With my pad—yes, my entire apartment—in hand and my tongue out—yes, it’s now openly gay—I got to meet JESSICA SIMPSON, TV’s favorite pretend-dummy (after Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and the redheaded guy from American Idol, who was worse than WILLIAM HUNG and almost as bad as CLAY AIKEN. And by the way, is William Hung?). The malapropic singer-linguist appeared with hubby NICK LACHEY at the Times Square Sephora to hawk not chicken fished out of the ocean but Dessert Beauty, a “kissable, lickable fragrance and body care collection.” Great idea—I just hope the poor girl doesn’t start shooting up mascara!
Granted a moment to interrogate—rather than lick—Jessica, I asked her if she’s become any more sophisticated lately, but she didn’t seem to get the question. I repeated it, and sweet Jessica laughed and replied, “That’s not a good word to describe me. Classy, but I don’t know about sophisticated.” “Baby, you’re the most sophisticated,” smirked Lachey, oozing that patented male-hustler-esque chic I naturally adore. (He’s the smart one in the household, the way Janet’s the normal Jackson. Kidding. I love them all!)
“Your favorite book?” I posited, but Jessica didn’t hear the question. I repeated it, adding, “Mine’s Cosmo Girl.” She laughed—not that dumb—and said, “My favorites are romance novels. I’m definitely a girlie girl. Anything that’ll make me cry.” (Bergdorf Blondes does it for me. So moving.) And finally, considering that Jess is a part owner of Dessert Beauty, is this kind of expansion really necessary? Does she really need the moola? She got the question. “Sure, why not!” baby Jessica exclaimed, without pause. Repeat: not dumb at all!
By the way, it must be exhausting for the poor thing to keep coming up with pseudo-moronic remarks to stay popular, so let me suggest some future ones for free: “You’re going to see Disney on Ice? You mean they still haven’t defrosted him?” “You’re going clubbing? Don’t hurt anybody we like!” And of course the immortal: “CHARLIZE THERON is a serial killer? I hope she doesn’t kill any Lucky Charms!”
Loftier witticisms make it onto Court TV, whose anchors gathered at a Library Hotel bash filled with people who orgasm at the sound of a gavel. I sat with spunky NANCY GRACE, who on that channel (plus Larry King Live) fierily points her finger straight into the camera’s puss. Over a cheese ball, amazing Grace generously ran down the current crop of cases for me. “With SCOTT PETERSON, I’m motivated by seeking justice for a baby and mother—the most defenseless victims,” she said. “As for KOBE, I helped write the rape shield law in Georgia and I’m concerned that the Colorado one is gonna fall to pieces. And with MICHAEL JACKSON and JAYSON WILLIAMS, I’m concerned that the system is blinded by celebrity!” True, though considering Jacko’s diminished stardom these days, the system should only be mildly myopic.
Does Grace mind being called a pit bull? “Am I the dog in this scenario?” she balked. “That’s not very flattering, but I’ll take it as well-meaning and plead guilty. Pit bulls are about to be put to sleep in some jurisdictions, but I’ll take it as a positive!” Case closed.
HOLD THE PICKLE—NO, TIGHTER
Meanwhile, even dog meat looks good after Super Size Me, MORGAN SPURLOCK‘s documentary about how McDonald’s made him into an utter whale who almost put himself to sleep in several jurisdictions. I love that the premiere bash was at Lotus, where most of the crowd wouldn’t even super-size an arugula salad. Squeezing my fat ass in there, I asked Spurlock if he and his girlfriend ever had sex with the actual foodstuffs. “All that grease, right?” the newly slimmed guy said, laughing. “It lubes up your insides. But my girlfriend’s vegan!”
More to the point: Is his flick really what killed super-sizing forever (thereby prompting porkers to simply order double)? “Well, six weeks after the movie premiered at Sundance,” he related, “McDonald’s got rid of super-sizing. And the day before it opens on May 7, they’re starting Go Active Happy Meals, which come with an exercise booklet and a pedometer.” Coincidence? I don’t know, but honey, I’m going to McDonald’s on May 5!
While we’re all cafeteria-bound, I loved the teen comedy Mean Girls, which is truly funny and shit. But it’s sad that—spoiler ahead—the girl who’s called a lesbian for 90 minutes ends up finding her man, and the pudgy queen is the only one for miles who doesn’t hook up with anyone. How, you know, mean.
On Broadway and shit, Jumpers—not exactly made for Jessica Simpson—is a witty vaudeville tour through vast cosmic issues (“What is so good about good?”) and lounge singing, and though when I saw it, the theater was freezing and the set got stuck, good was still good. TOM STOPPARD loves the sound of his own spewings, and so do I, honey, so do I.
SARI, WRONG NUMBER
But the aggressively giddy Bombay Dreams is for the Jessicas of the world, the folks who think a trip to New Delhi gets you a fresh Reuben sandwich. The musical—a tacky, corny Vegas floor show posing as a screed against crass commercialism—is to Indian culture what the Olive Garden is to Italian cuisine. It’s Hindi-scribable.
It’s not hunky tandoori. It’s utter naan-sense. It’s dal as dishwater. It curries no favor. It’s a potato ganesh with mustard. It’s untouchable and unwatchable. But on opening night, I did enjoy the audience member bopping enthusiastically to the music—the show’s producer ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER! He’s a complete vindaloo-nie!
Moving on to legumes, let’s raise the bar and end with some serious awards, even if they’re just cans of beans (without pedometers) mounted on wooden boards. I’m talking about the Arlene’s Grocery’s Picture Show honors for homemade movies, which I presented along with Gilligan’s Island‘s TINA LOUISE and documentarian ALBERT MAYSLES (Grey Gardens). Louise blew a gasket when she realized she was going to be the finale, squawking, “I’m not sitting here for two hours!” (A three-hour tour is a whole other matter.) She went on shortly afterward. Maysles had his own dramatic moment when I congratu- lated him on the musical version of Gardens being written by Pulitzer winner DOUG WRIGHT. “Who? What? You’re kidding! How can I contact him?” dithered Maysles, who isn’t a Jessica Simpson; he honestly hadn’t been told.
Well, kids, I’m off to cash a Czech while wearing black Thai. I’m so freakin’ dumb and cute!
Fucked up? Unik and Heche
photo: Robert Braunfeld
The sexy Meat Market lounge PM turned it out last week, with voodoo motifs, La Perla lingerie displays, and Haitian co-owner UNIK telling the crowd, “You should all get fucked up!” At a booth, I broke it to IVANA TRUMP that the next day’s Post would report that THE DONALD is engaged. A real pro, she barely missed a beat before gushing, “I’m very happy for them!” Ivana has her own engagement in the works—a reality show called Girls on Top. It’s obviously the story of my sex life. No, actually, said Ivana, “As the host, I tell the girls not to go for old men who dangle jewelry.” I guess wait till they die, then fleece their pockets.
In another corner, ANNE HECHE cooed to me, “Isn’t it great to be here?” and I don’t know if she meant PM, New York, or the entire world, but in any case, yes! And by the way, I’m thrilled that though Chelsea is the new Soho and Hell’s Kitchen is the new Chelsea, the Meat Market is still the Meat Market! Enjoy the clubbing—just don’t hurt anyone we like. M. M.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 27, 2004