Never won, that is, until he played Fallon. By the end of the race, Fallon was pinwheeling his arms as fast as he could, which may have actually hurt his performance. Still, it certainly looks like a fun game -- and a bit of a workout as well.
This got me thinking about role models in general. Like it or not, most of us wind up choosing role models from television, probably because we see the people on TV more often than we do our own family. Considering the amount of alcohol-fueled Thanksgiving fistfights in my own family, that's probably for the best.
So, seeing as my son is going to be raised by TV, I decided that I needed to pick out the best role model on it. My choice?
I've found four people on the list that I think should be there: Barack Obama, Tina Fey, Sarah Palin, and Michael Phelps. If you wanted to stretch it you could include Thomas Beatie, the pregnant man, but I'll stick with the other four. It's obvious why Obama and Palin on the list. Fey is on there for not only winning several awards but also for being a major player in the intersection where the election met pop culture. Phelps won 300 gold medals at The Olympics.
(S05E12) "She's treating me like she usually treats Johnny." - Vince
Things certainly weren't looking good for Vince. But in true Entourage style, something always works out. Despite the fact that this was one of the strongest episodes of the season, I really wish it had ended differently.
Personally, I believe they took a risk in inviting an athlete to open the season with a bang, as I often find their performances super-awkward and damn near unwatchable, but there are folks that go totally nuts when sports people host. Plus, Michael Phelps was definitely the sweetheart of the summer and it was a smart move to grab him before he retired to his giant fish tank in Baltimore. His performance was still pretty awkward, but at least they didn't give him a lot of crazy characters to struggle through.
There could be a subtle clue in this New York profile of 24 year-old humorist and SNL writer Simon Rich. After all the talk about his new book and the talk about how he desperately needs an ending to the novel he's writing, the interviewer asks him if Fey is indeed going to play Palin this weekend. The answer?
According to the World Entertainment News Network, the eight-time gold medal winner will appear as himself in an upcoming episode of the buddy-series, which begins its fifth season on Sept. 7.
Phelps certainly must have some good people working with him, because in addition to hosting SNL, he'll be among the presenters at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 7.
NBC will release three different DVD sets for the 2008 Beijing Games. The first DVD is titled Michael Phelps: Greatest Olympic Champion - The Inside Story, and will show all of his gold medal-winning races and behind the scenes footage that hasn't been seen before. The second set is titled 2008 Beijing Opening Ceremonies, and will feature two DVDs packed with footage of the expensive, epic opening ceremonies. The last set has the rather uninspired title of 2008 Beijing General Highlight DVD (which I hope and pray gets a better title than that), which will be a recap of the entire Olympic Games. The opening ceremony DVD will be $29.99 and the others will sell for $19.99.
Not quite. Saturday, Feb. 24, 1990, 31.4 million viewers tuned in to watch Empty Nest. Wow. That says much more about the growth of cable TV and how the big networks have abandoned Saturday than it does about the success of the Olympics. At a time when half that number is the stuff of a hit show, it seems strange to think that 31 million people were watching Empty Nest.
Jeremy Schaap was singing his praises on ESPN this morning. Michael Phelps is tall, fit, good looking and has the makings of humongous success. Can't you just see him as a TV star?
As Rich pointed out, being an Olympic champion can sometimes be a launching pad for a career on TV. For most, the fit isn't exactly right, but I think that that was the fault of the producers back then, not the Olympians.
Therefore, I'm going to help Michael and those TV bigwigs with a few ideas. Here's four existing shows that should be writing scripts for Michael Phelps right away, and one remake that's right up his alley.
I'll admit, they got me. When I read about the plans for more live coverage, and how they were going to make use of all the other NBC/Universal properties, I thought this would be the year, the Olympic nirvana that always could have been. It's really not panning out that way. More than anything else, the word that keeps coming to mind for the NBC coverage is annoying. After the jump, some notes for NBC.