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Who’s Getting Sent to Room 101?

This week I’m going to introduce my fellow American’s to a new British panel or comedy show everyday.

Room 101, another show that originated on radio, lets celebrities send people and things to “a fate worse than death.” Since that is the premise of the show, celebrities pick things they don’t like or things they think would make for a funny exchange and good television.

Not every object mentions goes into Room 101 because the host has to be persuaded that the object deserves to go into Room 101, which is named for the room in George Orwell’s 1984. Some things that celebrities have chosen to send to Room 101 are American Football, The Beatles, and even the show itself.

There have been three hosts of Room 101: Nick Hancock, Paul Merton, and Frank Skinner. The following clip is from the last show ever with Paul Merton and has Ian Hislop trying to send Piers Morgan into Room 101. However, it doesn’t quite work the way as planned.

We Can’t Believe We Defended Piers Morgan

In “Howard Stern or Piers Morgan: Who’s Got Talent?”, Jeremy argued that Piers Morgan was entertaining on America’s Got Talent and made a decent judge. As an avid viewer of AGT, I agree that Piers Morgan did have his redeeming qualities. I actually would go as far as to say Piers is a better judge than Howard Stern, who appears to be making AGT “The Howard Show”. However, Jeremy and I both think we need to make it perfectly clear that while we like Piers, we in no way think he isn’t a scumbag.

Piers has been involved in several scandals in the United Kingdom, the most well known is the News Corp. hacking scandal. Before Americans knew him as a reality show judge, Brits already knew him as the unlikable editor of several tabloids, such as The Sun and The Daily Mirror, who was somehow redeemed by his friendship with Simon Cowell. To make up for defending Piers Morgan, here is a clip (starts at 4:30) of him getting slimed/gunged on Noel’s House Party.

Also, we would like to inform our British friends that we are well aware no one likes Noel Edmonds and have no idea why he’s still on television.


Howard Stern or Piers Morgan: Who’s Got Talent?

In June 2006, a competition show premiered on NBC, ostensibly to compete with the hugely popular American Idol. It was hosted by Regis Philbin with judges David Hasslehoff, Brandy, and a controversial British tabloid journalist named Piers Morgan. The show was called America’s Got Talent,  and it is profoundly surprising that 7 years later, after so many changes, it’s still doing well. None of the original cast is on the show anymore, with the most noticeable change coming this season. Piers Morgan is no longer at the judges table. I have seen at least a few episodes of every season since the show started. Morgan, who started out as a blatant Simon Cowell imitator, was the one constant. As the years went on, he development his own (albeit still antagonistic) style. With him gone, I didn’t know what to expect this season. I will say unequivocally that Howard Stern, with his experience in the entertainment industry and reaching out to audiences, was a very good choice as a replacement. I do believe he will do well this season. However, as a somewhat loyal viewer from the beginning, I am going to miss his predecessor.

The show has been at its best since Nick Cannon took over as host in Season 4 because he had a far more captivating presence and higher energy level than the previous two hosts, Regis Philbin and Jerry Springer.  It concerns me that his enjoyable quarreling rapport with Morgan can now longer be part of the show. Morgan had a reputation of being harsh with the buzzer, while Cannon was known to defend the acts. It made for especially good TV when Cannon would walk out onto the stage during the audition process to stick up for the entertaining untalented acts. Cannon would enthusiastically shout “Hit the track!” and continue an atrocious singing or dancing act, ensuring that even the disgraced contestant would have a good time. Last season, Cannon was relentlessly pulling for karaoke artist  Udi Abgagnale, so the judges just left the studio, so they didn’t have to listen as Cannon, Abagnale, and the crowd kept singing “Hot Hot Hot.” Morgan just asked  the camera incredulously, “Do you see what’s going on with Nick Cannon?” Who’s decided Udi is the hit of the show.” That was good television. The best interactions in  competition shows the last few years between a host and a judge have been between Cannon and Morgan. Whether it was Cannon’s defense of acts or Morgan’s ridicule of Cannon’s fashion choices, their relationship on the show worked. I have yet to see the same type of interaction between Cannon and Stern.

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