Summer Press Tour, Day 16: An Explosive Interview

By Lisa de Moraes
Wednesday, July 26, 2006; C07

PASADENA, Calif., July 25 People who molest children should have chips embedded in the rectum that would explode if they violate their parole, "America's Most Wanted" star John Walsh told a photographer for Fox and father of two at Summer TV Press Tour 2006 as a couple dozen speechless TV critics looked on.

Bet all those other critics who'd bailed out early felt pretty silly missing what turned out to be the highlight of the now 16-day-old tour.

A minute or so later Walsh said he'd been kidding, though he had a "not really" look in his eyes. He said it was the second time he'd used the joke and no one laughed last time either.

Meanwhile, the freelance photographer, who'd been hired to take photos during Fox's two days of the tour, was relieved of his responsibilities for the rest of the day for monopolizing Walsh's onstage time with their interesting exchange about child-tracking technology, sex-offender-tracking technology -- "pervert alert," the photographer called it -- and a comparison of repeat molesters to rabid dogs that need to be put down.

Both Walsh and the photographer, who declined to give his name, said bracelets on sex offenders did not work. "Bracelets are [horseradish]," the photographer said to Walsh as stunned critics looked on. Walsh agreed, saying, "I love your attitude."

Walsh told the critics that when he was talking to senators about electronic monitoring of sex offenders, "I said implant it in their anus and if they go outside the radius, explode it, and that would send a big message."

Walsh said it was a joke, adding, "Nobody thought it was funny."

Continuing his riveting performance, he said his wife had suggested that when he went to Washington to stump for the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, he ask all the congressmen who he thought were holding up the legislation named in honor of his son whether they were child molesters or if they had child porn on their computers.

"I said, 'Reve, I don't really use that tack walking through the halls.' But leave it to the mother of a murdered child to cut to the chase."

That would seem to include Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who, Walsh said, had slowed things down by attaching to the bill "a huge hate-crimes piece of legislation that was very controversial." Kennedy eventually removed the hate-crime bits, Walsh said. The bill passed on Tuesday.

Walsh appeared at Summer TV Press Tour 2006 to promote the fact that on Saturday his popular series will be a taped broadcast of the White House signing on Thursday of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which will create a national sex-offender registry.

July 27 marks the 25th anniversary of the abduction and murder of Walsh's 6-year-old son. This September marks the start of the 20th season of Walsh's catch-a-perp series on the Fox network.

* * *

Fox's new late night host, TV writer Spike Feresten -- he wrote the "Soup Nazi" episode of "Seinfeld" -- was asked who he thinks does the best job in late night television.

"To me it's all about Letterman and it always will be," said the star of "Talkshow With Spike Feresten." "He is the guy. He's the reason I'm in TV."

Feresten said he didn't think "The Soup Nazi" was his best "Seinfeld" episode. It was, however, his first.

"I didn't know what I was doing. It was my first time on a sitcom and we were done editing and . . . I felt like [series creator Larry David] hated it as much as I did and I almost apologized to him in the edit room and said, 'Look, my next one will be a little better,' which it never was, by the way. It's more of a documentary. I used to write at 'Letterman' . . . and a lot of those things were said to me and I was jotting them down. There's very little creative writing in that episode."

His executive producer, Stewart Bailey, told TV critics they are developing a bit for the show in which Spike's gravestone says, "Writer of 'Soup Nazi' " with an arrow pointing down.

* * *

Fox's new sitcom "Happy Hour" breaks new ground in that a young woman is seen eating a pizza.

The whole thing.

"The scene where you ate the pizza was very funny and it's so rare to see an actress on Fox convincingly eat anything," one critic said. "Did you have to get special permission from the network to do that?"

"There was an extensive training period, because I usually don't eat," Beth Lacke responded.

"It was, like, five takes so I'm done with it for at least a year. I don't think you'll see me eating."

* * *

Catherine Deneuve will play a widow who has her husband's ashes put into her breast implants on the new season of FX's "Nip/Tuck," critics learned late Tuesday. Only one wonders why she's trying to dispose of the ashes, exec producer Ryan Murphy hinted, saying he thinks of Deneuve as a "French murderess."

He says the story line is based on an actual incident and that there was no plastic surgery case too bizarre for him to consider for his show -- except he doesn't think people want to see plastic surgery on children.

Is it time to go home yet?

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