Subject: Kike Harriet "Sooz" Shapiro
Killer & Victim: Kike Tim Shapiro
Producer: Kike Danny Schwarz
Writer: Kike Mike Seligman
Narrator/Host: AJ Benza

Benza's a wop out of Bensonhurst, who pissed off too many Kikes. He worked for various gossip rags, and was promoted by Kikes like Geraldo Rivera. Then he hoted celeb gossip shows. Then he co-hosted a poker cable show with Kike Gabe "Kotter" Kaplan, until he pissed off the Kikes there. Then he was a regular on Kike Howie Stern's show (because of the dirt he'd spill about celebs and wannabes that he'd worked and partied with), until he bitch-slapped one of the other regulars and got into a playground-type brawl with some of the staff. He works at Best Buy now.


By AJ Benza, 2009.10.11


I was co-host with the very professional [Kike] Gabe Kaplan on a show that posted No. 1 ratings for five straight seasons on GSN - the station that usually feeds you repeats of Lingo, antique
Jeopardy episodes and the new, omni-sexual "Newlywed Game."

Last week, I had a conference call with a couple [Kike] suits at GSN about the possibility of dropping me for a chick to work with [Kike] Gabe Kaplan. (Sound sexy to you yet?)

I flat out told the guys who will remain nameless - oh screw it, it was [Kike] Bary Nugent and [Kike] David Shiff - that if you have the best pizza in town for 5 seasons, why try and add licorice as a new topping? I also told them I was the guy who always did my own publicity for the show because GSN had NEVER set up not even as much as a radio interview for me. So I scour internet poker sites and make myself available and - whattya know! - instant publicity.

What gives me agita- and I'll be sure to tell this to [Kike] Barry Nugent (who wants to have a lunch with me for other opportunities at GSN for me) is that I spoke to both [Kike] Schiff and [Kike] Nugent and I asked them if they were fathers. They jubilantly said they were. So surely they would know the hardships of losing a top-rated gig while raising little children in the process. (Oh and did I mention that I have a son who is a Freshman in college?) So armed with my track record on giving GSN 5 seasons of a No. 1 rated show,I decided to hit them in the spot where it's supposed to make a father go mush.

I said...."Let's talk man-to-man and father-to-father." To their credit, they said, "Absolutely."

I unashamedly told those two guys that if I dont get my gig back....."you're basically putting a man and his family on the street. Is that what you want on your concience?"

I offered to take a pay cut for Chrissakes, Shit....the economy is in the tank, so I'm willing to take less to do the same job. But I just want to put it out there y'all. This is the kind of stuff that goes on in Hollywood. You sometimes bust your balls for a network for a number of years and then the day comes when your balls are suddenly on the chopping block. And a group of execs you've never quite met during your tenure are standing above you sharpening the butcher knife.

I will have my lunch with [Kike] Nugent - and I promise I wont slash him with a broken bottle of Pellegrino. He and I go way back to my E! days, and honestly, he's a good guy with a good heart.

But I would just be plugging up the flow of the Sicilian blood that boils within me, if he didn't end up on the receiving end of a my take on things. I know he knows that. What I'm gonna say, I haven't yet practiced in the mirror. But it'll be Oscar-worthy when I'm through.

So no more High Stakes Poker for me. No more calling flops, turns and rivers - and trying for the life of me to understand what a "Double gutter, belly buster" means.

I will miss the most difficult part of my job, and that was being the gracious straight man for the legendary comedic timing of Gabe Kaplan - just another guy who grew up within miles of where I did in Brooklyn. And I will miss the generosity and patience of the show's producer and unglamorous gluestick of Mori Eskandani. I'm gonna throw in the behind-the-scenes professionalism of producers Phil Smith and the show's birth mother [Kike] Kevin Belinkoff. Sometimes it took all those guys to make the repartee between me and Gabe to sound real and unrehearsed. And to me, those moments were what made the show stand out from the other poker shows around the dial. I hope you like the female they toss in front of you. And I hope the conversation between she and [Kike] Gabe works smoothly. I don't think I'll watch the show too often, but I wish it well. I've met too many people attached to the show across the past five seasons to want any one of them to drive home feeling the show has lost some of it's pop and spontaneity.

The female they toss in front of you is sure to be pretty, prepared and a pro. But I know she won't be able to throw "Godfather" references around like [Kike] Gabe and I did.

If the GSN execs responsible for my firing were ever in on the joke, surely one of them would've said or written to my manager..."Tell A.J. we always liked him. But it was strictly business."

That 'goodbye' I would've understood. And cherished.

Anonymous, 2008.10.12:

I have to post this anonymously because under the Nazi-like environment that [Kike] David Goldhill has created at GSN, I know they will try and identify and fire me. I've even gone so far as to have someone else post this and send from their computer so there's nothing that can identify me. He's even rewritten in his own language and spelling because he's a better writer than me and this way they can't recognize any style that's mine.

As long as you're naming names, from GSN's side of things, credit for the success of High Stakes Poker goes to one person: [Kike] Kevin Belinkoff. He was a long time GSN executive who was forced out about a year ago, just after the production of the last season of High Stakes Poker. [Kike] Belinkoff campaigned vigoursly on the show's behalf. The stories of his own compulsive gambling are legendary. He would work every angle he could to keep the show going. Other the AJ, he was the only one who would talk the press to promote the show. He'd work with GSN's ad sales department to woo advertisers. The giant billboard in Las Vegas was his idea. And it was [Kike] Belinkoff's idea to cast [Kike] AJ Benza as the host with Gabe Kaplan, seeing the need for a non-poker expert to balance out the show. Beyond that, [Kike] Belinkoff stayed out of the way and let the show become the best poker show on television.

But when [Kike] Goldhill arrived a little more than two years ago, there was no room for intelligent or creative thought at GSN. Countless longtime executives were forced out, including [Kike] Belinkoff's boss, a harmless British guy named Jamie Roberts. He was replaced by Kelly Goode, a black woman with a chip on her shoulder and no idea about game shows, poker shows, reality shows, or anything other than the horrible crap she developed before she got chased out at Lifetime. She went to Harvard --she'll mention that any chance she gets--but this is not an intelligent woman. She has no people skills, no creative instincts, and it's well known throughout GSN and outside that she has no idea what she's doing. [Kike] Belinkoff quickly left after her hiring, but it's unkown whether that was his choice or he was fired.

Goode is disliked by virtually everyone at GSN. She micromanages her department and makes everyone miserable. There are countless stories of television executives like that, but they are successful and know what they're doing. Goode is incompetent. The only people that like her are [Kike] David Goldhill and his Nazi right hand [Kike] Steve Brunell. Every decision made at the network, large and small, goes through those two guys. Goode is merely their puppet and with no real authority or job to do, she spends her time making everyone else miserable.

Goode had it out for AJ from day one. No one is exactly sure why. It was likely that she wanted to make changes at her new job to assert her authority. That's not unusual, but it's better when they know what they're doing and have some track record of success. Belinkoff refused to replace AJ on the last season of the show. It doesn't require you knowing a whole lot about television to know that once the audience is comfortable with one host, you face a huge risk replacing him with another. It' good to take risks, but not when you have no clue what you're doing.

Without [Kike] Belinkoff, production of the last season of High Stakes Poker was overseen by [Kike] Mike Bevan. He's a nice guy and is best known for sitting in his office and playing solitaire on his computer for hours on end. The show wasn't as good, but it's the great poker play that people care about, and with the new players in the mix, the show still worked. But the ratings didn't show that. GSN stopped doing any kind of promotion or marketing for the show. After long time success on Monday nights, they moved it to Sunday and put on five consecutive hours of the show. Ratings suffered and it looked like [Kike] Goldhill would get his wish and poker would disappear from GSN.

But everything [Kike] Goldhill and [Kike] Brunell have done at GSN has been an expensive failure. They spent a small fortune buying out contracts of top level executives. Expensive programming initiatives like the Game Show Awards and a live show on Saturday night have been colossol failures. Their own arrogance led to losing their most popular new show, Lingo, and most of the classic old shows. As sponsors have fled the network in the wake of their incompetence, the ad sales representives came to [Kike] Goldhill and [Kike] Brunell with a simple message: The only thing anyone cares about any more on this network is High Stakes Poker. When faced with the amount of money GSN would lose if they cancelled the show, they reluctantly ordered another season, more than one year after the previous one.

But now, the collection of non-poker playing incompetents took over. They cut the show's budget. So the new season will have fewer cameras and lower production value than ever before. [Kike] David Schiff, who made the move to take over the show after firing [Kike] Bevan, says a female host will bring in more female viewers. Read that again. The change to Vanessa Rousso isn't designed to bring in more men. Schiff thinks that she'll add more female viewers to the audience. At no point was a single person who knows anything about poker or the show consulted. Rousso was hired without an audition. Nugent was brought in as the head of talent, but he has little authority either. His greatest contribution is an upcoming reality show with Carny Wilson, and early reports on it is that her crass style won't sit well with viewers. So with one stupid decision after another, [Kike] Goldhill and his crew of scared incompetents have ruined GSN and its best shows.

Someone at GSN will see this and there will be an investigation trying to figure out who I am. I hope that they don't identify the wrong person and fire them, but the environment at GSN is a horrible one and they do everything they can to silence any dissent. AJ, you know everything I say here is true. Thank you for having the balls to say something.

Blade, 2009.10.12:

You had absolutely no reason to be on the show in the first place - no one can even figure out how you became even a low-grade B-list celebrity. You have zero qualification for poker, and zero qualification for being on broadcast TV.

You're a nobody, from nowhere, who has done nothing. So, get over yourself.

Benza's "Comeback"

Live by The Kike, Die by The Kike

Post a comment

Private comment




Search form
Latest Journals
Latest comments
Monthly archive
Friend Request Form

Want to be friends with this user.