TWISTED SISTER's DEE SNIDER: MTV Stole “The Osbournes” Idea From Me

Former TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider believes that the idea behind the hit TV show The Osbournes, based on the real-life family of BLACK SABBATH frontman Ozzy Osbourne, originated with the idea for a show called The Sniders of Great Neck that he's had in development with MTV's sister channel VH1 for the past several years. Comented Snider: “Some people will be curious about The Osbournes, since I've had that similar, The Sniders concept in development for years. I don't really care about that. I wasn't really into doing it.

“When [the idea for The Sniders] first came up, maybe seven years ago, Mary Tyler Moore Productions was behind it and I was very into it at that time. But now I've moved onto other things, and even though different people have pursued me to do it, I've considered it, but not really worked at it. I knew all along that people thought it was a great idea, and that many of those people would hear it and think, 'Who else could we get to be that family?'

“Do I think that [MTV] took the idea from me? I do. Not The Osbournes, but just the idea of a real-life rock family show like that. The interesting thing was, up until they announced that The Osbournes was coming, VH1 was actively developing The Sniders of Great Neck in the same building! Now I know that often one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing. But I also know anyone who knows the business knows that sh.t has a way of not happening. So they may have said, 'We like The Sniders of Great Neck thing, and we'll keep pursuing it since we don't know that The Osbournes will really happen until it's on the screen.'

“I spoke to Sharon Osbourne on the phone and told her it's a great thing. They have a different take on it than I did: they went for reality-based while I was going for a straight sit-com.”

With regards to the persistent rumors of a possible TWISTED SISTER reunion tour, Snider stated simply that there is “nothing going on”.

TWISTED SISTER came as close as we ever came [to doing a reunion tour]. We had an offer that we were considering, it came down to the wire, and we didn't end up going. We just couldn't come to and agreement on how we would appear. There were strong differences of opinion, and we couldn't come to terms. Some people saw it as a failing, but I think the fact that we came that close was something of an accomplishment. Who would have thought, five years ago, that we would have all been talking and planning like that?

“Anyway, some of us wanted to go out on stage full-on old-school [in make-up mode], and others did not feel comfortable performing in that fashion and wanted to go on dressed essentially in street-clothes. Maybe not street clothes, but just jeans and denim. It just came down to us not being able to come to an agreement.

In other Dee-related news, VH1 will premiere a docu-drama about the PMRC hearings, entitled Warning: Parental Advisory and starring Snider as himself, on April 21st at 9:00 PM. Commented Dee: “I read the script and liked it, I went out there and did the movie, and started doing some interviews and was asked, "What do you think of this comedy you're in?' and I'm like, 'What comedy? If this is a comedy, it's the least funny comedy you've ever seen.' There are definitely funny moments, but it's not a comedy. I asked the producers and they said it wasn't a comedy. Then I started doing more interviews and a couple more people said, 'So this comedy...' And I kept saying, 'It's not a comedy!' It's historically correct and what have you. And then we got the poster for the movie and it's my head, Stay Hungry-era, screaming, with a bar of soap with the 'Parental Advisory' warning sticker on it superimposed in my mouth, and it says, 'A comedy of censorship.' So I call my agent and say, 'This is a comedy?!' I mean, the PMRC situation was ridiculous, these Washington wives, it was preposterous that they got as far as they did, and that their husbands would bend over the way they did. And there's the priest reading the lyrics to a MENTORS song. Even the senators at the time were snickering. So the situation is very funny—maybe that's the comedy in it. But it certainly was a serious situation. I don't understand. I'm a little perturbed that it's going to be perceived as a funny movie when the situation was very serious.

“So, I don't know, but that poster's going to be everywhere. I hear it's going to be a three-story one on the side of the Viacom Building in Times Square.

“Me being on the set of this movie was the equivalent of Spielberg having an actual dinosaur on the set of Jurassic Park. VH1 is doing a big push on it. I've heard rumors of a 10 of the Filthy 15 album coming out on Sanctuary, but I don't know if they've followed through with that. They're doing a whole week of shows geared toward the censorship thing, the videos that have upset people most over time, and they want me and Mariel Hemingway to host it. We're negotiating that right now. So it's probably going to be around quite a bit in the public eye.”

To view a promotional poster for Warning: Parental Advisory, click here.

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