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
New York continues to lift itself out of the rubble with a mixture of spunky aggression, caring, comic relief, and shopping. (Shopping? Yes, it's a deeply patriotic act these days, and we wouldn't want to be accused of treachery, would we?)
Watching art films in a large theater is also sanctioned, so the New York Film Festival returned, the organizers feeling that the opening-night bash crucially brings together so many people (and buffets). The kickoff flick was Jacques Rivette's Va Savoir, an alternately enchanting and tiresome romantic romp that's longer than the Seine. I'm not that well versed in Rivettein fact, I always thought Céline and Julie went bowlingso I was grateful for the opportunity to expand my cinematic palette and nap some, too. But I was wide awake for the party, wherethis being Tavern on the Greeneven the most esteemed cineasts had to tip the bathroom attendant after relieving themselves. It's Urinetown!
I peed myself on realizing that two new theater experiencesRude Entertainmentand Hedda Gablerhave characters defiantly aiming pistols at the audience. After our recent tragedies, it's been hard for the legit theater to draw us in, let alone shock us in the slightest, but that managed to do it, honey. (A third show, Reefer Madnessa/k/a Pot Boytries to make intentional camp out of unintentional camp, which is like shooting yourself, except it almost works!)
As for Heddawhich is getting a too snide, surfacey spinthe play's barrels now seem half-cocked, with the bored hausfrau greeting a parade of drop-ins proffering crucial pieces of information, one conveniently arriving as the previous one splits. Typically, the scholar character, who's tragically lost his manuscript, comes overhi, hon!but Hedda's hubby, who would have gladly told him he's found it, has just left! That leaves the forlorn genius alone with Hedda, his bitter ex, not to mention a total cuntand they called it the birth of the blues.
The birth of the blueand the best spiritual release in yearswas the Friars Club roast of geriatric genitalia-lover Hugh Hefnerat the Hilton, a barrage of hilariously raunchy jokes that, when it airs in November on Comedy Central, will probably have more beeps and bleeps than a MedicAlert system. Naturally, I can offer you some unexpurgated highlights, so strap on your condoms and listen. Jeffrey Ross: "Hugh Hefner gets more young pussy than Paula Poundstone." Alan King: "He's smelled more beaver than a furrier." Rob Schneider: "Hef's got a daughter who's so old even hewouldn't fuck her." (At this point, Ross jumped up and cracked, "Rob, hasn't New York been bombed enough?") And the jokes kept coming, generally involving either Viagra, vaginas, or Hef's seven blond girlfriends, who bustily sat at a front table, pretending to understand the humor.
Of course, other targets were fair game, toolike the motley celebs on the dais ("There's Dr. Joyce Brothers," said Ross, "or as they call her on The Sopranos, Old Pussy") and terrorists ("Osama bin Ladenis a cunt," snarled Drew Carey. "Cunt, cunt, cunt. He looks like a cunt with a turban on his head"). Gilbert Gottfriedwas beyond hilarious with bestiality jokes even Ican't repeat, and he went to that terrorism place too. ("I was just on a plane, and they made an announcement that first we'd be stopping at the Empire State Building.") And, for a change of pace, Dick Gregorygave a deeply moving speech about how "fear and God do not occupy the same space"but the mood switch left the comics stunned, frantically wondering how to restore the light tone. They did so by simply going right back to the blowjob jokes.
By the way, I hear Hef doesn't want any mention of the tragedy to appear in the final telecast. It's a real comedy killer.
Meanwhile, othercable channels will soon give us the chance to laugh our implanted tits off. Spies tell me that Bravo is doing a Bruce Vilanchtalk show, and no less than Bob Mackie is designing Vilanch's capacious T-shirts. To top that, HBO is coming up with another Shock Video, this time intriguingly narrated by Maureen McCormickof The Brady Bunchfame. As an insider put it to me, "Imagine Marcia Brady talking about cunnilingus, butt-sniffing competitions, dildo making, and ejaculation marathons." Say no moreI'm getting HBO.
You want some more dangerous sex talk pointed at you? An upcoming book about Madonnagoes into further detail about her bisexual exploits and also implies that a female manager was in love with her and Madonna sort of led her on. The trollop!
Mysecret crushes? They're Seann William Scott(from American Pieand a million other movies) and Steve Zahn(from the terrifying Joy Rideand the upcoming Riding in Cars With Boys)though I'm not fully convinced that they're two separate people. With their eerily similar pesky demeanors and goofy grins, these two studpuppies were at the very least separated at birth, despite their nine-year age difference. (Call them dope-elgangers.) They are parallel everymen who triumph through sheer doofiness and great teeth, and, like Dubyaand Giuliani, they might even grow up a little if forced to. Take it, Mariah: "There's a hero . . . "