Celebritology Live: Allred on Letterman; MIley Quits Twitter; Levi in Playgirl
Thursday, October 8, 2009; 2:00 PM
Join Celebritology blogger Liz Kelly 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.
Liz Kelly: Welcome back. A new Twits episode hit this morning; this week Danny DeVito, Slash and the inscrutable Kirstie Alley are our featured Tweeters. If you get even a giggle out of it, please pass it on. We want to keep this thing going.
Today Us Weekly online featured possibly the most inane, non-eventful headline ever: Pregnant Padma Lakshmi: "I Can't Button My Jeans Anymore!" The sad thing is that I was so happy to see Us take a break from the 24/7 Jon and Kate coverage (there are currently five (5) J&K headlines on the Us home page) that I actually took my time reading about Padma's growing bump.
In other uneventful news, "Mad Men's" Don Draper was named the "Most Influential Man of 2009" in a poll at AskMen.com.
Finally, brace yourselves -- Miley Cyrus has deleted her Twitter account. So glad we captured her genius in one of the first Twits episodes.
Alrighty, let's talk...
Liz Kelly: Oh, and on the pop culture front -- anyone want to comment on Sunday's Seinfeld reunion courtesy of "Curb Your Enthusiasm?" I was underwhelmed.
Twits: LOVE the Twits!
The actor who does Rev Run is HOTT. He reminds me of a cleaner, nicer Pivster.
Liz Kelly: Thanks! And I'll pass along the compliment to Ryan S. Taylor, our Rev. Run.
Rockshire, Md.: Liz- Is it possible that this whole Letterman thing will subside with Dave keeping his job? I am a woman who does NOT agree with NOW or world-class ambulance-chaser Gloria Allred. I am concerned with these idiots making sweeping statements on behalf of all women. I know Dave acted inappropriately. But he has admitted it and apologized. He is a comedian, not a clergyman or politician. And at this point the only crime in question is the blackmailing of Dave. Please give me hope.
Liz Kelly: It is absolutely conceivable that this thing will eventually blow over. And, so far, the net result for Dave has been a ratings bonanza.
But we're at the leading edge of this thing. This thing will likely make it to court and if Joe Halderman's attorney does his job right he'll have to at least attempt to drag Dave's good name through the mud. So who knows what could surface.
In this USA Today article about this very topic, the consensus seems to be that since Dave dealt with the situation head on he minimized the impact.
I was talking about Dave with a friend yesterday and I told her my first reaction when the story broke was "You sly dog."
You won't have Miley Cyrus to kick around anymore...: ...now that she has pulled her Twitter account. (Although I'm sure we'll still set weird videos of her in her closet.)
Liz Kelly: I think we should take bets on how long she can go before she's back at it. I can understand the desire for privacy, but according to People.com, Miley deleted her account at the urging of (alleged) new boyfriend Liam Hemsworth.
#mileycomeback is currently the top trending topic on Twitter. I guess her "Doo Da Doo's" are missed.
Learn More About: Which currently says Kirstie Alley; Danny Devito; RUN!
Okay, the emphasis is mine.
Liz Kelly: Nice. And good advice.
Denver: Memo to TBS: More baseball, less Kate Hudson.
Liz Kelly: Okay. Thanks.
Re: Twitter. Another conspicuous absence this week: Lindsay Lohan. Since her utterly panned debut as Ungaro's artistic advisor, nary a tweet has been posted and this is a woman with two verified Twitter accounts who formerly seemed unable to draw a breath without tweeting.
Oh Please: Can we please have a moratorium on actresses who have had plastic surgery on their lips? What if we just all stopped watching TV shows and movies with actresses who have ruined their faces with fish lips and/or upper lips that are puffed out and stiff and their upper lip looks like it is turned wrong side out. The latest is Christine Lahti on "L&O." I know no one watches "L&O" anymore, but that is beside the point.
The whole "lip thing" is such a train wreck that I find myself staring at their lips and missing the whole point of the show or movie.
These women are ruining their once beautiful faces. Everyone who believes that Nicole Kidman has not had her lips done, raise your hand.
washingtonpost.com: I flipped from "Cougar Town" to "L&O" last night, and my lips actually exploded.
Liz Kelly: For you.
Boo to BET!: I am all for rehabilitating Michael Vick, IF he's actually doing the hard work to fix himself and really speak out against animal abuse. But running an 8-part pity-me-and-my- hard-life show just to milk sympathy for the guy is no good. Boo to BET!
Liz Kelly: I'm glad you brought this up -- I was considering writing about this very topic today. My inclination is to agree with you, but I'm going to reserve my judgment until we actually see the show. I'm all for second chances. Maybe the guy deserves one. And you know I of all people wouldn't give a free pass to someone who abused animals.
Jon & Kate: I'm really tired of hearing all of this Jon & Kate nonsense, and I'm not a fan of Nancy Grace BUT I gotta give it to her - she really let Jon have it. I'd love to see what Dr. Phil would say to the 2 of them - but that will never happen!
Those poor children! Stop the madness!
Liz Kelly: Yes, Nancy Grace totally annihilated Jon Gosselin. But the entire two-night "explosive" interview smells totally staged to me. Jon had to have known what he was getting into and responded to every criticism with far too much sense to be speaking off the cuff. I mean this is a guy who could barely string a compound thought together on "J&K+8." Suddenly he's going on about family values and actually giving plausible answers for his decampment to New York? I don't buy it.
The twits - Kristie Alley: Loved the acting choice to play Kristie as a stoned then erratic bipolar type. The video raises a Scientology question though, when Kristie talks about someone trying to "assist my depression" - I thought Kristie and Co. didn't believe in mental illness - so where does depression fall in the mix? (Or is it that they believe in mental illness but prefer vitamins and saunas to drugs? ) Please clarify.
Liz Kelly: You're asking me to explain Kirstie Alley's thought process and that I can not do. But I will tell you that those Tweets were taken from a day in which Kirstie was talking about depression and her non-belief in medication or the practice of psychology in general. And, yes, sharing her Scientology beliefs about healing oneself through the power of positive thinking, etc.
As for the actress who portrayed her for us, Jessica Aimone -- she was absolutely fabulous. We had so much fun working with her. And she's such a pro... she's even starred as a Manson disciple in a MSNBC dramatization called "Will You Kill for Me." So obviously she had the erratic bipolar thing down. Here's a clip.
Michael Vick: I say give Vick a second chance. Who among us hasn't had to ask somebody for forgiveness?
Now if he messes up again, I say we lock him in a pen of hungry pit bulls wearing only bacon pants.
washingtonpost.com: How do you get the pit bulls in the bacon pants?
Liz Kelly: Bacon pants. Brings back memories of my years producing Hax's chat. Sniff sniff.
As the wise Michael Scott once said: "Everyone deserves a second second chance."
Letterman: All signs indicate the relationships were consensual. Everyone was over 18. And if the naughty business happened at work, it certainly won't have been the first time people have used the office to get down and dirty.
Dave has to deal with himself and the implications for his family. We should be over this already.
Signed, A Woman Who Wants to Smack Gloria Allred
Liz Kelly: Yep, the relationship may have been consensual and much fun was had, if only for a while -- there would only be a problem if this woman was a direct report of Dave's and possibly gave her preferential treatment because of his relationship with her. If so, that could have had an effect on other members of his staff who he wasn't, you know, sleeping with.
But Allred needs to calm down. I'll agree there. Really the only thing you need to do to judge her motivation is look at the photo accompanying her open letter to Dave. That smile kind of works against her scolding tone in the text. And, are my eyes bad or is that a Hooters sign behind her?
I love LD: Where do you see this Seinfeld thing going on Curb? I agree that Sunday's episode was underwhelming, with the exception of the tipping fiasco with Jason Alexander.
Liz Kelly: The tipping fiasco part was only funny, though, when the storyline progressed to Larry grilling the waiter about Alexander's tip. And, to me, the funniest part of the show was the Susie/Lyme disease storyline which had zero to do with the Seinfeld thing.
I'm seeing it going into production where Larry will do his best to win Cheryl back. I'm hoping that once the Seinfeld alums get a few episodes under their belt, things will seem less forced.
Genius editing: I happened upon the US Weekly from a couple of weeks ago at the gym and saw a laugh out loud example of editing that unfortunately I can't find online. It was the Khloe Kardashian/boyfriend Scott interview. Next to their big old smiling heads was a touching quote from him that I'll paraphrase as "I'm so happy our baby will get to see Khloe when she's young and beautiful and not an old hag." It made him look like a big feminine hygeiene product.
Liz Kelly: Love it. Thanks for sharing.
Lip enhancement: For the budget conscious, my son's ingestion of a "special sauce" at a local BBQ place left him with Angelina Jolie lips! Just came with the sandwich, no extra charge.
Liz Kelly: So you're saying that barbecue sauce -- and not collagen -- may actually be to blame for the continued spread of the trout pout?
Cat Deeley: What happened to the scheduled Cat Deeley chat? It's gone from the discussions list, but no notice of cancellation or reschedule.
I love Cat Deeley.
washingtonpost.com: My fault. They canceled at the last minute, and I pulled it from the schedules but forgot to go back and add a cancellation notice at the top. It's there now.
Liz Kelly: There you go.
Rock Hudson: Happened to see him in a WWII movie while channel surfing. Could an actor today manage to guard his sexual identity as closely and successfully as Hudson did for so many years? Even after his AIDS diagnosis, he never publicly acknowledged that he was gay.
Liz Kelly: Well, yes and no. The press is much more aggressive now about not only divulging celebrity secrets but hinting all around some of those secrets. Back in Hudson's day things were a bit more controlled with studio publicists and gossip columnists often working hand in hand to craft carefully created personas for their cash cows.
So Hudson guarded his sexuality and never acknowledged it. Which was his choice and probably A-OK with the studio execs.
One could argue, though, that there are some prominent Hollywood types who are generally considered to be gay, but for whatever reason choose not to open up about it. And it would totally not be kosher for me to speculate about specific names here.
Seattle: Okay, can we all agree that Lindsey Lohan is just about to fall of the rails in a permanent way? I can barely stand to look at pictures of her anymore-train wreck doesn't begin to describe her.
On the "Mad Men" front, how about a trip to Rome with Don Draper? He seemed almost sweet on that trip. Talk about weak in the knees!
Liz Kelly: I love it when Don and Betty get along. But that bee hive on top of Betty's head almost threw off the whole scene. I know, I know -- it was in vogue back then, but man, she totally looked like a conehead.
As for Lilo, if dad Michael is to be believed, she's abusing prescription drugs. If so, her absence from Twitter doesn't bode well.
Hot under my collar: Hey I say spit on Michael Vick. I think the NFL should be ashamed to let this sicko back in play. Let him scoop up dog litter for the rest of his days than be a hero to little boys.
Liz Kelly: Okay, another view.
Death to "open Letters": Candy Spelling, Gloria Allred, Frances Bean Cobain - all big fans of the "open letter." But really, aren't "open letters" a very" high school mean girl" way to express one's self?
Liz Kelly: Open Letter to open letter writers:
Who died and left you boss? Stop with the sanctimony and, in the case of Frances Bean, please use spell check if you're going to go to the trouble of criticizing poor Ali Lohan's "careere" in a public forum.
I can't remember where, but this morning someone described the Francis Bean as written to "45-year-old Ali Lohan." I fell out of my chair. I think it may have been D-Listed.
TLC is officially the epicenter of the vast wasteland that is TV: I tried to watch a little "Toddlers and Tiaras" on TLC last night and I couldn't make it through because of the promos for the new season. "Mermaid Girl"? "Little People/Big World"? and all those freaky shows about people with 18 children. Did I mention "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant"? When does Bat Boy get a series? Or someone who is pregnant by an alien?
Liz Kelly: Ooh, that "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" show should be doused in bleach and shot into orbit. So bad.
Napa Valley: Are the Housewive's shows going so far off the radar that it doesn't matter anymore ? Because I find myself really not caring if Rachel Zoe lives or dies and it confuses me.
Liz Kelly: I'm sorry -- you seem to be confusing Rachel Zoe with the "Real Housewives" cast. Rachel Zoe is not a housewife. She is a brittle stick figure responsible for adding "Bananas" and "I die!" to our vocabulary. Also, a stylist.
Do men like the "trout pout?: I've never met one who did, and other women think it's tacky. What's the point?
Liz Kelly: I can't imagine that anyone finds trout pout attractive. I'm convinced that it persists because of unethical plastic surgeons and practitioners who have no qualms about profiting from a woman's body dysmorphic disorder.
Mad Men: Okay, I will confess, I totally don't get Mad Men. I watched with some friends recently and just was totally underwhelmed.
Yes, it's beautiful, but it was slow, confusing, and really, pretty boring. Friends said, oh you just need to watch it more, give it a chance. But really, if I have to work that hard to like it, is it really worth it?
Liz Kelly: You have to watch it more, give it a chance.
YES! on Betty's hair: I totally concur on Betty's beehive on Mad Men. As soon as she walked out I went "Wha.....?!?" and couldn't even pay attention to the scene, it was so bizarre. The only fashion miss I remember Betty making.....
Liz Kelly: But I guess it worked in that Betty wanted to be someone else. And that sure did the trick.
In defense of Stephanie Birkitt: I always liked her appearances on "The Late Show". Dave has his show to express himself, the accused extortionist's lawyer is all over tv teling his side, Stephanie is just getting trashed from all sides with no outlet to defend herself.
Whatever you think of her relationship w/ Letterman, clearly they had both decided to be discrete. She was starting a law career and now she's got a bad reputation - I just feel bad for her.
Liz Kelly: Right, I see where you're coming from. It isn't as if she broke this story. But she had to know this affair would be highly sought after dirt and that there would be a chance it would go public. Especially if she was cheating on her boyfriend to rendezvous with Dave.
Nosy Parker: Hi, Liz! I hope this question isn't too heavy for an online chat.
Lately I've been trying to imagine some scenario, any scenario, in which attempted extortion could remotely be justified either in the eyes of the law or even morally. In David Letterman's case, the defendant's lawyer keeps saying he can hardly wait to cross-examine Letterman, insinuating that Dave may have committd acts so heinous as to mitigate the blackmail charges against his client, at least to some extent.
What I wonder is this: What if, BEFORE their crimes were reported to authorities, similar extortion had been attempted by someone with evidence against, for example, R Kelly, Roman Polanski or Michael Vick? Most Lizards seem to agree these were all heinous crimes by reasonable standards of our society, and that the perpetrators are highly unsympathetic characters. Yet even in such heinous cases, I'd still condemn the motives of anyone with knowledge of the events who would try to blackmail the perpetrator rather than report the crimes and submit their evidence to authorities (with their own lawyer in tow, if need be).
Your thoughts, Liz and Producer Paul?
washingtonpost.com: Have you seen or read "Primary Colors"? That's a case where blackmailing someone to drop out of a race was pretty much the best case scenario for the guy.
Liz Kelly: Nosy that's a great question, but I don't think you'll find many people willing to condone extortion in any case -- no matter how heinous the offense, I just keep coming back to "two wrongs don't make a right."
My mom had a good question, though, about Dave's extortionist. He asked for the money in check form. How was he planning on explaining that $2 million check from Letterman to the IRS?
State College, PA: I love your Twits. But with the music, they remind me of the oh-so-serious Beat Poetry performance. So I think you should call them "Beat Tweets."
Liz Kelly: Thanks. Last week's episode definitely had a spoken word/beat feel to it -- the music was a slowly plucked standing bass. Very "So I Married an Axe Murderer":
Random House: Liz : Did you ever finish "Catch-22"? Just checking in.
Liz Kelly: Never did. Just couldn't get through it. Latest book I'm having trouble getting through: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
Anonymous: Levi Johnson is getting buffed up for his Playgirl "interview." Do women read Playgirl ?
Liz Kelly: That's a really good question. Who in the world is buying "Playgirl?" I wonder what their circulation is.
Mad Men: My husband also doesn't get Mad Men, and I actually think that the strong feminist themes may be the best part of the show and thus doesn't resonate with him like it does with me. Peggy Olson, Betty Draper and Joan the former office manager are archetypes from the struggles of women.
And also Jon Hamm is just so hot.
washingtonpost.com: Joan resonates with all men.
Liz Kelly: I agree -- there are some really interesting themes, especially as related to women, running through the show. But there's plenty for the guys -- and no, Paul, I'm not talking about Christina Hendricks's more obvious assets." For me at first, the show was really neat to watch because of all the costumes and the meticulous set design. But I barely notice that stuff anymore (unless in the form of a massive beehive) because the characters are so fully formed -- this is a story about human beings and contradictions and how we aren't always our best selves. Maybe that's what your husband doesn't like, the show can actually make one uncomfortable. It's entertaining, but also kind of disheartening. Every time Don makes the wrong choice, it's just deflating.
Playgirl: Um, gay men. But I assume Levi doesn't know that.
Liz Kelly: Well, I didn't want to go there. But you did, so hooray!
Charlottesville, VA: One great thing about Dave's strategy is that he is TOTALLY controlling this story. Politicians and their aides should be taking copious notes.
None of the other late-night guys can say a whole lot without looking like dirtbags (except Craig Ferguson, who was brilliant Monday night!), yet Dave can make jokes about it every night. And he's the only one who can.
I'm a die-hard feminist and a lawyer and I just can't get too worked up about this. They were consenting adults, and there has been no allegation of sexual harassment and only a little third and fourth-hand snarking about possible favoritism. If this had been a serious problem at his company, it would have been made public before now.
It's certainly not ideal, but realistically he and everyone else at his production company have the kinds of jobs where the hours are long so the chances of meeting someone outside of work are slim, which is an environment where workplace romances tend to thrive.
Liz Kelly: Good points all from one of our resident legal advisors. Thanks for weighing in and I'm with you -- if this had been much of a distraction for folks at the "Late Show," rumblings about womanizing would have broken long ago.
"He asked for the money in check form.": Amateur.
Everyone knows the preferred method of delivery for extortion money of that magnitude is "Sack with a Dollar Sign on it."
Liz Kelly: Seriously. Or a Samsonite brief case full of brand new banded $100 bills.
15th and L: Finally my years of experience selling porno mags at Tower Records pays off! Straight women do not buy porn, not in my experience anyway. Men buy Playgirl, but normally that's only for the newly-minted porn buyers, the curious you might say.
Liz Kelly: Ooh, actual insight from a former porn peddler. Thanks!
Shame on the media: I understand that ET is live streaming Jon Gosselin's arrival to PA in the hopes of catching a glimpse of WWIII when Kate reacts to him. People are getting all frothed up about the big fight that will ensue. So sad. This is the twins' birthday. They deserve better from their parents, the media and the American public. Please discourage from anyone giving this sad story attention. It is wrong to derive pleasure from this.
Liz Kelly: Agreed. The Gosselins are exhibit A in my case for why one should need to obtain a license before procreating.
More Letterman: Liz, you said, "there would only be a problem if this woman was a direct report of Dave's and possibly gave her preferential treatment because of his relationship with her. If so, that could have had an effect on other members of his staff who he wasn't, you know, sleeping with."
Exactly! Everyone who worked for Worldwide Pants worked for Dave -- it's his company. And no office works well when some are sleeping with the boss and some aren't. It doesn't have to involve threats, and the boss can even be female -- in any case, it's a power relationship that's bad for the office as a whole.
Liz Kelly: Right, it could have been distracting if nothing more. But it is interesting that no one from Worldwide Pants -- even anonymously -- seems to be stepping forward to add fuel to this fire.
Vampire Maina: I bet all the vampire-lit fans are pretty happy that an actual vampire won 2009 Nobel Literature Prize:
Liz Kelly: Ouch.
You can't have a "Party in the USA" without Twitter!: Once Miley realizes that, she'll be back.
Liz Kelly: Doo Da Doo!
Letterman: Do you think Letterman's wife will divorce him?
Liz Kelly: I don't. This is pure speculation, but I'm guessing she might have known this was going on and that she and Dave had already settled this and gotten past it -- remember Dave has a history of dating his employees (Merrill Markoe, Regina Lasko). Though I'm sure it can't feel good to basically be humiliated in front of millions of people. Especially when there's a kid involved.
Liz Kelly: Okay, that's it for this week. Thanks for all the questions. Wish I could have gotten to more. Oh, and I just want you all to know that a disproportionately large portion of you seems to be very familiar with Playgirl audience demographics. Interesting. I wonder what the overlap is with the large number of lawyers we know frequent the chat...
Watch Twits. Pass it on.
Until next week. Oh, and now it's time for the Lost Hour. Link to follow...
washingtonpost.com: Talk 'Lost' with Kelly and Cheney
washingtonpost.com: Talk 'Lost' with Kelly and Cheney
Liz Kelly: The link, as promised.
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