Busey's With Dumbass
By Jamahl Epsicokhan
June 30, 2003
So, there I was, sifting through the middle range of my cable channel lineup, and I happen upon Comedy Central, where "Politically Incorrect" ripoff "Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn" is ending and up next is the premiere for this goofy-looking show called "I'm With Busey." I had a half-hour to kill, and watching Gary Busey do and say nutty things could maybe be entertaining, so I figured, hey, why not take a quick look?
Well, I'll tell you why not: This show sucks so bad it should be cancelled immediately, if not sooner. Then all existing footage should be shot into an orbit that is allowed to decay so it can burn up on re-entry.
I'm not a fan of reality television, but if there's one genre where "reality" best fits into the realm of my tastes, it's comedy. I'd rather watch stupid "unscripted" nonsense that's funny rather than some unscripted talent search for the next American Idol or Top Model or Bachelor or whatever.
Unfortunately, "I'm With Busey" is not comedy by any stretch of imagination. In fact, it's not even a TV show. It is an utter waste of bandwidth. Who in the world thought this garbage was watchable enough to be greenlit for broadcast on a cable network?
"I'm With Busey" is a one-joke high concept that sounds good on paper. The joke is: "Actor Gary Busey is one crazy mofo, and we follow him around with a camera and a dorky foil named Adam."
Adam de la Pena, who is also the co-creator of the show, is a 20-something goofball, purportedly a huge fan of Gary Busey's work who decided it would be real cool to hang out with his idol, who, by the way, is one crazy mofo. Comic hilarity undoubtedly ensues from the mismatched duo. Watch, as Busey talks about the meaning of eating oysters and Adam does a double-take into the camera.
The problem? Adam is a completely lame, talentless, and unfunny dork who proceeds to sabotage every possible comedy payoff with his lame and contemptible non-personality. Yes, contemptible. His smug lameness inspires a white-hot burning rage of hatred and disgust. That's not the best thing for comedy.
"I'm With Busey" is a failure because it thinks its concept is funny by default and then proceeds to have nothing actually funny happen. Also because I can't stand that dude Adam. Look! It's Busey dressed up as a woman, ha ha, and look at poor Adam's exasperation at being seen in a shopping mall with a cross-dressing Busey who says goofy things about getting in touch with his feminine side or something. Or, look! It's a scene where Busey and Adam go to a paintball range and Adam thinks that cawing like a crow should be their secret coded communication during the battle action. Busey tells him to shut up, and I couldn't agree more.
And while I agree with Busey, it's not funny AT ALL.
I cannot tell you how much this show makes me hate Adam's guts. Adam apparently thinks that sarcastic deadpan delivery and confused pauses are the root of all comedy, but unfortunately he understands neither sarcastic deadpan nor confused pauses. The show gives us edited bits where Adam narrates for us what he thinks Busey is talking about — or, in other words, that Adam has no clue what Busey is talking about, because it's all indecipherable quasi-spiritual mumbo-jumbo.
Adam's material is all wrong, his delivery is all wrong, his timing is all wrong, his voice is all wrong, and everything he says and does screams wannabe-funny while having not one shred of humor behind it. He's that annoying kid from high school who is absolutely convinced he's funny and will continue to insist upon that belief until you want to pummel him into the tile of the gymnasium floor.
Lame, lame, LAME. Adam, please just shut UP.
Not that Busey is of much help. The idea of Busey being this wacko nutjob is amusing for maybe three minutes, but then it just gets tiring. If Busey is like this in real life, he's a hopeless self-parody. If this is all scripted, then the writers all need to be fired at once. (And that they made more than one episode of this tripe is incomprehensible. How is it possibly sustainable?)
Also, Adam needs a haircut. And a major ass-kicking.
Anything but a TV show.
Note: Do not watch this show to see if it's as bad as I claim. I urge you. I implore you. I beg you. Just don't do it. Please.