Creepy London Olympics mascots chase Will Rockwood Comic
Sunday, August 12, 2012
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An Olympic Contact High

Despite everything you're about to read here, I swear I've never done drugs.

* Seacrest: IN! Since the Closing Ceremonies will feature a giant rock-n-roll show, who better than Ryan Seacrest to give us some background, says Bob Costas? Seacrest then asks Bob which Spice Girl best represents the Olympics. Egad.


* What IS this program? This isn't the Closing Ceremonies (CC, from now on) and it isn't any other event. It's all fluff. It's 90 minutes, minus ads, of fluff. In fact, it's the worst kind of programming: it's a clip show. NBC spent a billion dollars on the Olympics and they're spending 90 minutes of it on a clip show? Next up on NBC: a very special episode of "Blossom."


* Even Mary Carillo gets clip fluff, as she reports on the impact of the US women in the Olympics. I'm not even going to report on the rest of this, it's so lame.


* Well, thank goodness. It wasn't 90 minutes of fluff, just 81. The CC starts with some singers, and then a traffic jam featuring automobiles and trucks wrapped in newsprint. I don't know why.


* Batman and Robin emerge from an exploding yellow car. Why? Again, I don't know, but since the band Madness is playing, maybe it's just madness. They look pretty good considering I haven't heard anything from them for 30 years.


* Next up, Blur, followed by the Pet Shop Boys with "West End Girls." They're being driven around on bicycles and their drivers have some kind of orange tetrahedrons on their heads. Why is it whenever I try to recap a CC it sounds like I'm insane?


And why waste time trying to get Blur back together? Other than that "Woo-hoo!" song, what have they contributed to society? They got Paul McCartney for the Opening Ceremonies (OC), why not give Ringo Starr a call and get half the Beatles back together? Now THAT would be impressive.


* Boy band One Direction sings next, and every tween girl in Britain screams at the top of their lungs. Fortunately for the TV viewer, the crowd is composed of old men and women who could afford the tickets for the CC, so we don't have to listen to screaming tweens.


* Now Stomp comes out to bang things together rhythmically. Trash can lids, buckets, brooms... thanks to Stomp there are now about 20 different acts in Las Vegas banging non-drum things together to make rhythmic noise. Aren't we all over this by now?


* All the athletes come in randomly and proceed to wander about the stadium. It's a party! Woooo!

In the OC, when the athletes parade onto the field, NBC's commentators have an assortment of trivial facts about each country that they can read. In the CC, the commentators never know who's going to be on camera next, so they have to just shut up and let it happen. Part of me thinks that's better.


* Who are all of these people with light bulbs on their hats?


* There was a lot of controversy before the Games about how the US teams' outfits were being made in China. Why wasn't there any controversy about how ugly they were? Seriously, with those stupid hats they all look like hobos. Note that the Russians are wearing baseball caps. THE RUSSIANS! So successful is the baseball cap, an American invention, that even the Russians are wearing them! And the US is wearing ugly berets. Why are we taking our style cues from the French?


* Bohemian Rhapsody is now playing in a darkened stadium. Will we get to see an entire stadium of headbangers? Noooo... now they're playing "Imagine." So we're going to see a stadium full of people feeling smug about themselves. That's not an improvement.


* But, now that we've got our moment of John Lennon, it would be a good time to bring out Paul and Ringo, wouldn't it?


* Next up, George Michael. Will he make it on time or is he out in a park picking up hookers and drugs somewhere? That was mean, wasn't it? Maybe Andrew Ridgely will show up and they can do a duet. Ha ha ha ha!


* Who's next in Olympic stadium? Yes. I mean the band's name. Who? That's correct. What's correct? Not What, Who? That's what I'm asking! But it's not really The Who, it's a tribute band. They're pretty good, too. Who? No, The Not-Who? I don't know. THIRD BASE!


* So now it's David Bowie's turn. Are they going to bring out the real Bowie or a tribute Bowie? Neither, apparently. Instead they're using Bowie music as a backdrop so a bunch of supermodels can walk along the British flag towards the center of the stadium, using the white stripes of the flags as model runways. Eh? I know that doesn't make any sense, but I don't know how to explain it sanely.


* Annie Lennox arrives on some kind of skeletal Viking ship. The ship is flanked with model-types holding torches. Did the Olympic committee just give all of these artists a bunch of money and tell them, "Do something weird for the Closing Ceremonies"?


* I'm noticing a theme here. George Michael's "Freedom" had a bunch of supermodels in the video. David Bowie's music introduced a bunch of supermodels with his song. Now Lennox has bunch of models in her freaky pirate ship thing. Is there some British fascination with supermodels that I don't know about?


* Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Mike Rutherford of Mike and the Mechanics and Genesis form a supergroup to sing "Wish You Were Here." This would be the part of the concert where everyone held their lighters up, if such things were allowed in the stadium during the CC. While they play, a man walks on a high wire above the stadium. The wire walker shakes hands with a mannequin that catches fire, just like the Floyd album cover!


* Russell Brand enters on a colorful bus singing a song from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Uh-huh. Would you buy candy from Russell Brand? If so, you're a braver man than I.


* Fatboy Slim is in the house! That's what he looks like? I've got to admit I'm a little disappointed. He looks less like a world famous DJ and more like a businessman you'd see having a cocktail in the lounge of the Airport Holiday Inn. I guess I'll give him some credit for doing his DJ-ing from a giant, translucent, inflatable octopus. Again with the sounding like I'm insane.


* Rappers in Bentleys? I thought that was an American thing. I'm sad to learn that's crossed the Pond.


* Taio Cruz is British? He sings "Dynamite" while I google him. What do you know? He is.


* It's the Spice Girls reunion! Missy Franklin looks on with an expression that says, "Hey! I remember this group from when I was three years old!" Ha ha ha ha! No she doesn't. Most of the Olympians in the stadium are watching these "girls" and wondering who they are. Again, we can't get the Beatles back together?


* Next up: Beady Eye, which is composed of everyone from Oasis except Noel Gallagher. Noel left because he was pissing everybody in Oasis off. You know what a better revenge for Beady Eye would have been? For them to drop the name Beady Eye and call themselves "Oasis: Improved."


* And now for the humorous part of the show. Eric Idle fails to get fired out of a cannon, but he has a good attitude about it. He breaks into "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." I can only assume he won't get to the last verse.


Indeed he doesn't. He's interrupted by a bunch of Indian dancers.


Whoa! He DOES get to the last verse and gets bleeped! If you need to know why, watch the original song here. Don't click if naughty words offend you.


* Freddy Mercury is back to get the audience participating. Although he's been dead for 20 years, he does a better job at it then the live Spice Girls did earlier. Still-alive Brian May puts his astrophysics degree on hold for the night so he can rock out the world with insane guitar riffs. Is there anything cooler than a rock-n-roll guitar god who holds a doctorate in astrophysics? No. There is not. The remainder of Queen gets together with Jessie J to play "We Will Rock You" to the Olympic stadium. How cool is Queen? Even Jessie J's wailing couldn't ruin this. Why couldn't they get Adam Lambert? Or Marc Martel? Who is Marc Martel? Seriously, you need to watch Marc Martel sing Queen right now. Go ahead. This page will be here when you get back.


* But now it's time to stop having fun and have some protocol instead. Is this where we hand Jacques Rogge a great big check under the table? Ha ha ha ha! Just kidding! Not really.


It's actually where we get to hear the Olympic anthem. No, it's not the dum, dum, da-dum, dum song you're thinking of that leads off each NBC broadcast. It's something you'll only hear during the CC because it's kind of lame. But they take down the Olympic flag while they sing it, so it's worth noting. And who gets the Olympic flag now? The Brazilians! They immediately cut it up and turn it into a thong. Now it's time to play the Brazilian national anthem.


* And it's time to see Rio's presentation for their Games in 2016. Are we going to get scantily clad Carnivale dancers? Maybe, but first we're going to get men with glowing green buckets on their heads and matching glowing green necklaces. The women dancers for Brazil are all clad in full-length stretchy disco outfits (complete with giant afros) and have spoked light wheels attached to their backs. Can you believe I just wrote that? But yet, that's what they're wearing! Why does describing the CC make it sound like I'm experiencing a bad acid trip?


* Want some more examples? A woman dressed as Miss Universe is followed by a troop of drummers, all of whom have their faces painted gold to match their gold outfits. And all of them have decorative drum hats, which are giant drums held up from the shoulders by support poles anchored on their shoulders. Honestly, I've never done drugs.


* Time to shut it down! Lord Sebastian Coe, the chairman of the London Olympic committee gives a standard speech about how everything is great, we are awesome, blah blah blah... and hands the podium over to Jacques Rogge who asks, "Where is my check?" Ha ha ha ha! I kid. He would never ask that... out in the open. He gives the okay for the Olympic flame to get snuffed. The multi-petalled cauldron spreads itself out as a phoenix appears in the fireworks behind the dying flame. Why the phoenix? What exactly is rising out of the ashes in London? Did I miss something?


* Fireworks aplenty erupt from all areas on top of the stadium. And then, as a sad trumpet plays, the cauldron lays down flat and goes out. Adios, Olympics!


* And now, as NBC prepares to show us a sneak preview episode of "Animal Practice," their new comedy show that will probably fail by December, Bob tells us that we can come back in an hour to watch the after-Olympic party featuring... The Who?


WHAT?! We had to sit through the fake Who, but you're going to subject us to your stupid comedy instead of letting us watch the real thing? Grrrr... and of course, since I DVRed this instead of watching it live, I was too late to record the post-party. Who knows who else we missed in the after-party. Zepplin? Robbie Williams? The Rolling Stones? I know I could look it up, but I'd rather just be angry right now.




So NBC loaded up the fluff and cut out the substance on the last day. And they were doing so well! At least, they were doing so well for the days I watched. I don't know much about the last few days. But stumbling towards the close is bad, isn't it?


Tune in tomorrow and see my wrap-up of the entire Olympic Games, and see who gets gold, silver, and bronze for goodness, and also for badness. See you then!