When the first-ever Alewife Awards were presented to mark 1996's most dubious cultural happenings and incidents, many Chicagoans were familiar with that stinky fish washing up on Lake Michigan's beaches. Dead alewife sightings have since grown rare, yet the stench from the arts and entertainment world hasn't let up. Breathe deep and enjoy this year's catch.
His next prospective fans: The Lindbergh baby, Gandhi
When Justin Bieber visited Amsterdam's Anne Frank House, which commemorates the diary-writing teen killed in a Nazi concentration camp, he wrote in the guest book: "Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber."
Movie-biz blogger Nikke Finke, whose feud with and ultimate separation from Deadline.com owner Jay Penske provided an ongoing entertainment media soap opera, offered this absurdly Hollywood-centric tweet in response to Nelson Mandela's death: "R.I.P. Nelson Mandela, subject of Weinstein Co's Idris Elba-starrer 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' which opened Nov 29 and has awards buzz." Among the ensuing parody tweets with the hashtag #FinkeObits: "RIP Adolf Hitler, who really made The Weinstein Company's Oscar-nominated INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS possible."
Dignity demolition night
Not even induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame could get estranged radio partners Steve Dahl and Garry Meier to set aside their squabbles. Dahl refused to attend, and Meier declined to thank or otherwise acknowledge Dahl (or, for that matter, subsequent radio partner Roe Conn) in his acceptance speech.
Coming next season: 'Antiques Roadshow' for furries
TLC, which we remind you used to be called The Learning Channel, offered yet another service to humankind by exposing the world of nudist real estate in "Buying Naked."
Shia LaBeouf made no friends on Broadway upon his pre-opening departure from the play "Orphans" when he tweeted email exchanges between him and co-star Alec Baldwin and director Daniel Sullivan. He got himself into hotter water late in the year when the short film he made, "Howard Cantour.com," went online and proved awfully similar to Daniel Clowes' graphic novella "Justin M. Damiano," prompting this clunky apology: "In my excitement and naivete as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation."
I know you are but what am I?
The Onion generally makes us laugh, but its tweet about then-9-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis — "Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhane Wallis is kind of a (crude expletive), right?" — was the year's most tone-deaf attempt at humor.
Thin 'Line' between love and Gaye
Not only did Robin Thicke's massive hit "Blurred Lines" obviously lift from Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up," but he and producers Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr. (aka T.I.) pre-emptively sued the late soul singer's family seeking a ruling that no copyright infringement occurred. The family retaliated with a suit alleging not only that "Blurred Lines" rips off "Got To Give It Up," but also that Thicke's "Love After War" infringes on Gaye's "After the Dance." The Gaye family wisely didn't take credit for one of the year's lamest lyrics: "You wanna hug me? … What rhymes with 'hug me?'"
Got to zip it up
When Thicke sang "Blurred Lines" on the MTV Video Music Awards, he was upstaged by Miley Cyrus' out-of-control lizard tongue, her trying-too-hard twerking and the foam finger with which she violated him. Of course, Cyrus' crass not-a-girl-anymore calculation boosted her career.
Just wait till she dons a cheesehead
The inventor of the foam finger subsequently accused Cyrus of degrading his product, forgetting one key fact: It's a foam finger.
Most depressing celebrity feud