I don't know if it was when Keighley looked about ready to keel over from complete and utter embarrassment, or when he almost went full Dorito Pope on McHale and seemed borderline ready to call down a strike from nacho heaven to bury the Community star through the cheaply made floorboards, but all of it had me on the edge of my seat waiting to see if the Cheesy One would finally crumble. Heck, Elite Monster nabbed this awesome photo of just how close Keighley was to clocking McHale, check it out....
But it was this Canadian versus American machismo that helped save the entire show. McHale joked about the Pope's accent, and the Pope ignored him. McHale joked about the Pope's lack of crack sniffing, and the Pope ignored him. McHale joked about Keighley piling on more clothes as the show progressed, potentially in an attempt to nearly cover his whole face and disappear off the face of the planet and never be seen again, and yet the Pope... ignored him.
Truly, one must give Keighley props for following through with his own piety; playing it safe and being the bigger man, in spite of being the shorter man.
McHale's rise from worthless not-so-well-known celebrity sidekick, to butch, I-couldn't-give-a-rat's-anus-about-my-paycheck attitude gave the cavalier crusader against blatant commercialism a hint of much needed charisma (and watch-appeal) to carry the show.
Heck, I was sitting there at the edge of my seat thinking "What could McHale possibly say next to make me feel even more uncomfortable than I already do?" and it takes a man with either very big cajones or very small brains to bring about that kind of discomfort.
McHale knew the whole thing was a bust, quipping quickly and incessantly away from the teleprompter's instructions to infuse something beyond the ho-hum nature of a GTTV featurette bloated up to suck three hours of life from viewers that none of us will ever get back.
Nevertheless, from the awkward and stilted silence that followed award announcements, to the awkward and stilted silence that followed introductions for developers most of the crew probably didn't know, the whole thing was offset by one man's attempt to fight the man... or rather, fight the Pope.
I'm almost tempted to say that Keighley and McHale should star in an odd-couple-esque sitcom together, just so the uneasy duo can force us to watch uncomfortably, as we sit, cringe and laugh at the off-center comedy. I know it was the one thing that helped save the Spike VGX Awards, I mean it certainly wasn't that embarrassing series of acts that took place outside, where even the live audience groaned and moaned at antics a lobotomized five-year-old wouldn't be caught acting out.
With that said: McHale, thank you for turning that cringe-worthy mess called the Spike VGX Awards into an unwatchably entertaining evening we won't soon forget... but hopefully we all will someday, because otherwise it'll be a stain to our memories like a wart on our brain.