Al Franken vs. Bill O'Reilly

The elements were all in place at the Heatherette show after-party at Sol. The doorman, MAVERICK, is the most personable one in town, even when he's refusing you admittance (which he isn't). The DJs— MISS GUY and LILY OF THE VALLEY—fully understand that the SCISSOR SISTERS' diabolically contagious "Don't Feel Like Dancin' " is intrinsically connected to LEO SAYER's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing," despite the supposedly opposite viewpoints. And the crowd was aggressively zany enough to match the design team's utterly redundant "Look at me!" slogan. But the free cans of Tab energy drink sitting tauntingly on tables had me singing "Don't Feel Like Drinkin'." In fact, it's the weirdest thing I've sucked down since having to swallow liquid paper before getting on my last international flight.

But I raised a glass of venom at all the other fashion parties, where annoyingly flamboyant types lined up to pester me with that old moan, "You don't look like you're having fun." Well, first of all, maybe I'm not. And secondly, maybe I am and I simply don't look it. Do you know how impossible it would be to look like you're having fun every single second you're out in public? And wouldn't you lock up anyone who did so?

Anyway, over at the knee-deep-in-fashonistas Happy Valley, porn prince MICHAEL LUCAS was having fun telling me MARC JACOBS had assured him he's completely through with the boyfriend. But I ran an item saying exactly that a while ago and had to retract it when I found out they'd made up, like, two orgasms later. And the boyfriend had just been spotted at Jacobs's fashion show. "But that was yesterday," Lucas swore. "This time it's really over. Today, Marc said, 'Enough!' He told me that in confidence!" I'm starting to lose mine.

Left overtures: Franken at the IFC Center
photo: Jacob Pritchard
Left overtures: Franken at the IFC Center

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I went to the opening of Comix— BOBBY COLLINS's large comedy club—mainly to see my own boyfriend, TRIUMPH THE INSULT COMIC DOG, and to finally get some laughs in the Meatpacking District, where the only hilarity has been making fun of all the big-haired Jerseyites. Triumph was great, and I'm not just kissing his ass. (He's got other dogs to do that.) Dressed in head-to-toe poochie, he was so funny that I refused to believe it was actually ROBERT SMIGEL with one hand in a puppet and the other riffling through his script pages while he crouched on the stage.

Said Smigel—I mean Triumph—"I don't know what's had more lifts— KATHY GRIFFIN's face or DAVID SPADE's shoe closet." He cracked that "Bobby Collins is red hot. He just signed a deal with HBO. $19.95 a month plus Cinemax." And he led us in a singalong—aimed at Collins—of " CAROLINE HIRSCH will bury you/So deep that I can't dig you up." "And now," Triumph exulted, "I'm going to buttfuck Ernie from Sesame Street." And he did! Without a condom!

Then came Spade himself, who was OK (despite an audience member heckling with cries of "Heather!"), but all I could think of was Triumph's earlier remark: " TOMMY LEE's cock is taller than David Spade."


Franken sense and mirth

A comic/agitator with balls goes to the doc with Al Franken: God Spoke, which is such a goo-goo-eyed look at FRANKEN's mission, he could probably use it as a promo reel. "I saw it and I thought, 'Hey, I'm a really great person!' " Franken said, laughing, after the IFC Center screening last week. The film basically has him holding a sardonic mirror up to various conservatives and trying to prove they're corrupt liars, as BILL O'REILLY sneers back, without any sense of irony, that Franken's "a vile smearmonger" who has emotional problems. But Franken continues his ultra-serious assault, and at the Republican convention, when SCHWARZENEGGER appears onstage, he's seen to smirkily chant, "Steroids! Steroids!" To which Ahnold nicely didn't reply, "Girlie man! Girlie man!"

I cornered Franken on his way to the after-party and asked if O'Reilly might be exaggerating his shtick for sheer effect. "No," he said, "I think he's pathological and believes what he says." Scary! Scary! "Well, who's more pathological: O'Reilly or ANN COULTER?" I asked with a glinty eye. Franken was speechless for a few seconds—not a frequent sight—and then he finally answered, "That's a tough one. It's a false choice." That's so true—it's pathological apples and pathological oranges.

As for other dark Repub behavior, none of the obits for ex–Texas governor Ann Richards pointed out that when DUBYA beat her for that job in '94, it may have been because of an alleged KARL ROVE whisper campaign with lots of references to the L-word . . . Speaking of which, between ROSIE O'DONNELL, SAM CHAMPION, and OPRAH/ GAYLE, ABC may have officially replaced Bravo as the gay network . . . Another lavenderlegend, PAUL BARRESI, has been in the news because he's writing a book about his work in helping pit bull investigator ANTHONY PELLICANO squelch gay-sex claims targeted at biggies like TOM CRUISE. Well, I've done some research, and Barresi is not only known for his work starring in and directing gay porn, but he's the guy who once told the Enquirer that he'd had a two-year relationship with JOHN TRAVOLTA! (He later retracted it, then eventually said he regretted the retraction.) So the guy who went public with claims of sex with a superstar went on to squelch other people's claims of gay sex with a superstar? Curiouser and curiouser.

By the way, the shots of Travolta kissing that guy on the mouth as the guy boards a plane look like a scene out of a gay Casablanca. You know, "John, we'll always have Santa Barbara." But I'm sure he was just rehearsing for Hairspray.

Before spraying one's hair, any he-man must go Under the Dryer—the name of a pesky blog which provocatively says MADONNA should pay for the expenses of late voguer Ann Richards, I mean Willi Ninja. As was just vented there, "Madonna owes the voguing community a huge debt and the least she could do is step up and pay Willi's remaining medical bills and see to his mother's continued care." It says she "pimped her way" to stardom "on the backs of African American, Latino, and gay cultures . . . She would have nothing including LOURDES without black and brown people. (Madonna was quite public about seeking out a Latino to father her first child.)" There are several intellectual leaps in this argument that I'm not taking—not without liquids—but it's food for thought, and at least it ends with the more realistic suggestion that Madge can maybe just do a benefit concert.

Apparently that's not the only ethnic healing that's needed these days. In CHRISTOPHER GUEST's uproarious upcoming For Your Consideration, an oafish studio exec urges that the movie within the movie, Home for Purim, be toned down so it's less Jewish—you know, because ethnic content might not attract crowds in flyover territory. Well, life imitates satire. The Variety review of Consideration actually said the film is most likely "too heavy on ethnic humor . . . to attract many in flyover territory." Oy.


Slapstick tragedy

But enough about them, please. Enough about everybody. Now I'm going to buttfuck Ernie . . . I mean, now I'm debuting a feature called My Humiliation of the Week, wherein I relate the most vivid of the many degrading experiences I've freshly suffered. It will be cathartic for me and amusing for you—and if not, I can just chalk it up as another humiliation. And so: Last week, I got a message from a chirpy guy saying, "I have a café in Manhattan called Buster's. We're naming a sandwich after you! It's roast chicken with sautéed spinach and portobello mushrooms and melted parmesan." Well, this wasn't exactly the Pulitzer Prize, but I was still flattered, even if I loathe melted cheese and find spinach un petit deadly. Alas, two minutes later, the well-meaning feeb called back and whimpered, "I misspoke about the sandwich. It's not a Michael Must-ow [sic], it's a Mucho Must-ow. I got really excited because I like your writing. Sorry. Maybe in the future I can put something together that will be named after you." Yeah, how about a triple-decker of sautéed bile with some melted hemlock and a garni of dog dingleberries, drizzled with a hint of energy drink and lotsa spinach juice? And what the fuck is a Mucho Must-ow anyway? Now do you all know why I don't look like I'm having fun?


Web Extra: Which of TV's Charlie's Angels is really the devil? Free answer: The replacement angel, Cheryl Ladd. She had been booked on The Frank DeCaro Show on the gay channel Sirius OutQ, but then her publicist called to say that OutQ is "not her demographic" and canceled her appearance and another interview she was going to do with the same channel. Clueless? Phobic? Yep, and just plain moronic, considering she was going to promote her new book on being a lady golfer! What could appeal to lesbian listeners more than that?


Another Web Extra: Marc Jacobs has gotten racy with those "Nudie T-shirts" for charity and now he's going full frontal porno by endorsing Michael Lucas's gay porn romp La Dolce Musto, I mean La Dolce Vita. Lucas wanted to shoot a porn scene outside the Jacobs store, but Jacobs insisted they do it inside. What's more, the designer wants lots of Jacobs product and logos visible in the movie, I guess to prove that haute couture is an aphrodisiac. Meanwhile, for his next Fellini takeoff, I hope Lucas does 8 1/2.


And another Web Extra, from September 25: Sources swear popular drag performer Flotilla DeBarge ("the Empress of Large") is in trouble with the law, and not because she stole some comedy material. It seems there was an eye-gouging fight at APT—where the door help is notoriously barbaric at times—on Sunday night. (Maybe Flo tangled with Star Jones, who wasn't happy when the drag queen impersonated her for an anti-fur campaign. Nah, maybe not.) Whatever the case, people are actually murmuring words like "Rikers" and "without bail." I've reached out to Flo via phone message and will offer updates as they develop.

musto@villagevoice.com

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