By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
You see strange things in airports these days. Before boarding my plane to Miami last week, I noticed other passengers frantically throwing out their gels of a certain size as if getting rid of head lice. But then a guard let me right into the gate with a ticket that didn't match my passport! (My friend and I had mistakenly taken each other's boarding pass.) So anyone can get in without the right credentials? Oh, well. At least we were safe from fruity body scrubs and too-harsh shampoos.
We were sent by Miami Fashion Weekyes, they have oneto see shows by Heatherette, which presented a kicky spoof of travel wear, and Sweetface, which had girls with slender butts gamely modeling J.LO's fashions for other people. (But the line's real designer is named SO YUNG. That reminds melast week, JOHN MARK KARR's avid interest in children eclipsed even MADONNA's. What a sick fuck.)
While down there, it was de rigueur to abandon all slenderness of butt and visit Karu & Ya Vegas-y restaurant complete with murals and glass sculptures, in the middle of the crack den of downtown Miami. It's so wrong it's right, as klieg lights and large silver doors announce the biggest gamble in Miami food history. After a month of free tastings, the place just officially opened, and I must say, the "cuisine of the Americas" offerings are pretty intriguing, especially since they're presented like artistic landscapes out of the Valley of the Dolls opening sequence. And what fussing! "This is to aromacize the dish," the waiter said, pouring some dark liquidyes, liquidinto the bottom of my two-bowled "whimsical amuse-bouche" of clams and popcorn. I ended up drinking it, whimsically enough, and choking as I realized it was some kind of potpourri-ish silt. How amuse.
Lower-class cuisine made a splash back at the airport, where heartbeats raced when inspectors searched my bag and foundoh, dear Goda can of tuna! The attendant summoned his higher-up and they actually had a meeting over this, in a live demonstration of the idiocy of America at its most garbage-pail-ready. "Well, it has water," said the attendant, seriously. Tense pause. Could this be a problem? Is Bumble Bee somehow allied with Al Qaeda? "I'll let it through," decided the boss, nobly, after a few beats. And so a planeful of innocent people were unnecessarily terrorized by tuna water!
I went foodless to the 10th anniversary celebration of the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut, and that was fine; multiple pig-outs awaited, culminating with a surf-and-turf dinner adorning a gala JERRY SEINFELD performance about nothing. But first, in the cabaret, there was a reunion of the cast of Laugh-In, the irrepressible '60s psychedelic comedy show full of single people, double takes, and triple entendres. Out came the available cast members, including zany JO ANNE WORLEY (who serenaded us with "Mammogram," done to the tune of "Mammy"), butch LILY TOMLIN (who had to be coerced to do Laugh-Inand probably this reunion too), swishy ALAN SUES (who strangely talked about his night out with a woman he met on The Dating Game, though Worley told us Sues was "both the Mr. and Miss Congeniality" of the set), and formerly saucy CHELSEA BROWN, who barely said a word. (Maybe her old body graffiti left permanent damage.)
As for JUDY "Sock It to Me" CARNEwho wasn't thereonly one tiny clip of her was shown, and Worley muttered that she always came late to work. But Sues was right on time remembering that guest star Kate Smith "was rather large and she had no sense of humor at all," especially when he comically ended up under her dress. (Now I was really getting confused.)
The next day, I boldly asked Laugh-In producer GEORGE SCHLATTER about Norman . . . Is That You?, the gay-themed comedy he directed in the '70s, which was named the number one film of all time by my very-weird-movie club. "Every time Redd Foxx went into his trailer," related Schlatter, "he ended up getting either some blow, pot, Courvoisier, or a blowjob. Every one of those things altered his speech patterns. We shot for 10 days, and every one of those days he was stoned and trying to jump on Pearl Bailey." No wonder the film is so magical.
Maybe blow, pot, or Courvoisier explained KEITH URBAN's having to cancel out of performing that Mohegan weekend to go into rehab instead. God, you'd think marriage to an icy fembot like NICOLE KIDMAN would totally ground you. But Seinfeld showed up and joked at a press conference, "I'm trying to develop some sort of dependencyI have two hoursand this is the place to do it!" While trying, Jerry told us he doesn't mind the idea of a Seinfeld curse ("I love anything named after me"), but it's apparently ended now that Julia Louis-Dreyfus has a hit show. He also announced that he'd avoid the roulette tablesnot because of any curse, mind you, but because "I do my best gambling onstage."
Well, maybe not. His show covered topics so old Starbucks, cell phones, caller IDeven Jackie Mason would shun them as not cutting-edge enough. Still, Jerry was slick and amusing in his attack on the annoying minutiae of life. And I loved him saying what he's been doing lately: "Nothing."
TRANNY, HOW I LOVE YA, HOW I LOVE YA
Let's do something and move on to the sex-change set, who'd never throw out their gels, especially the silicone ones. First off, AMANDA LEPORE told me she's been approached to write a book called Amanda's Charm School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls, which she wants to subtitle Or How to Be an "It" Girl for 2,000 Years.
Trannies come out on top in 20 Centimeters, the new Spanish film in which FELICITY HUFFMAN, I mean MÓNICA CERVERA, plays a narcoleptic pre-op who can't wait to lop off her penis, even though a pal discarded her 21 grams, I mean 20 centimeters, years ago and now feels nothing down there. I intently watched the DVD while holding on to my ding-dong.
At LINDA SIMPSON's Slurp party at the Cock, I chatted up a woman with ballsthe reigning Miss L.E.S., GLENN MARLAwho's clearly a gay man in a lady's body. The Babeland employee said she likes it up the ass, not in the vaginadon't put popcorn on her clamsthough she doesn't mind having someone massage her clit, which she insists on calling her "dick." Got that? But the evening's official entertainment was the VARSITY INTERPRETIVE DANCE SQUAD (VIDS), who are sort of like the DAZZLE DANCERS meet SNL's cheerleaders on meth and Froot Loops. Were they nervous about performing at the Cock? "Yeah," responded the female of the trio, "that I'll catch a venereal disease."
Another antsy nellythe teen dream who plays AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS in Running With Scissorswants you to know he's not gay and he even says so in the movie's press kit. I guess he wasn't Miss Congeniality on the set.
Gay but marriedlet's keep goingBen Butley is a juicy role for NATHAN LANE to swallow live in Butley, the revival of the original British gay-professor problem play. (Sorry, History Boys.) But last Friday, Broadway legend PHYLLIS NEWMAN didn't come back after intermissionthough it might have been because she was carrying an unwieldy contraption that fed her oxygen all night! (Or maybe she was running to catch the second half of High Fidelity, which her daughter AMANDA GREEN wrote the lyrics for. High Fidelity, by the way, is not the story of Keith and Nicole staying together, I swear.)
DINA LOHANthe mother- manager of high-on-life LINDSAYwas feted at Nino's Tuscany for the Boulevard cover story on her as "Long Island's Super Mom," even better than my aunt Sophia. There, I asked Dina if she's basically a new version of Mama Rose in Gypsy. "Way not!" she replied. "Emphasize waaay not." That's waaay OK, but way, I mean why, do the article? "To show that you can be a mother and you don't lose your brain cells," she said. "You can re-enter the work force." Dina is staying in it by pitching a game show she'll produce and star in called CEO of the Household, which is Beat the Clockmeets The Apprentice, but original. Before we could play a round of it, a photographer zoomed in on Dina, so I instinctively told her to hold up the magazine. "No," she said. "Too narcissistic!" Maybe sheneeds a stage mother.
And now I'm going to open my tuna, so nobody scream!