What happened to Dennis Miller? I was a fan, all through SNL, the late-night talk show, 'Dennis Miller Live'; I even found his time on 'Monday Night Football' to be, at least, entertaining and interesting, if not successful. But that Dennis Miller is dead. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, let me say that my politics fall to the left-of-center. But that's not why I hated this special so much. I saw him live in 2006 in Atlantic City, years into his "conversion" to staunch right-wing hawk due to Sept. 11. And guess what...the show was great. He hadn't lost a bit of his edge (although in retrospect, he stood stock-still at center stage, hand on the mike, so close to it his face was nearly obscured; you couldn't see the smirks and other expressions that were his trademark. Seems to me now he had a lot on his mind, like he wasn't sure of something...). Now, I never considered Miller a liberal, although when I did a search, it seems he does admit to being one up through the '90s. It always seemed to me he had a journalists sense of neutrality (well, journalists used to be neutral anyway), and he'd let anyone who was a little too full of himself, or who stepped over the line, "have it" in his smarmy way. I never felt like he was pushing a leftist agenda. Whether you agree with that statement or not, the same cannot be said of Dennis Miller, Republican. And in one of the clips I found from Googling him, from 'The O'Reilly Factor' in 2007, he states that the main reason he converted (beside his professed want for the U.S. to be "proactive" in dealing with terrorists in the wake of 9/11) was that he was tired of everyone on the left being "in lockstep". But if you watch this special (and if you're a Miller fan from way back, it's hard) you'll see how disingenuous this pronouncement really is; he toes the Republican line on issues from "Obama-care" (his words)and disbelief in global warming, through his being "a believer" (anybody remember the Christian Dennis Miller? Was I not paying attention?). But, as I said, even though this all seems like a career move, it'd be forgivable if he was still funny. I felt, at one point, especially since he addresses his dismissal from Monday Night Football, that the critical beating he took during his time there about his arcane references and seeming need to speak just to hear himself speak caused in him a need to "dumb it down" so he wouldn't seem so highfalutin' to middle America, which is an incredible act of condescension on his part (watch the special and compare it to the previous 25 years' Dennis Miller; he's not the same guy). But, again, his worst sin is the lack of any funny material. On You Tube there's a clip of his late night talk show where he interviews the late, great comic Bill Hicks, and they both have a laugh about Denis Leary's pilfering of Hicks' whole act. Well, in 'The Big Speech', Miller actually seems to have stolen at least one joke from Leary (Leary's "Life's hard, get a f***** helmet" becomes Miller's "Life's hard, wear a cup"). Shame on you, Dennis. Bill Hicks must be spinning in his grave; but you're lucky he's there and not here, where he could call you on your bull****. Anyway, here's a line you'll recognize, since you named your first child Holden: you're just a big phony.
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