By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
All hail the new Chief! Whoever he is! See, I'm writing this on Monday and have no freaking idea how the election turned out, but I just want to give my fondest wishes to whoever stole our hearts (or our votes) and won the ennobling chance to lead our country out of the toilet bowl. Except that if McCain/Palin somehow won, I am now in Canada with Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, and a bunch of scared caribou, and we will never leave the house except to use our complimentary health care.
Of course, as I write this, I am optimistically pretending that our country will still welcome my trashy, irreverent batch of glorified trivia posing as insight—and so, here comes some more of it, sans apologies:
I hear Steven Spielberg just met with Denzel Washington at the Four Seasons Hotel. No, it wasn't to discuss Amistad 2 . . . Creating another riveting combo, Sukhreet Gabel—who once rose to tabloid glory for testifying against her own mother—was recently spotted walking the streets with a parrot on a stick. It almost bit off my friend's cockatoo . . . Songbird extraordinaire Cyndi Lauper is showing her true colors in a memoir, boop-oop-a-do.
John Travolta's life story won't include Hairspray II; as you know, he reportedly passed on it, saying, "I'm not a big sequel guy." Well, Travolta was a big sequel guy, but I guess he learned harsh lessons from Staying Alive and Look Who's Talking 2 and 3 (though at least Grease 2 isn't on his résumé—or Amistad 2).
Not on Sean Penn's résumé is the press junket for Milk. He's not doing it, and I have no idea why. Would you want to be the one to ask him?
Sean's ex, Madonna, directed that offbeat little movie Filth and Wisdom, but as of press time, it's only ended up making a paltry $16,976 here. Maybe people wanted more wisdom and less filth?
Another blonde woman of maturity, Pamela Anderson, was recently seen running around with a mystery man covered with a white mask and gloves. My sources swear it was Michael Jackson! (Well, she does have an 11-year-old son.)
Lock up your daughters for this breaking news alert, dripping in truthiness: You must get a new publicist, Stephen Colbert! Your current one didn't even return my request for an interview with you, even to say fuck off!
At least I'm plugged into 20-plus-year-old gossip for TV Land watchers (you know, the "side effects include . . ." crowd). I just met someone who worked on the immortal sitcom The Facts of Life, and he swore that Nancy McKeon, who played the butcher-than-Josephine-the-plumber Jo, is really straight! No, seriously! "Young lesbians who didn't even know they were lesbians yet would come to the tapings and sit in the front row," the source told me, "and Nancy didn't even get it. We'd have to lock her dressing room and have extra security there because the young lesbians would try to steal her clothing, and Nancy didn't even know!
"She's straight! She had a long affair with Michael J. Fox, and she's now married with kids. For years, she went to AIDS and gay events, and lesbians would go up to her and say, 'Thank you so much!' She'd tell me, 'For what?' She didn't realize they thought she was gay!" All right, already!
As for Nancy's less diesel-y co-stars, Mindy Cohn and Kim Fields: "They both had breast reductions—just like Bea Arthur had. Bea was drunk and was hanging with a surgeon one night, so she ended up having it done. She pulled them out on the set of Maude and said, 'Aren't they nice?' And they were! They looked like a 14-year-old's!" (And suddenly I've segued into 30-year-old gossip.)
Speaking of treasured titties—I mean titles—from years past, the worst recession sale in town is the one at Kim's Video on St. Marks Place. Mind you, I've always adored the place, tapping it for obscure items you can't even get on Netflix or in garbage cans. I'm horrified that they're closing their hallowed halls in January (though they promise the rentals will be moved elsewhere—hopefully in Canada.) But though a guy has been walking around Astor Place with a sign promising "up to 40 percent off" (the "up to" is tinier than Sarah Palin's penis), a placard outside the store says it's actually 30 percent off the shit. And when I checked out a boxed set of Raquel Welch's films there—oh, hush, the costumes are stunning—I was told I'd only get 15 percent off. Say wha'? "We already took 15 percent off," chirped the clerk. Oh, shove it!
But the Lord giveth, too. There's a new club in the Flatiron District called the Imperial (where Spy was), and it's trying to bring back some of the magic of days past by incorporating art—"like the Palladium, but smaller." As co-owner Cornelis Craane told me, "The bottle service has taken the life out of the business." Yay! Someone with sense! "We do have bottle service," he added—boo!—"but in a way, we're bringing back the drink ticket. Drink tickets bring in more of a cocktail-party mentality." Yay again! Still, I'd recommend avoiding Fridays, for which they promise "international hipsters." Eww, the h-word.