Real-world follies

By JAMES PARKER  |  December 18, 2006
SUPERNANNY: Welcome to “The Naughty Corner.”
U2 and Green Day at the Louisiana Superdome | ESPN | Say what you like about U2, that Bono can work a stadium. Warming up for the first post-Katrina game (Saints versus Falcons) in the newly renovated Superdome, former crucible of a nation’s disgrace, U2 and Green Day rampaged through the Skids’ “The Saints Are Coming” with true redemptive spirit energy. Bono, of course, had his own lyrics for the occasion: “We’re living like birds in the magnolia trees . . . Child on the rooftop, mother on her knees . . . her sign reads, “PLEASE I AM AN AMERICAN!”

7 Supernanny | ABC | Now in its third season, this reality show is porn for the tired parent. Supernanny Jo Frost arrives by London taxi and sheds her limey light on troubled families. Weak mums are slapped about and emotionally withdrawn dads are given hell: “Unasseptable!” says Jo. Her most enduring contribution to child care will probably be “The Naughty Corner,” a punitive magic circle enthusiastically deployed in my own household.

Martin Short on the Colbert Report | Comedy Central | Personally, I find The Colbert Report a bit of a strain, like watching a one-man Broadway show: the conceit perspires a little. But when Colbert interviewed Martin Short, who actually has his own one-man Broadway show, it was 10 minutes of Old World ecstasy, two pros silkily swapping laugh lines. Bring back Jiminy Glick!

Martin Amis on Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason | PBS | Nothing daunted by the transatlantic critical pile-ons that have greeted his last few books, this master of English prose continues to give us the benefit of his Views. On jihadism: “It is a secret no longer well-kept that killing is a joyous experience.” On God: “Certainly not an anthropomorphized being, but yes, an intelligence . . . ” (Murmured with sullen respect, as if the Deity, in terms of brainpower, might actually compare rather favorably with Martin Amis.)

10 Brian Ross doing Foleygate | ABC | This whole thing was beautiful. Outrage was ignited, hypocrites were pulled down, and as a bonus there was the immortal comedy of Ross, in his crimestopper’s monotone, dourly reading out the fatal IMs: “Do I make you a little horny? . . . Cool.”

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