We watch... so you don't have to.

Three Men and a Millennium

Who knew the "Police Academy" movies were mankind's greatest accomplishment of the last 1000 years? Sure, Bubba Smith is a latter-day Olivier, Commander Lassard is a role model for law enforcement officers the world over, and that Michael Winslow sure can make some clever sound effects, but does it really stand up on a millennial scale?

Apparently so. Since A&E's recent two-night event, "Biography of the Millennium," crowned "Police Academy" leading man Steve Guttenberg the most influential person of the past 10 centuries. Of course, he was also partially responsible for "Three Men and a Baby," so maybe A&E is on to something here...

What's that you say? Oh. Johan Gutenberg. Yes, I suppose that makes a bit more sense.

It's hard to argue with the cable network's selection of the man who perfected moveable type and the printing press as the most important person to have lived since the year 1000, considering that the vast majority of the list would have amounted to diddly squat without his invention.

The rest of the list, however, is wide open for argument, a point the producers drove home repeatedly. Culling from an original list of 250 candidates, the top 100 were selected by journalists, scientists, writers, politicians and assorted other notables. Supposedly, the public even had a hand in it, which could be the only possible explanation for Princess Di being included at #77.

You could make an argument that only dead people should be included on the list, considering they're the only ones who are part of history. Yet a dozen living souls managed to crack the top 100, including Steven Spielberg at #91, Bill Gates at #41, Ronald Reagan, somewhere in the mid 30s, and Mikhail Gorbachev, who placed in the high 20s.

Five of the top 10 were scientists, a fitting tribute to the last 500 years where science has become a religion unto itself. Galileo was number 10, Copernicus placed ninth, and Einstein took home the eighth spot. Charles Darwin, despite what the Kansas State School Board might think, ranked fourth and Sir Issac Newton was runner-up to Gutenberg, presumably for his work with physics rather than his status as namesake for Apple's failed hand-held computer.

Of course, there will always be fights about who got left off the list. David Hasselhoff, for instance, was nowhere to be found. C'mon, people! He's a huge recording star in the very same countries that gave us musical talent like that chick who sang "99 Luftballons." Not only that, but he stars and executive produces what used to be the biggest television show in the world. Without him there would very likely be no Gina Lee Nolan, no Erika Eleniak, no Donna D'Errico.

Seriously folks, which has had a more profound influence on your life: third-ranked Martin Luther and his 95 Theses or Pamela Anderson running in slow motion?

Maybe it's not too late to start a write-in campaign.


TeeVee - About Us - Archive - Where We Are Now

Got a comment? Mail us at teevee@teevee.org.

* * *