Picks and Pans Main: Tube

updated 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Wait a minute, Cisco. Is this broadcast TV, or have we been patched into some weird closed-circuit dating service here? Exhibit one: the commercial in which R&B singer Al B. Sure! invites young ladies to call his 900 number to win a date if they can first correctly answer three questions about (you guessed it) Al B. Sure! Hey, you B. Sure!, Al. I think I'm going to Be Nauseous!

That's not as bad as Joan Rivers, who on her syndicated talk show is asking men to send in a photo and a 50-word explanation of why they would be a perfect consort for her. (And you thought your cousin Roberta was desperate.) The three finalists will be flown to New York and, on the air, Joan will pick the lucky winner of a night on the town. The runner-up has to spend the weekend with her. Then there's the bachelor who has made a career out of describing his dating woes on television, Garry Shandling. Tearing a page from the Tiny Tim scrapbook, he is supposed to be married on his sitcom's show within a show this week (Showtime, Fri., Feb. 9, 10:30 P.M. ET). It's a simple little broadcast ceremony, directed by Charles Nelson Reilly and hosted by Bert Convy. Ah, at last we're back in the familiar precincts of television.

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