Drug-addled celebs? It's not funny
Redmond O'Neal is from a show business family. His father is Oscar-nominated actor Ryan O'Neal. His mother was television icon Farrah Fawcett.
So it wasn't a surprise last week when a rumor popped up that Redmond O'Neal was shopping around a prime time TV reality show.
Except for one thing.
He is not an actor. Not a singer. Not a musician or dancer or chef or athlete or ice road trucker. In fact he has no discernible talent.
He's a drug addict currently doing jail time.
The rumored TV show would follow him through drug rehabilitation. His father reportedly would appear in the show, too. Why not? Father and son were arrested together last year on drug charges. Both were ordered into anti-drug programs. When Redmond couldn't even do that right, he was sent to jail.
Some fathers and sons just go to ballgames together.
The O'Neal family insists there is no reality show in the works. But this from …
A few weeks ago, the elder O'Neal admitted that he flirted with — oops — his own daughter Tatum (a former heroin addict) at Fawcett's funeral.
O'Neal has four adult children. He is on speaking terms with only one of them — the one who's in jail.
OK, so he's not Cliff Huxtable. Anybody can accidentally hit on his own daughter at the funeral of the mother of his youngest son. It's a common mistake.
It's pretty funny, except not really.
We need to stop making drug addiction a show-biz career move.
Otis the Mayberry town drunk was funny on the old Andy Griffith Show. Cheech and Chong's pot-smoking comedy albums went gold back in the ' 70s.
In real life, drunks and drug addicts aren't so funny. Especially when they should know better by now.
Did you catch Cheech and Chong's reunion tour last year?
Elvis Presley died in 1977. You could take one look at him and tell something was wrong. I'm not even talking about the jumpsuits. After his death, his personal doctor was indicted on 14 counts of overprescribing drugs to Presley and other patients. According to the indictment, in one year alone, 1977, the doctor prescribed more than 10,000 doses of amphetamines, barbiturates, narcotics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, laxatives and hormones for the King of Rock ' n' Roll. The number might have gone higher, but Presley died in August of that year.
The doctor was found not guilty of all charges relating to Presley's death in 1977. But a few years later, his license was permanently yanked by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners for overprescribing drugs.
Now Michael Jackson's personal physician is under a cloud of suspicion because the King of Pop died with more drugs in his skinny body than your neighborhood Walgreens.
He apparently had trouble sleeping, too. So his doctor shot him up with enough drugs to knock out a patient having a heart-lung-kidney transplant.
How could anybody know Jackson was a druggie? Just look at the video from the night before he died. He was dancing and rehearsing for his upcoming concerts in London. He couldn't perform like that if he were on drugs, could he?
Absolutely he could. Entertainers and athletes can perform drunk, stoned and half-dead. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones was arrested 10 times for drugs in the ' 60s and ' 70s, at the height of the Stones' success.
Richards once said, “I don't have a drug problem. I have a police problem.” (OK, that one's pretty funny.)
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis claimed that he threw a no-hitter in 1970 while tripping on LSD.
Stories of Mickey Mantle hitting homers in a boozy haze abound in New York Yankee lore.
How could anyone tell that something was wrong with Michael Jackson? How about his mug shot in 2003? He looks like Pagliacci's sad clown … or LaToya. Kabuki dancers wear less makeup.
The world's so-called greatest entertainer … pretty much stopped entertaining 20 years ago.
Let's say you were watching the nightly news, or even Entertainment Tonight, and Michael Jackson's picture appeared. Would you expect to hear good news or bad news?
When was the last happy Michael Jackson story?
On Aug. 14, 2005, Comedy Central aired a celebrity roast of Pam Anderson. There may have been some references to Anderson's breasts.
But just as many jokes were made about rocker Courtney Love, who appeared to be whacked out of her mind. The jokes were pretty brutal. Her drug use was funny stuff.
On Aug. 19, Love admitted to a judge that she was using drugs again, in violation of her probation agreement from a prior drug arrest. She was ordered back into rehab.
H-1 had a reality series Celebrity Rehab. It was such a hit, they made Celebrity Rehab 2. Actor Jeff Conaway was in both series.
If we approached drug and alcohol addiction as serious health issues, would we really be watching third-banana celebrities like Brigitte Nielsen, Tawny Kitaen and porn star Mary Carey try to kick drugs?
I was mostly watching to see which one Daniel Baldwin hit on first.
Celebrity Rehab had everything but a home game from Parker Brothers.
Aug. 31, 2009, 5:39PM
By KEN HOFFMAN