Joan Rivers just had a party for her TV Land series, How’d You Get So Rich?, at her sumptuous East Side triplex, the one she recently put on the market. “Make your bid!” Joan chirped, giddily pretending it was an open house, too.
But why try to unload her place now, of all times? “When I buy, that means ‘Don’t,’ ” the fresh-roasted comic admitted, “and when I sell, that means ‘How stupid are you?’ I’m the only one that lost money on Fabergé. People say, ‘How much money did you make on the czar’s personal watches?’ I say, ‘Nothing! I lost a fortune!’ I’m like the Top Shop of Fabergé!” I guess the watches laid a big Fabergé egg.
Speaking of collectible food items, Julie & Julia is highlighted by Meryl Streep‘s culinary cutie Julia Child practically orgasming when eating a piece of buttery fish and gleefully comparing cannelloni to “stiff cocks.” By the time Child is boning a duck, you’re surprised she hasn’t strapped on her “dill dough.” . . . An aroused source who saw Quentin Tarantino‘s re-cut version of Inglourious Basterds says it’s more glorious than it was. . . . Speaking of revamped careers, they are really pushing the shit out of Whitney Houston‘s intended comeback. Press releases are sent out every two seconds about all aspects of the new record, her image, and her rising from the ashes (though you can’t discuss just what ashes those are). Clive Davis must be holding a guillotine over peoples’ heads, saying, “Make her hot again or die!” As well he should! . . . Transsexual icon Amanda Lepore is certainly on fire again. She just told me, “My career is doing much better with the recession. It’s because I’m fantasy!”
Reality surfaced after last Monday’s performance of The Temperamentals—the Off-Broadway play about gay pioneer Harry Hay—when there was a “Militant Mondays” talkback featuring lovable curmudgeon Larry Kramer, who’s pretty much the Hay of today. Larry said he was fascinated by the Bob Herbert editorial in the Times about the Henry Gates incident (a/k/a Gatesgate): “Herbert was basically telling black people to go out there and be Act-Up!” Kramer said, admiringly.
Meanwhile, Kramer’s acting up again, this time about making the White House way more rainbow-colored. He’s writing a sweeping book called The American People: A History, which will report that George Washington was gay (and mad for Alexander Hamilton) and that John Wilkes Booth was a hustler hired by Abe Lincoln’s love object, shopkeeper Joshua Speed, for Abie baby’s personal use. But supposedly, the Prez wasn’t interested in freeing his snake for that bit of business, and, as Kramer told me, “Hell hath no fury like a hustler spurned.” That’s so true—look at Ashley Dupré!
I hung with the ‘hos at Beige, but I also got to meet one of TV’s Real Housewives, who was slumming there, so I asked her how New York is different from New Jersey. She gave me a long, involved answer—”New York doesn’t have small towns like New Jersey does,” etc.—but then I found out she was NeNe Leakes from Real Housewives of Atlanta! Oh, well. “So you love the gays?” I asked, gracefully switching gears. “Love them? This is my gay husband,” she exclaimed, introducing me to a fey creature. “So you’re married to him?” “Twice!” she joked.
Just then, I found the real Real Housewife of New Jersey, Danielle Staub, in another corner of the club. So you love the gays? “I love my gays!” she exulted, as the twinks developed stiff cannellonis from the echo effect. “I just came from Barracuda. They said we had to sing karaoke, so we said, ‘Oops, gotta go.’ Then we went to Citrine, and now we’re here. I love New York! It’s so accepting. You can be a model or a homeless person.” “And in the case of the Olsen twins,” I wittily interjected, “you can be both!”
There was one more reality star by the bar: Ra’mon from the new Project Runway season, who sported a mohawk the size of NeNe’s five-inch heels. “It was God-given,” he swore to me. And a well-coiffed Frances Bean Cobain, aged 16, was there, too—with another rocker spawn, Zowie Bowie—but not drinking, I’m sure! Or mainlining, either!
Also in the crowd—God, what a night—photographer Patrick McMullan told me he ran into original Supreme Mary Wilson at the Box and asked her if Joe Jackson ever came on to her, back when she was in her 20s. “I was too old for him,” cooed Mary, frankly.
Nostalgia was on the menu again when I dined at Employees Only with owner Billy Gilroy, who reminisced about being the manager of Nell’s, the snooty yet mildly decadent Victorian lounge that opened in ’86. The wildest night there? “[Disco singer/space alien] Grace Jones and her gal pal were humping the pillars, and the owner, Keith McNally, was loving it,” Gilroy remembered. “But then we heard loud crashing noises. Grace had started taking bottles from the bar and furiously throwing them. Me and three other guys had to grab her by the limbs and remove her as she kicked and screamed, ‘You bastards!’ ” Gilroy said he can still hear the karate kicks that Jones aimed at the door for hours once she was on the street! I guess he’s a slave to the rhythm.
One more festive flashback came with the Andy Warhol birthday party at the Gershwin Hotel, where I stayed much longer than 15 minutes. There, I told performance artist Penny Arcade that in the otherwise enjoyable An Englishman in New York, Cynthia Nixon isn’t quite abrasive enough as her. “You could also use the word ‘charisma,’ ” she said. “Why would you have someone non-charismatic as me? But I hear she was not allowed to see any footage of me and Quentin Crisp. The only one the director wanted to meet was Sting! And what about the clothes? They used those ugly-assed clothes that nobody in the East Village wore in the ’80s!” Make your bid!
Meanwhile, Ann Coulter‘s been accessorized against her will over at Air America’s offices. While visiting there, I noticed that someone had generously put a Hitler mustache on a poster of the blonde motormouth. Heil, honey!
A tyrannical baby demands blood in the new genre film Grace, which is sort of like Rosemary’s Baby meets Little Shop of Horrors, with eggs more cracked than Fabergés.
Playing the mama with bloody nipples is Jordan Ladd, who talked to me last week about the maternity mania that has rocked our patriarchal society.
“I don’t know what this obsession with baby-making is,” said Ladd. “I was born in the mid ’70s. When we went out to the yard and fell and broke our arms, it was a badge of honor, a rite of passage. Society is far too concerned with overparenting now, and with when you should have babies and how many you should have. Being a divorced 34-year-old woman, I can’t say I’m immune to that pressure. I’m reminded of it every time I pick up a tabloid: ‘Oh shit, I’d better start now!’ “
Jordan knows from scrutinized parenting—she happens to be the daughter of Cheryl Ladd from TV’s Charlie’s Angels—but she was protected from cameras as a child and was so young that she didn’t understand that she’d landed in a showbiz dynasty. “But,” she added, “I did have a moment when my mom was on The Muppet Show, and that was pretty exciting to me. Everyone knew Miss Piggy!”
Jordan, alas, never got to know Miss Farrah, but she’s fully aware that “it’s an awful story.” So’s the one about Ryan O’Neal unwittingly hitting on daughter Tatum at the funeral. “I’d hit on Tatum,” said Jordan, laughing. “Are you kidding?”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 11, 2009