Years ago, I interviewed a very weird Hollywood character named Criswell. Some of you may remember him from his many appearances on “The Tonight Show.” However, in certain odd circles, he is best known for his performances in the movies of shlockmeister Ed Wood. No list of the world’s worst movies would be complete without their collaborative efforts, “Night of the Ghouls,” “Orgy of the Dead” and, of course, “Plan 9 from Outer Space.”
But Criswell’s chief claim to fame was his insistence that he was the single greatest seer since Nostradamus. It was none other than Criswell, after all, who predicted in 1955 that Mae West would be elected president in 1960. It was also he who predicted that Fidel Castro would be assassinated, that Denver would be wiped off the map, and that the world would come to an abrupt end in August of 1999.
Proving that, as the old song claims, for every man there’s a woman, Criswell married a dancer named Halo Meadows, whose poodle, Buttercup, she was convinced, was the reincarnation of her cousin, Thomas. Not even eHarmony could have done a better job of matching a couple.Criswell insisted that 87% of his predictions came true. Don’t scoff -- he was probably right. However, that’s because when he wasn’t insisting that Martians would soon be fielding a major league baseball team, he was busy foreseeing the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, that Christmas would fall on December 25th, and that the ocean tide would continue to roll in and out.
Well, call me nuts, but in the quarter century since Criswell died, back in 1982, I’ve felt that there’s been an obvious vacuum that needs filling, and I’m here to fill it.
To begin with, I am going to climb out on a limb and predict that, in the coming year, Angelina Jolie will either adopt another African baby or an Indian elephant.
I also prophesize that Rosie O’Donnell will continue to spout her typically ignorant statements, and continue to be more widely quoted than Jesus Christ, Winston Churchill and Mark Twain, put together.
Moreover, I predict that whoever hosts the Oscars will feel compelled to tell us that Jack Nicholson is the epitome of cool for no apparent reason other than that he wears sunglasses indoors and, for some unfathomable reason, is always smirking.
And, finally, gazing into my crystal ball, I predict that no matter how many troops we have left in Iraq, so long as a Democrat wins the presidential election in 2008, the mainstream media will not say a single word about a quagmire or ever mention an exit strategy.