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Published:October 16th, 2009 12:30 EST
Channel Surfers Hit Rough Wave

Channel Surfers Hit Rough Wave

By Mike Hart

  Simply put, couch potatos like to veg. That`s what they do best.  Life is oh so simple.  And good.

       Now behind every couch potato is a good couch. Well, OK, it doesn`t have to be that good.
      Then you`ve got the pizza man on speed dial. And, of course, you`ve got your barley, malt and hops beverages just chillin` in the nearby fridge.
 
      Last, and certainly not least, you`ve got your remote. God bless Texas? Nah. God bless the remote.
      Why isn`t there a holiday honoring good `ol Eugene Polley? Here was a man with vision and ourage. All he did was invent the first wireless TV remote back in 1955. You`d think they would have been able to squeeze his mug in somewhere on Mount Rushmore.
 
      But even the Father of All Channel Surfers never could have imagined the disaster that struck the other night in Milwaukee.
 
     The unthinkable happened.
     No, they didn`t run out of beer.
     Couch potatos were working their remotes fast and furious after the local cable company shuffled its channel lineup.
 
     It was a date that will live in infamy. Kind of like when Laverne and Shirley won in bowling.
     Viewers looking for MSNBC`s Keith Olbermann may have stumbled upon Rush Limbaugh instead. Had Olbermann been working his remote at that time and found Limbaugh`s face taking up most of his 48-inch screen, he might have chucked something other than a paper wad at his screen.
 
     Couch slouches seeking CNN weather wonder Jennifer Delgado probably ran into Miley Cyrus. Hopefully nobody sat through a half hour of Miley waiting for her to announce whether the barometer was falling in Hong Kong.
 
     This also wrecked havoc on sports fans. Looking for the big game? There`s big game on the National Geographic Channel. That`s for sure.
 
     Veteran troubadour Bruce Springsteen once belted out that there were 57 channels and nothing on. Surely a zillionaire like The Boss could have popped for a couple of movie channels.
 
     After the fine tuning of the channels, there were a lot more than 57 of them. But couch potatoes were still french-fried.
 
    Once the shock died down, a seasoned couch potato either turned on his trusty GPS device or went to Map Quest and found the sports channels he was looking for.  As luck would have it, there were a couple of new ones added to the mix.
 
    On Channel 444444, there was something like an ESPN4. The lineup was all Brett Favre all the time. So it was just like the other ESPNs.
    Here were some of the offerings:
 
    American Idol: Amazingly Ryan Seacrest is speechless when heart-throb Favre skips the gang`s organized activities and mini-rehearsals. This hits a sour note with Randy Jackson, who howls, "What`s up with dat, Dawg?" Meanwhile, Simon Cowell scowls and chastises Favre for sounding like a broken record.
 
   4 Minutes: Viewers are shocked when Katie Couric gets ushered off the set in favor of John Madden.
    The Biggest Loser: What a tug-of-war. Favre spends most of the show trying to decide what personal trainer he wants. The plot twists when an angry Jillian Michaels says she`d rather help the Packers get in shape.
 
    24: Jack Bauer is called upon when a gang of renegade Norsemen plot to destroy Green Bay. Bauer has to make the interception when a field general comes out of retirement to launch a bomb. "It shouldn`t be too hard," smirks Chloe.
 
      Upon further review of the new lineup, there appears to be a channel with all Terrell Owens programing as well.  
 
       This is great stuff. It wasn`t too long ago when "The T.O. Show" on VH1 tied for the 798th-highest-rated cable show with an episode of "The French Prince of Bel-Air," which aired in the wee hours of the morning.
 
     OK. Raise your hand if you settle in and watch "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" at 4 in the morning.
     As a public service, here is what the T.O. channel had to offer: 
 
     Beavis and T.O.: One of the obnoxious and rude teenage cartoon characters wears a Motorhead shirt while the other dons a No. 81 jersey. The T.O. character plays air guitar in the end zone after he scores. When the coach complains, T.O. chuckles, "Uh, huh huh huh."
 
    Hell`s Kitchen: If you think Chef Gordon Ramsay talks like a sailor now, just wait until T.O. pops up in his kitchen. After successfully completing a grilled cheese, T.O. does push-ups by the oven. Then an irate Ramsay calls him a donkey and fires a Beef Wellington at him.
 
    The Dating Game: T.O. throws a hissy fit when he discovers he is not Bachelor No. 1.
    The Sopra-T.O.s: In the season-ending cliffhanger, waste management expert Tony summons Paulie Walnuts to the Bada Bing and tells him to break T.O.`s kneecaps if he doesn`t stop yapping. As Walnuts moves in to crack the nut, viewers are treated to the Journey song, "Don`t Stop Believing." 
 
    Now that`s good TV.
 
    In the end, everyone lived happily ever after. Couch potatos survived the scare and found their sports programming. There were some anxious moments. Some of them probably swore off TV for good. But the chances of that happening were-- well, remote.