Wayne Brady isn't thrilled about "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo."
He thinks the TV show represents the disintegration of actual talent in entertainment. But he still watches it with his daughter.
If you haven't seen the reality hit on TLC, it follows a proud redneck family, including pageant girl Honey Boo Boo (Alana, 7). The family's phrase for "respect" is "You better redneckognize!"
Anyway, Brady (performing Saturday at The Mirage) and daughter Maile, 9, first saw Honey Boo Boo when Boo starred on TLC's "Toddlers & Tiaras."
"I thought it was a joke - like one of those fake improvised documentary movies," Brady says. "I thought, 'This is brilliant. But I don't recognize any of the actors.' "
Imagine his surprise when he realized Honey Boo Boo was a real girl.
"My daughter was just busting a gut because she knows better; that it's a cautionary tale."
Brady has tried giving "Honey Boo Boo" the benefit of the doubt.
"I would never damn the child because she's just a kid," Brady says. "But my biggest problem is - who needs talent when you can be entertained by this?"
In other words, the show is another reason people may think they don't need to learn entertainment skills because they can just plop their craziness onto TV or YouTube.
Meanwhile, Brady's daughter recently sang in a performing arts group. Brady cries when he watches video of Maile's show.
"I was just so proud of her. And she was so big. It amazed me because you see someone grow up every day, so you forget exactly how they are in perspective to the real world."
Brady isn't trying to develop Maile into a performer. Singing is her idea based on her own drive. But he is trying to drill one lesson into her head.
"Whatever you're going to be, try to be the best one in that group. Try to just kill it," he tells her.
"I think a lot of people today shoot for the middle, and they don't see the top anymore. We have a whole generation of kids who don't go for the highest mark.
"It's all about the lowest common denominator, just across the board, whether it's reality TV, whether it's comedy or whatever. They don't shoot high. It's: 'Everybody's a winner.' The bar is so low. It's weird."
So that leads us back to Brady, watching "Honey Boo Boo" with his daughter, who critiques the show by saying, "She can't do anything. She just slaps her belly, and she's on TV."
At least, Brady says, he and his ex-wife don't have to worry that their daughter will idolize the "Honey Boo Boo" show because Maile wants people to respect her and her brain.
But he watches it with Maile, and talks with her about it.
"Because of the Net and TV, you can't necessarily shelter kids from the world the way I was sheltered," he says. "The world might have been just as creepy - but it wasn't as creepy out loud."
Katy Perry and John Mayer slipped into Spearmint Rhino after midnight Saturday with friends, according to People magazine's Mark Gray, who quoted an insider: "As for whether they got (lap) dances, they were in a strip club ... you do the math." Perry and Mayer got a room at Prince Harry's Wynn.
Doug Elfman's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.