|Best belated grip on reality:
Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who has finally figured out that the best way to handle a problem of this sort is to get it out in the open quickly, a lesson that could profitably be learned by the Executive branch.
|Best new TV series:
ABC's Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, which takes the standard adolescent sitcom and puts a strange supernatural spin on it. The cast is great, and story editor Frank Conniff, previously "TV's Frank" on Mystery Science Theater 3000, imposes a suitably warped sensibility on the proceedings. (MST3K creator Joel Hodgson is credited as "magic consultant", which must undoubtedly amuse the legion of MSTies out there.)
|Most perspicacious commentary on Web content:
Suck, pointing out in a printed brochure that it charges no subscription fees:
Never before in the history of media has an entertainment product been more appropriately priced!
|Top-rated collector's item of 1996:
ValuJet frequent-flier miles. Get thee to an airport, and get them whilst thou can.
|Most elusive Christmas present:
Tickle-Me Elle Macpherson. And it doesn't seem to matter how hard you look, either.
|Best career move:
Former Congressman "B-1" Bob Dornan (R-Calif.), defeated in his 1996 reelection campaign, will now have a chance to give something back to his Orange County constituency, though it will probably be a couple of months before he is promoted to the drive-through window.
|Most seriously askew sexual fantasy:
Apart from any of Dornan's, supra, this has to be the obligatory lesbian scene in most porn films, which serves as introduction to the de rigueur involvement of some male stud, presumably to the delight of all. The probability that any real-life lesbians might actually welcome these guys strikes me as extremely low.
|Greatest potential for wedded bliss:
Arianna Huffington and Al Franken, provided they can keep the cameras away from the bed, and so long as they don't actually agree on anything.
|Most baroque Web artifact:
The Prodigy Classic Web browser, confronted with a missing image, replaces it with an icon of Leonardo's Mona Lisa.
|Strangest celebrity photo of 1996:
In the September issue of Los Angeles magazine, Phillip Dixon photographs Kristen Johnston of NBC's 3rd Rock from the Sun in a $9000 gown from Emanuel Ungaro - and without her head. The scary thing is, I recognized her immediately.
|Least-welcome publishing innovation:
Mad magazine is now published eleven times a year instead of eight, and is actually on sale during some part of the official month of issue, something the late William M. Gaines would never have countenanced.
|Most-welcome sign of sanity on Usenet:
Morons who post dumb articles from America Online are now more often flamed for posting dumb articles than for posting from AOL.
|A special Chaz Award to:
My boss, who might actually read this page.
Posted 23 December 1996
Join us next year, same time, same URL (probably), for the next edition of the Chaz Awards.
| | Copyright © 1996, 1997 by Charles G. Hill