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The Passing Parade

American Idol almost-be's have found their perfect venue: parade float gigs.

Not one but two finalists from the show rode their almost-fame to a spot singing atop a flower-bedecked vehicle in the Rose Bowl parade, allowing Fox to get cross-promotion on NBC for the upcoming return of the show Jan. 16.

For sheer uselessness, Billy Bush co-anchoring the parade on NBC took the I can't Believe He SAid It award for his observation, actually spurred by his overeager co-host-with-child what's her name, that he had planted a tuft of chest hair on one of the floats, which must be made of only natural material in its natural state–flower petals, seeds, seaweed, rice–uncooked–chest hair.

Parades are famous for vapid vamping and corny transitions into plugs for upcoming shows, but this was Bush-league, big time.

Oh for the days when Willard Scott would twiddle his toupe and reminisce about aunt Martha's prune preserves.

I was really getting nostalgic for the simpler days of New Year's TV morning when I turned to Fox. First, let me give them plaudits for putting Pat Sumerall in the booth for the Cotton Bowl.

It was a wonderful blast from the past. He can still call a game twice as colorfully as people half his age.

Now, I have to take nine tenths of that plaudit back for the promotion of some serial killer movie during the Cotton Bowl game. I went from the scary promo invoking Jack the Ripper and talking of  this new serial killer's 300 victims immediately to a "Happy New Year" graphic. Why do I think it will be a forensically disturbing new year on TV yet again.

In a bit of serendipity, the parade returned with the Kilgore (Tex.) marching band. There is too much kill and gore on TV these days. Inescapably so I am afraid.

By John Eggerton