OLD Media Moves

New Yorker reviews Jim Cramer's "Mad Money"

May 29, 2006

There is something disconcerting about seeing a review of Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money” television show in the New Yorker. Do people who subscribe to this high-brow magazine actually watch Cramer’s antics on television and read TheStreet.com, where he writes a column? Or don’t they get all of their investment advice from their own personal stock brokers and analysts?

Anyway, Nancy Franklin of The New Yorker has some comments about Cramer’s show in her latest TV critics column, posted Monday.

Jim CramerFranklin writes, “He’s the only contestant on the screen, shouting, gesticulating, pacing, sweating, and preaching the virtues of the stock market to the point where he’s on the verge of falling on the floor and speaking in tongues. It’s entirely possible that he has actually done that; I haven’t seen every show. He did drop down and do seven pushups out of the blue, a couple of weeks ago, and then, a few days later, when a caller from Pennsylvania went on too long about something that Cramer felt was obvious, he lay down on the floor, put his head on a pillow, and closed his eyes.

Dan Rather, who interviewed Cramer on “60 Minutes” last fall, called him “the Jerry Lewis of business-show hosts.” He’s also the Jerry Lee Lewis of business-show hosts, but instead of a piano he has a battery of props and a cacophonous symphony of sound effects: when he bangs on the buttons of a console during the show, we hear, among other evocative noises, barking dogs, a gong, a truck backing up, a few bars of “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” a baby crying, a heart monitor beeping to indicate a flatlining patient, and machine-gun fire.

“Cramer is exhausting to watch—you say exhilarating, I say exhausting, but then I am not one to get energized by the repeated sound effect of a person yelling in terror and then crashing through a window and falling—and a normal person isn’t fit for any other activity afterward, except perhaps a cleansing walk across Antarctica, or the Gobi Desert, or any other remote expanse where he is unlikely to be assaulted by the sound of another person’s voice for at least a week.”

Read more here.

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