As I was flipping the dial on the car radio this morning, I stumbled across a couple of jocks panning Ellen DeGeneres in respect to her new stint as a judge on American Idol.
The main thrust of their potshots?
"She's a comedian. That's what we expect to get from her," one chided in so many words.
"Ellen's taking it all too seriously," another piped in.
In the final analysis, the morning plattter-spinners concluded that because there already were a couple of qualified judges (from a musical standpoint) on the panel, that the perky talk-show host (who pines to do a two-step now and then on her own show) should stick to what she does best.
But, the truth of the matter is, it is not always possible to zip off zingers non-stop that touch the funny bone.
Or, conjure of a bit of schtick that's going to hit the mark on each and every breathless occasion.
For example, last week the wide-eyed comedian attempted to rustle up a gaggle of giggles, by toying with one of the contestants in the throes of uttering up her decision.
"I know I shouldn't make you wait for my decision," she confessed with a straight face.
"So, I'm just going to get to it."
"Because, that would be unfair, of course. To make your wait."
Although that wasn't it verbatim, you get the gist.
The bit was so old, it was grey.
And, in spite of the fact Ellen usually has expert comic timing - on this occasion - it fell flat.
When Ellen first agreed to take on the post, the press roundly reported her stance on what it meant for her to be a judge on American Idol.
If I recall correctly, Ms. DeGeneres admitted she was not an expert on the subject of music - and that her opinions on talent and stage presence - would stem from the fact she was a typical person who was a music lover pulling for the contestants from the sidelines.
Auditions are tough, after all.
I expect that having a major player on the panel - who is less foreboding a prospect than Simon Cowell (who tends to glare down his snotty nose at contestants) - is helpful in getting an audition off on the right note!
In that regard, Ellen's a worthwhile contribution to the mix.
Maybe she just needs to strike a better balance with her material.
It's all a matter of gaining her stride, I guess.
Give the kid a break, eh, Dudes?
A handful grab brass ring!