Cultural Vacuum

Writing partner Dean has for months been living with a nagging question: What ever happened to comedian Jay Mohr?

Dean has become interested in Mohr’s television series Action, which was cancelled before the beginning of this century. Mohr played a sleazy Hollywood agent who spent every episode performing a luge down a bottomless pit of lies, narcissism, and corruption, and Dean marveled about just how bad the show’s hero continued to be. Dean was sure that Mohr must be doing something new, and just had to know what. Mistaking Mohr for Jim “Goatboy” Breuer, I was no help to Dean in his search.

Unbeknownst to us, if Dean or I had turned on a television during June, July, or this month, we would have seen Mohr as the host of NBC/Comedy Central’s Star Search-esque Last Comic Standing. I’ve only discovered this after reading articles about the apparent end of the competition, and I’m not sure Dean knows at all.

Should I tell him? That his antihero has become a game show host? Of stand-up comedy? I don’t know why I’ve come to find stand-up comedy that distasteful. My childhood television consumption consisted primarily of VH1, and that included the Rosie O’Donnell-hosted Comic…Something. But when at Barnes and Noble this summer, I saw a DVD recording of a recent Margaret Cho concert. I reached for it, “Hmmm, Margaret Cho….” My hand stopped. “Wait a minute, I don’t like Margaret Cho.” I walked away.

Speaking of Cho, Dean has also been pondering the fate of her 90s sitcom American Girl. I had never heard of it; I asked him if it was based on the Tom Petty song. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the cultural vacuum your authors live in.

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