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I seldom watch TV but I made an exception tonight to see Dennis Miller in his new cableTV show and in the shocking aftermath I can only wonder if the comedian famous for his erudite references was taken over by the pod people. Good Lord !

Miller, who is an immensely talented and brilliant comic looked unsure of himself, the format, his line delivery and even the suit he was wearing – the only thing more painful than watching his performance was the silence that followed Miller’s jokes. Literally at times the uncomfortable shifting of the audience audibly matched the sound of the lone guy laughing. Arnold Schwarzenegger rescued Miller in the first segment only to watch him crash during the news commentary portion. At one point, Miller received one of his few genuine audience responses when he asked a director ” to remove the stick up my ass “. I’m a big fan of Miller’s and looked forward to his openly conservative incarnation but this show was a disaster on par with Dean’s Iowa concession speech…” Yeeeeeeeeearrrrrrrrgh “.

Somebody get Miller out of his mortician’s suit and back into normal clothes and transition the show back to the smart-alecky HBO show format where he is at ease with himself. I’d also advise getting some guests whose views conflict with Miller’s so the sparks can fly to stimulate his quick repartee instead of twenty minutes of the groveling ass-kissing that prevailed tonight with Arnold. Conservatism or political topics are not the problem – Miller made many conservative points about the war quite effectively after 9/11 with biting wit – the problem is equating intellectual seriousness with acting like a boring, hectoring stiff.

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