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TeeVee 2000: The Millennial Millennium

Hello, and welcome to TeeVee's live coverage of the Millennium. I'm Jason Snell, and I'll be anchoring our worldwide coverage of the turning of the calendar from the year 1999 to the year 2000. If the calendar were your car, you'd be taking it in for an oil change! Or, wait, is that 3,000 miles? Well, in any event, we're getting closer to an oil change.


Our Vidiot correspondents are spread out across the globe, bringing you the news of the turn of the millennium live, as it happens. Before we begin our trip around the world, we'd like to thank you for turning to us for your millennial news. We realize you could've chosen CNN, ABC, or even PBS, but instead you've turned to us, and we appreciate it.

With that out of the way, let's begin our march through history.

Our first stop is one of pure entertainment. Let's go to our Philip Michaels with the latest.

Live! From the Flint Center in Cupertino! It's the TeeVee Millennial Party of the Century Good Time Fun Hour! With special guest stars Stevie Nicks! Jm J. Bullock! Jeff Conaway! Ray-Jay Johnson! Rodney Allen Ripey! Soleil Moon-Frye! Kim Fields! The Solid Gold Dancers! And a special appearance by Mr. Millennium himself, that extra-special extraterrestrial ALF!

Hello again, good friends, Philip Michaels here. And sure, ABC may have lined up the A-list talent for its 56-hour millennial coverage. But we here at TeeVee have some pull too, as you can see from the galaxy of stars that's descended upon Cupertino tonight.

Already, this evening, Gavin MacLeod has entertained us with the ol' soft shoe. We've heard George Winston tickle the ivories in a live satellite hook-up from the Topeka Performing Arts Center. And I think you'll agree, you haven't heard "Blowin' In the Wind" until you've heard it performed by the incomparable Harvey Fierstein.

So stick around, folks. We have lots of surprises in store. Why, who knows? Maybe the stroke of midnight won't bring Y2-chaos but a rousing version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" sung by the fabulous Dixie Carter and our own TeeVee Fun Hour singers. Stay tuned!

Now to Ben Boychuk, who -- if I'm reading this card right -- is secluded in some sort of... bunker? Is that right, Ben?

Jason, while most experts now dismiss the likelihood of a Y2K cataclysm, there are those of us who are not taking any chances. I am reporting from a cabin in an undisclosed mountain location about 80 miles east of Los Angeles, California. Put it this way: if and when the conflagration occurs, I will have one hell of a nice view.

I've made a list and I've checked it twice. Here is a rundown of some of the provisions I've got on hand. I've got 144 cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew. I've got 99 and a half bags of Fritos. I've got 8 bags of marshmallows and sticks. And, naturally, I'm swimming in cheap booze. Vodka and gin will be like gold in the post-cataclysmic world of barter and trade.

Oh, yes, and I have guns. Lots of guns.

It's very quiet here. Quiet, and a bit nippy. Got the heat on. Got lots of wood for the stove. Got a big tank of propane. Got a comfy blue blanket.

Not much going on outside just now. It's dark. Stars are out. A dog is barking up the street. If the worst happens, dogs may be used for food. Squirrels, too. Saw a dead squirrel in the middle of the road, up by the highway. Squirrels and other rodents may be used in the post-apocalyptic barter economy. Cash will be useless. Gold, silver, chickens, cows. Squirrels, chipmunks. They, too, will be the currency of the post-Armageddon economy.

Power is still on, that's good. But if it goes out, I am up to my elbows in Duracells. Got the A's, the double-A's, the C's, the D's. Got a few triple-A's. Got watch batteries. No B's, though. Do they even make B's? Got the nine-volts. Got a couple of car batteries in the garage. Got a boat battery and I don't even have a boat.

As the hour approaches, crickets are chirping.

Fuck it. I'm getting some mangos.

Okay, Ben, thanks for that report. If I'm not mistaken, mangos are the most popular fruit in the world. That's good news for a healthy new millennium!

Before we go any further, let's visit our good friend Greg Knauss, who runs the show behind the show here at TeeVee -- our massive computer complex. Greg?

Thanks, Jason. As you can see, I'm in the TeeVee Command Center and Operations Room, making sure that our computers turn out insightful and amusing television commentary for the new milliennium!

What's that?

Ha ha! Yes, instead of what we've been doing for the past three years. Very amusing. Ha.

Back to you, you sarcastic SOB.

Indeed. I understand that Philip Michaels is back in Cupertino with more from our entertainment extravaganza. Phil?

You know, folks, when Jason asked me to host this New Year's Eve extravaganza, I thought, "What better way to ring in the new century then the same way we celebrated 1900 -- with violent debates about the coinage of free silver and rousing songs denigrating the Irish?"

Hee! Kidding! But who can blame me for feeling a little bit giddy in the presence of our next fabulous guest star, the wonderful, incalculably talented Brooke Shields!

Brooke, thanks ever so much for joining our glittering parade of glitterati in Cupertino tonight. Tell me, in what way has life changed for the world over the past 100 years?

Hmmm? You're starring in your own sitcom? Well, that's right, Brooke! And what changes are in store for the next century?

You'll still be starring in your own sitcom? Not so fast there, Brooke!

Of course, I'm merely kidding you. Brooke Shields, may your star continue to shine well into the next millennium. And when it dies in a gaseous conflagration, may its dimming light continue to be seen for generations to come.


Now let's go to our New York correspondent, James Collier, live in the world's den of iniquity, New York City! James?

Hi, folks -- this is James Collier here in midtown New York, just blocks away from the pandemonium of Times Square. I am celebrating the Millennium here at Flashdancers Gentleman's Club on Broadway and West 54th Street. Flash, as it's called by regulars of the club, is right across from the Ed Sullivan Theater, home of The Late Show With David Letterman!

As part of my coverage of the New York New Year, I will be having 20 lap dances with 20 different exotic dancers commemorating each century since the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ! So stick around and get ready for a evening that I am sure will have its fill of lunacy and sorrow.

So far, I've had 10 beers, three shots of tequila, a glass of champagne, as well as smoking a joint. I'm so fucked up. Jason, back to you. Got more work to do here!

Let's move on to another form of entertainment -- one of the many millennial galas going on around this great land of ours. Here's TeeVee correspondent Gregg Wrenn at a very special event. Gregg?

I'm here at the Hollywood Has-Been party, and let me tell you, these disgraced and forgotten stars haven't forgotten how to party! In all my years as an entertainment reporter, I've never seen such a wild and crazy crowd. They've gone Y2Krazy! And of course, it's all for the children, so the drunken debauchery is for a good cause.

Robert Downey, Jr, get over here! Ladies and gentlemen, we've got Robert Downey Jr., this year's Hollywood Has-Been Parade Grand Marshal. Robert, it's good to see you out of prison.

Thanks, Gregg. It's good to be here. Hell, it's good to be anyplace where I'm nobody's bitch.

That is a truly profound insight, Robert. But that's what this time of year is about, isn't it? Deep, philosophical musings on where we've been and where we're going.

I know where I'm going. To a huge pile of crank.

Ho ho, thank you so much, Robert. Have fun in there. But not too much!

Jason Priestley! Jason! Gregg Wrenn from TeeVee here, might we have a few words? So, did you drive yourself tonight?

No, the cops took away my license. I pedaled my Huffy here.

Well, it's good to see that you care about the environment. How about this scene tonight? Are you ready to party?

Absolutely. Part of my plea bargain stipulates that I attend AA meetings, but this is the last New Year's Eve of the millennium! Who needs plea bargains?

So you're going to fall off the wagon just this once?

I'm not only falling off the wagon, I'm going to strip it, sell it for parts and leave it up on concrete blocks out in the driveway!

Ha ha! Jason, you are a scoundrel. Get in there and start partying like it's 1999!

And now look who's here! Tina Yothers! Tina, it's great to see you! It's been ages! What have you been up to since, um, what, 1988?"

I've been studying with the Dalai Lama in Tibet. I'm only a couple of prayers away from transcending my mortal body and freeing my soul for eternal peace in Nirvana, but before I go, I figured I'd get blitzed one last time. Who knows if they've got Jaeger in Nirvana?

Just don't party too hardy, Tina! You'd hate to wake up in Nirvana and have an eternal hangover too! Thank you so much. Enjoy the evening.

Charlie! Charlie Sheen, get over here you scamp! What are you doing outside here?

Waiting for the minivan full of hookers.

How's it going inside? Can the Has-Beens still party with the best of 'em?"

Hell, yeah. It did slow down a little while ago because we ran out of booze and nobody had any money to buy more. So we sent Todd Bridges out. Now the party's jumping again.

Any memorable moments so far?

About an hour ago, Jean Claude Van Damme was picking a fight with Danny Bonaduce. So the bouncer comes over to break it up and damned if it wasn't Gary Coleman. Don't get him mad, 'cause that little midget can throw down!

Didn't I see Britney Spears walk in there a little while ago? What's she doing here?

Oh, she's an honorary guest as the winner of the 1999 Has-Been Society's 14:59 award. She'll be a regular guest next year, presenting the award to the 2000 winner. It's just like the Masters.

And I see the minivan full of hookers has just pulled up, so we'll let you get on with your evening, Charlie. Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to talk to us.

My pleasure, Gregg.

And that's the scene from the annual Hollywood Has-Been party. Back to you in the studio!

Thanks, Gregg. Now back out to Philip Michaels.

Hold on to your hats, folks. Next up in our symphony of shimmering stars, performing his rock anthem, the one, the only, Mr. Gary Glitter!

What? He's not here? But we booked him months ago.

He's where? For doing what?

OK. Um, let's go then to the great Sean "Puffy" Combs!

What? Him too? Crap!

Greg Knauss, do you have any more for us?

Here's a treat: the Phil Michaels Suspension Tube. This is where we keep a clone of Phil, his brain hard-wired into a word processor, to keep turning out the articles the kids like so much. Boy, did this clone put up a fight when we tried to get him into this plexiglas cylinder filled with super-oxygenated fluid, but now he's settled down into the glassy-eyed stare that we've all become familiar with here in Operations. Looks like he's finishing up another piece as we speak. Oh, and another! And another!

Back to you, Jason.

Very interesting. Let's go back to James Collier in New York to see what damage he's wrought. James, you still there?

All of the others, they hate me, you know. Phil... Ben... Pete... Chris... Lisa... they're jealous. They're all jealous. I see it in their eyes.

I just tried calling Phil to tell him I know he wants to kill me... his line was busy. That bastard can't hide from me. He's the ringleader, y'know.

I just took two hits of X. My friend Pat says I should feel it in about an hour...

Philip Michaels, do you have more for us from Cupertino?

Man landing on the moon... the end of World War II... the U.S. hockey team taking the gold at Lake Placid. You can talk all you want about the great events of the past 100 years. But for my money, you haven't lived until you've seen Ed Asner's plate spinning act as we have here tonight.

But let's get serious here for a second, folks. We here at TeeVee are all about remembering the past and those great trailblazers who paved the way to the future. Yes, it's time for our annual TeeVee Man of the Century award. And this year, it goes to a great man, a caring man, a giant of a man. It goes to Larry Wilcox -- Officer Jon Baker from CHiPs.

Without Larry Wilcox's gritty portrayal of the taciturn Officer Baker, could we have had Hill Street Blues? If Larry Wilcox didn't wrestle with ethical dilemmas as he wrestled with punks on CHiPs, would we have seen David Caruso do the same on NYPD Blue? Without those tight pants that Larry Wilcox wore, would we have ever gotten to see Dennis Franz' naked ass?

We think not. And as grateful members of the TeeVee nation, we now say, thank you, Larry Wilcox! Thank you for making us laugh at moving violations and love again!

We only wish Larry Wilcox could have been here tonight, or indeed, that the restraining order he slapped on us last year didn't prevent us from making contact with him so that we might be able to tell him about his win in person.


Words to live by, Phil. Now let's move a few hundred miles south, and visit again with Ben Boychuk. Ben, you live the Life of the Mind. What are your thoughts as we turn to the year 2000?

Under the worst-case scenario, we would see rapid civic breakdown followed by a return to a State of Nature. Man-made law would be null and void. Instead, we would be governed by the Law of the Jungle.

Some dead German summed it up this way: "A doctrine is needed powerful enough to work as a breeding agent: strengthening the strong, paralyzing and destructive for the world-weary. The annihilation of the decaying races. Decay of Europe... The annihilation of the slavish evaluation. Dominion over the earth as a means of producing a higher type... The annihilation of the tartuffery called "morality"... The annihilation of suffrage universel: i.e., the system through which the lowest natures prescribe themselves as laws for the higher... The annihilation of mediocrity and its acceptance... The new courage -- no a priori truths. There is no truth except the Truth of the Truncheon."

(The last thing, about truncheons, was mine. Dead German philosophers have nothing on me.)

Here are just a few basic precepts of the Law of the Jungle. Clip and save, you may need them later.

* Might makes right
* Kill or be killed
* Eat or be eaten
* Drink or be drunk
* Pummel or be pummelled
* Shred or be shredded
* Frappe or be frapped

I thought I heard a noise outside a few minutes ago. My first thought was that it was a roving band of looters getting an early start, trying to get a drop on me. Turned out it was a raccoon. Raccoons will also be currency in the post-Apocalyptic barter economy. They also look like robbers.

Here's something funny I read:

"What does the vast and rushing drama of the universe, seas, rocks, condor-winged storms, icy-fiery galaxies,
The flaming and whirling universe like a handful of gems falling down a dark well,
Want clowns for?"

I don't know, but I sure do like clowns.

How true those words are. Let's pay another visit to the TeeVee control center, with Greg Knauss. Greg?

Thanks, Jason. Right behind me now is the main server for teevee.org, and as you can see, we've spared no expense in harnesing the raw power of Intel's 486 chip and this tiny metal case to keep the site as quick and responsive as possible. While there are supposedly some problems with the low-level components on these machines, the TeeVee Technical Staff has decided not to worry about it too much, instead focusing on -- in their words -- "hookers and booze."

Oops. A small fire seems to have started in the power supply of the machine and as soon as I can get the fire extinguish--

OK. As soon as I can dump this pot of coffee on the computer... There. We're back in business. I think I got all of it.

Jason, let's take it back to you until the smoke clears.

Very well. Philip Michaels has something more for us. Phil?

Well, Jason, Ben and James and Knauss can talk all they want to about our forthcoming doom. But if the rivers do turn bloody and the skies rain down fire, I'm just glad I got to spend the end of days in the luminous presence of Audrey and Judy Landers!

Back to you.

So very true. Let's go back to James Collier in New York.

Everything is so beautiful. So pretty. I just paid someone twenty dollars to hug me. It felt so good. I'm just so happy to be alive, y'know? I wish I could call Phil to tell him how much I love him. I love you Phil. I love you sooooo much. And I love Jason too.... And Pete... and Ben... I just love everyone, y'know? It felt so good to finally just say it. I love you all...

I'm told we've got a final report from Ben Boychuk in his bunker. Let's head there now.

It's getting late, and I don't think anything is going to happen. The valley looks no different from here. No blackouts. No fires. No gems falling down wells, dark or otherwise. I see only the glitter of electric lights. I do not hear the echo of screams reverberating up the side of my mountain.

I cannot begin to tell you how disappointing this is for me. For one thing, I've never eaten squirrel before. For another, I've sunk about $20,000 into all of this stuff. Oh, the things I could have done with $20,000! The Dow is bouncing around 12,000. Qualcomm went from 25 bucks a share to $650. And what do I have to show for it? One hundred and forty-four -- no, forty-three -- cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew. What in God's name am I supposed to do with 143 cans of beef stew?

"In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river"

Yeah, well, somebody obviously forgot to tell that to Dick Clark. Life is very long, all right. I haven't had a New Year's Eve this bad since -- well, since last year. I was drunker last year. Time to open another bottle of gin.

I passed up Streisand tickets for this?

No. No, I didn't.

Who needs Streisand when we've got Philip Michaels at the TeeVee bash in Cupertino? Phil, sock it to us!

Our walk of fame for... um, the famous was supposed to continue now with a lovely duet between Judd Hirsch and Pauly Shore. They were going to sing "I've Got A Crush On You" or something like that. But Judd Hirsch is dead drunk.

I tell you, I have never seen such unprofessional behavior. If the Ring of Fire does come, I hope the ravens take particular care to pick away at Judd Hirsch's flesh.

Goddamn Judd Hirsch. And goddamn you, too, Snell.

Ho, ho! Nothing like the unique comedy stylings of Philip Michaels. Time enough for perhaps one last visit to Greg Knauss down in computer central. Greg, anything exciting going on down there?

Thanks, um, Jason. We've got a problem here. Do you know where the back-up copy of TeeVee Emergency and Evaculation Manual is? Collier took the primary copy into the bathroom the last time he was here and we're missing everything from "Avalance" up through "Hurricane."


Damn. OK. Um. I just pulled the sprinkler handle and it broke off in my hand. I think I'd better call the fire department.

Come back in a bit. Crap, that's getting hot!

Well, that said, I see that midnight approaches. Philip Michaels, old pal, do you have any closing words?

Yeah. I should have gone to the strip bar with Collier. Or nailed the Landers sisters when I had the chance in dress rehearsal.

Uh... and finally, let's head back to James Collier in Times Square, the center of it all, where it's almost midnight. James, tell us what New Yorkers are anticipating in the next century.

I just got a lap dance. My thing isn't working. Nothing happened.....

James? James, can you hear me? The millennium is 5 seconds away!

ooga booga....

3... 2... 1... James?

c xc,mxc,m xc

Greg, what the hell is going on?

Jason, as you can see, I'm about to abaondon the Operations Room. There's very little time left. I can't seem to get Phil's tube to flush out and release him, so I'm just going to have to abandon him. The heat's building up pretty quickly.

Hey! The door's locked. The door's locked!

Oh, shit. Oh, shit. Jason! Jason, can you hear me? I'm trapp--

Agh! Aieee!


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