a luxury housing development and more like the spinoff to 30 Rock’s fictional NBC hit show MILF Island. With this thought in mind, the Cougar Ranch billboard provided a laugh in an otherwise boring drive through the desert.

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of participating in a scintillating comments-section debate on FaN when a “Guess the Random Lyric” evolved into a Worst Music Video of All Time competition. Imagine my surprise over Thanksgiving weekend when Yahoo! posted their list of the worst all-time videos, or as they dubbed them – Video Turkeys. Several videos that I either submitted for consideration or staunchly defended as worst video on FaN are on the Yahoo! list, including Mick Jagger and David Bowie’s swishy rendition of “Dancing in the Streets” and Journey’s air instrument-tastic “Separate Ways.” What thrills me the most is that they included the video that I continue to insist is the Worst Video Ever (despite Ernessa’s protests) – Billy Squier’s “Rock Me Tonite.” Not only did Yahoo! feature this video in the list, but they go on to say that Squier claims this video killed his career, even to this day. Watch it after the jump and you’ll understand why. The Yahoo! Video Turkey’s list also contains some videos none of us even thought of, so go on and read it, reminisce and cringe.

This year, I am truly thankful for Stephen Colbert’s “A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All” – a spot-on parody of cheesy Christmas specials from our childhood. With a random assortment of celebrity appearances (singing gut-busting original Christmas songs – all available on iTunes) and intentionally terrible special effects, this show worked in every way. I’m not sure if Comedy Central plans on re-airing this, as it is now available on DVD. Either way, for Stephen Colbert fans or for people who love anything that’s Wonderfully Awful, it’s a must-see.

Rock Me Tonite by Billy Squier: