Thursday, February 22, 2007; 2:00 PM
When Britney left K-Fed, when Jen and Vince broke up (and broke up again), when Mel Gibson self-destructed on a California highway, washingtonpost.com Celebritology Liz Kelly was here to pass along the buzz, offer some perspective, provide crucial links to juicy alternate news sources and, of course, take your reaction.
Now join Liz each Thursday at 2 p.m. ET to gab about the latest celebrity pairings (and splittings), rising stars (and falling ones) and get the scoop on the latest gossip making waves across the Web.
A transcript follows.
Before she started blogging about celebrities, Liz ran washingtonpost.com's Live Online section, where she enjoyed talking to really interesting people -- including some Post reporters -- on the phone. She produces both Carolyn Hax's advice discussion and Gene Weingarten's Chatological Humor*, which is currently on hiatus.
Liz Kelly: Just in case you missed the latest incremental update, Britney Spears is back in rehab. Also, Elvis has left the building and Buckwheat has been shot.
Being a sensitive crowd, blog commenters are already asking what the over/under is on how long she stays this time. Not surprisingly, I'm getting a lot of e-mails about Britney, too, and reaction is all over the spectrum -- from the kids should be taken away (they may) to Britney needs to find God (didn't she do that once or twice already?).
In other news, the court battle over Anna Nicole Smith's remains rages on -- more on this later, but my mother just called to tell me MSNBC was reporting that Fergie's husband had collapsed. Silly mom needs new glasses because MSNBC was actually reporting the Vergie Arthur's (Smith's mom's) husband as the collapser. Now they're saying an attorney collapsed. Who knows. But you can see that this is how false rumors get started. With my mom, who has deputized herself as some kind of Celebritology research assistant.
At this point, the only thing that could knock the one-two punch of Smith and Spears out of the top tabloid spot is some kind of Angelina Jolie/Jennifer Aniston head-swapping surgery performed by Richard Simmons with an assist from Vanna White.
Last week I promised to get to the bottom of Stephen Colbert's place of birth. That sounds weird, like I'm going to actual dig with a shovel or something. What I mean is, I promised to find out where the guy was actually born. Some very credible Web sources say Washington, D.C. while the official Comedy Central bio page says North Carolina. I am in touch with his publicist who says Colbert is on hiatus this week and can't be reached to clear this up for us right now. Clearly he's hiding something and I will continue to press for the truth.
There's no way to sugarcoat it: Last night's "Lost" reeked. It was awful. It was filler of the most irrelevant proportions. Read today's "Lost" analysis post in the blog and we'll devote the last 15 minutes here to kvetching about it.
For some reason, I've been re-obsessed with Small Faces lately, so they'll serve as the backdrop to today's chat. Really, can anyone get enough of Itchycoo Park?
Let's get started...
Enough Already: Okay, I'm taking Craig Ferguson's line and not making fun of poor Britney anymore. Usually I don't feel sorry for celebs whose antics garner bad press, but clearly she is in a bad, scary place and in desperate need of help.
All the snarkiness is fueling the fire. So let's not talk about her today. Instead let's hope by not tearing her down we can help build her back up.
Liz Kelly: I appreciate the sentiment, but I think it's possible for us to talk about Britney today without deriding her or otherwise making things worse for her. As I wrote earlier this week, Britney is a woman who has hit bottom and is now lingering there instead of taking the opportunities for help she's been offered over the past few weeks, if not months. She may come around and get to the point where she gives in to help. She may not.
She's 25 and while there are some very mature 25-year-olds, I really don't think Britney is one of them. Because of her unusual youth as a breadwinner and a sex symbol, I doubt she's progressed much past an adolescent ability to process emotions, adversity and hormonal spikes. And, aside from the initial shock of someone like Britney shaving her head and acting all kinds of out-of-control, I think we need to pay attention to this story because Britney's story is at least a cautionary tale for would-be stage mothers and 16-year-olds who wait out overnight to audition for "American Idol."
Am I off base here? And am I the only one who is losing patience with her?
Washington, D.C.: The Tony Parker/Eva Longoria relationship almost fell apart a few months ago because she admitted to cheating on him. Now, they are engaged to be married, but how did the cheating episode go away so quickly? We never heard who was that person. BTW, Eva is very, very scary sans her makeup.
Liz Kelly: Back in late September, reps for Longoria did issue a statement saying the two were going through a hard time because of "demanding schedules." Only two short months later, the pair announced plans to marry this summer at a French chateau.
There were some rumors that Longoria had cheated on Parker and was spotted "cuddling" with Jamie Foxx in the past, but it seems the two worked through whatever issues they had.
Washington, D.C.: Can we have a poll today? How many people want the stick insect on "Grey's Anatomy" to get killed off?
Liz Kelly: I'll just put this out there. I'm not a "Grey's" watcher, so I can't comment on said stick insect.
Falls Church, Va.: I'm counting down the minutes until your chat! And I know I can count on you always to post at 2 on the dot. (Yes, I do have work I could be doing.) You know, with all of poor Britney's ups and downs, I haven't been keeping track -- didn't Lindsey Lohan leave rehab, too? Is she laying low these days? Did rehab "work"? You admitted that she's a star you hate to love, and I feel that -- but the more troubled Britney is turning out to be, the more affectionately I'm beginning to feel towards her. And I'm also, gag me with a shovel, beginning to feel like K-Fed is a decent guy, although "his" stance is probably just the result of good lawyers...P.S. how often does he see his other kids?
Liz Kelly: La Lohan did indeed leave rehab earlier this week and was so busy partying with Steve-O (of "Jackass" fame) that she missed Robert Altman's memorial service.
Remember LL once said that Altman was the closest thing she's ever had to a grandfather figure. I guess Steve-O has supplanted his place in her heart.
New York, New York: Is it just me or is Anna Nicole's new reality show great? I wonder which of the three contestants will win!
Liz Kelly: Good call... more on this coming up next:
No more Anna Nicole!: I tried to watch cable news yesterday between 4 and 6 on MSNBC and instead of real issues in our lives, that network showed the Anna Nicole trial! Iran decided to negotiate with us, England is leaving Iraq, we have domestic issues -- and Anna Nicole is on TV all night? Is anyone else annoyed at this? Or dismayed?
Liz Kelly: Then don't tune in today, because MSNBC is continuing to air this, this... fabulous entertainment. Seriously, who knew that a celebrity court case of ridiculous proportions -- complete with dueling suitors, shouting matches and an over-the-top, over-opinionated judge who seems to have lost his way to the "Sopranos" set -- could be arranged on such short notice? Not since the days of the OJ trial have we had such riveting reality TV. This morning we learned that Anna Nicole was detoxing when four-months pregnant and had several short monologues from judge Larry Seidlin -- like this one, directed at Larry Birkhead:
"My friend, we're searching to get off that mountain. I'm 56-years-old. I've seen it and heard it. You gotta help me here. Don't get slippery with me. Don't get cute."
Mountain, huh? Is this guy gunning for a book deal or what?
Unfortunately, this circus will probably end tomorrow since the judge has promised to rule on who should have custody of Smith's "rapidly decomposing" corpse by then.
And to continue to ignore the meat of your question, I just want to post this link again to a video of an eight-months pregnant, incoherent Anna Nicole Smith in clown make-up because it succinctly communicates the mental state of Smith since the death of her son five months ago.
And, yes, this stuff is pretty inconsequential compared to the war in which we're enmeshed and other events of world-changing import taking place around us. I can't answer for MSNBC's decision to air this trial live, but it's definitely keeping me tuned in more than yet another White House press briefing.
Florida: Do you think Britney can come back from all the drama and salvage her career? I feel so badly for her -- she seems so completely out of it and beyond knowing what's really going on in her world.
Liz Kelly: She may be able to salvage something, though I seriously doubt she'll ever recapture her niche as a nubile young sexpot performer. She'll need to prove she can grow and repurpose her talent to get through this without relying on celebrity reality shows as her second act.
It's interesting to contrast Spears with Christina Aguilera, who started in virtual the same place at the same time. In my opinion the difference -- well, one of many -- is that Christina is a huge vocal talent, a real singer, whereas Britney is an okay singer who (for a while) was a great performer.
Liz Kelly: Newsweek's Kathleen Deveny wrote about this very topic, too, and seems to be leaning towards no, she can't recapture her career after this stumble.
First Sign of Armageddon: When we start rooting for K-Fed to get custody of the children...
Liz Kelly: Second Sign: When we start rooting for K-Fed to get custody of Anna Nicole's corpse, too.
Oakton, Va.: Can we keep that judge for the next 10 or so years of Anna Nicole trials? Even if there are proceedings in other states, he should be allowed to be a special guest judge. Also, what accent is that, Long Island?
Liz Kelly: Because it's all about him, the judge did briefly talk about the provenance of his accent earlier this morning. I think he said New York, but I was only half listening because I was watching "Itchycoo Park" again.
Rockville, Md: I may be in the minority here, but I don't want Meredith to be killed off on "Grey's." I like Meredith. She was finally getting to the point where she could be happy. Why kill her now? She can't help it if she's a stick.
Liz Kelly: Thank you.
re: Prince Harry in Iraq: Can you imagine either of the Bush twins going to Iraq (other than the more traditional Joey Heatherton-USO entertainer type role)?
Liz Kelly: Nope and this is something I often hear from people who I may or may not be married to who think it's pretty rich that someone's daughters are free to party in Georgetown and Argentina while Walter Reed fills up with amputees.
Pittsburgh: Jolie is 5-8 and 109 pounds? Man, that's scary thin! I know she's mourning the loss of her mother, which can zap any interest in eating for a bit, but girl, you live in New Orleans -- go out and force down some of the local cuisine. It's fabulous!
Liz Kelly: Well, it's fabulous, but a little spicy. Not usually the best prescription for a queasy stomach. I'm not worried about Angie. She'll come out of this.
Leesburg, Va.: Liz, in your opening you said: "At this point, the only thing that could knock the one-two punch of Smith and Spears out of the top tabloid spot is some kind of Angelina Jolie/Jennifer Aniston head-swapping surgery performed by Richard Simmons with an assist from Vanna White."
Di's younger son getting wounded or worse (God forbid) in Iraq now that the Brits are pulling out.
Can you imagine that insanity in the press?
Liz Kelly: True. It is really worrisome that Harry will be in such an unstable, unsecurable position and he'll probably be a prime target -- as will those around him by association.
On the snark side, producer Paul just asked me backstage if Harry will be wearing his Nazi uniform to Iraq.
Burlington, Vt.: Even in the best of circumstances, teen stars have an uphill battle to stay relevant. I'm just surprised that Britney seems to have socked away some money. Seems most young celebrities have their earnings swiped by unscrupulous managers/record labels/parents.
Liz Kelly: There has been some question this week about how much money she actually has left. She's reportedly already selling the LA mansion she bought just a few months ago. But that could just be another sign of her current instability.
Embarrassment of riches: What's a respected Celebritologist to do, when confronted with such dueling topics as Hairless Self-Immolating Britney and Decomposing Anna Nicole Smackdown? Where do you start?
Liz Kelly: When you put it that way, I'm a little scared to start at all.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when we thought a diaper-wearing astronaut was, like, soooo weird?
Columbia, Md.: I have never watched "Lost," never watched "American Idol," never watch "Survivor," don't think I have ever listened to a B. Spears song, don't care about her hair. Wait a minute, why am I am in this chat?
Liz Kelly: I was just about to ask you the same thing. I think you're celeb-curious.
"Grey's" Stick Insect:: I always thought both Denny and the bomb guy were nice and should go to heaven. Why would you punish them with her company for eternity?
Liz Kelly: Just putting this out there...
re: Colbert: Can't just search for the truth -- you have to search for the truthiness. Or else he won't answer you. And whatever you do, don't mention bears...
Liz Kelly: Oh, trust me, I know all about the bear thing.
Itchykoo Park!: I got high there!
Then I, too, collapsed.
Liz Kelly: A kindred spirit.
In that video, don't those guys have the coolest hairdos ever?
Pittsburgh: "How many people want the stick insect on 'Grey's Anatomy' to get killed off?"
Me! Me! But they won't, since the show is named after her character. However, I did hear that they are considering spinning off Kate Walsh's character (Addison) into her own show. The plan is to have a three-show arc during May sweeps where her character would be prominent. I guess based on the response to her storyline, they would create a separate show for her. Now, I would watch that show for sure.
Liz Kelly: More on this...
Arlington, Va.: I'm in the "kill off the stick insect" camp. Sorry, but she's just ANNOYING. And whiny.
Bailey, on the other hand, is my hero.
Liz Kelly: And still more.
Va.: Are you related to the Mr. (can't remember first name) Kelly who does a Washington Post chat?
Liz Kelly: Well, I'm sure somehow all Kellys are related. But nope, as far as I know, I have no direct blood ties to John Kelly. I do think he's a swell guy, though, and I'd be honored to see him turn up at the next family wake.
Mr. Tony Land: I LOVED hearing you on with Mr. Tony this morning. I think you should be a regular. Can you tell me what he suggested in regards to Bruce Springsteen? I was listening at work and didn't have the volume loud enough to hear. I have an idea what it was about, given the context and the hilarity that ensued. I don't know if I've ever heard a radio personality be more grateful for a commercial break than you were.
Liz Kelly: Okay, this is really uncomfortable, but ummm... that wasn't me. Must've been some other Liz.
I was on Post radio every day at 10:20 a.m. until Tuesday when Mr. Tony took over that time slot. I haven't yet figured out how to break into his inner circle, but am starting to get the idea that free food has a way of softening him up.
Falls Church, Va.: Clearly there is something one is required to do within the first 24 hours of rehab that Britney is incapable of doing. Any clues or guesses as to what that might be?
Liz Kelly: Well, when I was in rehab -- I kid.
I'm guessing it's one of two things:
Either Britney's not prepared to stop partying yet, or Britney doesn't think she has a problem.
Ogden, Utah: Has Britney Spears done anything in the last, oh, let's say two years, to deserve any public attention at all? Has she done any singing? Acting? Collected money for orphans? Testified before Congress? Or has she just been, well, a rich ditz. And if so, why in God's name does your newspaper continue to cover her?
Liz Kelly: In the land of celebrity -- which is what my Web-only blog and chat covers -- Britney has done plenty to deserve attention over the last year. She's an established superstar who is unraveling in a very public way. Do we hate ourselves just a little bit for watching? Yes. Are we likely to turn away? No. Unfortunately, we'll probably turn away when she calms down and starts doing mundane things like testifying before Congress.
Pittsburgh, Pa.: How long until the Promises Malibu Treatment Center issues a Request For Proposals to install a revolving door at the main entrance?
Liz Kelly: Zing.
Bethesda, Md.: Want to know why Brit saved her head? Cause one's hair can be tested for drugs and gives a history of drug use for a long, long time back.
Liz Kelly: So I've heard. But if that was her intention she didn't do too good a job of destroying the evidence. Her hair is on sale to the highest bidder and, I'm sure, available as evidence in any future case.
Oxford, Miss.: Why are you obsessing over some third rate '70s British mod band? Are you some kind of Yardbirds freak too?
Liz Kelly: Maybe. What's it to you? You some kind of Southern Rock head?
re: Kellys: John Kelly is funnier than Weingarten. There, I said it.
Liz Kelly: Can't we all just get along? They're both funny in their own ways.
D.C.: BS (I like that acronym better than her name) is not, and has never been, inherently newsworthy. She became newsworthy because the media made her newsworthy, just like ANS. Both were famous because...they were famous. The media can talk about whether this coverage has gone too far, but this demonstrates the control that the media has in determining what is news and what is not news. If her story were not on page one, few people would seek it out. Now, we have no choice.
And in case it's not clear, I do not feel sorry, EVER, for people who endanger their children's lives for their own selfish purposes. Spare me the "she grew up too early" lines. Could it be that a jerk is just a jerk?
Liz Kelly: Just hypothetically, tell me, would you rather read about a pop star shaving her head and flashing her hoo-ha or an analysis of the Iraq war or the budget?
Not that there isn't room in our news diet for all of the above, but I think it's a little naive to place 100 percent of the blame squarely on the shoulders of the press for tabloid journalism. Remember, this is one segment of print news that hasn't slumped along with the rest of the industry.
Are some stations/mags/Web sites guilty of over-doing it on some stories? Absolutely.
Washington, D.C.: Hi Liz,
I wholeheartedly agree with you on losing patience with Britney. Whenever I see her I get nauseous. I think people need to stop excusing her behavior by saying she's just 25, a kid. I know plenty of 25 year olds who acted maturely and independently. I think a huge part of the blame needs to go to her family. The reason why someone like Natalie Portman is successful, talented, and grounded is because of her family keeping her in check from a young age. This is the case with any young star. I think Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake have strong family relations that keep them focused and on the right path.
So let's stop making excuses for Britney. She is an adult and needs to start acting like one, if not for herself, but for the sake of her two kids.
Liz Kelly: A good point. There are 25-year-olds who would react differently and I can't say I haven't been tempted to blame BS's parents, too, for her inability to handle herself.
But then I look at someone like Drew Barrymore, who had a pretty hard time growing up and managed to mature and become a pretty upstanding woman. I'm sure there are examples of the opposite, too -- a star child who had excellent parental care but still took a swan dive into the deep end of addiction or bad behavior. Maybe River Phoenix?
You'll do, Liz, you'll do: I just want to say that we still miss Gene, NOT THAT HE CARES, but it's been very nice having your chat in our hour of need. Hours of need.
How is Mr. Big Shot Columnist Working On His Oh-So-Important Story, anyway?
Liz Kelly: I haven't heard from him lately. I'll try to get an update.
Washington, D.C.: I'm going with this being the one that will stick, since it is her third time. I was giving her 10 -18 days but I'm going to up it to 1 whole month.
Isn't rehab for addiction, apart from her seemingly constant need for a tattoo, shouldn't she be in a mental facility discussing her feelings, bonehead decisions and lacking of parenting?
Liz Kelly: I'm with you. I think there's a strong mental health component to Britney's recent behavior. Hopefully she'll be able to find that care in the current treatment facility.
Next Family Wake: As long as neither of you is the guest of honor.
Liz Kelly: Hear hear.
Mr. Tony Land again: Duh, it was Liz Clarke who was on with Mr. Tony. My total bad. I really need to just stop working and pay more attention to these things. If it's any consolation, I did think "you" were really good!
Liz Kelly: Thanks!
Historical Celebrity Question: Who invented this notion of people who are famous for being famous? The first one I can remember is Zsa Zsa Gabor, and even she had a limited show biz career.
Liz Kelly: Good question. Let me give this one some thought.
Monkeys, Goats and Midgets: My 26th birthday party featured beer. Lots and Lots of beer. Oh and, well....some vomiting ...towards the end.
Liz Kelly: Gee, I can't decide which scenario sounds more attractive.
Division of labor: So you handle "Lost" and De Moraes tackles "American Idol." But where do we go to vent over the ever-increasing idiocy of "24?"
Liz Kelly: Hmmm, hate to send you off-site, but how 'bout TV Without Pity?
Washington, D.C.: What's the deal with the now-no-more Van Halen reunion? Is Eddie just too old to make it to work every day?
Liz Kelly: I'm not surprised. I knew it was too good to be true. The reunion tour is now "on hold" indefinitely while we wait for word on whether or not David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen can stand to share the same stage, tour bus and fan adulation for an extended period of time without coming to blows.
Rolling Stone, by the way, has taken things a step further saying the tour is totally off. It'll be interesting to see what this means for Van Halen's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 12.
Arlington, Va.: The Britney and Anna Nicole circuses remind me of a show I once watched about Elvis. It was very apparent that he was surrounded by people who were either in total denial about his drug problems or unwilling to risk being kicked off the gravy train by telling him he had a problem and had to do something about it. So eventually the drugs killed him. Same thing happened to Anna Nicole, and now Britney's heading down the same road. Too many enablers and parasites, not enough real friends.
Just my $.02.
Liz Kelly: Thanks. Some good thoughts there.
In all fairness, it does seem as if K-Fed, Brit's parents and even some former employees have asked her to get help. And it seems K-Fed was instrumental in getting her to return to rehab today. He's also apparently had the kids for at least the last week.
Reading, Pa.: Liz :
You are absolutely right about the Anna Nicole stuff being the best thing on TV -- the judge, however, is really nuts and it seems a kangaroo court at best. But I can't stop watching...help me.
Liz Kelly: I hear ya.
Richmond, Va.: If they kill off Dr. Grey of "Grey's Anatomy," would they then have to rename the show "The Hogan Family's Anatomy"?
Liz Kelly: Wait -- what does Hulk Hogan have to do with "Grey's Anatomy?"
Who invented this notion of people who are famous for being famous?: I always thought the first was Pia Zadora, who never had roles, but her rich husband bought her billboards. She was the first famous for simply being known rather than doing anything.
Liz Kelly: Pia Zadora. Good place to start. Maybe a look at the "Love Boat" guest star roster would help to compile a list. Hmm. This smells like a Friday list to me. Hot diggity!
Re: Historical Celebrity Question: Famous for being famous? You could argue that's been the chief characteristic of the British Royal Family since 1688.
Liz Kelly: Righto.
Port of Spain, Trinidad: Hi Liz!
I have two questions for you today. Firstly, what exactly do you think Britney is on?
Secondly, have you ever met Stephen Colbert IN THE FLESH? Just wondering.
Liz Kelly: I'm not convinced Brit's got a drug/alcohol addiction so much as a problem abusing one or both because of other problems.
And, nope, I've never met Stephen Colbert in the flesh, though I have been in the same room as him. And Constantine Maroulos. Who is tiny, as it turns out.
The Times We Live In: So, given the recent spate of embarrassing pictures of celebrities that show up on the net (Miss Nevada, the Idol contestant), do you, as Celebritologist of the Post, have anything you are scared of showing up? Just curious...
Liz Kelly: Aside from one of several comments about me in Weingarten's chat, I'm not too concerned.
Washington, D.C.: Does Nicole Kidman live anywhere near her kids, or are they living with Tom Cruise? Celebrity reporting makes it sound like she never sees her children. Any info?
Liz Kelly: As I understand it, the kids are with Tom right now in L.A. while in school and going to soccer games, etc. Nicole has been spending some "alone" time with new husband Keith Urban who has put rehab behind him and embarked on promotion of his album, which came out while he was in rehab.
Rula Lenska: The first person who was famous for being famous was Rula Lenska.
From the Wikipedia entry for Rula Lenska:
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she became famous in the United States and Canada as well for her Alberto VO5 hair products commercials that began with a closeup of her stating: "I'm Rula Lenska". People assumed this was a product endorsement by a celebrity whose name the advertisers expected them to know, but it later was revealed that this was a marketing ploy. It worked, and thus in the United States she became famous for pretending to be famous. Most people in the U.S. were not aware that she had an acting career in the United Kingdom, and believed she was just a model.
At any rate, the 'discovery' that she was nobody famous in the U.S. led to the eventual demise of her commercial 'starring roles.'
Liz Kelly: Intriguing.
Wow. That is some kind of hair. Keep that V05 stuff away from me if that's what it does.
Colbert and Truthiness: Why not see if Eleanor Holmes Norton's folks can track down Mr. Colbert? Don't they have some sort of rapport?
Liz Kelly: I've got him tracked down. He's just holding out.
Van Halen link: So is it a Freudian slip that your hyperlink to the VH tour plans leads to the IMDB description of the Osmond movie "Goin Coconut"? If not, well done!
Liz Kelly: HAHAHAHAH.
Nope. That was not my intention. The Coconuts link was meant for another answer.
Pittsburgh: "And it seems K-Fed was instrumental in getting her to return to rehab today. He's also apparently had the kids for at least the last week."
Amazing how K-Fed has turned into the responsible parent. If he is truly sincere about it, good for him. I heard that he basically told her to either return to rehab or he was going to petition for full custody of the kids. Hey, at this point, whatever it takes to get her into treatment.
Liz Kelly: Yep. And apparently if she walks out a third time, that's it. He'll petition for immediate sole custody.
Washington, D.C.: Hi, Liz! Looks like Barack Obama is coming out as the trendy Democratic candidate for lefty celebs to adore and shower money upon. Any word of a trendy Republican candidate for righty celebs yet?
Liz Kelly: Nope. Shocking, ain't it?
Pants: As to your note about the embarrassment of the Weingarten chats...do you wear pants for your own chat (I'm hoping no)? And why don't you get Gene to be the producer for your chat one week! But in the name of all that is good, make sure he keeps HIS pants on!
Liz Kelly: Now that would be interesting. It would simultaneously please 50 percent of the audience and scare off the other 50 percent.
The Original Hogan Family: Duh Liz, once Valerie Harper left her own show, "Valerie's Family," they called it "The Hogan Family."
Liz Kelly: I must have missed this one when I was living in Italy, watching "Mork and Mindy" reruns dubbed in Italian.
Adams Morgan, D.C.: So, when can we start talking about "Lost"?
Liz Kelly: In five minutes.
Stalag Luft 13: Liz Kelly: Wait -- what does Hulk Hogan have to do with "Grey's Anatomy?"
Me: Not "Hulk." "Colonel."
Liz Kelly: Ahhh, yavul. (I'm sure that's spelled all kinds of wrong)
Santa Fe, N.M.: If you were forced by law to change your first name, what would you change it to?
Liz Kelly: Bubbles.
Star Struck: Who was the very buxom blonde who would appear on the Johnny Carson show to trade double entendres with Carson from time to time? She appeared to have no qualifications other than fame?
Liz Kelly: Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Pittsburgh: No one has mentioned this, but is it possible that part of the cause for Britney's recent behavior could be due to some sort of post-partum depression? It's seems that much of her train-wreck behavior started not long after the birth of her second child.
Liz Kelly: I'm sure this is entirely within the realm of possibility.
Bubbles???: Your husband's term of endearment for you is Bubbles??????
Liz Kelly: No. That was not the question.
My husband's term of endearment for me is "Joe." Don't ask.
Liz Kelly: OKAY, time for LOST. There be spoilers here...
Chattanooga, Tenn.: For the "Lost" discussion:
Was last night's "Lost" the worst in history? After last week's promise that Charlie would die (soon, please God, but I forget we're talking about Lost -- Charlie's probably good for another two seasons now), I had hoped that we had finally turned a corner and things would be looking up, but an entire hour of backstory about Jack's tattoo was really a let down. I mean really, who cares?
And who in the world thought that Bai Ling would be a good choice to play Jack's freaking tattooing lover? I'd rather have seen Herve Villechaize in the role.
Liz Kelly: Okay, I just spewed out my tea thinking of Jack getting it on with Herve Villechaize, you sicko.
Hmmm, could "De plane, de plane!" have been a pre-dated reference to Oceanic 815? As I recall, "Fantasy Island" was an ABC show.
Ya know how random things just come to mind unbidden? Ya, well, just now while thinking about "Fantasy Island" an image of Donnie and Marie Osmond's 1978 movie "Going Coconuts" (which was set on Hawaii) just jumped into my mind. I loved that movie. Dang.
Okay, sorry for the detour. Back to "Lost." It was pretty bad, but I think the worst episode in history might have been the third or fourth Kate flashback episode in which we saw her, yet again, struggling to overcome her hardscrabble upbringing.
Liz Kelly: See, this is the correct context for the "Coconuts" link.
Lost Comment: NOT a spoiler!: I have come to the scientific conclusion that the number of new characters introduced is inversely proportional to the general quality of the show. And that for each new character introduced, the quality decreases on a common logarithmic scale: one new character, 10x decrease in quality, two new characters, 100x decrease, three new, 1000x, and so on until you approach infinitely horrid programming.
After last night, I'm not clogging up my TiVo with that drivel. UGH!
Liz Kelly: Now take this a step further. If the new characters were to be killed off, would the show rise like a balloon free of unneeded ballast and get better again? Did it get better when we lost Ana Lucia?
Richmond, Va.: Some of us fondly remember Diana Scarwid from "Wonderfalls." Well, not many of us. But those of us who watched it do.
Liz Kelly: Thanks -- Scarwid's a long-time TV vet. Everything from "Starsky and Hutch" to "Prison Break," with a mid-80's detour into a pretty respectable film character actress detour.
What about Charo?: What, exactly, is she famous for?
Liz Kelly: Something having to do with "Cuchi-Cuchi". She's like the female, Latino Richard Simmons. All that energy. I get tired just looking at her.
24: For the best coverage, check out Dave Barry's Blog
Liz Kelly: Good. Another reason to check out Dave's blog.
Lakeland, Fla.: I'm fairly ambivalent about last night's "Lost" episode. Not nearly as good as last weeks but the bit with the Others held my interest.
What really disturbed me was Jack's continuing violent reactions to people who don't answer his questions! Look what he did to Bai Ling! Doesn't any proprietor have the right to refuse service to violent customers?
At least, he seems gender-neutral in his violent tendencies, lashing out an Ben, Mr. Friendly, Ana Lucia, etc.
Liz Kelly: Agreed. Jack is a hothead who continually goes off half-co-- well, you get my point. He's all blind rage and no strategy so, frankly, I have a hard time swallowing this line that he's a born leader. Leaders know when to show restraint. Jack does not.
Fort Wayne, Ind.: Remind me again of the revelations we learned last night on "Lost." I was under the impression we already knew most of it.
Liz Kelly: 1. The Others live on the main island.
2. Cindy lives.
3. Jack's a natural born leader.
More details here.
Really Lost on "Lost": If the story doesn't pick up anytime soon, I'm going to be definitely disappointed. It has gone convoluted with all these new characters. When are we going to finally hear back from the original "Losties".
With regards to last night's episode, I'm sorry to say, it was not that big of a revelation - what a letdown. They only explained a part of Jack's tattoo's so are we to assume that there are still other tattoo stories? And the abducted passengers - didn't divulge much.
Just a side comment about Ethan, now that we found out that he was the "Others" surgeon, I guess we're going to hear more about him during the season.
Liz Kelly: Looks like next week's episode reunites Sawyer and Kate with the main Lostie camp and centers largely on Hurley so it could be good. But I think Cheech Marin guest stars, too, so it could be bad.
I don't know that we'll get much more info on Ethan. I think that was just a convenient way for the writers to add yet another detail about his character.
Arlington, Va.: Re: Britney's hoo-ha...I'm so excited. I thought I was the only person who used that term.
Liz Kelly: Perish the thought.
Takoma Park, Md.: I wouldn't have hated "Lost" so much last night if the commercials hadn't hyped answers to important questions. We got a vague answer to the tattoo question, which I never noticed was important, and not much else.
Also, they don't use chopsticks in Thai restaurants.
Liz Kelly: Well, but maybe they dole out chopsticks to Americans in tourist heavy Phuket.
Washington, D.C.: What were the people at "Lost" thinking? Bai Ling?!!!! Boo. If memory serves, didn't she once claim that she was dating and in love with Nick Carter only to have him say he's met her only once? I mean if that doesn't sum it up in a nutshell I don't know what does...
Liz Kelly: As I recall, she claimed to be engaged to Carter, which Carter denied.
"Nutshell" is the key word when discussing Bai.
Carole Wayne: Carole Wayne was the original buxom Matinee Lady in the Tonight Show Tea Time Movie skits.
Liz Kelly: Thanks
Liz Kelly: Anyone hazard a guess on the meaning of the brand burned into Juliet's back? Is there any significance there beyond giving Jack a reason to caress the small of her back?
Washington, D.C.: Did you get the sense that The Others were a cult or as close to one as possible? Last night's episode apart from leaving me pissed left that impression as well.
Liz Kelly: Well, of course, if the definition of a cult is a hierarchical society controlled by a seemingly absolute ruler with some seriously creepy personality traits.
"Lost" baby...not giving up on you yet!: I sent this in way early so I'm not sure if you got it -- but I think the promo guys need to be shot. I mean we were psyched because of the last two eps but they totally overdid it. (Apparently the producers said that the promo people at ABC were nuts too because they thought the tattoo mystery was the only one really being solved.)
Liz Kelly: Well, don't blame the promo dept. They're just doing their best to get people to watch. If they were to do an accurate, truthful promo it would sound something like:
"This week on 'Lost,' another boring episode in which you will basically learn nothing and end up confused yet somehow tired."
Midwestern place: Liz, any Oscar night predictions? (Presumably Britney was not scheduled to be a presenter or even a seat holder.)
Liz Kelly: I predict a pretty predictable list of winners. More on this tomorrow, but I think the frontrunners are all pretty well established and I don't think we'll see many upsets.
Thai Me Up: You said "Phuket"!
Liz Kelly: Shhhhh!
Don't knock Pia Zadora: Pia Zadora started out taking over the role of one of the daughters in "Fiddler on the Roof" on Broadway. And, after a number of career disasters at the hands of her semi-elderly husband, she got boffo reviews some years later for an album where she sang to the accompaniment of a London symphony orchestra. At least the gal has genuine talent.
Liz Kelly: Okay, thanks. Please read next answer.
Arlington, Va.: Doesn't Charo play guitar, like classical Spanish guitar or something? I think she does have an actual talent, she's just not famous for it.
Liz Kelly: So Charo has an actual talent show talent, too, eh?
Say... Does anyone besides me ever get Charo and Pia Zadora mixed up?
Bai Ling: I know nothing about "Lost" but I clicked on your Bai Ling link and I am very concerned. Is she crazy ?
Liz Kelly: Yes, yes she is.
ANS's Littlest...: Is it true that ANS instructed the nanny to underfeed the future trust fund kid so the baby would never be overweight?
Liz Kelly: This report has been put out there, yes. There's no way to prove the truth of it, though.
Alexandria, Va.: Does Evangeline Lilly have any other facial expressions? No matter what emotion she is supposed to convey, she gives that wide-eyed stare. Fear, anger, whatever.
Last night's episode was the first one where I just groaned at the end, having lost an hour I'll never get back.
Liz Kelly: I think Evangeline's face is frozen that way.
Hey, I almost forgot -- I saw some report earlier this week about Charlie (whose real name escapes me right now but is dating Lilly) having a thing for crossdressing.
Liz Kelly: Alright. Time for me to shove off. I can listen to "Itchycoo Park" at least one more time before turning the Anna Nicole courtroom drama back on.
A note: I'll be out next week -- in Puerto Rico watching Mighty Appetite blogger Kim O'Donnel get married and generally lounging on the beach, drinking Mojitos, etc. Jen Chaney will fill in for me on "Lost" analysis and someone will be there for you with a Morning Mix each day.
Thanks for another great hour.