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Famous Like Me > Writer > M > Dennis Miller

Profile of Dennis Miller on Famous Like Me

Name: Dennis Miller  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 3rd November 1953
Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Dennis Miller on his self-titled CNBC show

Dennis Miller, born November 3, 1953, in Pittsburgh, is an American entertainer, stand-up comedian, political and social commentator and television personality. He is probably best known as anchoring the Weekend Update segment of Saturday Night Live during his tenure on the NBC TV show, and for his show Dennis Miller Live, which ran for nine years on cable network HBO.

Miller has been labeled by some critics as being somewhat obnoxious, and at times over-intellectual and snooty. His monologues and stand-up routines often feature elaborate metaphors, references to obscure historical and political events, and sly references to current pop culture.

For most of his comedy career Miller has leaned toward the left, but since the September 11, 2001, attacks, his comedy has reflected more conservative ideals. Miller has said that one of the defining moments that triggered his dissatisfaction and eventual move from supporting the Democratic Party to supporting the Republican Party (in addition to 9/11) was watching a debate between the nine Democrats then contending for their party's nomination in 2004 and noticing a marked inability to provide a strong media presence or cohesive points of view. This perceived change of opinion has kept him strongly in the public eye since his HBO show ended.

Miller studied journalism and graduated from Pittsburgh's Point Park College. In the early 1980s he would host The Trolley Show, a Saturday-afternoon newsmagazine for teenagers, on Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV.

After playing the comedy circuit, he became a fixture on Saturday Night Live, where he served as a "Weekend Update" anchor from 1985 to 1991. His closing catchphrase was "That's the news, and I am outta here!". (Tellingly, Miller looked composed and relaxed more often during 'Weekend Update' than when he participated in sketches) In 1990, he also released a stand-up comedy CD, The Off-White Album, which drew heavily from the language and metaphor-driven style he was becoming known for on Saturday Night Live, and it would show glimpses of the political-based humor that would influence his later work. A well-received TV special, Dennis Miller: Black & White, would air on HBO shortly after the release of the CD, beginning his relationship with the cable network.

In 1992, following his departure from Saturday Night Live, Miller launched a syndicated late-night talk show, "Dennis Miller Live". Airing opposite the late-night king, NBC's The Tonight Show, the show was canceled after less than a year due to low ratings, even though it won an Emmy.

Beginning in 1994, he hosted Dennis Miller Live, a half-hour talk show on HBO characterized by its simplicity. The show had no set, band, or even much lighting. It mainly consisted of Miller speaking to the largely unseen studio audience on a darkened stage. There would be one guest per show, either live in the studio or occasionally on air via satellite, whom Miller would quiz on the topic of the day. The show would also have a call-in segment (the number to call into the show was 1-800-LACTOSE, however call-ins were phased out entirely in the last years of the show). Miller and his writing staff won five Emmy Awards while hosting the show, which aired 215 episodes during its nine-year run. The show was cancelled by HBO in 2002.

The highlight of the show were Miller's self-described "rants" on various political issues. These monologues always began with the catch phrase "Now I don't want to get off on a rant here..." and ended with the phrase "Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong." Miller also used these monologues as a basis for a series of audiobooks and hardcover books released during the run of the show, starting with 1996's The Rants to 2002's The Rant Zone. In 1995, he served as host of the MTV Video Music Awards. He also was the host of HBO's 1996 series of election specials, "Not Necessarily the Election."

In 2000, Miller became a commentator on Monday Night Football. He demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the game and its personalities, although, at times, some felt he tended to lapse into sometimes obscure analogy-riddled streams of consciousness commentary similar to his monologues and stand-up routines. After two seasons, he was replaced in 2002 by former Oakland Raiders coach, and long time FOX Sports commentator, John Madden.

CNBC's Dennis Miller logo

In 2003, Miller provided short-lived regular commentary for the FOX News show Hannity & Colmes before moving on to do a show on CNBC in early 2004 called Dennis Miller, also short-lived. The hour long show contained a daily news segment called "The Daily Rorschach", which was reminiscent of his "Weekend Update" segments. The show also featured a panel discussion on current topics dubbed "The Varsity", which a panel of Miller and a panel of three guests would disscus current events (considering the show aired in 2004, an election year, many times the topics were political or election issues). The panel often included Gloria Allred, Lawrence O'Donnell, Willie Brown, Harry Shearer, Mickey Kaus, and David Horowitz.

Though Miller had criticized John McCain for endorsing 'someone as insipid as George Bush" on Dennis Miller Live in 2000, Miller now stated that his show would not feature any criticism of the president. "I take care of my friends," Miller stated. Groups such as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting and Media Matters (FAIR) criticized CNBC for airing what they believed to be a blatantly biased program.

He is one of the few mainstream comedians to support the GOP. Dennis Miller has flown on Air Force One during President George W. Bush's term of office, and he is alleged to have a "top spot" on the GOP's "celebrity" A-list. He also visits wounded soldiers to show his support for their service.

In 2002, some prominent Republicans urged him to run for U.S. Senator from California.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Dennis Miller