NY Mirror

So—I never thought I'd say this—let's please have the stereotypes back! The ones we screamed and protested against! Even if critics decided The Producers is the dud Springtime for Hitler was supposed to be, I'll take that film's flaming theater queen Roger De Bris (played by Gary Beach) and his "common-law assistant" Carmen Ghia (Roger Bart) over all these heart-tugging gays anytime. They're alive, for god's sake! They're joyous and vibrant and bitchy and deeply connected, propping each other up in between shit fits and uplifting everyone else with sensible cries of "Keep it gay!" They lead people in conga lines and make WWII a fun experience and turn Hitler into Judy Garland while making a bomb into a smash—and even though they're there to spoofily embody all the old clichés and to provide gay panic for the leads to play off, you realize how contagious their vitality is when Leo Bloom ends up in De Bris's boa and headdress. Viva la fruitcakes!

Only going slightly off topic here, the most memorable recent discussion on TV came in the wake of the religious wrong's reaction to Brokeback Mountain. It was on CNN, when Jack Cafferty said, "There aren't too many closet doors that are left closed in this country." "I think you're probably right," responded Wolf Blitzer. I guess they haven't watched their own show, 360 Degrees with you know whom.

Speaking of which, Nardi-Gras—Downtown scamp Danel Nardicio's freewheeling show on eastvillageradio.com—has a segment called "Inside Anderson Cooper," which is a place we'd no doubt all like to go. And the show goes to other locales too. Recently, Nardicio featured gossip extraordinaire Perez Hilton—the new me—talking cynically about Ashlee Simpson's exhaustion problem and saying—on a whole other subject, of course—that today's stars don't know how to handle their drugs. Considering the squalid first section of this column, I'm in no position to wag a finger at anyone's behavior—though I'll gladly wag it at their behinds.


Litter Box
No, really, I’m a fan

Recently, a comic I'd never heard of e-mailed me to serve oozy praise while asking me to guest star in a live variety show he was doing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. I said, "Sure, what the heck?" but two days before showtime, he replaced me with the Gastineau girls, admitting he felt "like a disgusting showbiz whore" for having to do so. Well, I happened to be at that theater on the big night—a long story—and in the green room, I ran into modelFrederique van der Wal. "I'm the comic's guest star tonight!" she informed me, surprisingly. No, I have no idea, but it was all a pretty hilarious reminder that I probably should stop being a disgusting showbiz whore and saying yes all the time (though I won't stop my other whoring, naturally).

Meanwhile, I hear HBO has said yes to doing a series on Rodney Dangerfield starring a rabbi I know. You must believe me. Also trust Mama that Angelina Jolie was spotted at a New York antiques showcase, buying a Mickey Mouse watch for Maddox's "Uncle Jimmy"—i.e., her brother. So they're still dating! And Will Smithis still tight with his friend Charlie Mack. At a PM Lounge party, Smith served a touchingly real tribute to the guy, telling the crowd, "When I first met Charlie, he was well on his way in neighborhood pharmaceuticals. He had a thriving business in southwest Philadelphia." Eventually, Smith urged Mack to end all that, and now the Philly skanks I know can no longer get extra crack on their cheesesteaks.


Web Extra

Everyone's still talking about ABC's New Year's Eve show and how they exploited everyone's interest in how DICK CLARK would look and sound. (Not good, it turned out; talk about "stroke of midnight"). But everyone would have watched Clark anyway, and besides, I think it's great that for once, TV chose not to show just the pretty and refused to shield viewers from disability. But what was with Mariah's thunder thighs?


musto@villagevoice.com

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