A Particularly Useless Exercise In Nostalgia

Pundit/comedian/professional douchebag Dennis Miller has landed a new gig with Fox News. For the San Francisco Chronicle’s Mark Morford, “the transmutation is complete”.

Something happened to the once-brilliant Dennis Miller. It started about a decade ago and has since turned the man from one of the funniest and smartest and most intellectually wry observers of culture and political attitude in the country (no one could weave an obscure literary sub-reference into a long joke about, say, the senior prom like Miller) into some sort of warped war-supporting Bush-loving right-wing sycophant.

I have heard bits of his rants in the past few years. There is no joy left in his perspective. There is no sparkle of lightness or pleasure in his eye. It is only dryness and lashing out and death. He used to be the smart-ass cousin of Bill Hicks and Lenny Bruce. But now you hear him and you can’t help but think: Something hard and sharp and ugly has eaten him alive. Miller claims it was 9/11 that changed him. True enough. He appears to have sacrificed his once-nimble mind and forsaken all perspective to drink the Kool-Aid of the Dark Side, and has become a full-blown Republican. And it’s a sad thing indeed.

Political sensibilities aside, this is sort of like harkening back to the days when the Goo Goo Dolls were good. Or recalling the times when Dr. Harold Shipman was fun to hang around with. I’m sorry, Mark. Dennis Miller has always been smug, unfunny and throughly deserving of being shoved down a flight of stairs. He didn’t start sucking after 9/11, he was doing it before he was born.

That said, if nothing else, Jay Mohr’s career path should be clear from this point onwards ; 2010 – delivering copies of the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Coincidently, said paper’s weekend edition features an interview with Lou Gramm of Foreigner. If anyone would like to discuss a long-ago and far-away era in which Foreigner were as brilliant as Dennis Miller, please, take it up with this man.