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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 02/ 5/2007

Comment Box: Ryan Seacrest vs. Billy Bush

By Liz Kelly

Seacrest and Bush... or Bush and Seacrest? (Getty Images)

How can you tell Billy Bush apart from Ryan Seacrest? They seem interchangeable to me. I guess all smirks look alike to me.

Well, duh, Billy Bush is obviously the one described in Wikipedia as: "known for his light-hearted sense of humor and on-air hijinks with celebrity interviewees."

Now that that's clear, we can move on to the more interesting question: Which one would win in a cage match, duel or arm-wrestling match?

Seacrest is three years younger than Bush, so he may have the vigor of youth on his side. Also, he's used to holding his own with reputed sourpuss Simon Cowell and has managed to dispatch former "Idol" co-host Brian Dunkleman, supplant Rick Dees on radio, Dick Clark on New Year's Eve and D-lister Kathy Griffin on E!. Still, he has fumbled in the past -- most notably when he failed to win over Angelina Jolie on the red carpet at this year's Golden Globes and by attempting to turn the lead balloon "Seacrest out" into his catchphrase.

Bush, meanwhile, may have some WMDs up his sleeve as a first cousin of President George W. Bush. He's also scored some memorable interviews -- Tom Cruise first criticized Brooke Shields's use of antidepressants to treat postpartum depression in an interview with Bush and he reportedly used a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich to score the first interview with Britney Spears's ex Jason Alexander. Still, hosting the lame "You're the One That I Want" reality competition may have a kryptonite-like effect on Bush's strength.

Who would win? It's even money at this point.

Washington, D.C.: As a bartender, aka, "The last legal drug dealer," I have to ask you Liz, purveyor of celebrity news to a celebrity-obsessed culture that is often drunk on its own fascination with being fascinated by the completely un-fascinating, which one of us sleeps better at night given that we are both in evolutionary stumping professions?

Well, beyond the obvious fact that my intoxicant is unlikely to endanger anyone behind the wheel (unless one were to flashback to a recent Britney Spears picture while negotiating a tough intersection), the distinction is indeed fine. Also, it's important to note that overconsumption of Celebritology causes no dreaded "beer goggle" effect.

You do, though, ask an uncomfortable question: Do I feel any pangs of remorse or regret for feeding the beast that is celebrity gossip? Is it a far, far worse thing that I do?

No. I don't mistake myself or celebrity news for anything more relevant to our lives than idle voyeurism. At the least, what TomKat, Brangelina and Paris provide is a brief respite from the real news -- i.e., the frighteningly grim news from Iraq. At the most, these same people give us a petri dish specimen to analyze, helping us to understand the currents of mass media and pop culture. Also, where else on are you going to find a link to this?

By Liz Kelly  | February 5, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Comment Box  
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liz, I LOVE that you keep linking to dick in a box...I can't get enough of it!!!! Also, I was at the JT concert friday, and while it was AMAZING, I was a little disappointed that there were no references to the SNL skit. But, the sheer entertainment of watching the drunken dancing of the girl in the row in front of me made up for everything. And Justin's moves didn't hurt anything either.

Posted by: pt | February 5, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Ryan Seacrest is a professional. Billy Bush is a not very talented amateur.

Posted by: mark | February 5, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Some historians believe that the only stories that have survived have been "pop culture" stories. So, really, we're viewing history in the making when we read about TomKat.

Posted by: Jules | February 5, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

In a Celebrity Death match, I think Billy Bush would win hands down, but because he's cuter and is not related to GW, I'll cheer for Ryan.

To PT: I'll be seeing Justin Timberlake/Pink Wednesday night. OMG, I can't wait

Posted by: Lisa | February 5, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"Ryan Seacrest is a professional"

Mark, really need to reevaluate your definition of a "professional".

Posted by: Noelle | February 5, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Does any remember Billy Bush when he was a radio host in DC before his cousin became prez? He was pretty obnoxious and not at all PC.

Posted by: WashDC | February 5, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I loved listening to Billy Bush and the Bush League on the now defunct Z-104. Although, I will admit they did some pretty obnoxious things, but it made my morning commute thoroughly amuzing. The classic one for me is when his co-host (Janet something?) had her baby live on the air!

Posted by: Karen | February 5, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Liz, I am forever grateful for that link. Thank you so very much.

Regarding Billy Bush vs. Ryan Seacrest. I've got to go with Billy. I don't find him as cheesy or irritating as the highly overrated, how in the world does he keep getting jobs and where are the bodies hidden, Ryan Seacrest.

Posted by: petal | February 5, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

You know, as much as he's wicked annoying, Seacrest gets some cred because if he hadn't been a soul-less diva scratching his way to the top of AI, he's still have that annoying co-host and I guarantee, way less famous.

Posted by: not bluto | February 5, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I'll take Seacrest's dry irony and calm interview style over Bush's overzealous smarmy celebrity panting any day.

Posted by: Teresa | February 5, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Liz, thank you for the link! You provide an important public service for those of us currently living outside the USA and out of touch with wonderful cultural opportunities like the study of celebs and watching worthwhile, educational programming like "You-know-what in a Box." If I didn't get my dose of Celebritology everyday, I might become too close to foreign culture and "go native." There isn't nearly enough celeb reporting here, and People magazine takes weeks to get delivered!! Thanks!

Posted by: Barb | February 5, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Billy Bush has those beady lil' Bush eyes.

Posted by: ugh | February 5, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

this is completely off the topic, but i can't resist: did anyone watch/listen to katie couric yesterday at the super bowl? what was with her hair? was it such a complete and total mess due to the humidity? what was she doing there in the first place? are her ratings so bad that cbs had to drag her in front of a super bowl audience?

Posted by: frieda406 | February 5, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Seacrest is a pretty metrosexual. I'm guessing any guy, whether he's young, old, big, small, tall or short could whip him pretty easily.

I mean, c'mon.

Posted by: Bunkley | February 5, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm a girl and I'm pretty sure I could whup Seacrest.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 5, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Bring back Dunkleman!

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

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