Celebritology Live: Daisy Dukes and Pantsuits
Thursday, May 8, 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 (as if!), Liz ran washingtonpost.com's Discussions section, where she enjoyed talking to really interesting people -- sometimes even Post reporters -- on the phone. She still produces Pulitzer-prize winner Gene Weingarten's weekly Chatological Humor discussion.
Liz Kelly: I'd like to start today's show by saying I have no beef with 7-Eleven clerks. In today's poll, they represent "everyman." Meaning, I'd rather read some random, non-famous person's memoir rather than Barbara Wawa's. If offense was perceived, none was intended. There are plenty of instances where I am justifiably offenses. This is not one of them. That's all.
This may be, though: I think Amy Winehouse has passed some kind of unwritten ratio for hair to body proportion. Can someone please explain this? It's like looking at the Elephant Man or something.
And because this story just won't die (yet), Marie Osmond says Billy Ray's to blame for the MIley Cyrus Vanity Fair pix. You can spend an entire hour dissecting that at 3 with Slate's Meghan O'Rourke.
But, first, you're mine! Let's get started...
Miley: Ooh, Liz, the Slate editor is stealing your thunder with that Miley chat this afternoon! Think we should alert the army of TTTs so Ms. O'Rourke can experience the same joys of illiteracy that Celebritology sometimes has to suffer?
Liz Kelly: No way -- we unleashed that thunder here last week. And, really, there's plenty to go around. But someone please please alert me if the #1 Haters crash the party.
Baltimore, Md.: Liz, if we look at today's young celebrities (such as the stars of "The Hills"), their claim to fame is not some glamorous profession such as an actor/actress or singer, or a particular talent. Nevertheless, these "socialites" have been picked out from the crowd for certain intangible qualities and are shown on TV, discussed, glamorized. My question, what is it about them? Is it just a question of looks and being rich? Is it connections? Or, is it their personalities? Why, despite being average, are these guys celebrities, while others are not -- or are they not average?
Liz Kelly: We've talked about this a lot here. You're referring, of course, to the Paris Hiltons and Nicole Richies of the world -- those famous for being famous. It may seem as if there's a sudden bumper crop of talentless tabloid targets, but I'm not so sure. They've always been around. It's just that there are more outlets for their pix and news of their misdeeds now.
And, this may not be a popular opinion, but Paris Hilton actually works pretty hard at looking like a do-nothing rich girl. She at least tries to act, to sing and to build a brand around herself. Still, she does get way too much attention.
But I'm feeling hopeful today (maybe because I just finished reading an Ellen Page interview) and I'd wager that for every Paris there are at least two or three Ellens -- young stars who are making a name based on talent. They may not appear in the gossip pages as often, but that's all to the better, no?
I think Amy Winehouse has passed some kind of unwritten ratio for hair to body proportion. Can someone please explain this?: Drugs, drugs and more drugs.
Liz Kelly: Yes, but even Keith Richards managed to keep his hair in correct proportion to his body.
School for Scandal: Liz,
I saw "School for Scandal" at the Folger Shakespeare Theater last night; it's all about vain, self-centered ninnies who have nothing better to do all day then sit around and gossip about their neighbors and destroy reputations. It makes we wonder if we're any better, sitting around speculating and tearing Britney and others apart. I'm not feeling superior, I love these chats and see celeb gossip as a welcome respite to what I do all day, but to some degree, aren't we just being ninnies? On the other hand, this 17th century play shows that nothing in human nature has changed or ever well, so I guess bring the gossip on!
Liz Kelly: Well, we're all human, right. And I don't think what we're doing here is mean-spirited (despite what some Tom Cruise supporters would have you believe).
We're not destroying anybody's reputation here. In fact, if any reputation destroying is being done, it is by the celebs themselves. We merely comment after the fact with our infallible hindsight.
Washington, D.C.: I hope Ellen Page goes down. It's about time we heard some dirt on her.
Liz Kelly: Jerk.
McLean, Va.: Hi,
Since he has a movie coming out this weekend, what exactly is the appeal of Ashton Kutcher? He seems to be more famous for marrying an older woman (Demi) then for his acting talents (or lack of).
Liz Kelly: See, here's a male example: Ashton's a pretty face and a glossy magazine darling. He's the male Paris Hilton.
(But, also like Paris, he works pretty hard behind the scenes -- in his case bringing us cultural juggernauts like "Punk'd.)
BKD: So, Liz, when's the next Booby Kennedy Day? I see your Tom Cruise post had over 250 comments, but since I can't stand the man and could barely make myself read your original post about him, I definitely didn't bother slogging through the comments to look for Texting Tweens. Did I miss more hilarity?
washingtonpost.com: 10 Truths About Tom Cruise (Celebritology, May 6)
Liz Kelly: No, as mentioned a sec ago -- the comments were largely in the "your crucifying Tom Cruise, you hater" category. Then things veered off into a weird political vendetta direction. That's when I stopped reading along.
Does a scandal for an aging actor make them "young"?: Liz -- I was thinking about Tom Cruise or "TC" as his pals call him and how his Scientolgy weirdness -- while offputting may be keeping him relevant in the tabloid age.
Lots of aging Brat Pack actors have found success on TV lately (Jon Cryer, Charlie Sheen, James Spader, Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Anthony Michael Hall) but it seems like the ones with scandals -- Lowe's nanny, Sheen and his hookers/divorce drama -- seem to propel them to a higher level of fame with the Tabloid Culture and keep them in touch with a younger demo. (Even Robert Downey Jr.'s woes in prison gave him extra publicity and higher fame).
The key seems to be having talent and a job otherwise you end up like the Coreys.
P.S. (There's a whole other issue for another time as to why the BP guys can keep working and the Girls: Sheedy, Gertz, Ringwald are farmed out to dinner theater and sitcom wife roles!)
Liz Kelly: Sure, there's no such thing as bad publicity, but you're saying that Robert Downey Jr. actually benefited from being a serious junkie for a couple of decades? That Charlie Sheen's proclivity for call girls is actually a savvy PR move? That Rob Lowe engineered the current allegations of nanny abuse to keep himself relevant? I don't see it. Sure, I can get behind stars wanting to remain edgy, but this is a little over-the-edgy.
All those men you named are actually pretty good actors with talent to spare. So it's not too surprising that they continue to find work. As do some still-working '80s-era guys (Jon Cryer or John Stamos, for example) who led a more sedate life.
As for the women, well, no matter the era -- all women are subject to Hollywood's lack of roles for older actresses.
Hair to body ratio champ: Robin Williams
Liz Kelly: Okay, eww.
Baltimore, Md.: Liz, I'm the person who asked the "claim-to-fame" question. (By the way, I agree that Ellen Page totally doesn't fit into this category.)
But my point is, I'm not denying that these stars have certain talents or magic that attracts people's attention. I'm just wondering what exactly these talents are, how to quantify them.
Liz Kelly: Perhaps as a talent for keeping themselves buzzworthy. They are buzz-masters. PR dynamos. Expert self-promoters.
Re Aston Kutcher: I can't believe I'm coming to his defense. Quick someone check hell's temperature. I can't see any pigs flying, nevertheless. Aston Kutcher is NOT the male Paris Hilton. He was on a fairly successful television show and parlayed that into an MTV series, and a few sort of okay films. Okay, maybe those last two are more Paris like, but the first one makes him a legit B level star. His onetime A level partner by the way has had no career at all since they got together.
Liz Kelly: Fair enough. Though Ashton's past as star of a long-running TV show puts him on the same level as -- oh, say -- Gary Coleman or Kim Fields. I wouldn't necessarily translate his "That '70s Show" role into a beloved cultural icon. He's no Jeff Spicoli.
h3: See, now I kind of want to read the memoirs of the Nigerian guy who works at one blog commenter's neighborhood 7-Eleven. The 7-Eleven across the street from me is run by immigrants from Ethiopia. I bet some of those clerks have pretty interesting stories.
Liz Kelly: Totally agreed. Way more interesting than Barbara Walters.
RE: even Keith Richards managed to keep his hair in correct proportion to his body.: Yeah, but he's scary looking in other ways and puts scarves over the top of all his lamps.
Liz Kelly: Right. Which I realized the minute I hit "publish."
And he wears freaky little beads in his hair.
Bored with Barbara, D.C.: Hi Liz,
Please make it stop! I am SOOOOOOOO sick and tired of hearing about Barbara Walter's memoir. Is she the ONLY woman ever to write one. Gee whiz, everytime I look at The View they are talking and fawning and gushing over this woman. I was over it the moment they mentioned it several months ago. How much more of this do we have to take!
Thanks for letting me vent.
Liz Kelly: Don't worry. We won't spend any more time on Barbara and her bookie wookie. Well, unless Rosie writes some kind of response on her blog. And, yes, I've been watching and waiting.
Heck, maybe Rosie already did. Who can tell when everything is a haiku over there?
M Street NW, Washington, D.C.: Can we talk about the recent onslaught of posts from the twexters-set (tween texters) to your blog?
These post are creeping me the _ _ _ _out. They reveal a thought process that is scary. In some cases, I think these kids may really believe they are leaving posts for Hannah Montana. (Which is fitting, since that's the name of a fictional character.) But then, there are these other ones that are just way out there. Not in the "yo fatty, carm down" way but just unreal.
Not to mention a few of the creepy posts that were likely written one-handed at a public library computer terminal.
Have I just reached the point where I am so old that I have become disconnected from the way younger people talk, speak, and think? Or did anyone else feel this way too?
Liz Kelly: I've been studying their posts, too, and I've decided that the tweeny-bopper texters can only take in small snippets of information at a given time. So, they see my piece about Miley Cyrus and lock in on her name, ignoring all that static (static being the context) around it. It's made for some interesting reading and a lot of laughs, though, so I'll welcome them. Maybe, just maybe, they'll start noticing some of the other stuff on the page.
All I can think is that the Miley posts must've been linked from some kid's Facebook page or something. Keep it coming, kids!
Mother's Day: Do you think Andy will be sending you one of those cards that say "From the Cat"?
Liz Kelly: No. Andy's not a total geek.
Bush biopic buzz: EW has the faux George (Josh Brolin) and Laura on the cover. WHO is going to pay to watch Oliver Stone's take on this yet-unfolding disaster that has wounded our country so gravely?
Liz Kelly: Aren't we still smarting from the real thing. Shouldn't Oliver have waited to get some perspective, some distance?
Re: School for Scandal: I just moved into a new house and met my next door neighbor yesterday. She pointed to every house on the block and told me some gossip about each person. The gossip wasn't interesting and I soon became bored with who is divorced but has lady friend visitors. We need these chats. Celebs do crazy stuff in public and are all we have to poke fun at.
Liz Kelly: Right. And I really dislike neighbors like that. Every neighborhood has one. I tend to walk the other way when I see our local busybody coming down the street. Does she really think her insipid reports about who doesn't pick up doggie poop can really compare with my daily diet of sloshed starlets?
Washington, D.C.: I think Amy Winehouse has passed some kind of unwritten ratio for hair to body proportion. Can someone please explain this?: Drugs, drugs and more drugs.
Liz Kelly: Yes, but even Keith Richards managed to keep his hair in correct proportion to his body.
Where do you think she keeps the drugs when she's running around at 4 a.m. with barely any clothes on?
Liz Kelly: Golly, that's a lot of drugs. What else has she got up there?
Washington, D.C.: You guys just don't get it -- Dina is an awesome mom. She's the best kind of parent -- the kind who you could really talk to and hang out with. Lindsay is so lucky to have her!
Kutcher redux: Well, I did say B-level star...
You're right though maybe c-level is the way to go. I wonder is this like Dante's Inferno, are you our Virgil, leading down into the levels of hell so that we may marvel at the grotequeries of celebrity?
Liz Kelly: That's right. Abandon all hope ye who enter here.
Snarky much?: Liz, what's the deal? You're unreasonably dismissive of pleated trousers (which have been deemed by your colleagues on the fashion side of the Post to be okay), you've been (I think) needlessly rude to several questioners both last week and have already called someone a jerk this week. You used to be snarky in a fun, insouciant way. Now it seems as if the adulation of your adoring public has gone to your head and your snarky and bitter. What's the deal?
Liz Kelly: "Jerk" was meant in a loving way. And I think it was the appropriate tone to take with someone who wished ill luck on a young woman.
U Street NW, Washington, D.C.: Dear Liz, I thought that you would get a kick out of my crazy TV conundrum tonight. Usually my Thursday's involve watching The Office at 9 p.m. and then LOST at 10 p.m. But tonight, oh tonight is different. Hockey (go Wings!) starts at 7 p.m., but then an additional TV(or pip) will be set up to show College Jeopardy (go Blue!), then back to hockey until 9 p.m. when The Office starts. Hopefully, this hockey business will be done by 10 p.m. for a blissful start of The Office. Hellow, couch potato!
Liz Kelly: Wow, that is a lot to contend with. You know, you could always DVR one of those and save it for tomorrow night...
You know what: Hey Liz,
Just checked iTunes and there's a special Mother's Day edition of the Ost-Lay Odcast-Pay, featuring LindelCuse's mamas.
Liz Kelly: That's so cool. Thank you for sharing. I'll have to check it out at 3.
Alexandria, Va.: When is the Audrey Tautou as Coco Chanel movie coming out?
Liz Kelly: 2008, according to IMDB.
sjcpeach: And what ver happened to Topher Grace -- he was starting to have a nice little movie career post 70's show and lately he seems to have disappeared. I always liked that skinny guy.
Liz Kelly: Ya know, that's a good point. Since I have IMDB up, let's take a look-see...
Topher seems to have three movies in production, one of which is brilliantly titled "Coxblocker" in which his overtures to the woman of his dreams are, well, you get it...
Cleveland Park, D.C.; Gwyneth Palrow: Nicer?: Gwynnie seemed much less frosty on her recent Iron Man press tour -- no foreign "misquotes" about life in the U.K. being better than the USA, sexier clothes, etc. What's her deal?
Liz Kelly: She's growing and changing?
She's been coached to take it easy on the Anglophilia?
Bawlmer, Md.: Two obscure questions (that will hopefully constitute a break from the Cruise/Lohan/Cyrus tripleheader).
First: Did you ever get a chance to catch up with Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" fame? I'd like to throw my support behind a feature on him. Anyone who can make growing potatoes funny has my vote.
Second: Is getting front-page linkage something your boss does when you've been bad?
Liz Kelly: 1. No, I'm ashamed to say that Mike slipped through my net. (har har). But I'll make another run at him.
2. I'm not sure I get your second question, but front page linkage is usually an indicator that my boss is digging what I wrote and thinks it has a broader interest for folks who may not normally gravitate to celebrity news. When I'm bad, what I get is a phone call.
WDC 21113: For the person (if you're here) that was wondering what "Daisy Dukes" are -- what AW is wearing are Daisy Dukes gone wrong. Terribly wrong. At least she switched up the shoes and looks like she got a pedi.
Liz Kelly: Righto. Those are Daisy Dukes that look like they have been continually run over by the General Lee.
Baltimore, Md.: Amy Winehouse's hair is fake. She wears a wig.
Liz Kelly: Yes, thank you, Baltimore.
Pleats: For the love of everything good and celebrity, the Fashion Chat did NOT give free reign to pleats. She said if you are tall 'and' thin you can pull them off. How many tall and thin people are there? More importantly, how many would choose to wear pleats when they would look great in everything else?
Liz is just as adorable as ever. You all just have your pleats in a bunch.
Liz Kelly: I'm just putting this out there in the interest of balancing the earlier harshing.
Weaving: Why do celebrities feel the need to do/wear weaves? Britney looks horrible, Liz Hurley had a bald spot because of it. Can they just work with what they have? (Except Britney, of course)
Liz Kelly: Well, there are weaves and there are weaves. Beyonce's is a thing of beauty while the other end of the spectrum is a dangerous place fraught with damaged hair and the bald spots you mentioned.
This reminds me -- we were going to do a map of tumbleweave concentrations. I need to get on that.
Pleated pants: I just lost 99 pounds over the past year and a half (almost). I would rather sit through a Scientology TC film festival than wear pleated pants. I do not know anyone whose abdomen is too concave, hence needing the pleated assist.
Liz Kelly: Wow, congratulations. That is a huge accomplishment. Hats off to you for having the perseverance. I'm trying to lose 10 to 15 and struggling with my apparently insatiable appetite.
Speaking of Andy...: Aren't we due another new cute photo of him soon?
Liz Kelly: I'll try to cue one up for next week's chat. I've been a bad cat mommy lately. Nothing new to share.
Harrisburg, Pa.: Speaking of Ashton Kutcher, what happened to that TV show he was producing? I think it lasted about three episodes. Were those the only episodes? Is it gone for good?
Liz Kelly: "Miss Guided" only aired a few episodes that had been shot before the writers' strike. According to the sometimes reliable Wikipedia, it hasn't yet been determined whether or not it will return this fall.
I kinda hope it does. It was cute in a cutesy, offbeat kind of way.
More pants:: We all know your take on pleated pants, but what are your thoughts on the pantsuit discussion, a la Arianna Huffington, from yesterday's Reliable Source?
washingtonpost.com: Reliable Source Discussion (washingtonpost.com, May 7)
Liz Kelly: I think a pantsuit done well is fine on the right body type. It's not for everyone.
What I'm not down with is this one-piece thing sported by SJP in the latest issue of New York mag.
Ellen Page: I saw that Ellen Page is going to be Jane in a new production of "Jane Eyre" destined for the big screen. Why bother? Did you see Toby Stephens as Mr. Rochester on PBS last year? We don't need a new Jane (or, really, Mr. Rochester) already.
Liz Kelly: Indeed she is. Those texts are classic and I'm always eager to see a new director's (and cast's) take on them, so I'm not so worried that it will supplant the previous versions.
Though, on a related note and with apologies to Laurence Olivier, Ralph Fiennes is my Heathcliff.
Bawlmer Explains: About front-page linkage: It seems to be an open invitation for the moron brigade to charge into the blog and barf exclamation points all over it. But such is the price of fame, I suppose.
Liz Kelly: Ahhh, right. I must be a member of the moron brigade to have not understood that reference.
Luckily, the BKD effect only seems to last for about 24 hours. The bonus is that the blog tends to pick up a healthy number of new regular readers (who are capable of playing nice) every time we make it up there.
Weaves: Don't forget Brett Michaels and his great weave.
Liz Kelly: Never!
Real World: is so passe...but, I was having a discussion with my husband the other night about its evolution after catching what was an extremely painful 5 minutes of their new season.
I asserted that at its beginning (New York I, LA, and San Fran), it was a much more interesting show, they did actually broach some really pertinent social issues -- and unfortunately gradually evolved into the drunken orgy that it now is. He contests that it was never good or insightful.
Who is right?
Liz Kelly: I'm with you. It was more insightful in the beginning. I actually stopped watching after the first few seasons. It became so formulaic -- all about the house and who was hooking up with who. At least in the first seasons felt more like a petri dish -- put all this together and see what happens. Now, as you say, it is a drunken orgy.
Washington, D.C.: Was the Barbara Walters bombshell the biggest dud you've ever heard? First nothing arouses like hearing of an septuagenarian's love affair. Second, it was with someone people either don't remember or never heard of. This whole thing is insultingly dull, no?
Liz Kelly: That may just be the comment of the week:
"..nothing arouses like hearing of an septuagenarian's love affair."
Jessica Simpson: Liz -- was it you that said she had a good voice but was just not using it correctly? Or was I having a nightmare?
Liz Kelly: It was most definitely NOT me.
SJP pantsuit: OMG, that looks like a long-legged version of my very first gym uniform -- not a good look!
Liz Kelly: Right, or some kind of prison uniform. And I love the SJP. But me no likey that onesie.
Washington, D.C.: I feel like Amy Winehouse is becoming an inverted Edith Massey Edith Massey (Wikipedia), rail thin while Edie was morbidly obese, but with the same wretchedly compelling train wrecked style and possibly the same hairdresser. John Waters, take note -- your new diva has arrived.
Liz Kelly: Seriously, Amy is like custom made for "Female Trouble II."
byool, IN: Does the fact that you posted a link this morning to pictures of Madonna administering a lingual massage to another woman's tonsils and got not a single comment mean that Ms. Ciccone is No Longer Relevant?
Also, Eddy Arnold died. He was a class act.
Liz Kelly: Good question, byoo. You may just be on to something. I liked Madge's explanation to daughter Lourdes about why she kissed Britney back at the VMAs a few years ago. I paraphrase, but it was something like: "Because I'm the mommy pop star and she's the baby pop star." There you getting deep again, M!
Agreed re: Eddy Arnold. He was the real deal.
Anonymous: Is it possible for Hillary Clinton to not wear a pants suit all the time? It's ghastly.
Liz Kelly: She does need to change things up a bit. Maybe some hot pants and a beehive?
Centre Hall, Pa.: "Yo fatty, carm down!" has become my personal mantra, especially where it concerns my two kids (3 years, 20 months). Am I doing irreparable harm to them?
Also, can "Yo fatty..." be the official password/handshake of the Liz Kelly Celebritology Fan Club?
Liz Kelly: Naw. You're just toughening them up.
Alexandria, Va.: As a vegetarian, I confess that the whole fur coat thing totally escapes me to start with, so I have little sympathy for a spoiled, club-going college student who casually misplaces hers. On the other hand, there's no way in hades that La Lohan wasn't aware that she was walking off with someone else's coat, was there? Not to gild the lily here, she was perfectly aware she was stealing and just didn't care.
Liz Kelly: Right. She was tempting fate, living la vida loca (or vida Lohan), begging for our attention yet again, showing us what the offspring of Long Island's top mom has produced.
Riverdale, Md.: Okay, this isn't the fashion chat, but for women's clothes, is there a difference between a suit and a pants suit? I mean, I wear business suits to work, but "pants suit" gives me a 70's flashback to when they were the women's equivalent of leisure suits.
Don't make me buy a whole new wardrobe.
Liz Kelly: I'm not sure. We need a definitive answer. Someone out there with fashion savvy -- who knows better than to go near a pleat -- please weigh in on this important question.
NYC: Amy Winehouse has such an amazing voice. She's like a white Nina Simone. I could care less if she's a train wreck ... seems to suit her. But the lyrics of her song are, well, I must say, kind of stupid.
"Sniffed me out like I was Tanqueray?" Who sniffs gin? or "You tear me down like Roger Moore."
Really, isn't Roger Moore like the third Bond you'd think of? And does he tear people down? I don't think so.
Liz Kelly: Wow. I think those lyrics are amazing. She's saying her guy was on to her in a second -- the fact that she'd been out with another man. He smelled it on her as quickly as he (and we have to assume he's a drinker like Amy) would sniff out the nearest bar. It's brilliant.
The Roger Moore bit I'm not as prepared to defend, but I like the image.
Brooklyn, N.Y.: If I become famous for some reason, will you chat about me here some day?
Liz Kelly: Fer sure.
And on that note, I'm going to sign off. I'm eating into Slate's Miley Cyrus chat and I know you're all anxious to get into it.
Officer Charles, Fashion Police: There is a huge difference between a woman's suit and pants suit.
A woman would wear a suit for meetings with clients as not to be hustled.
A pant suit is worn to do the hustle.
Liz Kelly: I like this.
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