When Charlie Sheen was in full-on meltdown mode last March, I heard from a number of readers who said the same thing:
Why don’t you just call it a year and give the GOOF to Sheen right now?
To be sure, Sheen was putting up GOOF numbers rarely seen in these quarters — and we’ve been chronicling the GOOFs (Greatly Overexposed and Overhyped Fool) since the first Clinton administration. It appeared Sheen would become the first repeat GOOF ever, in a landslide.
But it tells you something about the levels of insanity of our pop culture world that Mr. Sheen is NOT this year’s recipient.
A reminder: the GOOF is reserved for the most scandalous, shameless, silly and sinful national celebrities of the year. The first champions were Milli Vanilli. Past winners include Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Rodman, Jerry Springer and Monica Lewinsky. (We stay away from the Jerry Sanduskys and Casey Anthonys of the world. Nothing to laugh about there.)
Also, in 2006, I gave the Lifetime Achievement Award to Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, so they’re no longer eligible for yearly GOOFs. (Not sure Lindsay in particular got that memo.)
As always, before we crown our winner, let’s pay tribute to the worthy nominees.
A little more than three years ago, Blagojevich was arrested. If he had immediately confessed, cooperated and come clean, he could have reached a plea deal and he’d probably be close to getting out of prison right now. Instead, he blustered and bungled his way to a staggeringly brutal 14-year prison sentence. And to the end, he keeps quoting Kipling’s “If,’ utterly unaware his actions are the very antithesis of the poem’s true meaning.
Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore
The First Couple of Twitter consistently annoyed us by flaunting their marriage on Social Media, with Kutcher Tweeting photos of his wife’s rear end and Moore scolding the tabloid press for daring to suggest Ashton would stray.
Then they split up. And Tweeted about it.
Any “Real” Housewife
It’s beyond me how anyone can sit through any of the “Real Housewife” shows for more than a solid minute. Every time I click across an episode, I see bejeweled, plasticized, boobicized, apparently lobotomized women of a certain age cradling goblets of wine while hurling insults at one another as the cameras zoom in for reaction shots that would embarrass the worst soap opera actress.
Oh Herman. We had such great admiration for you when you burst on the political scene. There was lots of refreshingly direct (if not particularly informed) straight talk — until the allegations of womanizing and sexual harassment. Then he started spinning like a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” and he kept on spinning until he “suspended” his campaign, citing the same old list of reasons everyone uses: it’s the media’s fault, his message is getting obscured and of course his family comes first.
Another case of a put-upon, underpaid celebrity being abused by those overpaid and famous flight attendants. Instead of acknowledging that he just might have been partially to blame for the “Words With Friends” kerfuffle, Baldwin used Twitter to berate American Airlines and make fun of their flight attendants. Then he went on “Saturday Night Live” and portrayed an AA pilot as a clueless hick. Classy all the way, Alec.
Yes, there’s ample reason to protest the system. And kudos to the movement for galvanizing the disenfranchised and garnering global media coverage. But far too many of the Occupiers came across as uninformed GOOF-balls who didn’t know how to clean up after themselves, let alone articulate WHY they were living in a tent city.
There’s something almost endearing about J. Lo’s complete disconnect from reality. Her live show included a bizarre performance number featuring dancers who looked like her exes. After splitting from Marc Anthony, she took up with a backup dancer who looks like he graduated from the Federline School of Opportunism. When Lopez turned her appearance at the American Music Awards into a commercial for Fiat, John Legend Tweeted, “That had to be the most shameless thing I’ve ever seen in a performance.”
As for that ridiculous ad in which we’re asked to believe Jenny actually drives a Fiat and she’s all about her neighborhood roots in Brooklyn, we learned she filmed her segments for the ad in Los Angeles, and a double was used for the New York street scenes. Way to bring the authenticity baby!
Maybe that’s why he never changed his name.
Kim Kardashian/Kris Humphries
The only thing more embarrassing than their whole “fairy tale” wedding charade was the fact that so many millions tuned in for the show, making it the most watched show in the history of E! television.
The two-time Oscar winner was roundly criticized for taking a huge payday to show up at the birthday celebration for Chechnyan dictator Ramzan Kadryov last October. Her excuse? She didn’t know who the guy was.
“I should know where I’m going,” Swank told Jay Leno. “I actually didn’t know Chechnya was separate from Russia.”
I love Hilary Swank. I believe she is a kind and decent person. Terrific actress as well. But…really? You didn’t know what you were getting into? So when you prep for a movie such as “Boys Don’t Cry” or “Million Dollar Baby,” you immerse yourself in research — but when you’re paid a six-figure fee to fly halfway around the world, you don’t bother to ask exactly where you’re going and why you’re going there?
Last year’s GOOF winner stepped up his game in the spring of 2011. He shared his insane rants with the world via the Internet and his live tour, which consisted mostly of a chain-smoking Sheen rambling on about his ex-wives, his drug use, his movies from the 1980s and his various enemies. For about three minutes, the “tiger blood” schtick was an entertaining human train wreck.
And then it was just a train wreck.
Worthy contenders, one and all. But the runaway winner of the 2011 GOOF is…
Trump behaves as if he’s in a movie about a 12-year-old in a 65-year-old’s body. He may be the least self-aware human being ever.
Whether he was slapping his name on everything in his sight, calling his foes and critics “losers,” turning his complexion a bizarre shade of orange, boasting about his “great relationship with the blacks,” leading the birther charge, claiming he knew more about politics than those ignorant news correspondents or setting up a joke of a debate that had to be canceled because most of the candidates were smart enough to stay away, Trump was 2011’s most entertainingly grotesque personality.
He’s also the most cheerful liar on the planet. There’s little doubt Trump believes if he just says something, it has to be true.
When the Donald dropped out of the presidential race well before he’d have to embarrass himself on a debate stage or actually do any heavy campaigning in places such as Iowa and New Hampshire, his statement read: “This decision does not come easily…especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country.”
Reality: When Trump dropped out, he had the support of only 8 percent of potential Republican primary voters, which means that 92 percent thought somebody else would be a better candidate.
As the King of the Birthers, Trump should have been humiliated by the release of President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate — but instead Trump told us, “I’m very proud of myself today.”
When Trump found himself getting roasted at the White House Correspondents Dinner, he sat there stone-faced like a bully who couldn’t believe someone would dare make fun of him.
And here’s Trump weighing in on longtime foe Rosie O’Donnell: “I feel sorry for Rosie’s new partner in love whose parents are devastate(d) at the thought of their daughter being with Rosie — a true loser.”
What a fantastic oaf this man is. What a fountain of material he is for the media. What an embarrassment he will always be.
What a great, great GOOF.