Barr’s Off-Key Singing Garners Dubious Award

From Associated Press

It’s not even over when the fat lady sings, the Millard Fillmore Society said Friday in awarding Roseanne Barr its 1990 Medal of Mediocrity for her off-color rendition of the national anthem.

The society said she barely beat out lip-syncers Milli Vanilli as Best Non-Vocalist of the Year.

The award is officially presented Jan. 7 on the birthday of Millard Fillmore, the 13th president who is considered by some to have been the nation’s most mediocre chief executive.

Phil Arkow, society vice president, said Barr was selected for her presentation of the “Star-Spangled Banner” at a San Diego Padres game at Jack Murphy Stadium.


She shrieked the words off key, then scratched her crotch and spat on the ground in apparent imitation of a baseball player.

“Her shrieking rendition turned the national anthem into the Star-Spangled Bummer,” he said.

“In a kinder and gentler nation, people might have thought the incident funny,” Arkow said. “Instead, she became one of 1,000 points of blight.”

He said the ideal scenario would have been for Barr to have Milli Vanilli lip-sync the song for her. Milli Vanilli was forced to return its Grammy award this year because its two lead singers didn’t sing on its video.


Previous Fillmore winners include Vice President Dan Quayle and TV’s Ed McMahon.