Thursday, January 3, 2008; 2:00 PM
When stars shave their heads, couch-jump, spend countless minutes in jail, commit a fashion faux pas and/or other random acts of ego-inspired inanity, washingtonpost.com Celebritology blogger Liz Kelly is on the job. Every weekday, Liz shares the buzz, offers perspective and provides crucial links to juicy alternate news sources and, of course, takes your reaction in her daily blog.
Join Liz LIVE every 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.
In her pre-celeb obsessed days, Liz ran washingtonpost.com's Discussions section, where she enjoyed talking to really interesting people -- including some Post reporters, Busta Rhymes and Elmo (as in "Tickle Me") -- on the phone. She still produces both Carolyn Hax's advice discussion and Gene Weingarten's Chatological Humor.
Liz Kelly: Happy new year and welcome to an entire hour free from any discussion of the Iowa caucus, or as I like to call it, the Iowa caca. Despite the writers strike, we here in post.com chat land just keep chugging. And chatting.
And despite Dave Barry's implication earlier today that I am mean and prickly, I would like to state for the record that I am in fact sugar and spice and everything nice.
Let's get this thing started...
Washington, D.C.: Liz, do you produce your own chats, or does post.com have to give you a producer? If you produce yourself, do you get paid twice?
Liz Kelly: The estimable and pop-culturally savvy Rocci Fisch produces my discussions. He is a little bit surly, but we put up with him because he's good.
Washington, D.C.: Now that Will Smith is everywhere, being touted as smart and nice and Mr. Family Man, am I the only one who remembers he's on record as saying that he and Jada have an open marriage and they can have sex with other partners as long as they are upfront with each other? Has anyone asked him how that's going (and with whom it's going on)?
Liz Kelly: Umm, yes. Some time back Will was quoted as saying he and Jada have an agreement that each will ask the other before having sex outside the marriage.
The original quote was, I believe, from Britain's Daily Telegragh and was made around the time of the release of his dating movie "Hitch."
So make of it what you will. I'm guessing he and Jada are rock solid.
Fairfax County, Va.: I'm retiring later this year from my attorney job with the Federal Government. I'd like to get a temp job. Do you think Britney Spears would hire me as her lawyer?
Liz Kelly: Actually, I think Britney would hire Jackie Chiles at this point.
The question is, who will have her as a client? This is the third time a legal team has quit on Brit. Obviously, she's not doing much to make her counsel's job easy.
What happened to the rumor...: About Jamie Lynn's baby daddy being a much older man, a TV network executive? I read someplace that they're paying off the young boy to pretend to be the father, because if her relationship with the Nickelodeon guy came out there would be all sorts of legal issues, etc. Any more on that?
Liz Kelly: That one surfaced last week in Star magazine, which isn't always the first publication out there to get the honest goods.
Could it be true? Sure. Is it? Probably not. Though nothing would surprise me at this point. Well, maybe I'd be surprised to hear Jamie Lynn had been artificially impregnated with L. Ron Hubbard's DNA. Cuz he'd choose someone more like Katie Holmes for that.
public rad IO: Liz,
Did you catch Denzel Washington on NPR yesterday? He now falls into the category of actors I'd rather see in a movie than actually meet (not that I'm stalking celebs or anything, but that's the point, right? They intrigue us). Sometimes, I like a celeb more after hearing them discuss their careers, and sometimes I like them a lot less. I think Denzel needs an editor and a publicist to keep him intriguing.
Liz Kelly: I missed the interview. Maybe someone can find a link to the audio online for us?
I'm familiar with the phenomenon, though. I still remember being thoroughly disappointed by Viggo Mortensen's appearance on "The Daily Show" back in the height of LOTR mania. He was so, well, vapid and trying way too hard to seem deep.
This might make a good Friday list...
Just wonderin': Seriously, what does the producer of a chat session do, anyway?
Liz Kelly: The producer is responsible for wrangling the guests. Some, like me, are easy to deal with. I'm pretty self sufficient. Others, like many political candidates who shall remain nameless, refuse to type for themselves and make the producer's job hell. So hellish you'd almost expect a midget wearing a Satan costume to jump out of a corner.
Producers are also responsible for booking the special guests we have online -- authors, musicians, actors, think tankers -- you name it and, hopefully, shaping the course of each discussion. Not to mention the behind-the-scenes editorial and technical work.
Also, for fear of the rest of this discussion being hijacked by an angry producer, I would like to retract my statement about Rocci being surly. Cantankerous is a bit more fitting.
L. Ron Hubbard: Wait, didn't they make a movie out of that back in the 70s? I think it starred Mia Farrow...
Liz Kelly: Nice.
byool, IN: Happy New Year to you, Liz Kelly. It seems like forever since you were here. Did you and Mr. Liz have a nice Xmas?
And don't worry about that Dave Barry fellow. He's just jealous that he didn't think of getting your pets tattooed on his arm first.
Liz Kelly: We did have a good holiday season. Low key. No travel beyond the Beltway. Lots of good food. Many mornings of sleeping in. I need another week.
But, the celebutantes stop for no man. Or woman.
Eddie and Tracey: Do you think there will be some interesting collaborations coming from this union? Will Edmonds Entertainment be producing Murphy's next project? Will he be a guest star on the next season of BET's "College Hill?" Are they the next power couple?
Liz Kelly: Ya know, that would be funny if -- prior to the union -- Eddie Murphy still had some cred in the acting game. "Dreamgirls" or no, his career tanked about a decade ago. He'd be lucky to land a spot on "College Hill."
Speaking of BET, one night last week I was up late flipping around channels and came across what is possibly the stupidest -- yet most satisfying -- reality dating show ever: "Hell Date." Anyone out there with me on this?
A supposed unsuspecting guy or gal is set up on a blind date with a ringer. Ringer proceeds to embarass, insult, humiliate or otherwise ruin the date. Then, a midget wearing a Satan costume and carrying a pitchfork springs into the frame and screams "You're on hell date!" It's downright surreal.
Liz Kelly: Here's the official site. Unfortunately there's no pic of lil' Satan.
Washington, D.C.: Which failed presidential candidate do you think will be the first to get his/her own reality show? Fred Thompson because he's got the Hollywood contacts or Dennis Kucinich, on the Sci Fi channel? Or...
Liz Kelly: Hmmm, Mike Huckabee as a coach on "Biggest Loser?"
Female readers want to know:: Which one is hotter, cuter and smarter: Gene or Dave?
Liz Kelly: I've never met Dave, so I couldn't tell. Both have unfortunate haircuts, so is there a third option?
Denzel Mortensen: Please, please, please title the list: Celebs who take themselves WAY too seriously. For that list I would like to officially nominate the Misses Pitt both Angelina and Jennifer, along with Pitt himself (7 years in tibet anyone?).
Liz Kelly: That is a great list. Consider it done. We'll settle the seeds of the list here today, then open it up in the blog tomorrow.
The question is, who will have her as a client?: Well, if you're just looking for a temp job. Might not be a bad gig for a couple of months. Just because she doesn't communicate with her counsel doesn't mean said counsel can't bill her for services. And then of course, you'd get a book deal eventually.
Liz Kelly: Good point. Spoken like a true billing pro.
Alexandria, Va.: Happy New Year, Liz.
I saw a picture of director Peter Jackson recently (when they made the announcement that he'd be directing The Hobbit) and I barely recognized him. He's apparently lost a LOT of weight. Good for him -- wonder how he did it.
Liz Kelly: He lost the weight a few years back, if I recall correctly. Either during the making of the final LOTR movie or "King Kong." I believe he started eating right and exercising. He still looks like a hobbit, if you ask me.
Cardiff, Calif.: I am curious about celebs who overdo it on the plastic surgery/self-tanner/etc., and end up looking really strange to us regular folk. I'm not necessarily talking about the Michael Jacksons or Joan Riverses of the world, but people like Victoria Beckham and Christina Aguilera, with their Cheeto-colored skin and very obvious breast implants. Do these celebs actually look in the mirror and think they look great; are they simply so removed from regular life they don't think they look really weird; or are they surrounded by sycophants who tell them they look great so they believe it?
Liz Kelly: Oh, speaking of which...
Boston, Mass.: Did you see Letterman last night? He looked about 75 years old with that beard and needs to shave it off ASAP. Robin Williams was hilarious and pushed the envelope (Yule Brynner in Brokeback Mountain was a good rif).
Liz Kelly: What is with the beard hating? My mom said the same thing. He looked fine -- a touch academic. A touch Grizzly Adams. It isn't as if he entered the strike hiatus looking like David Beckham.
Men's Wear Dept, Tysons Corner: Whoever was producing Dave Barry's discussion wrote that they are much meaner and pricklier than you. Was that someone else, or was that your Evil Twin Skippy?
Liz Kelly: Actually, food blogger Kim O'Donnel was producing Dave's chat. We do a lot of multitasking here at post.com. There are only five of us total putting up the site each day.
Washington, D.C.: Squeee!! I'm so glad you're back!
How many times do you think Britney can skip a deposition without, you know, getting in trouble for it?
Liz Kelly: Squeee? I'm scared.
As for Britney, not too many more times would be my guess.
Washington, D.C.: Can we discuss Ms. Arizona -- I know she may not rise to the level of "celebrity" but she is quickly becoming "infamous" -- what is wrong with people that they think this is a good idea, kidnapping and torture? Too many "Saw" movies from Netflix? I mean, she was a law student, she should have paid more attention to all the "dumb criminal" cases you end up reading in law school. Idiot.
Liz Kelly: Do we really have to?
Miss Annapolis, Md/: If I had to choose between Dave Barry and Gene Weingarten, I'd obviously choose Joel Achenbach!
Liz Kelly: Okay, but you realize there's a hair issue there, too, right?
Pittsburgh, Pa.: Did you catch Nora Ephron's cameo on Letterman's Top 10 list last night? I know, I know, everyone's talking about Hillary Clinton and Robin Williams, but Nora's not exactly chopped liver herself!
Liz Kelly: Missed it. But here's the whole list, including Nora's contribution.
And a cigar to the first person to tell me why a Carly Simon song is now running through my head.
Pam Anderson Dress: When I see a dress like that, I can only assume that she doesn't own a mirror and never sees herself naked.
Liz Kelly: Is there any way that dress is actually Chanel?
Which one is hotter, cuter and smarter: Gene or Dave?: Harry Anderson, who played Dave's alter ego on TV. BTW, what's Harry been doing lately?
Liz Kelly: I can't stand Harry Anderson. He, along with Dabney Coleman and Diane Keaton, should be jettisoned into space posthaste!
Presidential Survivor: See, years ago I pitched the reality show idea to replace the usual election mechanism. In my version, Gore, man of the earth and tobacco heir, is sent to work on a small tobacco farm while erstwhile good ol' boy George W is sent to work in the oil fields. Both must live off of the standard wages for those positions and neither can call for help from friends or family. We, the American public get to watch, preferably not with Julie Chen commenting, and then at the end of two months, based on what we see on TV, we then vote for one as president. I really don't see how this couldn't work and give us a more realistic view of the candidates.
Liz Kelly: I think this could only work if the season finale was an Ultimate Fighting-style championship. The candidates square off in the octagon for a no-rules death match.
Liz D: Any guess on why Beastie Boys didn't make it into the R and R Hall of Fame?
And what about Nickelodeon who pushes like mad it's Degrassi series which features date rape, homosexuality and abortion, but still might can one of its stars for a real life pregnancy?
Liz Kelly: Every year, I become more and more convinced that the R&R Hall of Fame is a joke that has nothing to do with honoring rock's deserving and everything to do with an insular club patting one another on the back.
Why did it take until 2006 for Black Sabbath to be inducted? And what's with Madonna's inclusion. Who's next, Ashlee Simpson?
Tampa, Fla.: I hear that Nickelodian has decided to renew Zoey 101, probabably because by the time they need to start filming again, she will have already had the baby -- so no need to worry about hiding her condition. They also said that their advertisers have not complained nor have parents. Hmm.. As the parent of a 5-year-old who watches the show, and granted, is clueless to Ms. Spear's condition, I still find this a bit disturbing.
Also, there is a rumor that Jamie Lynn may actually be further along than the 3 months she 'fessed to in her OK! Mag interview.
Liz Kelly: Oddly, word that "Zoey 101" was canceled was circulating this morning. I guess until we get a definitive statement from Nickelodeon, it's anyone's guess.
Sasquatch: Take it from the Hirsute Haberdasher: Letterman looked fine with the beard. If Oprah showed up with a beard, that would be another matter.
Liz Kelly: You are, I would assume, the Hirsute Haberdasher? Have you a storefront and do your hats take extra fur into account?
Dabney Coleman: Aw, c'mon, Liz, cut the poor guy a break. Today's his birthday! And he was deliciously evil in "9 to 5"!
Liz Kelly: You are apparently smoking the crack.
ASinMoCo: Celebs who take themselves WAY too seriously-Katherine Heigl. Second place: Fabio.
Liz Kelly: Let us not forget the insouciant Gwyneth Paltrow.
Chanel Dress: Actual, the picture hides the name. It's "Charnel".
Liz Kelly: Nice!
Speaking of Pammie: What is up with her latest marriage? I heard it was off, and then suddenly everything was rosie again.
Liz Kelly: The verdict is still out. According to the news brief that accompanied the picture posted earlier, Pammy spent New Year's Eve away from her new hubby and in the company of a midget she'd once dated.
There is now a midget theme running through today's chat.
Celebs I'd hate to meet in real life...: Jake Gyllenhaal (too lazy to google the real spelling), no question. Super celeb crush right after "Donnie Darko." "The Good Girl" was our first fight, but the one where you forgive him and tell him to be good from then on. But the double punch of "The Day After Tomorrow" and the rumors of dressing rooms with Kirsten "flat face" Dunst? Relationship totally over. You're dead to me, Jake.
Liz Kelly: I too had a big time Jake crush after seeing Donnie Darko. He was quirky and cool. He was a prototypical Michael Cera. Now, though, he's morphed into some kind of buff wanna-be action hero. Too much hanging out with Lance Armstrong, I say.
Arlington, Va.: "And a cigar to the first person to tell me why a Carly Simon song is now running through my head."
Heartburn? Right? The movie about her and Carl Bernstein. If I recall there was a Carly Simon song at the end -- although the title escapes me.
Liz Kelly: A cigar to Arlington, Va. I wonder if Bernstein liked his portrayal by Hoffman or Nicholson better.
Gasbag Celebs: Much as I love him in 30 Rock: Alec Baldwin. The NY Post calls him The Bloviator.
Liz Kelly: Yep. Good one. Especially after last year's blow up.
Liz Kelly: And by "blow up" I mean his unfortunate voicemail on his 11-year-old daughter's cell phone.
I'm not ashamed to admit it......: My first celebrity crush was on Harry Anderson. I think I was 8 or 9. He was on Night Court at the time.
Liz Kelly: How long before you traded up to John Laroquette?
Sean Penn: Isn't he the ultimate too serious celeb?
Liz Kelly: For rizzle.
Though maybe we should give him a break right now, what with his marriage ending and all.
Mens Wear Dept, Tysons Corner: The Department Manager is demanding that I get this tattoo:
What should I do?
Liz Kelly: Well, the pants in that illustration don't appear to be pleated, so I say go ahead.
Arlington, Va.: I've been wondering for a long time, with all the tabloid mania that Britney's been through, is her career essentially a joke? (And by extension, over?) Then I answered my own question when I realized, she hasn't starred in any Eastern Motors commercials...yet.
Liz Kelly: Oh, come on. I love those Eastern Motors commercials. Crystal Koons wishes she could get that kind of buzz.
Brit's career is far from over and not a joke. Her album is a money maker and her first single, "Gimme More" a bona fide hit. In fact, I will come clean and admit that I downloaded "Gimme More" last week. Mr. Liz is only a little bit worried so far.
My first celebrity crush : Hey, as long as we're confessing. I AM ashamed to admit this one, which is why I'm doing it via chat. Donny Osmond. I was very young.
Liz Kelly: Well, Shaun Cassidy for me. I feel your pain.
Celebs who take themselves too seriously: Any celeb who whines about the other kids hating them in school because they were too talented/pretty/wonderful to be accepted. No, the other kids hated you because you were obnoxious, insufferable, and just had pushier (or more push-overy) parents and, by the way, school was years ago -- haven't you moved past it yet?
(Although, I actually liked Viggo Mortensen's Daily Show appearance -- he ended up being such an incredibly cute dork, and then Stephen Colbert was all fangirling over the movies, that I thought it worked.)
Liz Kelly: The Colbert part was good. But didn't Viggo have some kind of cup with like monkeys or rubber bands or something in it and he was trying to be all meta and abstract? It didn't work!
How long before you traded up to John Laroquette?: Dave Barry was right.
Liz Kelly: Okay, maybe.
byool, IN: Carly also did the music to Ephron's 1992 film, "This Is My Life", which starred (among many others), Julie Kavner, Carrie Fisher and Dan Aykroyd.
But Freud would still tell you the cigar is about sex.
Liz Kelly: Maybe for you and Monica, Byoolin. The rest of us like a nice rich smoke sometimes.
Pants in Heaven: Don't tell me you condone corduroy?
Liz Kelly: I don't in most instances. Very few men can rock the corduroy. One needs the build of a young Keith Moon.
Being Britney's Lawyer: Actually, "communication breakdown" is universally recognized by lawyers and judges as meaning the client is not paying bills. It is cited in petitions to withdraw as counsel, and judges usually grant them, knowing it has reached a very chronic work-for-free stage if the lawyer is moving to withdraw (you cannot just quit if there pending litigation. you are ethically and in some ocourts legally bound to stay the lawyer). That being said, a judge denied mine once, and I ended up not being paid about $40,000 to win the client's case. Oh well
Liz Kelly: Eeenteresting.
From this I can deduce that mayhaps Brit is not paying her bills and mayhaps I went into the wrong line of work.
1st Celebrity Crush: Michael Douglas -- Steets of San Francisco reruns every day after school. I was 13.
Liz Kelly: Another Friday List: first celeb crush. We'll have to save this one.
College Park, Md.: I'm late in but just curious, have you seen Juno? I went in expecting to be completely overrated, but nope it was just that good! My inner cynic was put in her place.
Liz Kelly: Agreed. It was just that good. I enjoyed it immensely, but was disappointed to find it was only playing on three screens in the D.C. area. I join the hordes of 30-something women writers now totally jealous of Diablo Cody (the screenwriter).
There were a few things that didn't make sense about the movie (one friend pointed out that a girl as smart and self-possessed as Juno would certainly have invested in birth control), but by and large it was hugely refreshing. It was odd to identify with both Juno and Jason Bateman's character. Guess I'm still caught somewhere between those two demographics.
Virgnia Beach, Va.: Go Hokies!
Liz Kelly: Really? Did they win something (you can see how much I pay attention). I do know Virginia lost yesterday. It's very important that I keep track of their losses so I can annoy my Virginia grad brother.
Reston, Va.: Hi Liz: The thing about Viggo Mortensen is that he really is that crunchy and meta. He's an artist, photographer and poet when he's not making movies. I think he's a little odd, but I don't think it's an act.
Liz Kelly: Oh, I don't think it's an act either. I don't think that exempts him, though, from taking himself too seriously.
Washington, D.C.: Is Nicole Kidman pregnant? Cindy Adams speculates that in spite of her denials that she really is? I hope so.
Liz Kelly: Her publicist says no. Others speculate that she is, but doesn't want to share the news yet.
Reston, Va.: Wouldn't the current build of Keith Moon also suffice?
Liz Kelly: Good point.
RE: Shaun Cassidy: He was actually kind of cute, though. I wouldn't be too shamed about that one. Now, if you had said Leif Garrett, well, I don't know.
Liz Kelly: Oh, I'll go so far as to admit to Peter Frampton in the "Sgt. Pepper" movie.
Washington, D.C.: Ryan Seacrest announced that he was looking 4 love this year. Who cares?
Liz Kelly: Got me.
"Heartburn" song: According to IMDB, it's called "Coming Around Again", but I can't say I remember it or would recognize it as the Heartburn song if I heard it.
Liz Kelly: Yep, that's it. It's typically depressing.
Diane Keaton in space?: Why the Diane Keaton hate? Didn't you ever see her fabulous performances in The Godfather duet (please note I didn't say trilogy), Reds, or Annie Hall?
Liz Kelly: Anyone could have done that job in the "Godfather." It didn't require the specialized skills of Diane Keaton. As for "Annie Hall," I probably don't want to cop to a dislike of that movie for fear that I get jumped on by a corduroy-wearing band of Woody lovers.
Crystal Koons: Say, whatever happened to the Ourisman girl?
Liz Kelly: You always get your way at Ourisman Chevrolet.
Okay, we're on a slippery slope here. Soon we'll be talking Jhoon Rhee.
Tampa, Fla.: My celebrity crushes -- from childhood to adulthood: Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, Tony DeFranco of the DeFranco Family, Shawn Cassidy, Howard Rollins, Keanu Reeves.
Liz Kelly: Howard Rollins?
Annapolis, Md.: TMZ is reporting that Brit finally showed up for her deposition. Can't wait to see that transcript.
Liz Kelly: Thanks for the update.
Washington, D.C.: Nobody bothers me ...
Liz Kelly: ...nobody bothers me, either.
Liz Kelly: (I couldn't resist)
YULE BRENNER???: Robin Williams was doing walter brennan, for chrissake. COMPLETELY different actor from the 50s.
Liz Kelly: Good catch.
Diane Keaton - Gag: She bugged the -hit out of me in the Godfather movies. Al Pacino was way too cute for her. She looked like his mother. That hair! gag, gag, gag.
Liz Kelly: Thank you. Agreed.
Plain Jane: I'm jealous that anyone has a name like Diablo Cody. Is it real?
Liz Kelly: Nope. A self invention.
Takes herself way too seriously: Evangeline Lilly--in life and on screen. Vogue or Elle bio last year she was all "all the older men came onto me when I was a kid, I'm too pretty blah, blah, blah."
Please kill her on the show. Please.
Liz Kelly: She's also said that she aspires to have the career of Cate Blanchett.
Liz Kelly: Okay, so maybe I am mean and prickly.
Nicole Kidman: This blind item from the NY Post is supposed to be about her:
WHICH 40ish actress has finally gotten pregnant for the first time? Her rep is denying it because she's only a month into it, and has suffered miscarriages in the past. Said our source: "Watch for her to get bangs and start wearing hats to hide her sagging face because you can't be on Botox when you are pregnant."
Liz Kelly: Or is it about Jennifer Aniston who is possibly knocked up by Sex and the City's Jason Lewis?
Night Court Love...: Re:
My first celebrity crush was on Harry Anderson. I think I was 8 or 9. He was on Night Court at the time.
Liz Kelly: How long before you traded up to John Laroquette?
OMG you are so right! Harry was initially attractive to young girls (me) because he was sweet and affable and did magic tricks. As we aged, there was Laroquette, always with a sexual innuendo... His dirtiness shaped the sailor-mouthed woman I have become.
Liz Kelly: Okay, this progression scares me. Because the only place to go from Laraquette is to Bull or that short smoking woman with the raspy voice.
That's it for today. See you here next week and in the blog tomorrow for the master list of Stars Who Take Themselves Too Seriously.
Liz Kelly: Three little post-chat updates...
1. A BET.com producer who happened to stop by the chat has updated the "Hell Date" page to include a pic of the little Devil.
2. I totally spaced on replying to the "Degrassi" comment during the chat. A double standard, fer sure, but I can't tell from your comment whether you're condemning Degrassi or Nick.
3. The link to Denzel on NPR, courtesy my pal LT.