OPEN THE windows and turn on the fans - it's time for the "Alewife Awards," given to those cultural/entertainment figures who left the year's biggest stench.
First, they ridiculed
N.Y. governor's blindness
Proving that the lower you are, the harder "Saturday Night Live" will kick you, Abby Elliott mercilessly impersonated Brittany Murphy as a space-cadet boob in early December after the actress was fired from a movie amid reports of erratic behavior. That Murphy died a few weeks later only underscored the show's penchant for pointless meanness.
Kick the Kanye
Perhaps we should thank Kanye West for introducing such an amusing phrase into our lexicon: "Ima let you finish . . . "
But his MTV Video Music Awards mikegrabbing antics not only raised his egomaniacal jerkiness level to a new peak but also rallied the world around Taylor Swift to the point that she's more overexposed than Britney Spears' midriff.
Celebrities make the best dads, Part 1
Celebrity confessionals reached a new level of ickiness as Mackenzie Phillips made endless talk show appearances to hype her memoir, "High on Arrival," and its revelation that she carried on a drugfueled sexual relationship with her father, singer John Phillips. (Mick Jagger makes a gross cameo as well.)
Celebrities make the best dads, Part 2
Ryan O'Neal revealed that at Farrah Fawcett's funeral, he flirted with "a beautiful blond woman" who felt compelled to tell him, "Daddy, it's me - Tatum!"
How about a discount
on 'High on Arrival'?
Kindle owners must have thought Big Brother was monitoring their reading habits when Amazon remotely deleted their electronic copies of George Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm." Amazon claimed that the copies were from an unauthorized supplier, but readers kicked up an online firestorm nonetheless.
Year's best cat fight
Former "Project Runway" finalist Kenley Collins was arrested for assaulting her now-ex-fiance by throwing their cat in his face while he was sleeping.
Collins told the New York Post that it was "a miscommunication." She eventually pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
Next up: Photo book
with Vanilla Ice
After enduring much criticism for her suggestive 2008 Vanity Fair spread, 16year-old Miley Cyrus returned to her roots at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards and performed "Party in the USA" in a skimpy outfit while doing squatthrusts with a makeshift stripper pole.
Next up: A duet
with Miley Cyrus
We don't care who Adam Lambert kisses, but please spare us any more prefabricated controversies such as Lambert's "in the moment" smooch with a male keyboardist at the American Music Awards.
Next, Roland Burris tries
for 'Deal or No Deal'
Rod and Patti Blagojevich started 2009 as the first couple of Illinois. By year's end, Patti had prayed with Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt (after Pratt called the Blagojeviches "the Heidi and Spencer of politics") on "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!"
Rod was set to compete on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" - while awaiting trial on corruption charges.
Poor choice of words
Chris Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna before the Grammy Awards but still spent much of the year acting like the wounded party, at one point calling Oprah Winfrey's show about domestic violence "a slap in my face."
He's bad. He's bad.
Now we all know it.
Michael Jackson's death was tragedy enough, but just in case you needed a little more, there was the singer's allegedly abusive father, Joe Jackson, using the occasion to hit red carpets and give interviews to promote his new record label - that is, when he wasn't seeking big bucks from his late son's estate or talking up Michael's kids as potential performers.
They could dedicate 'Crash'
to his career
A book proposal by a former aide claimed that former presidential candidate John Edwards not only planned to marry his mistress after his wife died of cancer (which, mind you, she has yet to do), but he also promised that the wedding would take place on a New York rooftop with the Dave Matthews Band performing.
Jays who lose it in prime time
If you're looking for the TV primetime equivalent of the Chicago Bears, look no further than "The Jay Leno Show." Both entered the fall with great expectations and promises of dominance, but within a few months were clobbered by rivals (in Leno's case, "CSI: Miami" reruns), imperiling the big bosses' job security.
Please go away and don't come back in 2010
Candy and Tori Spelling.
Jon and Kate Gosselin.
Ashley Alexandra Dupre.
Those reality-TV-aspiring Balloon Boy parents (sorry, you'll get no name check here).
Those reality-TV-aspiring White House party crashers (ditto).
Worst TV series title, 2009
Sorry, but we can't think of one good reason to call a TV show "Bored to Death," as HBO did.
Number nine, number nine, number nine . . .
In 2009, movies came out called "District 9," "9" and "Nine."
Gosh, what else happens?
The year's most blandly terrible movie title: "Love Happens."
Celebs say the darndest things
_ "I know lots of people that take cocaine three nights a week and get up and go to work every day, no problem. But we never hear that side of the story." (Singer Lily Allen)
_ "I think the more positive approach you have to smoking, the less harmful it is." (Actress Sienna Miller)
How time flies
Admit it: Joaquin Phoenix's bizarre, bearded, mumbling appearance Feb. 11 on "Late Show With David Letterman" seems like it happened, oh, a decade ago, doesn't it?