Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Signing Off"

Good evening and welcome to Entertainment Tonight, I’m Mark Steines. Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, Corey Haim. Three beloved stars tragically taken from us too soon. I am pained, humbled, but most of all proud to say I will be entering their ranks tonight. After sixteen wonderful years of reporting on the fascinating lives of shining stars like Jennifer Lopez, Jack Nicholson, and Julia Roberts, I have decided to end my life by overdosing on sleeping pills and slicing my head off with a Japanese katana, much like the one used by Uma Thurman in Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 smash Kill Bill. After spending so many hours researching, writing, and reporting on the news and gossip of today’s hottest stars, I reached a point of absolute emptiness in my life. I was spending little time with my family, my hours instead composed of obsessing over which designer was responsible for the smashing dress Reese Witherspoon wore to the 2005 Oscars, when she picked up a much-deserved Best Actress award for her stunning performance as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line. I looked in the mirror and saw a shell, a hollow outline of the man I used to be, much like Kevin Bacon did in his blockbuster The Hollow Man. I have failed to achieve any of the goals I set when I entered the University of Maryland to study journalism with hopes of becoming a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper writer. If my life were a feature film, it would be a box office bomb, like the 2005 musical update of The Producers starring Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane. Much like Eddie Murphy in the hysterical Nutty Professor series, I have played many roles in my life, from passionate student to loving father to caring friend. But, as hard as it is to admit, the role that took over my life is entertainment reporter constantly chasing after meaningless scoops about stars like Taylor Swift, whose song “Fifteen” is about her real-life best friend Abigail. Thank you all for tuning in. This is Mark Steines, signing off for good. To my wife: When you find my dead body in the bathroom tonight, please dispose of it carefully and donate the katana to a good cause, like the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Please do not bury me in a ditch like in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 gangster classic Goodfellas starring silver screen icons Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.

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