You have to feel a little sorry for Dennis Miller. He has become such a professional failure and so personally unpleasant that you almost wish God would relieve him of the misery which is his life. However, there are some who take joy in Dennis Miller’s constant failures because no matter how bad their careers get, they can always say, “Well, at least I’m not Dennis Miller.”
Dennis had his better days. I remember my friends and I would watch Saturday Night Live every weekend in the mid-eighties. When the “Weekend Update” segment came on, we would laugh so hard as to spit out whatever we were eating. Dennis Miller’s commentary was witty, relevant, and absolutely hilarious. Unlike some of the other “Weekend Update” anchors, he didn’t give the impression that he was trying too hard to be funny; he was the physical and intellectual definition of humor. He entertained us for years until he left to create his own show, The Dennis Miller Show, in 1992.
This new late night show was supposed to be “cool” and “alternative.” But not only did Dennis Miller act like he was obviously reading off of cue cards, he always looked as if he came to the set after drinking a little too much. Some blamed the extremely low ratings on contracting problems with the Tribune Company, but most likely tuned out due to Mr. Miller’s complete lack of humor. The biggest thing The Dennis Miller Show could take credit for was breaking the band Toad the Wet Sprocket through to the mainstream. That, itself, should be considered a crime.
In 1994, Dennis Miller made a smart move to HBO where he created Dennis Miller Live. It was a half hour comedy show that was simple, but funny and effective. He would usually have only one guest on a show and end it with a news segment similar to his days as an anchor on Saturday Night Live. The show won five Emmy awards but soon became a parody of itself as Dennis had, apparently, run out of funny material. After deeply declining ratings and horrid feedback from viewers, HBO canceled the show.
Just before Dennis Miller Live was canceled, Dennis tried out Monday Night Football where he attempted to add a funny twist to his awful commentary. He thought he could win over audiences with such quotes as, "Check out the helmet hair on Randy Moss, babe! He looks like some freakish anti-Mr. T after a long evening sleeping through Aida.” People were laughing at Dennis Miller more than they were laughing at his pathetic jokes. Even though I’m not a football fan, I have to admit to tuning in sometimes just to see Dennis Miller for the train wreck effect. In 2002, after awful ratings, Dennis Miller was told to pack his bags.
After being fired from both HBO and ABC in the same year (ouch!), Dennis began 2003 by reinventing himself as a bitter neocon, often criticizing celebrities who were against the war in Iraq. He appeared on FOX News during the Hannity & Colmes show sounding like a spokesperson for the Bush administration. It was around this time that one could sense mental and physical desperation. Mr. Miller’s skin started to look very rubbery and huge bags formed under his eyes. Even when he smiled, something was wrong. It didn’t look like he was having fun; he was desperately trying to make himself laugh since nobody else laughed with him.
After three awful career failures, Dennis Miller was somehow hired by MSNBC to star in his own show, simply titled Dennis Miller. By this time, watching Dennis Miller wasn’t a train wreck; it was the equivalent of plane crash. If you were one of the seven or eight people who actually watched the show before it was canceled, then God bless your soul. We all make mistakes one time or another in our lives.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Dennis Miller soon started to appear on FOX News commentaries with everybody’s favorite dildo- and vibrator-loving neocon, Bill O’Reilly. Dennis also became a star of 1/2 Hour News Hour, in which he laid out venomous, desperate diatribes on such targets as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Dennis Miller has turned into the physical and mental definition of misery. There is absolutely no hope for him unless there really is a such thing as reincarnation. How can people be so shocked at his venomous commentaries when it’s obvious that Dennis hates himself more than the subjects he tries to rip apart? Part of me understands Dennis because if I had been fired five times in five years, I would hate myself as well. Poor Dennis Miller!