1997 Archive

10 December 97 – Can’t help but wonder about what’s going to happen to jailbirds Christian Slater and Robert Downey, Jr, who’re doing three and six months respectively in L.A. jails. My hope is that they’ll get to share a cell and help each other weather the storm, though I’m not sure how well they’ll get along in that tiny space. I’d guess that Downey will bulk up a bit and Slater will get in touch with his feminine side, so to speak.

Doogie Watch
4 December 97 – Forgot to mention my opening-night experience at “Starship Troopers.” A friend aptly described the simultaneously sappy and gory flic as “Melrose Space.” In spite of the “story,” the action was great. Best of all, I couldn’t have been more pleased when the face of an old friend first popped up on the screen and a spontaneous cry rose from the crowd: “Doogie!” I felt just like a proud father.

She’s Just Like Me!
22 November 97 – Awestruck fans got a screenful of burgeoning cyberpunk Jenny McCarthy in an online chat at Yahoo! recently. Asked how much she uses the Net by loyal “Jenny” watcher Marc, Jen admitted the awful truth: “I am on AOL about 20 hours a week. I’m addicted.” My guess is she spends the bulk of her time posing as an AOL employee in chat rooms gathering credit card numbers from unsuspecting midwesterners. Go, Jenny.

90210: The Middle-Aged Years
14 October 97 – Spy magazine spilled the dirt on some “90210” stars: Gabrielle “Andrea” Carteris turned 30 in the show’s second season while playing the editor of the high school paper (she’s now 36). Ian “Steve” Zierling just turned 33 but probably still gets carded when he buys Pabst at the corner grocery. Word on the street is that 40% of the show’s budget is now dedicated to hiring makeup artists adept at concealing crow’s feet and liver spots.

Bunny Fur’s Flying
14 October 97 – I read in Buzz magazine that Playboy alums Shannon Tweed and talent-free MTVixen and now “star” of her own series Jenny McCarthy are at odds over whether being a former bunny is a benefit or hindrance to a rich and meaningful career in made-for-TV movies and infomercials. Jenny says it’s closed some doors in her career, but Shannon has another explanation for Jenny’s difficulties in getting auditions. “When you get in you have to have something to deliver,” Shannon says of Jenny. “So maybe word got around.” My sentiments exactly, Shannon, but I think I smell smoke. Must be those bridges burning behind you.

Now That’s News
14 October 97 – You’ve got to hand it to Diane Sawyer for asking the tough questions during her recent interview with Brad “The Pitt” Pitt. Yes, Brad believes in the “concept” of monogamy in a relationship, yes, he enjoys being rich and famous, and a resounding yes on the question of whether he does indeed have a penis. Thanks, Diane.

I’m Already Laughing
The upcoming ABC series “Nothing Sacred” (yes, it’s about priests and nuns) reminded me of something I learned very early in my television-based education. According to TV writers and network low-lifes, certain things are always good for a laugh. Here they are in order: 1. Gay people, 2. Blind people, 3. Black people (“See we don’t always cast them as criminals,” they seem to be saying. “They’re also fun to laugh at.”), 4. Clergy (see above), and finally 5. Foreigners. I still can’t believe no one’s pitched a show about a gay, black, blind, French priest. I want royalties if you do.

Save Chachi
A call to arms, dear readers: I was shocked and angered to read in Buzz magazine that ABC has cancelled Scott Baio’s upcoming series, “Rewind,” before the first episode even airs. I know you’ll want to join me in a campaign of vehement letters and phone calls to ABC demanding that Chachi be put back on TV where he belongs. My hand was shaking so much it was hard to hold the pencil, but I know they’ll reconsider when they read through my “100 Reasons To Love Scott Baio” list.

Pot vs. Kettle
Remember Morton Downey, Jr? No, not the actor with the drug problem — the anti-everything talk show host who makes Rush Limbaugh seem sort of cuddly. Mr. Showbiz reports he’s suing America’s other favorite loudmouth, Howard Stern. Downey had to give up his rabid pro-smoking stance last year after a bout with cancer. So when Stern accused Downey of sneaking a puff, Downey made it his mission to get The King of All Media into court. I doubt if anyone really cares whether Downey gets what he wants, but maybe a self-promoting “I’m loveable, really I am” movie would help his chances. I hear Stern knows some good writers.

You, Too, Can Stink
I thought it was a joke at first, but the Daily Dish report confirmed my fears: five new perfumes — one for each Spice Girl. Get a few women sporting Spice Girl scents with a few guys doused in Michael Jordan’s cologne and you’ll swear you’re in a real locker room. Kind of takes me back to junior high when we’d all see who could go the longest without washing his gym shorts.

Where’s My Check?
Sly Stallone is in the news again thanks to Cop Land — partly for proving he isn’t as dumb as he looks — but mostly for putting on something like 30 pounds for the role. It got me thinking. I practically give these stupid maps away, so I don’t usually have much grocery money left over at the end of the month. If anybody wants to pay me to get fat, though, I’m game.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Quentin Tarantino is considering a starring role in the Broadway play Wait Until Dark, says Mr. Showbiz. Now, Pulp Fiction is easily one of the top ten films on Joe’s Not-Very-Official List of Must-See Flicks, but after six or eight viewings, I still find Quentin’s attempt at a cameo more disturbing than the Gimp and heroin overdose scenes combined. The boy’s one hell of a director, but my Aunt Rosie could tell you he can’t act his way out of a wet paper bag.

Four Scary Words
Seen any good Charlie Sheen movies lately? Me neither. Wall Street was okay once I stopped snickering at the name “Gekko.” But maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised to read about his plans in Buzz Magazine: “I’m going to direct,” says the younger Sheen. Maybe he can get Tarantino to play the lead.

Still Clueless
I never pass up a chance to report mean-spirited gossip, and local rag Buzz magazine gives me plenty to work with. They say sources on the set of Alicia Silverstone’s movie, Excess Baggage, caught Everyone’s Favorite Dumb Blonde Nymphette porking out at local quickie marts after hours. Seems she was being kept on a strict diet during filming and decided to do a little post-production editing of her figure on her own.

Just Try to Pronounce It
Most New York’s Daily Dish site says Ted Turner and Time Warner honcho Gerald Levin were bonding with the bigwigs at NBC recently. The very idea of this kind of meeting gets insiders warm and sweaty, but I can see the headlines now: “Debut of new TWMSNBCCNN entertainment network set for Fall.” Can’t wait.

Welcome Back, Chachi
I’m glad to see my buddy Scott Baio back on the tube. Seems he’s got a new show on FOX called “Rewind.” I’d just about worn out my videotape of Zapped! and it’s hard to find “Charles In Charge” in syndication anywhere, so this couldn’t have come at a better time for us fans.

Go, Bill, Go
On my way to work the other day I hit a traffic jam on a 405 freeway on-ramp. Looking down, I was amazed to see the southbound side of the freeway totally empty. Didn’t take long to figure out why, though, as Clinton’s 30-car motorcade of cops, black secret service vehicles, and limos sped past on their way to the L.A. airport. The SS car in the rear had the job of weaving crazily back and forth across all five lanes — presumably to keep anyone from passing. Our tax dollars at work.

Beating a Dead Horse
I read in People that Sly Stallone signed on for a fourth Rambo installment. This time John has to fend off a militant group’s plot to attack the U.S. government. I’ll go ahead and put in my vote for that Doogie Howser guy for the Tim McVeigh role. I could swear I saw Doogie driving a cab on Sunset last week, so I figure he could use the work.

There are no less than three books about those Hanson kids in the works, says People. But will the band sink out of sight before books hit the shelves? I sure hope so, anyway. I even caught myself humming that damn Mmmwhatever song after some kid with a Hanson T-shirt bought a map from me.

Poor Elle
I first read about Aussie stupormodel Elle Macpherson’s run-in with L.A. law enforcement at Most New York’s Daily Dish site. Seems two guys broke into her house, stole photos, and threatened to put them on the Net (Possible Headline: When Geeks Go Bad). The geeks, who were quickly nabbed, had also threatened to reveal an undisclosed personal secret of Elle’s. What’s the secret? Nobody’s talking, but I’m guessing she wasn’t always a sheila.

Imitation: Sincerest Form of Stupidity
MTV News ran a story about Oasis leader Noel Gallagher’s statement that the band was more important to today’s youth than religion. In other fits of inspired orginality, an unnamed rock band smashed its guitars during a concert and a rap artist stirred controversy by demeaning women in his lyrics.

The Pitts
A photographer’s suing Brad Pitt, reports Mr. Showbiz. The reporter says Brad’s cronies roughed him up when he was hanging out at the wrap party for “The Devil’s Own” (Two-word movie review: Don’t bother). Brad’s probably just still pissed about the breakup with Gwyneth what’s-her-name-who-looks-exactly-like-about-ten-other-current-starlets. That’ll show ’em, Brad. Nobody takes pictures of The Pitt and lives to tell the tale.

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