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Tuesday, March 8, 2005
Updated: May 31, 2:31 PM ET
The Intern Contest finalists

By Bill Simmons
Page 2

THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 4, THE WINNERS: 1-3 | 4-7

THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 4, THE ELIMINATED: 1-4


FINALIST NO. 1
Name: Matt Bank
College: Dartmouth College, 2004
Residence: New York, NY
Current Job: Structured finance paralegal
Age: 22

1. What's your favorite SNL sketch ever and why?
I own a Robert Goulet album. Is it humiliating? You bet. He's the showbiz equivalent of the 104-year old at a retirement community -- long outliving everyone from his era yet confidently clinging to a time when singers snapped to the beat and wore tuxedos. Entitled, "Robert Goulet's Wonderful World of Christmas", it pictures Goulet suavely in front of a green cardboard Christmas tree, and all tracks sound like he's singing into a karaoke machine with the 'echo' dial at 11. Will Ferrell hawking the powerful baritone's newest album, "The Coconut Bangers Ball: It's a Rap", from a convertible in the middle of NAAAA-TURE is hysterically mesmerizing for me, then:

1. for the obscurity of the Goulet reference in the first place (Would he challenge a bighorn to a staring contest? Is anyone sure one way or the other?), and

2). because he sounds like a drunken Rigoletto agitated after a bar fight.

If belting "Big Poppa" through a huge moustache without accompaniment isn't funny to you, then check your pulse.

2. What's the funniest scene in movie history and why?
I considered describing the absurdity of the TV-version of "The Usual Suspects" when Benicio del Toro says, "Gimme the keys, you fairy godmother!" but because I regret not honoring the late and inimitable Phil Hartman in my first answer, I'm committed to it here. Playing Alcatraz guide, John 'Vicky' Johnson, in "So I Married an Axe Murderer", Hartman delivers in his quintessentially stoic, well-paced style a bizarre monologue about former inmate Machine Gunn Kelly. Juxtaposed with bantering between Mike Meyers and Anthony LaPaglia, Hartman stops occasionally to stare them down with the funniest 'threatening slow blink' in cinema history, and "The next day he and four other inmates took turns pissing in the b---h's ocular cavities." Pause. Mood swing. "This way to the cafeteria!"

3. What's your favorite reality-TV moment ever and why?
Vern Troyer's the easy pick here, and any other day of the week I would have said a blacked-out drunk midget squirming and moaning for America's Next Top Model takes the whole, pathetic cake, but not today. In an exhibition of delusion rivaled only by Freddie Mitchell's self-worth, Corey Feldman, in a post-Surreal Life interview, alleged: "I have never been called a 'has-been' in my career, until I did this show. That's a true fact."

Do you suppose the interviewers had to get confirmation that's actually what he said, or did they just vomit right away?

4. If you could choose any sports scandal to happen, what would it be and why?
Imagine the New York Post:

ISIAH IT AIN'T SO!

Outshining the latest in the "A-Rod wakes up early, Sox peeved" saga, Isiah Thomas has been exposed as the NBA's Rachel Phelps of "Major League" -- a conniving ex-showgirl looking to move the city's beloved franchise by gutting the roster -- meaning he's not actually an idiot, only dishonest. The shakeup comes at a time when the $287 million free-agent signings of oft-injured veteran Derrick Coleman, And 1 Mix Tape standout Syk Wit It, and Corey 'Has-Been' Feldman were tolerated by fans and media as merely symptomatic of a guy who's just really really embarrassingly lousy at his job. The Knicks' front office, however, has issued a statement that they're stunned Isiah's not as dumb as they thought, he will be fired for cause immediately, and they're certain they'll find a far bigger imbecile to replace him.


FINALIST NO. 2
Name: Chuck Bell
College: Ithaca College
Residence: Kenmore, NY
Current Job: Grant Writer
Age: 29

1. What's your favorite SNL sketch ever and why?
As a God-loathing, Devil-worshipping, iconoclast, obviously I'll say Sinead O'Connor ripping up the Pope's picture.

2. What's the funniest scene in movie history and why?
Picture this: a portly, dough-eyed, flaxen-haired lad making his screen debut in the horrific 1989 remake of "Lord of the Flies". Steve, played by Chuck Bell (seriously), squeaks through two of his three speaking lines while trying to be intimidating. This is the same "actor" who's already been told by the director to 1) "lose weight because you're detracting from Piggy", and 2) "stop walking around with that stupid grin when you're supposed to be hunting."

The unintentional comedy springing from my goofiness and complete inability to act is only magnified when put into the context of my life. I believe I'm making a legitimate run at becoming the ultimate low-rent, D-list, wannabe celebrity. Need proof? I have a friend who tells people I was in a movie, but insists on saying it was "Stand By Me", since that's a "much better movie." More? I received an e-mail from my college roommate who saw my name in the Intern Contest. He said that if I win (in concert with my LOTF fame), I'll "officially join Rikki Lake and David Boreanaz in the pantheon of celebrity Ithaca College alum." Getting mentioned in such exclusive company is certainly cause for celebration, but it's also the reason the scene that "started it all" is the one I find funniest.

PS -- I have a comically vacant webpage on IMDB.

3. What's your favorite reality-TV moment ever and why?
I'm not going to dignify this with a response ...

... although I did just join Yahoo's Apprentice Fantasy League.

4. If you could choose any sports scandal to happen, what would it be and why?
This Just In ...

Bill Simmons, a.k.a The Sports Guy, has been arrested for running a high-priced prostitution ring with male athletes. A federal investigation was launched when the FBI received an advanced copy of Jose Canseco's tell-all book documenting his time working for Simmons.

The following statements are from Canseco's conversations with prosecutors:

On athletes:

"Sports Guy had it wired. Someone called with a leather fetish, Boomer [David Wells] was ready; a guy looking to explore alternative activities, A-Guez [Alex Rodriguez] was on it. Of course, Ellis Burks was the prize stud in the stable ... for obvious reasons."

On performance-enhancing drugs:

"They were everywhere man. I'd say 80% of us were on Viagra."

On Simmons' intimidation techniques:

"We were terrified of him. Terrified! When Peyton Manning got performance anxiety with our biggest client -- Sports Guy pistol-whipped him. Like right in front of us.That's why when Shawn Kemp forgot to use protection for like the tenth time, he knew he had to disappear.You know, fall off the face of the earth. What else could he do? Fight back? No way. I mean, how do you shoot the Sports Guy in the back ... what if you miss?"

Simmons was unavailable for comment. Sources say he's busy watching his Miami Vice DVDs before being transported to Attica.

The Simmons Media Empire should be in good hands as the AP has learned wonderkid Chuck Bell will take over in Simmons' absence. When reached for comment, an annoyingly pompous Bell said, "We all knew I was gonna get the keys to this thing [ESPN6 and Sports Guy's World website] sooner or later."

Bell added, "Let's Ride!"


FINALIST NO. 3
Name: Kevin Cott
College: University of Georgia, 2002
Residence: Atlanta, GA
Current Job: law school student
Age: 24

The money. The drugs. The endless stream of women. After becoming an Intern finalist, everything came so easily that it was impossible not to get caught up in the game. But no one ever warned me about the darker side of celebrity ...

Just last week, I had free-fallen into a disillusioned, pill-popping has-been, forced to live off of Brian Austin Green's scraps. But I checked myself into rehab, found Scientology, and have re-emerged a changed man.

So I ask you, America, are you ready for this?

1. What's your favorite SNL sketch ever and why?
"I WILL SMACK YOU IN THE MOUTH, I'M NEIL DIAMOND!"

Will Ferrell at his finest. Really, there are only two things which cause me to have fits of such uncontrolled rage that "Hit 'em up" seems like a love ballad by comparison: John Elway's omission from the SportsCentury countdown, and Storytellers Neil Diamond being left off the Best of Will Ferrell (original release).

The entire skit is a virtuoso performance. A few classic lines:

-- "It gets crazy on the road, and awful lonely. That's why I love pornography."

-- "This next song I wrote after I killed a drifter to get an erection."

-- Gary: "Leave me out of this, man."
-- Neil: "NO, I WILL LEAVE YOU IN!"

Honorable mention goes to James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party, Belushi's Samurai, and Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

2. What's the funniest scene in movie history and why?
This question is like coming home to find all of the Victoria's Secret models waiting in your bedroom. Everywhere you turn is possibility, but where do you begin? Plus, someone's bound to get left out. For example, how can my answer not involve Bill Murray? Still, I'm going with Spinal Tap reminiscing about the mysterious deaths of past drummers, culminating with the most recent one, who we are told "exploded." The entire scene kills me, including an utterly perplexed Rob Reiner, a hilarious flashback, and David St. Hubbins capping it off with, "You know tons of people spontaneously combust each year, it's just not widely reported."

Either that, or any scene involving Nicholas Cage as an action hero.

3. What's your favorite reality-TV moment ever and why?
I subscribe to Chuck Klosterman's theory that the Real World became a caricature of itself years ago, but I still hail it as the reality television gold standard. So I'm going with anytime Adam from Real World: Paris rapped. "I will NOT be afraid to cry, and I will NOT hide my family pride ... " The guy makes David from New Orleans look like Stevie Wonder. Bonus points for times when he was wearing the ridiculous Charlie Chaplin hat.

4. If you could choose any sports scandal to happen, what would it be and why?
"In the truly bizarre, Bud Selig has resigned as commissioner of baseball amid reports that he tested positive for steroids. A somber Selig stated, 'We all make mistakes. After all the flak I got for the all-star game debacle, I decided that I needed something to give me that extra edge. I just ... I ... (muffled sounds).'

An unidentified reporter then cracked that Selig sure didn't look like he was on the juice. To everyone's astonishment, a crazed Selig ripped off his shirt and started doing the Hulkamania routine. He was, in fact, ripped."


THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 4, THE WINNERS: 1-3 | 4-7

THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 4, THE ELIMINATED: 1-4