PEOPLE & PLACES

Best Tabloid College Course
Journalism 4871-810: Topics/Issues in Gender Media
University of Colorado-Boulder

Students probe pop star Madonna (intellectually, of course) in this summer journalism class. Described in the syllabus as exploring "the presentation of gender in costuming, gesturing and movement," the course also seeks to instruct students in such postmodern skills as "reading gender code and spectator response." Assignments include analyzing videos and films from Ms. Ciccone herself, in addition to the scrutiny of assorted "scholarly" essays. Does the campus bookstore sell Playboy?

Best Tabloid News Flash From Colorado
Weekly World News
In an urgent item datelined Denver, the supermarket tattler reported that "lamebrained" Colorado salesman Denny Setzwick was beating the blues by giving himself shock therapy with a cattle prod.

Best Colorado Connection to the Tonya-and-Nancy Story
Shawn Eckardt
Shawn Eckardt, Tonya Harding's 26-year-old bodyguard implicated as the hitman in the January clubbing of skate queen Nancy Kerrigan, was once expelled from an Aspen security school called Executive Security International. Unfortunately for Eckardt, the training center for professional muscle, which offers courses in "defensive shooting," escape and evasion driving, unarmed defensive tactics, observational psychology, profiles of terrorism and "principles of protection," didn't have a class in deep knee bending. According to ESI director Bob Duggan, the pudgy, disheveled Eckardt "fostered a James Bondian fantasy about himself" during his days in Colorado.

Best Colorado Connection to the Heidi Fleiss Story
Samantha Renee Burdette
Cherry Creek High School graduate Samantha Renee Burdette (class of '86) made a name for herself working as a high-paid fashion model, but she may be best known as a handmaiden to Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. Burdette, who according to police was a "very trusted employee" of Fleiss's, was arrested last June after agreeing to have sex with (and provide several other willing ladies to) an undercover Los Angeles police officer. The cost: $1,500 a head. So to speak.

Best Appearance by a Coloradan in Playboy
Casey Gray
A waitress at the downtown Hooters restaurant, Casey Gray appeared in Playboy magazine's perky "Girls of Hooters" tribute in April--and more than lived up to the name.

Best Appearance by a Coloradan in Playgirl
Greg Lane
Arvada native Greg Lane didn't let his appearance as Playgirl magazine's "Man for March" go to his head. The beefy centerfold, who owns his own striptease company, cheerfully sold autographed copies for twelve bucks a pop--and at last word continued to eat lunch every day at the Country Buffet restaurant in Westminster.

Best Self-Proclaimed Former Part-Time Prostitute
Roseanne Arnold
Roseanne Arnold, who got her start in Denver, made some interesting revelations last year. Among the most provocative was her claim that she occasionally performed sexual acts for cash in cars parked near local comedy clubs. Arnold hasn't presented any evidence to support the tale, though, and no one has yet stepped forward to announce that he--or she--was the beneficiary of Rosie's sexual favors. Talk about your repressed memories.

Best Hooker History
Phil Goodstein
Phil Goodstein has written the history of Denver's Jewish community, unearthed the annals of Capitol Hill, and in his most recent book, The Seamy Side of Denver, chronicled the city's brothels and madams, tossing in plenty of scandals and other related historical mayhem for your added pleasure. And all for just $16.95 a throw.

Best Flying Object in a Local TV Commercial (Human)
Dealin' Doug
Doug Moreland, who owns Cherry Creek Dodge, Colorado Chrysler Plymouth and Colorado Jeep/Eagle, isn't what you'd call a telegenic guy. But he's got something even better than charisma: a willingness to make himself look stupid. Moreland has soared through the air as Superman and earned A's in historical shtick by portraying George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Move over, Jake Jabs.

Best Flying Object in a Local TV Commercial (Nonhuman)
Franklin D. Azar's car
After attorney Franklin D. Azar addresses the viewer about the finer points of personal injury law from a posh office setting, an automobile plummets into the frame and wipes out his desk. A viewer could get whiplash!

Best Balloon Payments
Bongo
Pearl Street Mall, Boulder

If you've been to the mall on a Saturday, you've seen him. He's the tall, bearded fellow doing strange things to balloons. Look closer, however, and you'll discover that Bongo is an artist of rare talent and good humor, able to produce balloon swords, balloon hats, balloon animals and God knows what else--and all without suffering an inflated ego. You may wind up forking over a dollar for a one-cent balloon, but when the man with the balloon is Bongo, you won't mind a bit.

Best Capitalist
John Malone
Sure his competitors bemoan John Malone's stranglehold on the 500-channel vision of the future that he and his henchmen at Tele-Communications Inc. created almost single-handedly. But let 'em gripe. He may be a robber baron, but he's our robber baron--and as long as we get our interactive TV before the rest of the country, to hell with 'em.

Best Capitalist Punishment
John Malone
A few pesky speed traps are still slowing down cruising speed on the information superhighway--the Federal Communications Commission, for one. In a recent interview with Wired magazine, John Malone suggested that telecommunications travel could move much faster. "All we need is a little help," he said. "You know, shoot Hundt!" FCC chairman Reed Hundt--who's been busy slicing cable rates--was not amused. Malone apologized.

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