Ben Lyons: Can I use a lifeline? I'd like to phone a friend.
Meredith Viera: Um, you are the lifeline.
The above dialogue is another one of my made up Ben Lyons parody scenarios and, of course, never happened. If it sounds familiar, you are probably thinking of the SNL skit with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as Katie Couric.
But you may also be thinking of yesterday's episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, starring Katie Couric's Today show replacement (Meredith Viera) and featuring the Sarah Palin of film criticism (Ben Lyons).
After Monday's performance, in which the Bens could not come up with the correct answer, you would think they had nowhere to go but up. As always with overestimating Ben Lyons, you would be wrong.
Erick Childress from Criticwatch breaks it down:
Q: “What would be the title of the 1991 movie Thelma & Louise if the characters’ last names replaced their first names?”
A: Dickinson & Sawyer
B: Anderson & McBride
C: Slocumb & Lennox
D: Harlan & Biddle
This time it was just under seven seconds before one of them spoke up and the conversation went like this:
MANK: I feel like, uh, that, uh, the, uh, wha, what, what rings a very strong, uh, tone to me is Harlan. Um, and uh, uh, but uh, like I said it’s a strong feeling but it is not an overwhelming feeling.
LYONS: I know we can get rid of “A”. I feel confident in that. We can get that out of there.
MANK: It wasn’t Angie Dickinson and Diane Sawyer? No I suppose not. Um, uh, I, uh, man…(turns to Lyons) Uh, you have any, you’re not, uh…?
[Erik continues . . .]
So while we ponder the grade that probably eluded Lyons over the years and whether or not Mankiewicz has a relative somewhere over at AIG, there sits Anthony Dickey [the contestant] deciding to “trust them” and go with “D”. “It sounds familiar, and if not I’ve got no one to blame but me and them,” says Dickey pointing a finger at the Ben’s video monitor. Meredith’s face turns to that familiar “oh no” scrunch as the answer is revealed to be:
A: DICKINSON & SAWYER
The photo at the top is the unfortunate contestant who took their bad advice (he chose D instead of A), disappointed but still laughing his ass off at a humiliated Ben Lyons.
Oh yeah, and Erik rips up At the Movies as well, click here to read the rest of his review.