It's a constant source of amazement to me how little people actually know about the Backstreet Boys. "I know enough to know I don't like 'em," people often quip. Well, that's not very fair, is it? How would YOU like it if you were rich and famous, and a certain segment of the population treated YOU like a cold plate of mashed potatoes? I dare say, you wouldn't like it very much!

This is why we are going to spend a few scant minutes to learn some Backstreet Boys basics. Ready? Here we go.

There are FIVE Backstreet Boys. They are, from cutest to ugliest, Nick, Brian, Howie, Kevin, and A.J. Actually, Brian is cuter than Nick, but don't say this to anyone under 19, lest you confirm your status as a Backstreet fraud. Their newest album is entitled (unoriginally enough) Millennium, and has already scored two monster hits: "I Want It That Way" which was number #1 on MTV's Total Request Live for over 16 weeks, and "Larger Than Life" which, as of press time, is still in the #1 spot and driving host Carson Daly to tears of boredom. Now. Here are basic Backstreet Boy bios (B.B.B.B.). Don't try to memorize it all -- just remember key points.

NICK CARTER (Ostensibly, the cute one) Nick is the least creaky of the Backstreet Boys (at a ripe 19 years old), but easily the smarmiest, and the one most likely to be kidnapped and dragged behind a car on a road covered with busted beer bottles. He's the one who always sings, "Tell me why-EEE!" on "I Want It That Way." According to the fan website Backstreet.Net, Nick's favorite drink is Mountain Dew, his favorite actor is Jeff Goldblum (?!?!?), and "he wears glasses sometimes -- not because he has to, but because he wants to!"

BRIAN LITTRELL (the ACTUAL cute one) If Brian were a Spice Girl, he would be "Sporty." He's the most physically fit, and clearly the best singer of the group. Backstreet.Net offers these juicy tidbits about beefcake Brian: his favorite food is "mac & cheese"; he was born with a minor congenital heart defect (then lay off the mac & cheese, Brainiac!); and his favorite deodorant is Mennen Speed Stick. Downside: His best friend is Nick the Dick!

KEVIN RICHARDSON (the monobrow) Jesus Christ, this guy has a monobrow! I mean, it's bad enough he's got a hook nose, but you could hide a goddam bird sanctuary in those nasty caterpillars! He's clearly the worst dancer in the group, and, to tell the truth, I have no idea if he's a good singer or not -- I can't stop looking at those (shudder) brows! His favorite movie is Top Gun, his favorite color is blue, and he hopes to "be a daddy someday." (Ick! Why not just adopt and beat the kid in the face with a shovel?)

A.J. MCLEAN (the balding one) Clearly the most unfortunate member of the Boys. He's one of the better singers, a snappy dancer, and, after Nick the Dick, the youngest. Yet thanks to male pattern baldness, he'll always be the "grampy." Even worse than hearing the screams die down by 40 percent when his name is mentioned onstage, A.J. is forced to call even more attention to his handicap by wearing stupid hats. Favorite cologne: CK One. Favorite food: McDonald's #6 meal (Double Quarter Pounder w/cheese, large fries, large iced tea, no lemon). Sigh... poor A.J. Poor, poor A.J.

HOWIE DOROUGH (the "foreign" one) I like Howie, but he kind of freaks me out. He's always pointing at me and winking. That makes me uncomfortable. It's like he's saying, "Hey. You. Come here, baby. Give Howie the kiss. Give Howie just the little kiss right here." And he also has really big teeth, and his head is shaped like a football -- which is like he's saying, "My head... it's shaped like the football, no? You like it. You like it and my big sharp teeth. Arf! I'm the dog. I'm the dog you want to kiss. Kiss the dog, baby. Kiss the dog right here."

I mean, really... what more do you need to know?


Saturday, Nov 6


It's "O, how the mighty have fallen" night when Rick Springfield, Dave Navarro (Red Hot Chili Peppers), David Silvera (Korn), and John Doe (X) guest star on this chop-socky sitcom.

Sunday, Nov 7


Guest starring 'N Sync. You know, if they're not careful, I'm not going to like them anymore.

Friday, Nov 12


Let's see... I paid the telephone bill, and I paid the automo-bill, so what is special guest Destiny's Child complaining about?

Friday, Nov 26


Ricky hosts his first primetime spectacular entitled, Ricky Martin: Really... I'm Not Gay!