NY Mirror

"There's a distinct suspension of disbelief," Izzard told me last week about the story line. "Three of us are a little chunky, right out of Some Like It Hot." As himself, the pert comic is a little more trannie savvy, though his gender-fuck look is still pretty offbeat. Izzard said he used to try dressing as a woman, "but no one ever thought I was one, so I gave that up and decided I'll be a bloke wearing what the hell I want. It's not a look, it's just me!" He's a "male lesbian," he added, "because I'd like to be a woman, but I seem to have a bloke's body and I fancy women. Meanwhile, I'd really like to be gay and being bisexual would be very logical, but I don't seem to be." I know the frustration, dear; I can't even think straight.

Izzard said he even considered getting a sex change at one point, "but I realized I'd look like a guy who's had a sex change, so I dropped that idea." Girlishly enough, I told him that he actually looks like a hot female-to-male transsexual and he said, "Should I take that as a compliment?" Yes, I assured him, and he seemed pleased—though that's about as happy as he gets; Izzard's moods are as even as an ironing board on Prozac. "I never get wildly ecstatic or wildly depressed," he admitted. "When I won two Emmys [for HBO's Dress to Thrill], I went 'good.' But at least if people give me any grief for being a transvestite, I can take it because I never get that pissed off." But I do. How fucking dare you, Jack Nicholson?


Bringing the joy back into nightlife?: the House of Domination performs during the Bartenders Ball at Webster Hall.
photo: Cary Conover
Bringing the joy back into nightlife?: the House of Domination performs during the Bartenders Ball at Webster Hall.

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MORE DEEP THOUGHTS: Ever since she announced that she was taking a long vacation from the biz to sit and think, the spotlight-addicted Britney Spears has shown up as a People cover subject (talking about her vacation), as well as at New York fashion shows, a party for the rapidly dwindling Metro TV, her own restaurant, a Toys "R" Us promo event for a karaoke headset, Ronald McDonald House, and yet more fashion shows—in Milan, where she was in a Versace with a Versace at a Versace. I love the girl, but with a vacation like this, she’s gonna need a vacation!

FURTHERMORE: With Take Me Out, Richard Greenberg may think he’s written a serious play about baseball—and he has—but I hear it’s mainly been drawing masses of gay men ogling for a peek at the naked shower scenes. They’re there to see Take It Out! At the box office recently, one guy was heard to ask the ticket seller, "Do you get a good view?" before he dared to shell out his money. And inside the theater, tacky queens with binoculars have not been unheard of, even though it’s a small house with big schlongs. Imagine what’ll happen with the Broadway transfer and the eventual replacement casts. I’ll be in the front row, yelling, "Come on, John Stamos, take it out and hit a home run!"

ONE MORE THING: Steve Kmetko recently departed E! after eight and a half years as a co-anchor-interviewer, and inquiring minds want to know why. Well, Kmetko's manager, Sandy Littman, tells me that Kmetko was getting insecure about the way his contract renegotiations seemed to be dragging along. When he went on vacation, he put out the word on a Web site that people who want to see him back on E! should e-mail the network's big cheese, Mindy Herman. Apparently, they did so in droves, and Herman felt ambushed, her privacy invaded. "But it's a business e-mail," insists Littman, "not personal." Still, it may have doomed Kmetko. Says the manager, "E! made ultimatums to Steve, demanding that he forgo receiving all of the agreed-to benefits under his contract, and take less than had already been agreed to. E! made the decision for Steve not to work at E! any longer."

Another source claims that Kmetko was a bit of a diva who clashed with the regime that came in two years ago. But he was often admirably ballsy—he brought then-boyfriend Greg Louganis to an E! Christmas party, to raised eyebrows—and his sardonic nature certainly clicked onscreen. E!'s response? "Steve Kmetko is no longer with the company. He is moving on to pursue other career endeavors. He was a great part of the team at E! and we certainly wish him the best personally and professionally."


musto@villagevoice.com

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