Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Move over, Phil & Oprah

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Move over, Phil & Oprah

Article excerpt

Jim J. Bullock is back in the land of limousines. A long, black one with tinted windows waits for him outside the Channel 30 studios while inside, Jim J. waits to speak with the press about his new talk show.

It is good, the former sitcom star says, to be back before the public, a relief to be working and getting paid. It's just swell that the media wants to talk to him, to hear about his comeback.

"The response has been great," said Bullock, who has traveled this month to Dallas, Cleveland, Portland, Hartford, Sacramento and last Tuesday, St. Louis, pushing his new syndicated program. "We've had a lot of interest."

Truth is, the media can't resist. The new "Jim J. and Tammy Faye Show" is the sort of TV oddity that demands at-tention, one of thosejust-when-you-thought-you'd-seen-it-all, here comes this kind of thing. Broadcast weekdays at 9 a.m., the hour-long show stars Bul-lock, the zany, flamboyant and openly gay comedian, along with Tammy Faye Messner, the mascara-coated, fallen televangelist who used to go by the last name Bakker.

Independently, they offer up more grating, over-the-top personality than the world can handle. Together, producers hope, they will balance each other out, play off each other's wacky ways and charm viewers with their unpretentious demeanor.

"I can't live without Miracle Whip," Tammy Faye said in her scratchy voice during last Friday's show, not knowing or not caring that such a statement might sound unsophisticated.

In their new coupled incarnation, Jim J. and Tammy Faye are a celebration of everything ordinary and lowbrow, the Great American Talk Show, as if it were cast by trash-happy film director John Waters.

To its credit, The "Jim J. and Tam-my Faye Show" understands

that the market for talk shows that dwell in human misery is oversaturated. Instead, it concentrates on everyday stories. Regular folks come on just to chat about what they do. One show last week featured a goat farmer, a father-daughter team of can-dy makers and a woman who wrote a book about morning sickness.

The hosts clowned through-out. Tammy ate jelly beans and spoke with her mouth full. Jim J. thanked God he will never get pregnant and throw up. …

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