NY Mirror

Transsexual superstar AMANDA LEPORE just shot a segment for TYRA BANKS's daytime talk show, divulging her secrets about nightlife, merchandising, and scar tissue with her usual kooky coo. As Lepore related to me after the taping, "I told Tyra I had my breasts done three times. We also talked about rib removal. Tyra said she used to see models with scars and little waists. I said, 'I had it done, but I don't have a scar there' and she said, 'Oh, the scars must have been from something else!' " Giggle giggle. Showing her scar quality, Lepore told the sassy host her philosophy of going out: "You have a good time and see your friends, then you go to the bank in the morning." She also managed to plug her doll and perfume—two more good reasons to go to the bank—saying the latter is "virgin juice. It makes you feel younger and smell great." Yeah, it practically grows the hymen back. The overall Tyra experience? "The audience was young and cool," said Amanda. "Tyra was cutting me off a lot of times, but she was nice. It was, like, retarded." Before she could go on, I cut her off. (And soon enough I'll be off to a surgeon to cut mine off.)

Any movie subtitled A Cock and Bull Story doesn't require any formal segue right here, and what ho, I've found just such a film. It's Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, and it's like a giant goblet of virgin juice with a twist. The MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM joint adapts a winky-nudgy picaresque novel by adding a winky-nudgy making-of-the-movie framing device, and eventually you realize there's way more framing device than movie. But that's pretty bold, and there's plenty of dry wit to make the journey hysterical, if not historical. At the party after the New York Film Festival showing, star STEVE COOGAN—an occasional scandal column drop-in—took a surprisingly sobering approach. All earnest, he told me, "I didn't want to make a movie about me being self-indulgent because that would just be masturbatory. But I realized that using myself as an extraneous tangent made sense to the ethos of the novel." Hello! Coogan also said he's not surprised Winterbottom was attracted to Shandy "because it's an anarchic novel and he likes to break the rules." As he so genteelly emitted these well-turned sentences, I bravely resisted the urge to yell, "But did you really impregnate COURTNEY LOVE?" (Let's not be daft. Coogan's denied it. Courtney's probably having breakfast on Pluto as we speak. Her ethos is quite novel.)

LaChanze (center) and other
photo: Cary Conover
LaChanze (center) and other


Listen to Michael Musto via podcast.
>> What is a podcast?


From Shandy to a shammy, I read with interest the New York article casting aspersions on JT LeRoy's identity. I alluded to the possibility of this cock and bull story back in '01 and started wondering more about the situation as I was lured into the author's elaborate publicity web. Lavished by e-mails of praise from "him" and his camp, I emceed various events in his honor—I have no problem with being masturbatory—starring various celebrity guest stars, who were also clearly attracted by both the flattery and his work. The guy's endearingly aggressive weirdness—down to those signature raccoon penis necklaces—always seemed a little calculated, and it was hard to reconcile the supposedly terrified, shaking elf with the ass-kissing fame seeker, but we fell for it, hook, line, and raccoon penis. Of course once JT (or whoever) ensnared a higher level of personality pal, I was cut as emcee faster than a model's rib—and it didn't help that I wouldn't read aloud every single word of the seven-page celebrity intros he'd hand me with endearingly aggressive weirdness at the last minute. What's worse, when he, or whoever, started planting fake items in the press, the columnists who'd helped his PR campaign suddenly became victims of it and the con became super- annoying. I once bristled at him for feeding me lies and got a nasty e-mail back saying that he was a hustler and I'd know if I'd been had. I guess so.


If you hustle your way to some seats for Latinologues—the evening of Latin character monologues that's sort of like a Spanish Hee Haw—you might initially want to pile the logues in a bunch and throw them into the fireplace along with your raccoon thingie. You wonder if it's still 1961 as actors with exaggerated accents trot out an assortment of busboys, janitors, and other lowly types who start sentences with non–Steve Cooganish turns of phrase like "Sitting in the toilet, where we Mexicans do our best thinking . . . " Yes, there's a successful Hollywood character, but he's a "born again" Latin who just discovered his ethnicity—and he's a stereotypical gay to boot. But—and you knew there'd be a but, and not just a culo—the show has some belly laughs and the Hollywood sketch is actually hilarious, so chomping on this particular chorizo would not be a totally bad thing en route back to the toilet. Just don't mistake it for no art.

Next Page »