By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Gather 'round the campy fire and treat yourself to some tantalizing truths about the bald-faced liars and bare-assed hookers who compose our marvelous, much maligned mecca. To make things even more fun well, less likely to attract spurious lawsuits I've taken the names out.
And so: Which ambiguous matinee idol developed an obsession with that politico's son, a situation sonny became so nervous about that he promptly planted a gossip item in one of the dailies stating that he has a girlfriend? What rapidly aging screen ingenue's dad might as well have phoned the columns when he was seen holding hands in broad daylight with a broad who in any light is not his wife? What equally indiscreet famous relation accidentally kept a body mike on after she left a benefit, inadvertently allowing everyone inside the fundraiser to hear her mutterings no doubt drug-related for an uncomfortably long amount of time?
What family magazine that did a cover story on that much more guarded showbiz personality was terrified said star would come out in their interview? (Imagine a publication praying they won't get a hot scoop now that's a twist.) She didn't. What formertalk-show host hires prosties to sit on his knee, act girlish, and call him "Daddy" though they probably would anyway? And speaking of girlish, which prepubescent nymphs in that arty theater project became so close in showers and beyond that they had to be broken up by disapproving spoilsports?
What auteur nutjob bad-mouthed his older costar, clearly irked that she dared to spurn his clumsy pass on the set? What titled person earned another title slut when he gainfully employed oodles of male hustlers while cavorting on the West Coast? What porn star is a part-time rent boy who's been hired by that movie mogul and that faded sitcom actor, just to name two illustrious checkbook carriers? What porn star isn't a part-time rent boy who's been hired by, etc.? What owner of a popular Chelsea restaurant self-loathingly enough tells friends, "I don't want this to be a place for queens"? What diva developed a black eye when the doctor administering her Botox shot accidentally hit an artery? (And we thought she only had nerves.)
What comic-film director used to get off on watching his famous wife do it with that female comedy legend, according to that still-living 1930s movie star? Why don't I believe that 1930s movie star? (Free answer: Because, while I'm sure the two women got it on, I sincerely doubt that the director got off on it.) What wildly successful daughter/actress is a devilish deadbeat who has to be coerced to pay her rent? What Christian recording artist/prick had a boyfriend he used to beat up in a distinctly non-Christian fashion before he magically acquired a beard-slash-wifeypoo? What actor was boyfriends until recently with that hotshot director who helped guide him to Oscar? What internationally known designer is gay, and his wife apparently knows it; she recently told a handsome young 'un, "I'd better not leave you alone with my husband. He likes cute boys like you"?
What tough-guy movie star started that ridiculous gerbil rumor all those years ago because he fancied himself a competitor with Richard Gere and figured it would be easier to spread the gossip than simply learn how to act? What hypnotist-magician is a sham who makes his TV subjects sign releases saying they won't reveal all the pre-scripting? What hypnotist-magician isn't a sham who, etc.? What glammy new star has a not very glamorous little weenie? What gonzo reporter is rumored to have made an unrequited play for Andrew Sullivan at a party? (Sullivan spurned my request for comment.) What blond actress has a prosthetic finger not as a result of fighting with that famed scion that she lost on a recent TV movie set, causing much hilarious havoc? What awards show scene-stealer is a flamingly gay trophy boy? What much acclaimed glossy style-mag editor is a fabulous lesbian with a baby?
What thirtyish heartthrob, a worldwide masturbatory fantasy, is a walking testament to hair plugs? What lithe crossover diva/cunt would stare straight ahead, reach out her hand, and demand "Water!" during a recent video shoot, and, on a separate occasion, alienated a major designer by ripping a hole in the dress he'd made for her, because she thought it looked better that way? What gimmicky '98 movie originally had characters sporting Nazi armbands, which had to be digitally altered at great expense when test audiences found it unsettling? What unkempt, druggy indie director made a play for a drag queen friend of mine?
What screen legend was approached last year by a fan who said, "You were robbed at the Oscars," to which she charmingly replied, "Was I speaking to you?" (Another freebie: Lauren Bacall.) What superstar her again was dining with one of her good-for-nothing but gorgeous ex-boyfriends when he murmured, "Can I have $10,000"? How smart was she that she said no? Why has the new Robin Byrdpresented CD of Latin love songs only been distributed to HMV? (I have no idea, but as Byrd exclaims, "They should be at Virgin! My Grammy dreams are lost!") Could that teenie group seem any gayer?
What's the most bizarre new porno video? (Answer: Bend Over, Boyfriend, an instructional tape about female-to-male anal penetration, for all those straight guys anxious to be plowed by ladies bearing strap-on dildos. Come on, try it, Kelly and John!) Which of Monica Lewinsky's remarks on 20/20 gets the "close but no cigar" award for not quite capturing why Bill was hot for her? ("Sometimes you just need a piece of . . . normalcy.")
What's with these Broadway "revisals"? (I don't know, but the folks bringing you the new, ill-conceived Annie Get Your Gun were clearly so uncomfortable with the source material that they rewrote it, added some winks, nudges, and a Lord of the Dance number, and presented it all as a play within a play. The remaining joy is in the score and in the fact that when Bernadette Peters stops mugging for a second, she can remind us of her stature as a treasured musical presence. But just how pandering is this production? Well, a typical moment comes after the wonderful "An Old-Fashioned Wedding," when Peters turns to the audience and says, "You want [to hear] it again?" though maybe she's doing so as the actress within the actress.) And what's with new musicals? (Beats me, but the affectionate if misguided Band in Berlin about a sort of Weimar Manhattan Transfer manages to suck most the drama out of the story in favor of providing a concertslide show that should be relegated to high school auditoriums, but not that many of them.)
What did Joan Rivers tell me last week about Geena Davis's rival pre- Oscar show? (One last complimentary answer: "Geena said, 'I'm not gonna ask any shallow fashion questions.' Well, she has no right to! She came looking like a drunken dance-hall girl one year! I guess I'm gonna ask the shallow questions and she's going to ask about Bosnia.") How deep is your love? (I really need to learn.)