Dave on Demand | Sounding like much too much 'Idol'

MICHAEL BECKER / Fox How many hours of Randy Jackson (left), Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell - and all those off-key singers - can viewers take?

Only two episodes in, and it's already shaping up to be a long season of American Idol.

A two-hour show devoted to each audition city? And once we get past the bloopers footage a month or so from now, the producers are talking about inserting all kinds of specials into the schedule. Stay tuned for a special clip retrospective: Simon's All-Time Most Withering Comments. Tomorrow night: Ryan Seacrest Throws Himself a Birthday Party.

Or maybe it'll be Paula Checks Into Rehab. If you have access to a computer, you've probably seen Ms. Abdul's loopy, slurry interviews, which have been downloaded more times than Paris Hilton's phonebook. If you haven't seen it, you've certainly heard about it at the watercooler.

Once again, Abdul's publicists sprang into action, insisting she was not drunk. As if that explained away her behavior. Elvis was no boozehound, either, but he managed to keep a pretty good buzz on most of the time.

On The Tonight Show this week, Abdul tried another alibi on Jay Leno: It was a communication problem caused by getting feeds from multiple cities in her earset. If you look at the tapes, there's no indication that she's having trouble fielding the questions, although the local hosts in Seattle and San Francisco are clearly flummoxed by her muddled responses.

Even if the audio feed was bad, why would that cause her to act like Danny DeVito at a limoncello tasting party?

Sudden death. Some final thoughts on the Eagles-Saints telecast. Sure, Fox apologized for showing that bottle blonde with the shirt expressing an obscene sentiment toward the Eagles. A mistake? That's when you show something offensive and quickly cut away. But Fox lingered on that shot so long, we thought it had been sent up to the booth for review. . . . Has Tony Siragusa ever added anything of value to game coverage? . . . Did you see the guy who won the pass, punt and kick competition for 14-15-year-olds? Can we see a birth certificate, please, because he looked older than Saints coach Sean Payton.

Past his expiration date. Creepiest moment of the week: those new ads featuring a reconstituted Orville Redenbacher. The popcorn ki.ng died 12 years ago. In the doctored ads, his image looks eerie, like a scene from House of Wax.

This is what too much exposure to microwaves will do to you, kids.

Off to a slow start. Does Saturday Night Live even know what funny is anymore? Last week's episode went hot and cold more often than Sybil on a blind date.

The opening skit was amusing, with President Bush (Will Forte) calling up everyone in uniform but the UPS men for active duty in Baghdad. Then host Jake Gyllenhaal took the stage, putting all he had into a Dreamgirls spoof. But how stale and obvious are Brokeback Mountain jokes at this point?

They followed that with Kenan Thompson reprising his role as the host of a brittle techno show on MTV4. It wasn't funny the first time it aired, and it grows weaker with each repetition.

It took about 20 minutes for SNL to get its biggest laugh: a mock news conference with a Rosie-obsessed Donald Trump.

You guys have to learn to lead with your strong suit.

Award by proxy. Tuned into the Golden Globes just in time to see Warren Beatty's meandering acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement award. At least, they said it was Warren Beatty. Because I could swear the guy up there on stage was George Hamilton.

Contact columnist David Hiltbrand at 215-854-4552 or dhiltbrand@phillynews.com. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com.