By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
For a special cinematic event, I went to the premiere of Madagascar and carried on like a mutant moron until getting the gift bag they'd said was only for the kids. The movie is stolen by SACHA BARON COHEN, a/k/a Ali G, as the funky head lemur (though my you-know-what got even softer when he called the four slumming New York animals "pansies"). If Cohen keeps soaring, he just might follow a ROBIN WILLIAMS trajectory and end up playing lovable retarded janitors. Is he bear enough?
Finally, it was with a swan-like grace that I floated into the Radar magazine relaunch party at the Hotel QT, only to find that my page of gossip blather, done with Page Six's RICHARD JOHNSON and the Star's JOE DOLCE, was less visible than a pop-eyed runaway bride. It had been spiked! And I couldn't even call this into the Post. (Radar is backed by Daily News owner MORT ZUCKERMAN. Hey, maybe the page-killing is actually a godsend for Johnson.)
Did the thing get axed because I gleefully played around with HILLARY's and CONDI's sexuality? Or maybe because it sucked? Was this really the new issue anyway? (PARIS HILTON's supposedly dubious fame was also on the cover two years ago.) Yeah, it was indeed the latest one, and it was full of zeitgeisty things to absorb, but my limp-appendaged self wasn't one of them. "We had more ads than expected," explained editor MAER ROSHAN, apologetically. "It'll be back." OK, so it sucked. And those adsfor Queer Eye, Queer as Folk, and even some other thingswere understandably too important to bat a waxed lash at.
As I muffled a breakdown, a PR-friendly pie-throwing mini-melee erupted (no doubt courtesy of the same weirdo who sent Maer turds some time ago). Don't look at me. A Radar business exec sat down to wipe pie off his suit, joking that he'd get the magazine to pay for the dry cleaning. "Oh, really?" I squealed. "Then get me my check while you're at it! I'm owed for . . . " As I sputtered away, he ran for the hills, grinning.
And now that I have all this extra time, the jizz judging gig is sounding better and better.
Gossip gossip bo-bossip
While considering that esteemed offer, I found myself at the Arlene's Grocery Picture Show Awards, handing out plaques to homemade movies over helpings of fried chicken and potato salad, if not flu shots. Backstage, RON PALILLO (a/k/a Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter) told me that after a recent Vegas gig, he asked his bookerThe Sopranos' STEVE SCHIRRIPAfor a car to get to the airport. "You high-maintenance fuck!" fumed Schirripa, to which Palillo countered, "Look, fuckface!" Well, the two just met again when they co-hosted Pulp Fictionon Spike TV, so they buried the hatchetreal deepand made the fuck up.
My own TV bookings have led to some interesting run-ins too. Last week, I taped a show for Bravopart of a series they're doingcalled Greatest Things About Being Gay. As I arrived, Fat Pig's talented star, ASHLEY ATKINSON, was finishing up being interviewed. "What are you doing here?" she chirped. "Excuse me, I'm gay," I snapped, eyes rolling. "Oh!" said Atkinson. "I'm here to do Greatest Things About Being Fat!"