Critic's Notebook: The Mooch Strains to Extend His 15 Minutes of Fame
Appearing on 'TMZ Live' and 'The View,' the short-lived White House communications director weighed in on such urgent issues as marriage, relationships and rapper French Montana.
Anthony Scaramucci served all of 11 days in his job as White House communications director. Unfortunately, his 15 minutes of fame seems to be lasting a lot more.
Failing to answer the obvious question of why is he still a thing, the Mooch made not one but two nationally televised appearances this week, genially chatting it up on TMZ Live and The View. Along with Sean Spicer’s recent yuk-it-up cameo at the Emmys, these guest turns only served to legitimize reprehensible figures who demeaned their important national positions. Of course, what else could be expected of a reality show administration but that its disgraced figures should wind up as television personalities?
To be fair, Scaramucci does have valuable information to impart. If one happened to run into him, it’s easy to imagine asking for hot stock tips or which restaurant to get a good steak at. Instead, we learned on TMZ Live that Scaramucci is a fan of the rapper French Montana, that he subscribes to Hulu and that he gets $40,000 for personal appearances. He also weighed in on Chris Pratt skipping the Emmy Awards. There was one fascinating tidbit: He revealed that he figured out he was fired from his position when he got off a plane and discovered that his White House-issued cell phone no longer worked. Oh, snap!
He dealt with rather more important subjects on The View, including his outlook on marriage. “The best thing you can do as a guy is to say thank you,” the Mooch declared in front of an audience that included his beaming Italian mother in the front row. No one pointed out that taking marital advice from a man whose wife sued for divorce when she was eight months pregnant with his child is akin to getting French cooking lessons from the stars of Duck Dynasty.
Referring to the controversy over Spicer’s appearance at the Emmy Awards, Joy Behar hit it on the head. “We might be normalizing you right now,” she told Scaramucci. “I don’t think you’re ever going to be able to normalize me, Joy,” he replied. She laughed before assuring him, “We’re not using you as a comic prop. Until later.”
To say that Scaramucci didn’t exactly come across as a deep thinker is an understatement. He acknowledged that, despite his cheesy professions of love for the president that he delivered during his brief time at the White House, he first supported Scott Walker and then Jeb Bush before boarding the Trump train.
“Some people would call that opportunism rather than being a team player,” pointed out Sunny Hostin, who brought up Scaramucci’s highly derogatory remarks about Trump before he took the job.
“Those were three minutes of verbal infamy,” Scaramucci said sheepishly, explaining that he had been “sore” at Trump for his attacks on the hedge fund industry.
Asked if he felt he was qualified for the position he held so briefly, Scaramucci delivered an answer that would embarrass a fast-food restaurant employee. “The office was open, so I took the office,” he said. Good thing there didn’t happen to be a vacancy at the Department of Defense.
When asked if he thought Steve Bannon was a white nationalist, Scaramucci thought for a moment, probably trying to weigh the inherent danger. “I would say he has those tendencies,” he finally acknowledged. So that issue is finally cleared up.
It was all meant to be good, clean fun, including a surprise appearance by Mario Cantone, who played Scaramucci on Comedy Central’s The President Show. Dressed identically, the two men shared a loving embrace before engaging in a face-off delivering PR spins about made-up news headlines. As if to reaffirm that Scaramucci was in way over his head at the White House, it was Cantone who delivered far more cogent responses.
Yes, he has a funny nickname and is a colorfully cartoonish character. But it’s time to retire Scaramucci from the mainstream media that his former boss loathes so much. Unless, of course, someone decides to bring back The Hollywood Squares. That would be fine.