Thursday, August 24, 2006

Maximizing One's Potential

**Update 6:39 am 8/25/06: So far, the polling looks like this: Bonaduce: 3, Undecided: 1, Abstain: 1. I've added a little bit more information about Danny, corrected an error on Tony and put some links in as well. Vote early! Vote often!***

Thanks to everyone who helped me with the 'Songs of the Week," project from my previous post. I was planning on reposting the entire thing with links and attributions, but I've been having some troubles with the fershlugginer HTML codes, so maybe it will appear somewhere down the line.

And an extra-special thanks and a deep bow from the waist to the estimable Madame X and her amazing hootie-hoo, wherefrom she pulled "Thursday's Child" by David Bowie to complete the list.

No, I don't know what a hootie-hoo is, either. But knowing X, it's probably something naughty.

But enough about music. Today, I'm asking for your opinions on an issue that's been bothering me for some time. It stems from a conversation I'm having with my friend Jim. It's a conversation that's been going on for the better part of five years. Because it's one of those kinds of know the type: Wherein we talk for hours, arguing passionately back and forth, changing and revising positions, speaking from the depths of our souls over an item so trivial, yet so profound, that even though I've had almost no contact with Jim for the past three years, If I picked up the phone and said three words to him about the subject, we would be able to continue on as if those years never existed.

I'm calling the issue "Maximizing One's Potential," because the original title of the discussion, if it ever had one, would have been: "Which C-list celebrity has done more with less talent?"

Our contestants:
Tony Danza.

Tony stared out as a boxer, who wasn't good enough in the ring, so he got a job as an actor. His first big break was the wonderful 1970's sitcom Taxi, where he played a guy named Tony, who was a boxer, who wasn't good enough for the ring, so he got a job as a taxi driver. From there, he went to the 1980's sitcom Who's the Boss, where he played a guy named Tony, who was a baseball player, who wasn't good enough for the diamond, so he got a job as a housekeeper.

After a mere two decades, he figured to stretch himself artistically, so in the 1997 "Tony Danza Show," he doesn't play an athlete named Tony. Nope, this is where Tony Stretches his chops, and plays...a sportswriter named Tony. Currently, he's a talk show host, where he plays a former athlete/actor named, wait. It's just a talk show. Called? The Tony Danza Show! He probably thought: 'What the heck. I already have the name copyrighted.'

What's with this guy? Is he really so dense that if he got a script and didn't see any lines for someone named 'Tony,' he wouldn't know what to say?

To be fair, not every single character he plays is named Tony. A couple of times he's played a guy named "Tommy,' and once, no lie, he played a guy named 'Pony.' Maybe his handlers convinced him that they were just misspellings.

Contestant Number Two:
Danny Bonaduce
Danny doesn't have the Curriculum Vitae of Tony, but if anything he's blessed with even more anti-talent than Mr. Danza. Plus he's nowhere near as likeable.

*Danny began his career as the worldly-wise eleven-year-old bass player on the 1960's Partridge Family, then disappeared off the radar screen for a blissful decade. He would occasionally surface, being seing studying karate with Chuck Norris, or showing up on police blotters as a stoner vagrant. He's managed to kick his habits (probably a showy backwards roundhouse, with a needless haiiii-ya! thrown in for good measure), wrote a book on how much it sucks to be him, and got a bunch of jobs as a loudmouth radio jock, which led him to a few gigs as a loudmouth TV 'personality.' He's now having marital difficulties with his wife Gretchen, who married him seven hours into their first date, and who agreed to make the birth of their first child into a 'reality' TV series. Ever the sane, sober thinker, Danny decided the best way to deal with his crumbling marraige was to put it on TV.

So that's the competition. On the one hand, we've got a guy with precious little talent, who's been able to make a career out of being his dumb, likeable self, versus another guy, who doesn't even have that, yet still manages to get a couple hundred thousand hits on google.

Who's done more with less? You be the judge.

Oh, and in case your wondering, I'd probably trade places with either one.


*** For what it's worth: I think that if Hollywood was an overloaded life raft, Danny Bonaduce would be jettisoned first. Perhaps even before the luggage. I think Tony might actually stay on the raft longer than Paris Hilton's little yappy dog.***


Blogger Life, or Something Like It said...

Tony Danza once played a murderer that killed his own daughter in TV movie of the week.
Danny Bonaduce, on the other hand once punched out a transvesite that he picked up for sex..Plus he's got his new show..Breaking Bonaduce...Yup. Danny wins this one in my mind. wins for doing the least. Make sense?

8:19 PM  
Blogger cadbury_vw said...

yeah - danza at least worked steadily for a couple of decades

bonaduce is earning a fair chunk of change for what?

8:27 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I'm completely ignorant about showbiz. Until today, I'd never heard of Bonaduce. Or maybe I heard about him and promptly forgot.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

(Jessica: Danny Bonaduce played Danny Partridge on the Partridge Family show.)

My vote is also for Bonaduce. Being an obnoxious former child actor has somehow carried him for way too long.

Tony Danza did not have any range as an actor but managed to stay employed and was *cough* somewhat successful.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Guy Wonders said...

Danza vs. Bonaduce. Now you're just playing with our heads. The challenge seems like an impossible one.

Danza, at least, always seems likeable. And Bonaduce gives me a vague sense of the creeps. . . . but it's still too close to call. . . .

10:47 PM  
Blogger Madame X said...

Ok my hootie-hoo was sore for days after pulling that one out!

Out of all the talentless C-list celebrities there are in the world you come up with only those two?

Give me I moment I'll come up with some more but first I need to ice my hootie-hoo.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Paris Hilton gets my vote
i know she's not one of the contestants, but she should be

danza actually had a legitimate career...he's done made for tv movies (the one about being a soldier in berlin when the wall goes up is pretty good...sappy...but i would show it to a class) but his talk show was just creepy

bonaduce is a slug
anyone who wants to show he's an alcoholic on TV for money is just sick. his career is all about how he doesn't have one. he is his own antithesis.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Of course there are other talentless hacks out there, but we're just comparing these two.

And of course Danza's done more than Bonaduce.

The question is: has Danza, with his thimbleful of talent, taken himself farther than Bonaduce has, with his mustard seed's worth of chops?

Paris Hilton doesn't count. Not because she's not a sleazebag. She is. She doesn't count because she hasn't even made the pretense of acting. She doesn't need to. She can buy the Hollywood lifestyle--all the glitter and glitz she wants--without ever having to lift a finger.

Say what you want about either of these guys, but they really have worked their asses off to get to where they are. Paris has it handed to her.


10:30 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

actually paris has made the pretense of acting

or at least she attempted the pretense of acting and it sucked

sucked royally

she was in house of wax and some crappy movie called the hillz, and she's going to be in a national lampoons movie

yeah, she had it handed to her, but you could argue that so has bonaduce. he makes a living off of being "that kid from the partridge family". danza at least has tried to have a career. bonaduce's career is that he's a child star with a drinking/drug problem. who isn't?

5:13 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

Okay, Bonaduce is looking very Mephistopheles-like now, isn't he?

I'd have to say that he has to win because I can't think of anything he's done well, and Tony at least is good at playing guys named Tony.

But now that I've said that I'm going to obsess that no, I'm wrong, and Tony should win because he's had more TV shows.

but Bonaduce has to win because...AAUUGGHH! Why do you twist my brain like this, Pirate????

12:11 AM  
Blogger terry said...

i'm voting bonaduce, too... because a)he's pretty funny when he's not having a meltdown and b) had the great fortune of working with my very first celebrity boyfriend, david cassidy.

and that "breaking bonaduce" show was a train wreck that i couldn't stop watching.

i know that my reasons do not follow the criteria at all, but you already know i'm a dork...

(hey! thanks for the link!)

1:54 AM  
Blogger Madame X said...

Is anyone else cold or is it just me?

8:34 AM  
Blogger mal said...

you gotta give Danza some points, at least he is earning a living and unlike Bonaduce, is not ending up in jail, on drugs or beating his least that we know of

10:23 AM  
Blogger mal said...

as regard talentless hacks, What about Paris Hilton? I will never understand what all the publicity is about with her. What has she done good or bad to deserve ANY notoriety?

10:25 AM  

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