Updated: January 20, 2013 6:18AM
In the immortal words of Brad Pitt for Chanel No. 5:
“It’s not a journey. It’s a one-way flight from New York to Los Angeles with a three-hour layover in Minneapolis. No wait, it’s more like an elevator ride where the guy next to you keeps pushing the button for ‘Lobby’ even though the light is already on. Why are you doing that, man? Hey, I just realized I’m in black and white. That’s pretty cool …”
From a big-time actor starring in the most-lampooned ad of the year to an MIA congressman winning re-election by a landslide and then resigning to an American family that fractures the English language so much they require subtitles, it was a banner year for the GOOFs.
Then again, every year’s a banner year for the GOOFs.
Ever year around this time, this column spotlights the most scandalous, the silliest and most salacious stories and people of the year in the annual GOOF (Greatly Overhyped and Overexposed Fool) Awards.
The first recipients: Milli Vanilli. (We’ve been doing this a while.) Other winners include Dennis Rodman, Michael Jackson, Jerry Springer and Monica Lewinsky. (A reminder: The GOOFs are for the most part confined to scandals and stumbles in the worlds of pop culture, sports and politics. We’re not here to joke about spree killers.)
In 2006, I awarded the coveted Lifetime Achievement Goof to the Unholy Trinity of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan — mainly because I was afraid I’d be handing out the annual trophy to one of them every year until the year 2525. (Lohan continues to prove me wrong with her Academy Award-level acting, exemplary public service and uneventful private life. Ahem.)
This year I’m adding Donald Trump to the Hall of Fame. At 65, he continues to comport himself like a petulant fifth-grader, whether he’s issuing ridiculous challenges to the president of the United States, making delusional statements about his perceived power and popularity or Tweeting personal insults at his rivals. He truly is America’s Buffoon.
Even with Lohan and Trump on the sidelines, the competition for the 2012 GOOF was a fierce, funny, folly-filled fiasco.
Let’s meet the finalists.
And the nominees are…
† Gen. David Petraeus. So the director of the CIA thought if he saved his e-mails in the “Draft” bin and gave his password to his mistress, no one would ever learn of their affair? Millions of 8-year-olds have more sophisticated security measures on their handheld video games.
† Paula Broadwell. Wait, wasn’t that the name of James Bond’s love interest in “Never Say Never”?
† Brad Pitt. There’s nobody in the guy’s life who could have said, “Um, doesn’t anybody else see the train wreck we’re filming here?”
† Chris Brown. Just a peach of guy, continuing to handle that whole anger management thing with grace and style.
† Prince Harry. What happens in Vegas never stays in Vegas. Either it shows up on your credit card statement or it gets captured by cell phone and distributed on the Internet.
† Kanye West. Nice skirt, Auto-Tune.
† Angus T. Jones. The no-longer pint-sized “half” element in the “Two and a Half Men” equation stomped all over the show that provides him with an annual paycheck of about $4 million, even though he’s become an increasingly marginalized factor on the inexplicably enduring sitcom. In a rambling video, the born-again Jones told us we shouldn’t watch his show because it’ll corrupt your soul and rot your mind. What he didn’t explain was why he didn’t quit the show. (Yes, he’s under contract and he might face litigation if he just walked away, but it’s not like they send you to Television Jail if you don’t fulfill your deal.) After the video went viral, Jones quickly issued a statement of apology.
In other news, we learned the name of the kid on “Two and a Half Men” is Angus T. Jones.
† Alec Baldwin. Other actors of his age and stature somehow manage to get through life without getting into confrontations with the paparazzi and the tabloid press on a semi-regular basis. After the umpteenth conflict, there has to be a time when you look in the mirror and think: “Hmmmm. Maybe I’m the one with the problem?” Or you could just do a “Saturday Night Live” skit or a lucrative commercial in which you make fun of the issue while taking no responsibility.
Tomorrow we’ll meet the rest of the candidates, along with the winner — who’s never even been nominated before.