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Dalton Ross on a worthy cause: Burt Reynolds!

Dalton Ross on a worthy cause: Burt Reynolds! EW’s senior editor asks: Won’t you support a legend’s craptastic museum? Plus: ranking the ”Survivor” seasons and obsessing over ”Treasure Hunters”

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Smokey and the Bandit: The Kobal Collection

Dalton Ross on a worthy cause: Burt Reynolds!

I’ve been doing this column for a few months now. We’ve had some fun discussing everything from Barry Manilow to Lassie to Pac Man Fever. And many of you (okay, ”many” may be pushing it) have made it a point to stop by each and every week to say hello. But it’s time to get serious, people. It’s time to mobilize! You see, I don’t want to alarm you, but… Burt Reynolds needs our help. That’s right: The Bandit himself is in a bit of a pickle. Or at least a museum housing some of his memorabilia is. It seems the town council in Juniper, Fla., may be looking to sell off the Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum to finance a biomedical research facility.

Frankly, this is a shame. First off, I think we can all agree that any medical advances that might come out of such a facility pale in importance to the historical significance of Burt Reynolds memorabilia. Plus, this museum has been a proud part of the Juniper community dating all the way back to… um, 2002. Okay, so the paint is barely dry. Still, I can’t help but worry about what is going to happen to some of the precious artifacts that are currently housed at the museum — precious artifacts like the hat Burt wore in The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, or his boots from Striptease. These are parts of cinematic history! (Unfortunate history perhaps, but history nonetheless.)

Yet this extensive collection contains more than simply props from lame Burt Reynolds films. There is also a section of ”Gifts From Famous People,” although said famous people appear to consist pretty much of only Gene Autry and Roy Rogers (unless you count Trigger the horse). Of course, we also know what an absolute sports nut Burt is, which is why the Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum also contains such, uh, unique items as wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff’s last jar of stickum. The contents of which I’m sure have aged spectacularly over the past 30 years.

I think you see by now where I am going with this: We need to save the Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum. I haven’t seen a Burt Reynolds movie in 10 years, so why would I want to save his crappy museum, you ask? Well, did I mention that it houses an extensive collection of deputy sheriff badges, including ones from Lanville County, Tex.; Ramsey County, Minn.; and some place called Warrensville?!? Pretty sweet, eh? Here’s what I’m getting at — we buy the museum. (Or at least a cheap warehouse somewhere in Montana where we can store the stuff until we can figure out what the hell else to do with it.) Think about it — you can own a part of a football signed by the entire roster of the USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits! And you’ll just squeal like a pig when you take an afternoon paddle in the canoe from Deliverance. For chrissakes, there are also official keys to cities such as Miami Beach, Niagara Falls, and Savannah, Ga. Now I’m not exactly sure, but I think that means that in those towns we can walk around naked pouring Milwaukee’s Best over the heads of anyone we don’t like and it’s all good! (And if anyone hassles you, just flash one of those deputy sheriff badges and you can arrest them!)

C’mon! Who’s with me? Send in your pledges and we’ll make a go of it. I’m pretty sure a couple hundred dollars just might put us in the ballpark. And if it does, we could slip on the shoes of baseball legend Red Schoendienst. After all, they’re in the collection.

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OBSESSION OF THE WEEK

Every year — fine, every week — there is some reality show that is so bad that I simply can not look away. NBC’s Treasure Hunters is one of those shows. There are so many reasons to be freaked out by this program. For one thing, there is a black family who is constantly referred to as ”The Brown Family.” This follows the unfortunate inclusion of ”The Black Family” on The Amazing Race: Family Edition, who had to suffer through host Phil Koeghan telling them, ”Black Family, you’re the last team to arrive. I’m sorry to tell you you’ve been eliminated from the race.” Like the Black Family, the Brown Family came in last place in their first challenge, but were spared elimination so they could meet up with five more teams in Nebraska. But the unfortunate casting does not end there. There is also a team called ”The Geniuses,” who spend all their time getting lost, going to the wrong destination, and talking about what geniuses they are. And then there’s perhaps the scariest mullet to ever appear since Billy Ray Cyrus shook his acid-wash-sporting tush all over the place. But the most egregious aspect of the show has to be the positively out-of-control product placement. Several of the contestants (including the mullet-rocking Papa Hanlon) have turned themselves into human billboards by wearing T-shirts of one of the sponsors, Ask.com. I have an Ask.com query — why did I sit through two hours of this nonsense? And why do I plan to sit through several more? Sometimes, something is so bad I simply can not believe it is on, and that makes me want to watch even more. It’s a disease — I call it Paradise Hotel Syndrome.

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THE LIST

Last week we had a Glutton first — the crossover episode! Much like those fantastic Love BoatFantasy Island crossovers of yesteryear, we combined the best of both worlds by using some Reader Mail to introduce a List topic. Never one to have reservations about going back to the well, I am letting another reader inspire this week’s topic. Paul Williams wants to know what my favorite Survivor seasons are. I’ve done this list before, but not for a few seasons, so it seems like a good enough time to update the entire thing from best to worst. Which means it’s also time for another Glutton first — a List that goes beyond 5. Spinal Tap’s amps may go up to 11, but we’re going 12 deep, ladies and gentlemen!

1) Borneo
The first, and still the best. You go back and watch the first episode and you still can’t believe that Richard Hatch has a chance in hell of winning.

2) Amazon
Easily the most unpredictable of seasons, although I haven’t talked it up as much of late because it makes Jenna Morasca way too happy when I do.

3) Pearl Islands
Rupert. Fairplay. Tossing the Survivors overboard to begin the game. Great challenges. This season could have had a shot at No. 1 if it didn’t trot out the lame Outcasts idea and have such a weak final two (including one of said Outcasts).

4) Palau
Watching one tribe lose every single immunity challenge was just too precious and proved a nice change-up. Plus, the best group of challenges of any season.

5) Marquesas
The first time we ever saw two minority groups band together to overtake the seemingly in-charge majority. Kind of a weak final two, though.

6) Australia
Overrated. Yes, Skupin fell in the fire, and Colby let a million dollars slip through his fingers, but it doesn’t hold up as well dramatically as season 1.

7) Panama — Exile Island
Great personalities (Shane, Cirie, Terry, Bob Dawg), but the challenges were on the weak side, and you pretty much knew at the end of each episode who was going to go next.

8) All-Stars
Panned by fans, and with good reason. Having friends playing the game as opposed to strangers just didn’t work — except in watching Boston Rob burn bridges with Lex and Kathy. The final tribal council and reunion show were both pretty explosive, but I still can’t believe freakin’ Amber won.

9) Guatemala
One of the strongest final twos with Danni and Stephenie, but why was Steph in the game in the first place? Letting her and Bobby Jon have another go-round was a cheap stunt, and the climate was so oppressive (114 degrees!) that contestants just sat around moping the entire time instead of actually getting up and…you know, doing stuff.

10) Vanuatu
Battle of the sexes worked in Amazon. It didn’t here. Redeemed itself a bit at the end, with Chris coming out of nowhere to win.

11) Africa
A Survivor without water. Not a good idea.

12) Thailand
A Survivor without one likable character. Not a good idea.

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READER MAIL

Some interesting letters this week, starting with Quentin-Alexandre, who has a correction to make about my article on Barry Manilow being used to drive Aussie hooligans away.

Just so you know, Aussies don’t drink Foster’s. Which is somewhat funny, since it’s what every single Australian pub serves. Foster’s is for drunken English lads (see the nice local vocab) getting jiggy with it on a table and spilling said beer on your shirt. Which actually wouldn’t be that bad if they didn’t take your place on the table in doing so. — Quentin-Alexandre Brigaud

Quentin-Alexandre, there is only way to retaliate against such behavior: Take back that table! Take it back and get jiggy with your bad self. And make sure someone videotapes you doing this so we can post it online and have a good chuckle at your…I mean their expense. And if Aussies don’t drink Foster’s, what do you drink? (By the way, if you answer Milwaukee’s Best you’ll be my hero for life, and not unlike Bonnie Tyler, I’ve been holding out for a hero for quite some time now.)

The ultimate room-clearing song, regardless of age or sex, has to be ”It’s a Small World After All.” Just thinking about it makes my brain hurt, and I think it took two years to get it out of my head after my youngest sister insisted on going that ride at Disney World. — Cynthia Schmidt

I’m with you, Cynthia. I actually touched upon the ”Small World” ride in a Glutton article about my family trip to Disney World. So disturbing, and perfectly spoofed in The Simpsons episode where Lisa starting tripping at Duff Gardens with all the little robot girls and boys chanting, ”Duff beer for me! Duff beer for you! I’ll have a Duff! You have one too!” I could have used a few Duffs to make it through that excruciating ride.

Okay. Seriously. Where can I get a copy of the Boba Fett CD? And also, I can clear the roommates out of the room with ”Strong Enough” by Cher…but that likely has more to do with my dancing. — Jason Begay

You are the glutton, Jason — a glutton for punishment! A few people wrote in inquiring about reveling in the mediocrity that was my college punk band, Boba Fett. If you really insist, I believe you can catch a few seconds of us in action by going to Amazon.com. Search under music for ”Armed & Hammered” (or just click here). This should bring up a page for a compilation with eight different bands (each with two songs); one of the bands is called Industry Girl and is, in fact, Boba Fett in disguise. (We changed the name for the CD because there was some other band called the Boba Fett Experience out there, and honestly, they were probably a hell of a lot better than we were.) Anyway, they have some sound clips you can check out. Although the CD is out of stock at Amazon, it appears there are people selling copies on the site for as high as…75 cents! That’s probably about 32 cents too much, but whatever.

Do you read all these e-mails, as inane as they can be, or is it the lowly intern? — Steve Czerniak
Although I only have time to respond to a few every week in this here column, I do indeed read all the e-mails you all send in — from the marriage proposals (more, please!) to the death threats (less, please!) to everything in between. If you take the time to write, the least I can do is read what you have to say, and trust me, I am all about doing the least amount of anything possible.

Speaking of doing the least amount possible, I’ll be taking the next two weeks off because I’ll be on assignment and on vacation, but will then be back with an action-packed, super-size edition of The Glutton! (P.S. Not really.) In any event, keep sending those questions, quibbles, and comments — not to mention Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum pledges!!! — to theglutton@ew.com, or just fill in the handy-dandy order form below. They are read. And appreciated.