Wednesday, February 15, 2006

King of Shameless

One of the strangest, most overproduced and obnoxiously brilliant shows on TV right now plays out on a stage that looks like a rejected American Gladiators set: SpikeTV's King of Vegas. Brief synopsis: With a single $1 million prize at stake, professional and amateur gamblers compete in a series of casino games that result in one of them getting kicked off each week.

Some of the participants are familiar. Mike "The Mouth" Matusow's a two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner. David Williams was the runner-up in the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event. And cohost Max Kellerman is a Fox Sports analyst, whose brash delivery and well-groomed goatee make him a natural for any show having to do with Vegas. Then there are the rest of the competitors, who, to the untrained eye, appear to be the Sexy Redhead, the Old Guy, the Geek, the Cocky Pseudogoth, the Lady Assassin and the Bully. In yesterday's episode, the Lovable Fat Guy lost. I'm sure these people have real depth outside the show, but whatever.

But one person on the show sticks out like a sore thumb: cohost Wayne Allen Root (pictured above), who's already won the 2006 Federline Award for prompting the question, "Who The Frig IS This Guy?"

Just how pompous is he? Go to KingOfVegas.com, and his Web site is displayed, not the show's. Then when you actually go to the show's Web site, take a look at the first line of his show bio. Emphasis, for a change, is his, not mine:

"Wayne Allen Root is simply THE brand name is sports gambling and handicapping."

Root is constantly posing, mugging and preening for the camera, taking away from the action at the tables and provoking viewers to throw more than a few crumpled napkins at the TV set. Listening to his cliché, scripted commentary and painful attempts at humor each week is by far the most uncomfortable part of the show, especially when he sets arbitrary odds on the competitors' chances before they play -- and since the show is taped, he probably knows the outcomes before setting odds to either "enhance drama" or look like the genius he makes himself out to be. I'm guessing he's one of those television producers who convinced SpikeTV that "If I'm not cohosting this show, I'm shopping it elsewhere," which would be fine if he had one scintilla of on-air charisma.

The author of "Millionaire Republican" also feels comfortable enough in his bio to declare himself a "TV celebrity," which is not something he has the right to call himself. Usually that title requires fame.

So, I love to hate (to love?) you, Wayne Allen Root. Thanks for assembling one of the fastest hours on television, only to be slowed down by your vapid, useless presence on air.

2 comments:

Enigmatist said...

Chris,

This doesn't pertain to any post in particular, rather your entire blog and its "theme", however subtle or scattered. Bottom line, you've got great stuff here, and it would be a perfect link to my blog. I'm gonna add your blog to my links list. Won't you come check mine out sometime? here's the URL:
http://secondayspaghetti.blogspot.com

Thanks, and I'll keep checking back

-Enigmatist

PS> Sneakers IS a great movie!
(please forgive if this comment was repeated)

Anonymous said...

Wayne Root IS an idiot, with a rather inflated ego.