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Tuesday, April 13, 2004

FOX Summer Lineup: Celebrity Swan

Our Host, Amanda Byram, a comely foreigner of indeterminate British Isles provenance, stands in the marble-bedecked atrium of an enormous mansion. She's surrounded by a serious-looking group of people dressed in lab coats and clutching clipboards.

Amanda: Hello, and welcome to Celebrity Swan, the most extreme beauty pageant ever staged. I'm Amanda Byram, and I'm here to lend a facade of class and sophistication to the proceedings.

She motions to the group behind her.

Amanda: This is our team of life reconstruction consultants, who will help two very lucky celebrities make themselves over and reclaim some of their former aesthetic glory. And maybe, just maybe, rejuvenate their careers in the entertainment industry.

The team nods appreciatively.

Amanda: But only one of our lucky, lucky ugly ducklings will be chosen at the end of our program to compete in the Celebrity Swan pageant, the greatest beauty contest ever conceived! Let's meet the contestants!

Video: Amanda is approaching the double doors at the front of a breathtaking Malibu mansion, trailed by the Celebrity Swan camera crew. She knocks on the door. Amanda turns back to the camera crew and silently mouths 'This is going be GREAT!' The door swings open, revealing Pam Anderson. Once she realizes what's happening, she covers her mouth, her squeals of delight still recognizable through her tears of joy.

Pam: Oh my God! I can't believe this! This is so great!

Amanda: It is, Pamela, it is.

Back in the studio, Amanda turns to her life reconstruction team.

Amanda: Ok, team, what are we going to do with Pamela?

A woman in a lab coat, the team's therapist, steps forward.

Therapist: Pam's had a lot of turbulence in her personal relationships. I think this makeover can make her feel like she deserves all the love that's showered on her.

Video: Tommy Lee sits on the edge of a waterbed.

Tommy: Yeah, we're thinking of getting back together. She's a great chick, really, she is. Her tits could be bigger though, you know? I mean, they're big? But like, they could be... [inflates his cheeks and pantomimes juggling two beach balls] You dig? Also, I got her when she was a lot younger. Can we do anything with those little wrinkle things around her eyes? I'm banging this chick that pees on people in Penthouse, and she doesn't have those. Whaddya think? Also, fix her ass. I don't think I need to explain that one.

Amanda points to a team member with a stethoscope around his neck. He's the plastic surgeon, and he's trying to look down the therapist's blouse.

Amanda: Doctor, what do you think we can do for her?

Surgeon: This is gonna be a total home run. We're gonna blow up those fun bags like the Underdog float at the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. We'll do the same with her lips, because Tommy looks like a lip man. I'll lipo the inside of her thighs so that there's the official four-inch clearance between them. We're gonna settle for nothing less than Hollywood perfection, Amanda!

Amanda: Anyone else?

Nutritionist: Pam's already on the Atkins, so we're gonna go ahead and cut out all of those proteins. Nothing but water and sawdust for two months!

Amanda: Looks like we've got our work cut out for us, team! Let's meet our next lucky girl!

The mansion's double doors burst open, and Kathy Griffin enters.

Kathy: I'm in! We're doing this!

Amanda: You really want to take on Pamela?

Kathy: I'll do whatever it takes. Bring it on, bitch. I kid, I love you.

Amanda: Welcome to the greatest beauty pageant ever!

Video: A network television executive sits behind his desk.

Exec: We've had many meetings with Kathy. She's incredibly funny and irreverent, and we want to be in the Kathy Griffin business. We've told her to get some work done. She's been incredibly cooperative. What did she get, the boob job, the nose job, the tummy tuck, the body sculpting? Ears pinned? Yeah, she's done it. But she's still missing that 'X Factor,' and we can't put her in a pilot that's never going to series until she finds the X. Give her the X, Amanda!

Kathy: He's totally right! We gotta do this!

Amanda: Team?

Surgeon: I've got some bold ideas. It's gonna be a challenge, but we're gonna knock it out of the park, throw it back on the field, and then knock it right back outta that park!

Amanda: Kathy, how do you feel about this?

Kathy: Carve my shit up!

Video montage: Inserts of Pam and Kathy in gray jog bras and panties, with green circles highlighting trouble areas. Lists of procedures and goals stream down the screen. Clips of Pam and Kathy on the operating table, being prodded and vacuumed, as the surgeon repeatedly gives the thumbs-up to the camera: "Can we go bigger? F--- yeah, we can go bigger!" A nurse rolls a wheelbarrow containing two saline implants up to the table.

Pam lies in a bed in the recovery room. Her face and body are completely bandaged.

Pam: No matter how many times you do this, you never remember how much it hurts. I miss my kid, but I can't remember his name right now. Anyone got some oxycontin? Tommy loves me! Baywatch 3, here we come!

Therapist (voiceover): Pam is having some postsurgery depression issues, but she's going to pull through
with the variety of antidepressants, pain killers, and scream therapy I've prescribed.

Kathy is suspended in a full body sling above a hospital bed.

Surgeon (V.O.): Yeah, she's gonna be out of commission for a while. But she's going to be thrilled when she sees how the surgical risks paid off!

The Celebrity Swan Transformation Coach sits on a couch in a tastefully-decorated office.

Coach: Both women had their challenges to complete their transformations. Pam had a little trouble with the water and sawdust diet, and kept trying to eat her shoelaces. Kathy's foot-binding made it slightly uncomfortable to use the StairMaster, but eventually she came around. I think they're both going to be really pleased. They put in the work.

The transformation team is once again assembled in the mansion's atrium. Amanda stands next to the extravagant velvet curtains that hide the mirror where the contestants will first see their new bodies.

Amanda: OK, team, it's time to bring in the girls. To recap, Pam's ready to reconcile with Tommy, but he thinks that she should be at least as good as the new generation of Playmates he's bedding. And it can't hurt her floundering career! Bring her in!

The double doors open, revealing Pam in a slinky, black evening gown. She's cloaked in shadows, and the camera's too far away to see her improved face. She walks into the room, and two men in tuxedos rush to greet her. Each escort supports a massive breast in his hands.

Pam: Thanks, boys.

They cross the room to the curtained mirror. We still can't see Pam's face.

Amanda: Are you ready to see the new, much improved you?

Pam: I can't wait!

Amanda: Boys, it's time to let Pamela have her moment.

The escorts let go of Pam's breasts. She collapses to the ground under their weight. The curtains pull away from the mirror.

Pam: I'm! Wow!

Amanda: You are, dear, you are!

Pam: I'm going to have to get used to these lips. Is the top one supposed to cover my nostrils?

Surgeon: No one wants their nostrils showing. Nostrils aren't sexy. And don't worry, the tightness in your face from the wrinkle removal will eventually fade.

Pam: I always thought blinking was totally lame. It makes you look so, like, old. And I think I'm going to get used to smiling all the time!

Amanda: You're so hot, girl!

Pam: I love me.

Amanda: So do we, Pamela. So do we.

Pam: Where's Kathy?

Surgeon: There were some complications. She's fine. The strobe lights I installed in her nipples shorted out and she suffered some minor internal burns. No biggie. But I have to brag and tell you that she's a big fan of the propeller I mounted on her forehead. It really makes her seems fun! And don't get me started on the rack! (Kissing the tips of his fingers like a proud chef) Whew!

Amanda: Pamela, that means that you're going to the Celebrity Swan pageant! You surrendered to the transformation!

Amanda motions to the escorts, and they lift Pam's breasts so she can stand.

Pam: This is like a dream come true! Thank you, thank you!

Amanda: On behalf of FOX, your career, and the stripper in the green room with Tommy, you're welcome!

Pam: Hey, am I supposed to bleed from my navel?

Surgeon: (laughing) Pam, that's your vagina!

Pam: Oh...duh! What's it doing up here?

Amanda: Tune in next week when Rhea Perlman faces off against Hilary Duff in the greatest personal reclamation show on television! Bye!

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This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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