By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
RUPAUL is now officially a doll. The "supermodel of the world" just premiered her mini replica, courtesy of Integrity Toys, and I assume it's post-op, since I can't find the ding-dong. "I think she's actually been chopped, so the clothes fit better," Ru told me, laughing, last week. The 13-inch goddesswhich comes with three bitchin' ensemblesis a more lavish alternative to those hilariously lippy Bratz babes (which I think still have dicks). "I like that the Bratz look so toxic," Ru admitted, "with huge eyes, like the children of alcoholics. Jackie O had that look. I like that look!"
The Bratz truly couldn't be more Keane-child-visiting-dad-in-urban-rehabbut anyway, is having your own doll the ultimate mark of a celebrity? "The ultimate mark is to have a mug shot," Ru deadpanned, "but I haven't managed that one, though I have come very close." (A pot arrest outside an Atlanta club was averted thanks to the cop being on the take from the place.)
Of course DIANA ROSS has a mug shot, segue, segue, and she also has a glamour shot: She's the latest face of MAC. (Ru was the first, naturally.) "I live for Diana," said Ru. "I get a sense of clarity from her lately." Well, Ru's own career has been clarifying with a WNEW-FM hosting gig. But even more prestigiously, the drag icon and I recently cameod in a porn flick (with clothes on), though most viewers' eyes will probably be on adult star OWEN HAWK. "Owen was born to fuck," feels Ru, a fan. "There's no shame in his game. It doesn't seem like he's working out some childhood trauma. It's a whole new breed of porn star today. It comes with a cachet that used to be reserved for male supermodels!"
Which brought us, finally, to alleged porn aficionado MICHAEL JACKSON, about whom our star is touchingly sympathetic. Ru's take? "We the public have fed off of this man, this child, since he was five and we've never taken responsibility for what he's become. He's become addicted to the fame game and I think we addicted him. He's got to top himself. Who can top Michael Jackson? [meaningful pause] I don't even want to go there!" Ru fell apart laughing, especially when I interjected, "Maybe Owen Hawk can top Michael Jackson."
Valley of the dollars
At the toy fair, I caught up with scads of other sex-sational playthings, though alas, none of them could help anyone top Michael Jackson. But there were power collectibles for miles, like an ALYSSA MILANO Charmed figurine showing who's the boss, plus a resin spirit board inspired by the witchy series. ("We're not allowed to say Ouija board," a SOTA Toys rep admitted.) At another booth, Madame Alexander's prez strapped me down to exult, "Cissy is turning 50!" I am not! Oh, she meant their Cissy doll. "But she never looked better," continued the prez, sagely. "Maybe plastic is the answer, not plastic surgery."
But back to the strap-ons. The Trouble Boy author Tom Dolby and I guested at an HX Connex gay mixer at Planet Hollywood, where the attendees are given color-coded name tags according to their availability status. As an informant told me, green means single, red signifies "in a relationship," and yellow spells iffy. "My boyfriend's away!" shrieked a complete whore wearing green.
I wore gold to the Plaza Athenéé bash celebrating SIDNEY LUMET's special Academy Award, where I got my own reward when I started openly immersing myself in some fine reading, only to have someone cackle, "Shocking, Michael. Reading The Globe. Shocking!" It was ELLEN BARKIN!
At a screening of the raucously funny Kung Fu Hustle, I ran into another deft blonde, CADY HUFFMAN, who said she's in a gay-themed comedy flick called Billy's Dad Is a Fudge-Packer. He is? "He works in the local candy plant," Cady explained, dryly. So do I! I wear a brown name tag! Anyway, when NICOLE KIDMAN backed out of the Producers movie, did Cadya Tony winner for the rolefinally get a call? "No," she replied, swiftly. Well, I read that Nicole's replacement, UMA THURMAN, isn't much of a singer. "I haven't heard anything!" exclaimed Cady, laughing. "Nothing at all!"
As for that other movie-to-stage-hit-to-another-movie, there's been an uproar over JOHN TRAVOLTA possibly starring in Hairspray, but excuse me, John's done drag beforeas a BARBRA STREISAND impersonator on Saturday Night Liveand he was quite special at it. Hello, dolly!
Million Dollar Dead Baby
But let's stick with this year's Razzies, I mean Oscars, as I recount my blow-by-blow reactions to Sunday's celebration of 2004 films that were a red state's worst gag-me-with-a-heroin-pellet nightmare. We had a darling abortionist, a gorgeous drug mule, a fun-tastic stripper, and two heroes begging to be unplugged. Still, the awards-show result was beyond stupefyingthe dullest Oscars since last year's, and that's including the conflicting remarks about JUDE LAW. In my dreams, I kept switching to Celebrity Poker Showdown.
My half-choked impressions were as follows: 8:35 p.m. CHRIS ROCK is starting off with some blah observations and so-so putdowns. DAVID LETTERMAN come back. All is forgiven. But wait, Chris heats up with kooky jokes about the absurdity of the war. A'ight! But wait, now he's sending love to the troops fighting "for freedom." I'm going schizo watching this thing.
8:46: RENÉE ZELLWEGER is awkwardly strutting onstage as if there's something up her ass. Last year's Oscar?
9:30: The new shtick of having some winners accept in the aisle adds an intimate and electric touch. Kidding. 9:40: Another Aviator win. SCORSESE is sobbing. The man who made Taxi Driver and Goodfellas is a big, old vanilla Mister Softee. 9:46: A shot of Paul Giamatti. At least he got an invite. 10:12: "This is the dog's bollocks!" exclams a thrilled winner. Wrong body part. 10:30: ANTONIO BANDERAS and CARLOS SANTANA perform that Motorcycle Diaries song and suddenly it's like being in one of those lobster restaurants on 23rd Street. Someone please come out in a swan dress.
10:40: I'm so bored I'm thinking crazy thoughts. If yo' mama married YO-YO MA, she'd be Yo' Mama Yo Ma. 11:10: My resin board was right. Get used to "two-time Oscar winner HILARY SWANK." But her "I'm just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream" speech is so borderline cornball it feels lifted from Million Dollar Baby.
11:12: By now, Renée has clearly pulled two statuettes out of her butt and inserted them up SEAN PENN and OPRAH WINFREY. 11:28: JAMIE FOXX incorporates a SIDNEY POITIER impression into his speech. Is there no end to his magic? 11:35: CLINT wins. But it's Marty who did the best boxing movie ever made. The poor old marshmallow will no doubt get the Sidney Lumet thing next year. BEYONCÉ can sing the tribute.
By the way, If evildoers were to ever unplug the pope, at least we wouldn't have to hear that gay marriage is "the new ideology of evil." (I am so kidding! We still would!)
But hold your rosaries, honey. I just figured out how they can fix the Oscars: Either beg BILLY CRYSTAL back or do a Golden Globes and completely forgo the host, just jump headlong into the festivities. And make them festivities, for God's sake. Take another tip from the Globes and have the crowd seated informally at tables where endless amounts of booze are served. Mind you, I don't normally promote alcohol abuse, but if it'll make a three-and-a-half-hour awards show a little less tortuous, I say guzzle up, people.
Also, get rid of all those obscure short subject categories. Clearly, the shorts are made solely so they can be shown somewhere for a week and become eligible for an Oscar. All right, I'm willing to compromise and have them awarded offscreen, but please don't put them center stage. Oh, all right, put them center stage. Let them have their moment. I give up.
But bring back bad taste! You know, ROB LOWE songs, DEBBIE ALLEN-choreographed production numbers, and saggy breasts. Even with Chris Rock hosting, the whole thing was a restrained snoozefest. Never gag ROBIN WILLIAMS. Even if he bombs out, it'll be good television. Bring MICHAEL MOORE back to scream again. And get some old-time stars into the mix. The academy should never be ashamed of its past, even if it's incontinent.
And maybe the voters should actually see some of the movies. That would probably elevate some of the choices. (The Sea Inside? Please! Por favor!)
Or maybe just leave it all exactly as is. After all, the ratings were only down by two million this year.
photo: James White
My spies claim MARY-KATE OLSEN is prone to leaving trash in the lobby of her new building, and the other tenants are a New York minute away from screaming about it. At least there are used-food cartons among the discardables (though of course they might be from guests) . . . Feed on this: New Line may be behind a proposed reality show about celebrity photographer PATRICK MCMULLAN. Yaycameras on top of cameras!
As for past TV triumphs, Starstruck, MICHAEL JOSEPH GROSS's absorbing upcoming book investigating fandom, has a section about MADONNA's Will & Grace guest spot. Producer MAX MUTCHNICK told Gross that Madonna "does this thing where she pretends like she doesn't remember anybody's name, and I guess it makes her feel good about herself." That Madge, I mean Esther! She couldn't even seem to summon co-star ERIC MCCORMACK's monicker (let alone his color coding) for a while, and he was apparently offended, but told Gross that she was otherwise a pro and ended up sending him roses by any name. To avoid a happy ending, I'll close with a skanky observation: Remember those silly rumors about MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY? Well, he can't be gay. He's dating PENELOPE CRUZ!