PSYched Out: The Today Show's Obsession With Psy
One of television's longest-running programs, NBC's Today, has recently gone from venerable to vulnerable within the span of about a year. Thanks to more missteps than a line of drunken novice cloggers attempting the Riverdance, the morning show now finds itself routinely rated behind its main competitor, ABC's Good Morning America.
The man who is destroying The Today Show?
There's plenty of blame for all involved to share. They took Ann Curry's co-hosting duties away from her in an unseemly way. Savannah Guthrie went from sunshiny girl next door to knife-wielding Brutus, whose hands seemed soaked with Curry's gushing back-blood. Matt Lauer was Matt Lauer. And, of course, Al Roker shit his pants at the White House.
But amid all this finger-pointing and backbiting, one person has remained unfairly unscathed. That person is Korean pop artist Psy.
See also: PSY Hated America: So What?
True, Psy is not a paid member of Today's dysfunctional family, but maybe he is as much to blame for the show's recent shortcomings as anyone else.
Lauer & co. should take to referring to Psy as "31 Rock," so frequently has he been an addition to Today's broadcasts. He now has performed his breakthrough hit "Gangnam Style" on the show twice within eight months.
When Psy has not physically been at 30 Rock, he has been there in spirit. Sometime last fall, just before his September 2012 debut appearance on the show, "Gangnam Style" began working its way into the show's vernacular. By the time he arrived, sang, did the dance where he slaps a horse's ass and moved onto his next gig (same building, same week, on Saturday Night Live), Psy had become the most colorful plume in the peacock.
"Gangnam Style," the song, has been used for intros and outros to many of the show's pieces. It's led into and come back from commercial breaks. It's been referenced in pieces that have nothing to do with the song itself, its singer, singing, dancing or even music.
Guthrie has been especially egregious in fawning over the song. The only song she appears to love more, based solely on my frequent observation, is Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe."