The Reliable Source: Lady Gaga, Real Housewives, Lyndsay Lohan, Levi Johnston, More

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 7, 2009; 12:00 PM

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, Oct. 7, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, recent celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

In today's Reliable Source, freshman U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) dons the greasepaint for his role in the Providence Players' production of "Harvey," the latest on Roman Polanski, an update on Mel Gibson's 2006 drunk-driving arrest and a Tyler Perry revelation.

In Recent Days: Real Housewives DC -- why can't we all just stop pretending? Paul Rodriguez came to D.C. to lobby, ended up on tabloid death watch -- more huitlacoche, anyone? Congressman keeps his day job while still pursuing his theatrical dreams. Lady Gaga calls off Kanye tour, but will share a stage with President Obama. How'd that not-really-charitable Funniest Celebrity charity fundraiser work out? Levi Johnston's got a new job, selling nuts. What's James Franco doing on General Hospital? That big foam loser Teddy Roosevelt closes out losing season. Or do you just want to talk about Letterman?


Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone. Lots to talk about, eh?


Brooklyn, N.Y.: Hi -- Can you explain why David Letterman should be fired when Bill O'Reilly is still on the air? (Andrea Peyser from the New York Post is calling for Dave to be fired.) Bill O'Reilly had an out of court settlement with his victim. Thanks.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, I guess you should ask Andrea Peyser of the New York Post, since she's the only person I've heard articulating that notion. It's very well possible she thinks Bill O'Reilly should have been fired too.


Halloween costumes, redux: Madrigal here.

Boy howdy, I had no idea my off-the-cuff post about my Halloween costume would generate so many, shall I say, vituperative comments. Let's address two of them.

1. The main objection, IIRC, seemed to be that my Madrigal costume was not a costume because it didn't represent a particular person, and that I wore it as part of a performance.

According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, a costume is "an outfit worn to create the appearance characteristic of a particular period, person, place, or thing." So even though my outfit doesn't represent a particular person, it does recreate the look of the Medieval/Renaissance. Ergo, it is a costume.

2. Someone accused us as going as "nerds." "Nerds" are generally considered socially inept and Webster's defines a nerd as someone who is "slavishly devoted to intellectual and academic pursuits." I am very bookish but not slavishly so (I'm reading this chat!), and I'm certainly not socially inept, as my many friends could tell you. At best, I am a borderline nerd.

My husband, however, is a carpenter/electrician/plumber who can build a house from scratch, is a third-degree black belt in Judo (and thereby has the legs to carry off wearing a kilt), and is a firefighter. Although interested in ideas and debate, he is mostly a man of action and a born leader. Most definitely NOT a nerd.

If it makes you all feel better, I'll go "as" Juliet. Or Maid Marian. Or Eleanor of Aquitaine (my personal heroine). My husband will be wearing his kilt and will be going "as" William Wallace (even though kilts did not become popular in Scotland until long after William Wallace's death, but if popular imagination wants them in that time period, who am I to argue with the unwashed masses?).

Hope this relieves your minds. I know you all were worried about this.)

Amy Argetsinger: Thank you so much. You speak on behalf of all of us borderline nerds, and we appreciate it.


Baltimore, Md.: I'll ask it.

What's James Franco doing on General Hospital?

I still am a bit shocked by that. He's been the leading man is some pretty big movies. Not particular good movies, but still big ones.

Amy Argetsinger: We maintain: He must be doing this ironically. And you have to admit, for hipster irony, this puts him way out in the vanguard. He's pushing the envelope.

Also, I assume they're paying him sick sums of money. It's a sweeps month thing, after all.

_______________________ Andrea Peyser: Dump depraved Dave now, CBS (New York Post, Oct. 5)


Amsterdam: Hi Ladies, I was just wondering if you know who pays for the (beautiful) clothes Michelle Obama wears on official outings? Does the DNC pay for any of them or does she cover it from her and Barack's private account?

Roxanne Roberts: I'm pretty sure she pays for them herself. That was true during the campaign and inauguration, and I haven't heard anything to change that. It's really the smart thing to do.


McLean, Va.: Kate Gosselin is totally unbelievable with regard to her bank accounts. Jon made a great point about the $1 million dollars from her book that's hidden, and it was he who took care of the kids while she traveled the U.S. on her book tours.

Both parents deserve blame, but ultimately, Kate isn't someone whom you can have much sympathy for. She's a control freak who's lost her power to control.

To me, Jon cutting the apron strings around his neck is akin to the book by Terry McMillan, and it's called "How Jon Gosselin got his groove back."

Roxanne Roberts: I have to say Jon is winning me back. I was prepared to write him off as a total loser, but he's clearly making a credible case while Kate keeps repeating the same ol', same ol'. The fact that he managed to halt filming of the show is pretty interesting, even if it is just a cheap ploy to squeeze more money. Wouldn't you hate to be an exec at TLC right now?


re: Levi Johnston: So many thoughts run through my head at the mention of his name. This demonstrates how very little it takes to get 'famous' in this country. Is he going to be like Paris Hilton now -- famous for being famous? Can a porn flick be far behind, or a sex tape? Can we please just NOT fall into this trap? Don't print his name. Don't follow his tweets breathlessly. AARRGGHH Levi Johnston's New Job: Pistachio Pitchman (Reliable Source, Oct. 5)

Amy Argetsinger: Actually, I see what Levi is doing as striking a blow for gender equity. It's always been the women at the center of these scandals who've gotten to extend their 15 minutes through Playboy shoots, reality TV, wacky endorsement deals (Jessica Hahn, Donna Rice, Monica Lewinsky, etc. etc.) Now, finally, the men are getting their share. Or the man, anyway. Levi. What can I say? There's Something About Levi. His lawyer is telling the tabs that he's working out incessantly in preparation for that much-rumored Playgirl shoot. (Memo to Levi: You know girls don't read Playgirl, right?) Levi is the gift that keeps on giving. But please don't tell me he's tweeting -- is he? Because then, yes, I'm done with him.


Woodbridge, Va.: If I'm not mistaken, I think Emmitt Smith's wife Patricia was married to Martin Lawrence a bunch of years ago.

Roxanne Roberts: Yup--they were married for one year from 1995-1996 and had one daughter. She married Emmitt in 2000.


Washington, D.C.: Speaking of Levi Johnston, have there been any recent Sarah Palin sightings? I saw in The Post that she has written a book, but otherwise she seems to have gone to ground.

Roxanne Roberts: Nope. Miss her yet?


Amy Argetsinger: Oh, but Levi? If you want to follow us, it's


Eh?: I thought you grew up in Virginia, not Canada.

Amy Argetsinger: I pronounce it differently.


Washington, D.C.: James Franco on the soaps: Elizabeth Taylor said being on the soaps was the hardest acting job she'd ever had. Maybe Franco just wants the experience of performing something different every day; it's got to be a learning experience

Amy Argetsinger: And let's just say a little prayer for Elizabeth Taylor who is going into the hospital for some heart-valve work, and twittering about it. But have no fear: She may seem fragile (biographers estimate she's had 30 to 40 surgeries over the years, brain surgery, lung surgery, back surgery, etc.), but she'll outlive us all. Like Keith Richards. Unbreakable.


D.C.: Where did Paul Rodriguez eat that made him so sick? This Time, It Wasn't D.C.'s Fault (Reliable Source, Oct. 6)

Amy Argetsinger: A Mexican restaurant in Washington that serves huitlacoche. No guessing games, please. There's more than one, fewer than a whole lot, and Rodriguez says he's not holding the restaurant responsible.


Lafayette, Ind.: @Amsterdam

Neat question. It made me wonder, does Michelle Obama shop? I mean does she still do her J-Crew or Gap online shopping except it's sent to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue now? Her shtick was that she bought clothing that you or I could just as easily buy at our local mall and wondering how she keeps that up as first lady?

Roxanne Roberts: My guess is that her staff and designers coordinate to get her clothing----she probably sees photos of things she likes or favorite designers sent samples and ideas to her. Then she makes arrangements to try them on and buy what works. I know that designers and stores sometimes sent items to the White House for Laura Bush to try, and sometimes she dropped by their studios. Most of the process is behind the scenes.


Orono, Maine: Outside of "Dreams from My Father," which biography of Barack Obama would you recommend?

Amy Argetsinger: Anyone?


Tempe, Ariz.: One person I'm sure many in the press would like to speak with is Daphne Ensign, considering it's through her that John Ensign meet the Hamptons (Cindy Hampton and Daphne Ensign were friends since high school). Yet I've seen pretty much nothing about her. I was just curious what the Beltway Buzz was about her before the political sex scandal broke? Did spend much time in D.C. or no?

Amy Argetsinger: She was not a big presence in D.C. that I know of. (That's not unusual for a senator's wife -- a lot of them live back in the district most of the time; Ensign lived or lives at the famous C Street, the religious-affiliated boarding house that rents rooms to several members of Congress.)


I take back every mean thing I said: About Lady Gaga. Saw her on SNL and she was funny, willing to spoof herself with the fight with Madonna. I'd never buy an album ... er I mean CD... darn I mean download a song... But I admire her gumption. Go Gaga go.

Amy Argetsinger: She's darned entertaining, that's for sure. She gets that it's not just about her music. Or, well, that's it's mostly NOT about her music.


Oklahoma City, Okla.: Completely random and totally subjective question.

Are there a lot of Canadians in D.C.?

Amy Argetsinger: Raise your hands.


Palin's wardrobe turn up?: Hi, did Sarah Palin's wardrobe ever turn up?

Roxanne Roberts: We wrote about this in August---the RNC claims they donated the clothes to charity, but never provided any proof or listings of the items. There seems to be a general understanding that Palin sent most or all back to RNC after the election, but the trail stops there. The RNC really dropped the ball on this, then got defensive and nasty when questioned about the clothes. A hot mess, as Amy would say.


No time for soap operas: What role is James Franco playing on the soaps? Is he like a hunky new doctor or a dying actor?

Amy Argetsinger: He's playing a character previously unknown to soap operas: The Mysterious Stranger.


Washington, D.C.: On a scale of one to ten, how upset were you to see Tom DeLay leave Dancing With The Stars?

Roxanne Roberts: Ten. I need all the laughs I can get.


John Mayer: Is your body a wonderland?

Amy Argetsinger: Wouldn't you like to know.


Polanski: Has Jack Nicholson ever weighed in on anything related to Roman Polanski? I just keep reading about how Polanski used Nicholson's house to sexually assault a 13-year-old girl -- though nothing else on Nicholson is mentioned.

Amy Argetsinger: Not that I know of. If anyone can point us to an interview where he's addressed it, I've love to see it.

_______________________ Fate of Palin's Wardrobe Is Unknown (Reliable Source, Aug. 12)


Wouldn't you hate to be an exec at TLC right now?: Uh, yeah. Mainly because I can't think of a single decent show on that channel. Really who wants to deal with Kate Peacock Gosselin, her slimy husband and their brood...that annoying woman with all the tattoos who thinks she is far more awesome than she is...that family with 86 children...and that really annoying guy who makes cakes (poor man's Ace of Cakes).

Yes, I know it's sad that I know this much about shows that I don't watch.

Roxanne Roberts: Yeah, Buddy is sweet but no Duff. What about "Say Yes to the Dress?"


New York: Have there been any public spottings of Monty? I'm more and more fascinated with her. Always loved her appearances on Letterman, and now learning that in addition to her affair with Dave, she was living with the CBS producer 17 years older than her. She has to go on Oprah, right?

Amy Argetsinger: Not that I know of. Think she's laying low. It's even ambiguous whether she's a current or former employee on the show -- seems like I've seen her described both ways recently.

I always thought she was great on air. She and Rupert (of the Hello Deli) always seemed like Letterman's two great comic discoveries. And frankly, she had Dave had house-on-fire chemistry on air.

It would be deeply jarring if she went on Oprah. I would have to watch that.


New Yorker: What makes David Letterman so attractive to women? I just don't see it.

Amy Argetsinger: Women like men who are funny, confident, attentive yet hard-to-get. Probably as simple as that.

(Actually, doesn't everyone like funny, confident, attentive yet hard-to-get?)

Anyone Letterman fangirls want to weigh in?


College Park, Md.: @Tempe, Ariz.

John Ensign's wife's first name is Darlene, not Daphne.

Amy Argetsinger: That's right. And you can't expect me to go fact-checking everyone's questions. (Though I try. I do try.)


Wouldn't you hate to be an exec at TLC right now?: : Particularly someone who signed on when it was about LEARNING, not reality slime. Did we already play the game to think up more accurate words to represent the acronym yep.

Amy Argetsinger: Did we already come up with better meanings for TLC than The Learning Channel? What did we come up with?


Feud: How's your feud with Tom Sietsema going?

Roxanne Roberts: Better. He moved to a different office and we see him less, so it's harder for him to come by and flash that adorable smile. You're probably flirting with him on his chat, aren't you?


Reading, Pa.: From what I hear locally Kate was known as kind of stuck up and unpleasant and rude to neighborhood kids but Jon was actually a pretty cool guy.

Roxanne Roberts: The whole thing is a train wreck but Jon has finally discovered his spine, which makes it an interesting train wreck. How long before they go off the air and we forget about them until the kids write a book?


Inside the Beltway: You know who is really pretty attractive? Arne Duncan. Just noticed as he has been on CNN for the past few minutes. I'd vote for him as the best looking member of the cabinet. But just my opinion.

Roxanne Roberts: Are you a teacher? Could that be part of his appeal?


Chevy Chase, Md.: Why do the Hollywood types insist on signing these petitions to free Polanski? Do they think it does any good at all with European law enforcement officials? Just turns them into the awkward place of defending a fugitive rapist, while affirming many people's beliefs that they are out of touch with most Americans.

Amy Argetsinger: Good point -- it displays a bit of Hollywood arrogance to think that petitions like this matter. But they probably know that and are just engaging in a ritualistic show of umbrage, which is all the rage these days in our society.

Here's my theory, which I inarticulately expressed on CNN's "Reliable Sources" (no relation) last Sunday: These Hollywood folks aren't amoral in this case so much as they're incredibly naive. They saw the Polanski documentary (or read about it), with the arguments made that the director was getting railroaded, that he'd fulfilled his end of the plea bargain and now the judge was going to ignore the whole deal and throw the book at him, blah blah blah. And like a college sophomore who has just picked up his first "Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!" flyer on the quad, they're suddenly fired up by the one side of this argument -- "oh, it's such a terrible miscarriage of justice, can you blame him for leaving the country?" blah blah blah.

What they forget is that our prisons are FILLED with people (guilty, as Polanski admitted he was) who would be thrilled to tell you all about how the judge screwed them over in sentencing, blah blah blah. It's a completely banal argument. At the end of the day, we all have to listen to the judge.


Women like men who are funny, confident, attentive yet hard-to-get. Probably as simple as that. : Darn it -- I knew I had been doing something wrong for all these years.

Amy Argetsinger: It's not too late.


Re David Letterman's appeal to women: On TV he seems cranky, etc., but he really loves his son Harry and whenever you watch stupid pet tricks he really likes the animals so I think deep down he's a softie and nice.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay.


On Letterman: Perfect Combo of bad boy and little boy. Not a biker, but risque with his comments, and just when you wonder, he gives you a boyish grin to say "awwww just kidding!"

Amy Argetsinger: No, not a biker, that's for sure. I hear what you're saying.


Washington, D.C.: I'm guessing you're not as up-to-date on those sexy teen vampire shows, but I reluctantly watched the new television series "The Vampire Diaries" with my daughters and actually liked it (it is what it is).

But my shock is Jasmine Guy (a.k.a. Whitney on "A Different World") is playing a grandmother. That's scarier to me than any vampire.

Amy Argetsinger: Wow. That is scary. Poor Jasmine.


New London, Conn.: Levi Johnston has been on Larry King Live and other similar shows a few times, yet ex-Gov. Sarah Palin never has. That bothers me. How long are her bunker days going to last before she has to do a proper accredited national press interview to join the national conversation?

Amy Argetsinger: So going on Larry King Live is what brands you as legit? That is my favorite show. It's the new vaudeville.


willing to spoof herself with the fight with Madonna: was that really Madonna?

Amy Argetsinger: It was make-believe Madonna.


Accokeek, Md.: How will AJ's death be written into the storyline for Real Housewives Atlanta? Kandi hasn't been as interesting as the other girls but this unfortunate event has made her story more interesting. Also, how rich is this Big Poppa fella? Is he a billionaire or something?


Amy Argetsinger: "Written into the storyline"? I thought this was a documentary!


re: James Franco: I do not watch soaps, but I could watch that man read War and Peace in Russian. So, I guess GH will get my ratings as long as he's on.

Now I just need to find a way to lure him to D.C. to do a movie...

Amy Argetsinger: I'm totally watching General Hospital that month. And you know what? I bet I'll probably be able to pick up on the plot pretty quickly, though I haven't watched in about 17 years.


More on David Letterman's appeal to women: Humor and cleverness are very appealing. A man who is funny and smart can overcome many other, ah, shortcomings.

For an extreme example of the above, see: Weingarten, Gene.

Amy Argetsinger: Ah, Weingarten, are you listening?


Why women like Letterman: let's be honest: his checking account

Amy Argetsinger: Do women like Leno?


TLC?: Total Load of Crap?

Roxanne Roberts: Now, now. No need to kick TLC when it is already down.


Tampa, Fla.: I understand that Mrs. Obama pays for her own clothes, but considering that some of the clothes are pretty expensive (Narcisco Rodriquez, etc.) where are the funds coming from to pay for these clothes (as well as the clothes for her kids)? What is her source of income?

Amy Argetsinger: Let's remember, the first family is wealthy beyond the president's salary (which isn't bad: $400,000). She had a very high-paid job before they went into the White House, and he's made a lot of money from his books.


Letterman: He acts bad, but is really good. We get over our bad boy phase really quick, ends up they're ... wait for it ... BAD. But a little spice thrown in with a truly GOOD man is attractive. I have to say I like being attracted to him, but I doubt I could live with him, it would drain me of energy. But it's fun to pretend.

Roxanne Roberts: We don't know that he's really good, do we? He's just not bad in a public way.


Re: Tom feud: Actually, Tom was getting smacked around a little in his chat today. Some chatters seem to think he is hopelessly smitten with a few restaurants and shows unseemly bias toward the lucky establishments. That was you sending in those snide posts, wasn't it, Amy? You can tell us.

Amy Argetsinger: You think I'd be that subtle? You'll know I'm submitting to the Sietsema chat when you see this:

Fourth Floor, 15th Street: What's so great about you anyway, Tom Sietsema? Why do they love you so? What do you have that we don't?


Anonymous: So what's the big deal about Fames Franco doing General Hospital? He did do Freaks and Geeks afterall.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, for one, "Freaks and Geeks" was at the start of his career, 10 years ago, AND it was a fantastic, critically acclaimed prime-time show (that unfortunately did not catch on with viewers). It's absolutely worth getting on DVD if you haven't seen it. Utterly endearing.


Reston, Va.: Hi -- I was thinking what you guys think about Housewives coming to D.C.? I'm very excited about this! Wonder what part of D.C. will take place and who will be on it?

Amy Argetsinger: The Bravo cameras have spent most of their time, so far as we've seen, hovering around modeling agency owner Lynda Erkiletian, McLean doyenne Mary Amons and Fauquier polo/winery wife Michaele Salahi. Also, some attention given to lobbyist Edwina Rogers, though not as much.

However: Nothing's official, which means that at any time they could decide that some or all of these women are not Good TV. It also seems clear they still have some slots to fill.


Do women like Leno?: Maybe not as many as Letterman, but sadly, I think there is a decent percentage of women who will "date" someone because of how much money they have -- regardless of looks, personality, attraction...

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, but that's another story...


Washington, D.C.: So I sat behind Jon Bon Jovi on the train from NYC to Union Station this Sunday evening, and was going to e-mail you until I saw how defensive his posture was when he was walking into Union Station -- like he was just waiting for someone to accost him and make his lovely little train ride a disaster. It gave me a whole new perspective on how hard it must be to be a celebrity -- to know that the second someone (like me) sees you, she's texting her sister, posting it on facebook when she gets home, etc. FWIW, he read a book on a kindle and carried his wife's luggage. And was cute and taller than you'd expect. Great hair.

Amy Argetsinger: Can't vouch for the validity of this sighting -- but I can vouch for the shrewd observation contained within, which is that it's gotta be hell to be a celebrity. You can see it in their body language when they're out in public, can't you?


F and G: Wow, has it really been 10 years? How long ago was My So-Called Life?

Amy Argetsinger: Like, 15 years ago.

Yes, in fact, I'm right on both counts. Just looked it up. My So-Called Life debuted in 1994. Freaks and Geeks in 1999.


Washington, D.C.: Amy Argetsinger: Do women like Leno?

Let me put it this way: If my 20-year-old daughter wanted to intern on a late night show, she'd be applying to Leno, not Letterman.

Amy Argetsinger: You're a good parent.


Larry King: Since Larry King is 107 years old, do you have a favorite for who might replace him one day? Howard Kurtz? Anderson Cooper? Jimmy Kimmel?

Roxanne Roberts: Larry is never, ever going away---and by the time he does, one of his sons will take over. Like a real king.


Letterman: Should any of us really care about any of this Letterman mess? He is entertaining for an hour every night (unlike the unfunny Leno), and doesn't claim to be a friendly guy or a saint. He didn't kill anyone or commit any crime. Apparently he had relationships with coworkers before he was married? Really, who cares? Can we get back to the important developments in the lives of Jon and Kate?

Amy Argetsinger: Ha! The question of "does the Letterman mess matter" is a valid one. Ultimately this is going to come down to market decisions: Does it matter to viewers? Does it affect his ratings? And I don't know if we know for sure yet. But these will be news developments significant to anyone passingly interested in the TV industry.

And he didn't just have relationships with co-workers before he was married; he had relationships with subordinates while he was living with his girlfriend of two decades. And we don't really know when these relationships ended. Like it or not, these are issues that MIGHT matter to SOME viewers. For anyone who hosts or stars on a TV show, their likeability matters. It remains to be seen whether this makes him less likeable -- and therefore less bankable.


Tampa, Fla.: Another follow-up to the Michelle clothing question. I am also guessing that designers may provide clothes to her for gratis, knowing that once she is seen in them, sales will go through the roof.

Roxanne Roberts: That's a slippery slope....Back in the day, Nancy Reagan got in hot water for accepting clothes and first ladies have been very careful ever since. Does she get the best price? Probably. But unlike movie stars, designers can't give the stuff to her---although I'm sure they happily would do so if they could.


Purcellville, Va.: One thing about Lady Gaga's SNL (overexposed) appearance: it sure put to rest any notions that she's really a guy, didn't it?

Amy Argetsinger: Someone who wanders around pantsless as much as she does should, theoretically, have a hard time keeping this mystery alive. But she'll try.


Say Yes to the Dress: Just Say No to That Show

Roxanne Roberts: I'm kind of fascinated by the bad bridal behavior.


Political Junkie: Are you guys bummed out that 2010 doesn't look to have much star power as elections go? I mean whatever happened to Val Kilmer's run in New Mexico and wasn't a Baldwin being touted for a political run? Heck, I'd even settle for Brad Pitt as Mayor in New Orleans. It just isn't the same without a rock star in a race somewhere...

Amy Argetsinger: I'm hoping Val surprises us and runs for Congress. Because then he'd be in D.C. a lot. However: I don't think movie stars ever want to be one of 535.


Sietsema: Does you wants I should bring some friends over and meets him out back after deadline? Happy to do it.

Roxanne Roberts: Nice of you to offer but it's not personal. Then again, I can't remember the last time he gave us dark chocolate....


Ithaca, N.Y.: Larry King Live versus Facebook

Really, could you pick the more legit one? I'm leaning toward the former.

Amy Argetsinger: Does Larry have a Facebook page? Why hasn't he friended me yet? That way he can send me the latest alerts for when he's going to have Corey Feldman and Dr. Drew and LaToya Jackson on.


D.C.: Any David Sedaris sightings since he's in town for a reading tonight at Lisner?


Amy Argetsinger: You know, as much of his stuff that I've read, I don't think I'd recognize Sedaris. Unless he started talking. Then I'd recognize him.


E!: Re: Local girl Giuliana Rancic. Marriage on the rocks?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, they'd probably love for you to think so, so that you'll watch their reality show. I thought the latest drama was that they discovered their Italian wedding wasn't valid in the U.S.! And so they have to re-do their vows here! Drama!


Poll the ladies: Okay, ladies, who would you date: Leno, Letterman or Sietsema?

Roxanne Roberts: Tom's out because we work with him. Dave's out----for all sorts of reasons, but mostly because I'm not sure he is a nice guy. That leaves Jay, who I do think is a nice guy when all is said and done.


Late night intern: I think I'd pick Conan for my daughter to apply to. More talent than Leno, less schmucky than Letterman.

Amy Argetsinger: Can we say "schmucky" here?


Jon minus 9: In the same interview on the Today show this past Monday that Kate gave where she said "I can't pay my bills" (crying) she also talked about how she was going to update her wedding ring (that she still wears) to a ring with 8 symbolic diamonds and a pearl. Does that sound like a woman who "can't pay the bills"?

Roxanne Roberts: I don't believe anything she says anymore.


Houston, Tex.: I am 34 and DVR General Hospital every day -- seriously. I am so excited that James Franco will be on it. Seriously, if Liz Taylor can do it, I think any "movie start" can!

Amy Argetsinger: I'm so looking forward to this. They still have a lot of the same actors on from back in the day, don't they? I swear, I'll be hooked again. It will be 1981 all over again.


Letterman: I've had a crush on Dave since I was 12. I find him funny, intelligent and deprecating. I'm tired of all these people saying the affair with the staffer was sexual harassment or whatever. Can it be possible that she wanted to have an affair with him?

Roxanne Roberts: She probably did. That doesn't mean he SHOULD. Somebody has to be the grownup here.


Canadian here: My guess is that the number of Canucks in the D.C. area is in the thousands (probably not the tens of thousands, though). Combination of people moving here to work for the Canadian government, NGOs, educational institutions, etc.; people who marry Americans; students; and probably a few other categories that are slipping my mind. If a Canadian hockey team is in town you'll find Canadians at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. O'Sullivans in Courthouse is owned by a Canadian. And if you get Canadians together the subject will invariably turn to visas, green cards, and immigration status (I'm a dual citizen so I avoided all of that).

Amy Argetsinger: Wow, so they're lurking all over the place. That's chilling.


TLC: Aren't they now running a show called My Baby Monkey about people who have monkeys that they treat like babies? Saw the ads this weekend. How much worse can it get?

Roxanne Roberts: Saw first two minutes and it scared the hell out of me. Could not, would not watch; totally creeped me out. Not the monkeys, the people.


Arlington, Va.: Enough with Jasmine being a "grandma," how old the TV shows are, etc. I'm feeling really creaky now...

Roxanne Roberts: Relax. Just another role she can sink her teeth into....


Late night shenanigans: We all obsess over Letterman, forgetting that the King himself -- Johnny Carson -- was divorced and had affairs, and none of that seemed to have hurt him publicly. Granted that none of his relationships that we know of were with staffers, but considering the times, I don't think that would have made any difference.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, I think divorces and remarriages -- of which Carson had multiple -- is a different dynamic than affairs with staffers. And Letterman's case isn't helped by the fact that we feel like we know one of the women involved.


TLC: Thoroughly Lacking Content?

Amy Argetsinger: I'm liking it. But, hey, "My Baby Monkey," you can't say that's not content.


Arlington, Va.: Mr. Bon Jovi was here for Habitat for Humanity's World Habitat Day. Apparently he has great hair, or so say the attendees. I never thought that was up for debate, though.

Amy Argetsinger: No. But it's always interesting to see what it is that strikes people about a celebrity they've just seen in person.


Madonna on SNL: For most of the sketch I thought it was Scarlett Johansson as Madonna, before I figured out that nope, it really was Madonna buried under all that make up to make her look 20 years younger and she was appearing on Coffee Talk.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, you're right. I was falling asleep during that sketch and just assumed it was fake Madonna. Twas the real thing.


Interning at Late Night Leno: Well...that's good since Leno is no longer late night.

How about Kimmel?

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, parents -- would you let your daughters intern for Jimmy Kimmel?


TLC . . . good show: That show The Little Couple is very good and funny. Maybe TLC is short for The Little Couple!

Amy Argetsinger: Coincidence?


F and G: Let's hear it for "Freaks and Geeks" -- I second your motion. I really wish it had caught on, it was so great. One of the few shows that could make me "laugh so hard your drink comes through your nose"....

The fact that few shows today are as funny and well-written (and acted) is one reason I don't watch TV anymore...which leaves me more time for your chats online!

Amy Argetsinger: Everybody wins!


Canada, etc.: Canada is kind of the Jay Leno of countries. Reliable, understated, clean, sometimes overlooked. Especially in comparison with its biggest rival.

Amy Argetsinger: Provocative theory.


Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: "Really who wants to deal with Kate Peacock Gosselin"

That should be "Peahen."

Roxanne Roberts: True. I visited friends this weekend and their neighbor has a peacock ("Warren") and peahen ("Annette.)

But Kate---especially with the spiky hair in back---is really more peacock than hen.


State College, Pa.: Roxanne Roberts: She probably did. That doesn't mean he SHOULD. Somebody has to be the grownup here.

But if everyone behaved like grown-ups, what would we talk about here? You'd be out of a job!

Roxanne Roberts: Exactly. Go Dave! Go Jon and Kate!


Canadians: It's true, I knew a few. They are insidiously working their way into every aspect of American society. Pretty soon, we'll all have to say, eh, and drink Labatt's. It's a real threat I tell ya.

Amy Argetsinger: They assimilate all too well. I'm going to start looking at everyone suspiciously.


Sliver Spring, Md.: No one likes Leno.

Roxanne Roberts: I like Leno, can't bear Conan. Does that make me hopelessly old and unhip? Probably.


Matchmaker: James Franco is so sexy. Does he have a steady girlfriend (or boyfriend for that matter)?

Amy Argetsinger: Apparently he has a lady friend. No one famous.


Boulder, Colo.: Jasmine Guy Joins Vampire Diaries, But She's No Vamp (TV Guide, Sept. 15)

Here is the article for after the chat.

I also thought Vampire Diaries was better then you'd think. It's from Kevin Williamson, creator the Scream films and Dawson's Creek.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, will check it out.


The Lobotomy Channel: Someone else coined it, but I remember it!

Amy Argetsinger: hahaha!


Who'da thunk?: That "Bored to Death" is FUNNY! Dark comedy. The three leads are very witty, great writing. Jason Swartzman I guess is the star, but it's Ted Danson who takes the light, he's so darkly funny.

Amy Argetsinger: I've heard good things about Danson on the show. I don't have HBO, though, or whatever it's on.


Provo, Utah: Poor old Daphne/Darlene Ensign... People can't even remember her first name.

Amy Argetsinger: It must be terrible to be a Senate wife.


More TLC: All good and valid points about the crap on TLC, but can I drop in some love for "Police Women of Broward County"? Seriously: watch it and be amazed at how they do such a difficult and thankless job.

Amy Argetsinger: In other words: You learned something. From The Learning Channel.


More TLC: I did! I did learn something. But then "My Monkey Baby" came on and I had to switch to Dexter.

Amy Argetsinger: So you're totally going to fail the pop quiz on monkey babies.


Canadians, etc. part 2: How can you not like a country with money called a "loonie"? Or where baseball fans sing the national anthem non-ironically? I spent three days in Toronto two years ago (back when it looked like the Republicans could be in power forever) and was ready to move there instantly. There was the small matter of being allowed to work legally, however, that kept me here.

Amy Argetsinger: An argument on behalf of Canada -- provocative! I promise to keep an open mind. I'll have to go there someday.


The Canadian Conspiracy Was On Television So It Must Be True: Years ago, pre-Saturday Night Live, Mike Myers directed a satirical special for HBO about "The Canadian Conspiracy"; a plan to take over the United States entertainment industry. It featured a lot of cameos from Canadian actors who'd made it big in the States and a funny bit (think the uber-serious Airplane roles of Leslie Nielsen) by Lorne Greene as the secret head of the Canadian takeover sect.

Amy Argetsinger: And this was probably way before the advent of Avril Lavigne.


Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for all your great questions -- more than we could get to today. Look forward to catching up with you again next week. In the meantime, stay in touch at


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