Monday, April 27, 2020

TV Quote of the Day (Carmen Electra, on Dating Dennis Rodman)

“It was definitely an occupational hazard to be Dennis's girlfriend.”—Celebrity Carmen Electra, on her time dating Chicago Bulls power forward Dennis Rodman, featured in the ESPN documentary The Last Dance, Episode 4, original air date Apr. 26, 2020

When it comes to depicting Michael Jordan and the group he famously called “my supporting cast” are concerned, only one writer could depict them in all their complexity: William Shakespeare. And The Bard would have to look beyond the conventional tragedies and comedies he is generally known for, to the “problem plays” of his late period.

The Tempest comes to mind in thinking of the storms threatening to capsize the Chicago Bulls in their 1997-98 season. Jordan is easy to imagine as Prospero, a ruler brimming with old hurts and resentments, who dominates his carefully preserved realm against outside usurpers through an iron will and magical abilities.

But Shakespeare would have to fashion the rudiments of Dennis Rodman from another character: Falstaff, another lord of misrule and virtual law unto himself. Rodman might be more notable for length than girth, but he was as bent on revelry as Prince Hal’s roguish pal, his immense skills leading coach Phil Jackson and the team to barely tolerate his antics. 

I missed the first 2½ hours of The Last Dance, but came in on what may well end up being the comic highlight of the series: Dennis Rodman’s “vacation” in Las Vegas, in the middle of the last season of their legendary championship run, taken when the forward could no longer take being “a model citizen” for the team while Scottie Pippen recuperated from a lengthy injury.

The 48 hours allotted by Jackson to Rodman went longer, as Jordan had correctly predicted. So it fell to His Airness to drag Rodman out of the Sin City hotel room where he was holed up with Ms. Electra. 

Jordan’s comments on what he discovered are hilarious: “We had to go get his ass out of bed. And I'm not gonna say what's in his bed, or where he was, or blah blah blah." But Ms. Electra—perhaps better known for his visual appeal than for her way with words—was, in the quote above, masterfully succinct.

Yeah, I know—there are six more hours to go in The Last Dance. But right now, I have my money on Ms. Electra delivering the comic sound bite for the entire series.

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