Friday, March 31, 2006

Wild 'Lost' gal Michelle postpones drunk fight

"Lost" star Michelle Rodriguez's drunk-driving trial has been postponed until next month.

Tabloid Baby’s Thumb Guy reports from Oahu that Michelle's attorney said he "needs more time" to prepare his client's case. The jalapena hellion's trial was scheduled for yesterday. Her new trial date is April 25 at Kaneohe District Court.

Kailua police pulled over wild child Michelle (mug shot above) in the early morning hours of Dec. 1 when she was supposedly swerving all over the road (within fifteen minutes, fellow actress Cynthia Watros was busted on the same charge, driving a separate car—she pleaded no contest).

According to a police report unearthed by The Thumb Guy’s news alma mater, Honolulu TV station KITV, Michelle, who starred in the classic Hawaiian surfing film, Blue Crush, was "argumentative and rude" to the arresting officer and issued a classic big-screen rant after she blew a 0.145 on the Breathalyzer (twice the legal limit).

"I don't fucking belong here! Why don't you just put a gun to my head and shoot me! You've already taken my freedom! You might as well take my life too," she was quoted as saying.

The spicy star continued her soliloquy as she was driven to jail, telling the cop to "just take my car and I'll walk all the way to the North Shore, but don't leave me in the back of this car, poppie."

The Thumb Guy will be there in court with Michelle in April.

What's your guess? We predict a suspended license, a fine and some community service teaching the little Lilos how to box.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

His buddy Greg from the newsstand

Everybody dies. We write about dead newsmen all too often because too many of us idiots die too young, too often because we ride the rails and grease the skids. But tonight, Hollywood Thoughts remembers a different kind of newsman.

He’s the guy at the newsstand, the one who sells us our papers and magazines, the guy we check in with every morning or maybe every night around the time we know the next day’s papers are about to be tossed off the truck. (In this case, not the woman in the picure, but it worked, you know?)

Sometimes the guy won’t make change for our twenty. Once in awhile, he’s Slash, or Noel Harrison, or she’s Harry Ryttenberg’s mum. But most of the time, he’s Greg from the newsstand. He’s part of the neighborhood, the guy you share a few words with every night or so for maybe five years and never get to know his surname, but you know him and he knows you and your kid, and one day he’s not there any more because he’s dead.

Renowned Hollywood writer and producer Jon Crowley knew Greg from the Sherman Oaks, California newsstand, who died suddenly this week. And Jon’s boy Jack will be reminded that he knew Greg, too.

They don’t give Pulitzers for blogs, at least we don't think they do, but then again, those corrupt Pulitzer bastards ignored the book Tabloid Baby, so what do they know? But let us be the first to clue you that Crowley’s piece on his pal Greg from the newsstand is straight from the heart and will wind up in anthologies.

Check out Hollywood Thoughts. And buy a big fat Sunday newspaper from another city in memory of Greg, the guy from the newsstand with the ZZ Top beard.

Deliver us from Adam Carolla

Who would you rather share a cross-country car trip with? The know-it-all beetlebrowed guy who wears a t-shirt under his buttoned-up oxford shirt and always recites the same comedy bits in a droning monotone? Or the nasal, braying “sports guy” with the annoying Midwestern accent who kisses beetlebrow’s ass and is always yelling and running the same dumb jokes into the ground? It’s a hypothetical question. There’s no wrong answer. And if you listen to Adam Carolla, the intellectual lunkhead comedian who took over for Howard Stern in Los Angeles and other markets, you know the answer anyway.

Radio in wake of Howard has been a vast wastland, indeed. Who’d have thought that Stern would disappear from the public consciousness so quickly? It’s like he’s dead, reanimating every once in a while (a lot more frequently than when he was a fixture) with a publicity stunt like the CBS lawsuit or revelations about his plastic surgery, then retreating. Whither Robin, Bababooey and Artie? Sad.

Sadder still is what’s left behind. A lot of attention has been leveled on poor David Lee Roth struggling to replace Stern in NYC, but the real shame is what’s going on in L.A. Carolla has experience on radio with that Loveline sex talk show, and as a comedy producer with his cohort (and consultant) Jimmy Kimmel. So it's especially disappointing to find how unlistenable this guy is once you remove the discussions of genital warts.

In Howard’s day, a visit to the show by another comedian, from Gilbert to Belzer to Brenner to Schimmel, promised comic gold that would make you drive around the block to hear more before heading into the office. Carolla, of course, is inexperienced and insecure, so comedy guests from Dane Cook to Kevin Nealon are left to chuckle and answer in monosyllables while Carolla butts in and launches into his memorized riffs. (In January, the day before his show debuted, the station ran hours of his monologues as a preview. Little did we know he'd recycle them word for word, over and over.) Soon, they’re itching to leave the studio, which is one reason Carolla's forced to fill hours of airtime with unfunny “characters” like the Deaf Frat Guy, the Republican Congressman and the Wacked-Out Rockers, or ridiculing the speech of a punch-addled boxer or poor immigrant worker named Ozzie by having them read scripts and laughing at how they pronounce the words.

One bright spot is a gal named Rachel Perry, who does the Robin Quivers bit and reads the news. She’s young. She’s bright. And she’s occasionally funny. So Carolla wedges her into regularly-scheduled two-minute bits followed immediately by his sportsguy, and when she tells a joke, Carolla jumps in and squashes her with one of his memorized bits. On the show's website, they have her pictured wearing a dog leash. (We found an easily-viewable collection of the photos here).

Ah, enough about Carolla. He’ll soon be gone, back to creating junk shows on Comedy Central.

Another bright spot, because we're always seeking them: Carolla has literally driven us away, leading us to try other stations, and that led to a recent surprise from Dicky Barrett (coincidentally the announcer on Jimmy Kimmel’s ABC TV show), who does the “Mighty Morning Show” on the supposedly hip Indie 103.1. Dicky always plays good music, and for a while he was featuring commentary from Tabloid Baby pal and rising talk radio star Johnny Wendell. When we tuned in last week, Dicky was interviewing, seriously, a female DJ in South Dakota about the state’s new law banning abortions.

It was smart. He was good. Later, he was funny.

That day, the station fired him!

It’s like a big conspiracy to force us to subscribe to Sirius.

At least we have Paul Harvey, the greatest writer in any medium. We have to make do in short bursts, but we await them eagerly.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Everybody loves a clown

The honors and recognition for Jerry Lewis are pouring in while he's here to enjoy them. With Jerry bringing his telethon back to Las Vegas this Labor Day weekend, the Tabloid Baby team is leading the movement to give the show of our lives a home in a prime spot on the Strip, instead of the joint on the edge of town that's hosting the Glass Craft & Bead Expo this weekend.

Meanwhile, the Page Six team has this item about the recent French Legion of Honor inductee in Thursday's New York Post:

CAN Jerry Lewis take a joke? We'll find out June 9 when the legendary comic, who's known as a cantankerous curmudgeon, is roasted by the Friars Club at a star-studded luncheon at the Hilton. Lewis will have his self-esteem destroyed and suffer insults from some of the sharpest wits around. Richard Belzer will serve as Roastmaster. Friars Club Dean Freddie Roman said of Lewis, who's adored in France, "We're happy to prove that 50 million Frenchmen can't be wrong." Expect many cracks about "The Day the Clown Cried," Lewis' unreleased 1972 movie about a clown who entertained children in a Nazi concentration camp. Lewis has the distinction of being the most honored Friar, having previously been roasted in 1971 and 1986.

Never mind the "cracks." Download the script for "The Day The Clown Cried" here.

Read about Jerry, the Friars, and more great comedians and their place in tabloid history here.

(And by the way, take another listen to Jerry's son Gary Lewis and his group The Playboys, for some of the best pop songs of the Sixties, which means ever. Poor Gary's still out there, playing the Clay County Fairgrounds in Green Cove Springs Florida April 6 on his way to Branson, and based on classics like "This Diamond Ring," Everybody Loves A Clown," "Count Me In" and "Save Your Heart for Me," is surely a candidate for that rock hall of fame.)

Hollywood street politics

As seen near the corner of Sunset & Gower.

Last week:
This week:

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Exclusive! Email attack nude NOT Tiger's wife!

We warned you last week about the email attack campaign against Tiger Woods, circulating nude photos of a woman said to be his wife, Elin. We warned the photos were not authenticated and asked your help in getting to the "bottom" of this mystery.

We gave you this clue in hopes of identifying the beauty:

The tattoo clue paid off.

This is the back of model Kimberly Hiott:

Kim Hiott has appeared in Playboy Special Editions and is the woman in the emails that target Tiger Woods and his lovely wife Erin.

Apparently this case of mistaken identity has become a bonafide urban legend that's circulated since Tiger and Elin's wedding in December, 2003.

Kim is on the left. Elin on the right.

(A tip of the Tabloid Baby hat to the reader who alerted us.)

Monday, March 27, 2006

'Cloud 9' nails immigration issue


Billy enters, past the flatbed truck parked in front, on the way into the nursery. The place looks like a bad Japanese poster. Some bonsai trees, little cast cement fountains and large paper umbrellas.


The owner, WONG, hands a plant to a CUSTOMER and approaches from the nursery. WONG IS A COMPACT, SQUAT CHICANO WITH A PENCIL LINE MUSTACHE AND LAID-BACK, ZEN-LIKE MANNER. He speaks in an Asian accent, loud enough to make sure the customer can hear his routine.

Honorable Mr. Cole, you very late.

Enough of the accent, Gonzalez, okay? It’s bad, just bad.

Hey man, I told you a hundred times... in this town, you're Mexican, you’re a gardener--

Yeah, yeah, I know...

...you're Asian, you’re a landscape designer.

Wong smiles, relieved. Accent returns.

As LA high school kids march past the Tabloid Baby offices in Hollywood, using this weekend’s protest against immigration restrictions as a Ferris Bueller excuse, we offer our support to the protesters by reminding everyone how the motion picture Cloud 9, written and produced by Burt Kearns and Brett Hudson of Frozen Pictures and Academy Award winner Albert S. Ruddy, is in the forefront of Southern California’s immigration debate with its sly social satire.

In the hit sports comedy, now on Fox DVD, Sinaloa-born Latino comedy pioneer, Air Force veteran, social activist and Cesar Chavez pallbearer Paul Rodriguez plays an apparently stereotypical “Chinaman” named Wong. But there's a surprise twist in the character’s arc—which may be one reason Rodriguez has avoided criticism for taking on this very controversial role.

Rodriguez says of his character: “Wong is more confused than the Bush Administration… a Mexican guy who thinks he’s Wong for the wong reasons. He figures that if you’re Mexican you’re just a gardener, but if you’re Asian, you’re a landscaper!" ( Rodriguez says more on the Frozen Pictures blog.)

On the Frozen Pictures website, writer-producer Kearns calls the Wong character “a little bit of social satire. Based on the plight of the very hard-working Latino day laborers and gardeners in Malibu and Pacific Palisades. If you live on the Westside of LA, you know what I mean."

The anti-immigration hysteria whipped up by talk radio, cable news and political yahoos is a smokescreen to cover real crimes like the extended stay in Iraq. The Southern California economy and way of life couldn't exist without the sweat of these people who are underpaid and ignored. Saturday’s massive protest in downtown Los Angeles is a monumental occurrence in this local history—and a testament to the power of Spanish-language radio (which sent out the call to arms). Yet of course, it's being woefully under-reported and analyzed in both the LA Times and on local TV news.

(Cloud 9 is an uproarious sports comedy starring Burt Reynolds as the coach of an all-stripper beach volleyball team. It's available for sale or rental-- and includes exclusive extras produced by the Frozen Pictures team.)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

eBay Alert! In memory of Chevy Chase...

Back in 1993, while producing the morning TV show, Good Day, New York, tabloid TV innovator JB Blunck (he invented A Current Affair’s signature “kachung” sound) was considered to produce The Chevy Chase Show. He didn’t get the gig, dodging a major career bullet, and went on to greater things like starting up the fX network. But along the way, he got a Chevy Chase jacket.

Now JB’s selling this piece of television history on eBay: A Chevy Chase Show crew jacket.

And what a memento! This is Smithsonian material-- up there with Archie Bunker's chair and Jon Stewart's 9/11 hankie.

Chevy Chase’s late night talk show was one of television’s greatest moments, up there with the OJ’s slow-speed chase and Magic Johnson’s first late-night hosting monologue, which was so incomprehensible that producers quickly handed over the duties to a white guy (think about that: the African American host opens the show, says hello, and then throws to a white guy to do his jokes because he can’t speak correctly).

The Chevy Chase Show was a glorious catastrophe, and a prime example of the stupidity of those who run the television industry, up there with giving Jane Pauley an afternoon talk show. They handed a late night celebrity talk show to an unhip, misanthropic, painkiller-abusing, pompous, and, as fans of Howard Stern’s show already knew, humourless jerk (and the idea of TV execs not tuning into Stern to gauge the comedy winds at the time was akin to Bush's morons not watching Katrina coverage on the cable channels).

We waited to watch. And Chevy more than lived up to expectations. The term “train wreck” did not do this show justice (we remember the set had a basketball court—he missed most every shot—and the host desk was equipped with an electric piano so he could play with the band). It was a very expensive turd that was dropped onscreen and flushed within five weeks.

(It would be a few years before Chase redeemed himself with Vegas Vacation, an unexpectedly hilarious and spectacular star-filled comedy with great turns by Jerry Weintraub, Bernie Yuman and Ethan Embry.)

The show is history. Gold. True TV greatness. And JB is selling an ultimate keepsake: His pitch: “…Five weeks of arguably the worst talk show ever put together. The star didn't want to be there, and ultimately, neither did the audience. But the tradition lives on in this ultra-rare crew jacket. Fox spared no expense, so this XL black parachute fabric jacket is nicely put together, unlike the namesake show. An embroidered logo, prominently positioned on the front left breast.
A hot pink faux-satin lining, festooned with more of those clever logos. An amazingly distasteful jacket appropriately paired with a tasteless show….”

Now, JB knows from comedy. He’s behind Hams, the new Internet joke contest that everyone’s been talking about.

He’s serious about the jacket. Only worn once or twice.

Bidding is underway.

Evangeline: 'Lost' nudity pressure led to mutiny!

Copies of Los Angeles magazine are sailing off the shelves and being stuffed into supermarket bags across Southern California now that the April issue and "Survival Guide," featuring beautiful Lost star Evangeline Lilly as covergirl and interview subject, has been unleashed.

Tabloid Baby’s Lost correspondent “The Thumb Guy” called from the shipping dock to give us the scoop on the single-page, yet explosive Lilly Q&A : “Evangeline is standing strong against constant requests for her to go topless on the show. She says she’s proud that the panties fans steal from the set are for sale on eBay. And she hates Hawaiian drivers—ironic in light of the high number of Lost cast members’ speeding and drunk driving arrests!”

The newsmaking sections of the Los Angeles page:

How do you survive…

The 15th time you’re asked to shed your clothes for the TV audience?
Kick and scream until the director has no choice but to tell you, “Okay, you can wear your tank top.” There’s a scene where Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and I find a waterfall and jump in—he takes off his shirt and jumps in his jeans, and I take off my jeans and jump in my underwear and tank top. Why do I feel inclined to get into my underwear? I wasn’t even supposed to wear a tank top, but I fought and fought. I polled every woman on the set and finally the director agreed to let me wear the tank top. Female mutiny on the set works.

That jungle commute to work every morning? The notion of “aloha” is really nice when you’re a visitor walking on the sidewalk and everyone’s cool and going “Yay! Aloha!” But when you’re on the road running late for work and everyone’s fucking “Yay! Aloha”? You want to snap! No one understands there is a passing lane, no one understands there is a speed limit you can exceed.

The knowledge that your stolen underwear may be for sale on eBay? With pride.

Evangeline is also featured in the new US Weekly, in which a panel of fashion experts trashes the dress she wore to the Grand Slam Sci Fi Summit (and on the cover of Flare magazine). Our Thumb Guy, who has already praised the get-up, promises a headline-making response to US.

(...and a tip of the Tabloid Baby hat to the informative, entertaining and Disneyriffic Hollywood Thoughts for giving us a plug amid its own Lost scoop.)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

He's playing the Crystal Palace in the sky

Now, for a few days at least, country music fans might get to hear one of the greats on their favorite "country" stations.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tiger Woods targeted by nude wife attack

On the eve of Tiger Woods’ rare sitdown interview with Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes, the world's most famous athlete has been targeted by an Internet email sex attack, as email boxes across Hollywood and the world are being flamed with alleged naked photos of his beautiful Swedish wife, the former swimsuit model and nanny Elin Nordegren. The pictures have surfaced before, but why they're flaming across the Net now is a mystery.

Be warned: As far as we know, their authenticity has not been verified.

The pictures could be photoshop fakes. And Elin has an identical twin sister, Josefin-- so the woman in the photos could even possibly be her.

One clue: A tattoo in one of the shots:

Email us here if you have any knowledge.

In any case, Tiger has had enough problems, like his father’s cancer, throwing him off his game. (He’s having a bad day at The Players.) His marriage has reportedly caused some friction. We’ll see if the marriage issue is addressed with Ed, beyond the promoted revelation that when he and Elin have kids someday, he'll make some changes in his golf schedule because the children must come first.

We found the photos posted here.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

New Lost fan site gets our 'thumbs up'

Our coverage of the hit ABC-TV series Lost has inspired yet another website dedicated to the show.

It's bound to be a source of discussion and debate among Lost fans and beyond.

The link to the site is farther down.

And didn't they spoil last night's cliffhanger ending by showing Henry's hot air balloon in the tease to next week's show?

This is what you're looking for: find the site here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hot for teacher, headed for Playboy

Of all the very attractive school teachers who wound up getting arrested for having sex with young male students in recent years, Debra Lafave is by far the most beautiful, sexy, confounding and sympathetic, especially after we were subjected to the appearances by her curiously fey husband, who coped with the pain of wearing the horns of the cuckold by divorcing her and teaming up with a documentary company.

Owen Lafave has got interesting material to work with (and if he’s stashed away a honeymoon sex tape in one of his closets, all the more power to him). This a great story. It's bigger than his fetching ex-wife, and still hasn't been handled as it should.

We were close, though. During the brief lamented return of A Current Affair, the Lafave case was always a priority.

The show’s executive producer Peter Brennan saw the teacher-student sex phenomenon as a major issue across the nation, and actually made an attempt to get past the sensational aspects to find a way to understand why Lafave and other women were responding to abuse or mental illness by having sex with teens (most all of these women acted like school-age “girlfriends” of the kids, looking up to their “boyfriends”). Surely, these women differed from the male sexual predators. Surely, the effects on the victims were different and there's a reason for the "double standard" applied here. Surely, there is a rich story amid the shouting. Unfortunately, at a time when a show like Entertainment Tonight takes a break from vomiting studio p.r. to throw a wedding for sad Mary Kay LaTourneau, we don’t expect anyone in television to rise above Geraldo’s or Diane Sawyer's shtick. We’ll wait for Vanity Fair.

Meanwhile, Debra Lafave says she wants to be a journalist.

Welcome aboard.

She also denies she’ll be posing for Playboy (she already posed for police, who took graphic photos of her to corroborate the kid's story). Time will tell. The clock is ticking. Her portfolio can be found here.