NY Mirror

Inquiring minds still want to know about Tom Cruise's screen schlong, which looks positively serpentine when he strips down to his underwear in that very cocky piece of cocky, Magnolia. The worldly wiener seems so enormous that i almost woke up, though i assumed Tom had simply used Mark Wahlberg's prosthesis from the same writer-director's Boogie Nights, especially since some people involved in the film have been coy about certifying its authenticity. Well, Fashion Wire Daily just pursued this devastatingly important issue, and everyone they contacted—from the producer to Tom's costar in that scene—insists the garden hose is 100 percent real meat, at least to the best of their knowledge. I'm still très skeptical—my on-the-set source says it's an utter fake (respect the sock?)—but if it's true, no wonder Nicole Kidman walks a little funny.

Tom ballsily thanking his publicist before anyone else was one of the high points of those kooky Golden Globe Awards, among many Hollyweird moments worth straining to catch: Tina Brown making a face on entering; Annette Bening praying in the audience; Faye Dunaway disapprovingly shaking her head when Courtney Love was announced; the utter gayness of so many of the American Beauty people; the way Pedro Almodóvar suddenly became Roberto Benigni; the category that pitted Peter O'Toole against David Spade; the reduction of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter to just another Hollywood schmoozer; the contention that Tumbleweeds was a comedy; and, mostly, the revelation that Barbra Streisand—who seemed absolutely transported by her own film clips—was inspired by "those monochromatic frames" of Akira Kurosawa. I'll have to take another gander at The Mirror Has Two Faces and see if it's more Rashomon or Seven Samurai.

At the Players Club tribute to Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson—who are clearly inspired by Lunt and Fontanne via Stiller and MearaMagnolia somehow bloomed again when Jason Robards turned out to be one of the celebrity presenters. At the T. Schreiber Studio benefit, I asked the acting great if his deathbed rendition of that Aimee Mann song was, in fact, his singing debut. "My singing debut? It was only one line," he said, laughing. "Paul Thomas Anderson told me, 'Go ahead. We'll see what happens.' He's like one of my sons." Robards also likes his tumescent screen son Cruise ("I wish I could have spent more time with him"), and of course Eli and Anne, who were only upstaged that night by, sure enough, Stiller and Meara. At my table, the star was Betsey McCaughey Ross, who, in the midst of a discussion of fake jewelry, divulged, "My husband gave me fake bonds. I went to cash them in and they weren't worth the paper they were printed on." I bet Tom Cruise only gives out real ones.

Beaming right off the screen: Jenny McCarthy with husband-director John Mallory Asher
photo: Alex Berliner/Berliner Studio
Beaming right off the screen: Jenny McCarthy with husband-director John Mallory Asher

Inspired by Kurosawa, I shot Forgive or Forget with that show's new host, Robin Givens, who I must say is fast and lively and even played along with jokes about her relationships with Brad Pitt and Donald Trump (who apparently wanted her). But Robin knows where the line is. During commercials, audience members kept chanting "Go, Robin!" and begging her to do that little chugalug dance, but wisely, she maintained her dignity and refused—the sign of a true star.

On a jaunt down to Palm Beach, tra la, a glimpse through the hedges at Trump's magnificent Mar-a-Lago estate made me wish he wanted me. But the most fun to be had was in Fort Lauderdale, where the gay scene is diverse and friendly, and who cares if your trick has a mansion (or a trouser serpent)? Naturally, I chugalugged to the most extreme places, like the Coliseum, a dance club that's upbeat, sexy, and fraught with possibility, and Cathode Ray, a high-tech hangout with the fruitiest sports room in town. The Eagle is more about water sports; the back room has a lovely area where you can get urinated on, and not just by anyone—members of the Rainmakers of South Florida have been known to, um, go there. In the bathroom, there's a sign for something called the Piss and Moan Club, under which, interestingly, another placard says "State Law—Wash your hands." But one bartender told me he'd really like to wash his hands of all those "twinkies" who come to the place and turn their noses up at all the wee-wee. "They're always complaining," he related, angstily. "They'll say, 'I was gonna suck his dick, but then he went and peed on me!' " Picky, picky!

The bodacious diva of bathroom jokes, Jenny McCarthy, is back and more of a pisser than ever. McCarthy recently played a prostie in the Kirk Douglas? Lauren Bacall starrer Diamonds, and now she stays closer to home as an actress in Stab 3, the movie within the movie in Scream 3. For a while, we were all screaming that this little vixen made Gwyneth Paltrow look underexposed. "I was in the danger zone," McCarthy admitted to me last week. "I got to the point where if I saw myself on television one more time, I'd feel myself going, 'Jesus, shut up already.' I took a year off and regrouped."

Most straight men and lesbians feel she's grouped just fine, but in any case, the new Jenny is married to her Diamonds director John Mallory Asher, "and I feel so complete. When I watch the movie, I see in my eyes that I'm so filled with love, I'm beaming right off the screen!" Still, Diamonds wasn't a girl's best friend when it came to measuring up to legends Douglas and Bacall. "I was dying inside," McCarthy told me. "I felt a little inexperienced next to them." And she seems pretty experienced. She was actually fine in the part, but maybe she's more comfy in Scream 3, though she's not sure because she hasn't seen it yet. (Screenings have been scarce.) McCarthy never even got a full script, "I guess because with Scream 2, the word got out on the Internet, so this time they made it more secretive. On the set, we were all asking each other if we're the killer." Could they possibly be minimizing the screenings because the flick's a stinker? "No, it's real good, baby," she laughed. "I'm in it now!"

All right, she might not be the Person of the Century, but McCarthy is extremely vivid and does poke wicked fun at herself; in fact, her main appeal has always been that of a Playboy Playmate who's willing to pick her nose and eat it. She displayed glorious grossness on her MTV sketch-comedy series, and nowadays, her favorite show is the Learning Channel's graphic Trauma: Life in the E.R.—not surprising since she went to college to become a nurse. "I'm only grossed out by toes," she revealed, cringing. Hmm—with me, it's fake penises.

Oh, one other TV-related development: E! is drumming up a possible late-night talk show starring that walking mass of machismo A.J. Benza. He doesn't stuff.

musto@villagevoice.com

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