Celebritology Live: Courtney Love, Conan vs. Jay, Heidi Montag
Thursday, January 14, 2010; 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: Afternoon. Welcome back to my favorite hour of the week. There's plenty of the usual going on this week -- Tiger dumped by GM, Kate Gosselin hating her new 'do, Tila Tequila doing her best to insinuate herself into the life of Casey Johnson's daughter -- but amidst all of this, it is nice to see celebs rallying to raise money and awareness for Haiti's earthquake victims. Brangelina donated $1 million to Doctors Without Borders, everyone from Wyclef Jean to Paris Hilton is busy getting out the word and now George Clooney has agreed to host a telethon next Friday on MTV to raise funds.
In news of much less import, Heidi Montag had 10 plastic surgery procedures late last year that -- at least from a look at the People cover online -- left her looking like a cross between Teri Hatcher and Paris Hilton. Your thoughts?
Let's get started...
Wilmington, Del - Why is Courtney Love still tweeting - didn't the court tell her not to regarding her daughter?: Publicly stating that she is "really disappointed she'd betray me or her father" seems to be exactly what Courtney is not supposed to be doing. How is this going to help her get her daughter back?
Liz Kelly: She just can't help herself and she seems to be beyond the point of taking all the right steps to get her daughter back. She's out of control.
Be careful, by the way, if you click through from the article below to Courtney's new Twitter page. The background image features a topless woman, so probably not safe for work. Depending on where you work.
Team Conan: From one of the People of Earth--I have not liked Leno since he was rude to my son at a book signing (for Leno's children's book) at Olsson's in Washington several years ago. Leno thought he was being funny, but it was insulting, and our family has not liked Leno since. Go, Conan!
Liz Kelly: Well, one reason's as good as another.
My reason for not liking Leno: He's not funny. He's corny. The guy's a hack.
Go team Conan!
Minneapolis, Minn:: Submitting early because your chat is during my flight to D.C. (Yay! First trip to the region! 40-degree weather!!)
Anyway, I was curious about your whole take on the Leno-Conan issue. As a fan of neither(nor any late-night show) it seems like a straightforward case of Leno pulling a Michael Jordan; a friend of mine thinks the media is needlessly vilifying him, but ultimately he's the one who can make all of this stop, by actually retiring (and saving the world from himself; nice though he may be, the man is NOT funny). I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Liz Kelly: Well understand that this -- TV -- is not really my area of expertise, so you'd probably do better to ask Lisa de Moraes tomorrow for her take.
That said, I think the ones to blame here are the spineless NBC execs who are unwilling to cut Jay Leno loose, even at the risk of losing Conan. The guy (Leno) failed in the 10 p.m. slot. Why is he being rewarded with a move back to prime late night? I don't get it. I guess that's why I'm not a TV exec.
Where's Jack Donaghy when you need him?
Dorkus: Maybe Heidi Montag is actually Michael Jackson in disguise.
Also, what's with the embiggened Jessica Simpson in the photo on the side?
Liz Kelly: Jessica has hardly reached Michael Jackson territory yet. She may be creeping up on Cher or Joan Rivers, though. I wonder if "Disfiguring Amounts of Plastic Surgery Executed in One Session" was covered in Speidi's recent "How to be Famous" book.
Dennis Hopper: Any news on his condition? Some reports this week that he was losing his battle with prostate cancer?
Liz Kelly: Nothing new since the reports earlier this week that you mention above.
Various sources have this as everywhere from rumored to him being at death's door. Meaning we have no confirmation. But we also have no one stepping forward to officially refute the story, either.
Plastic Montag: If she keeps going she might become that lady, I think she is called cat woman, who looks like a melting wax alien creature. I hope she stops. She looked better before any of her surgeries in my opinion. I have a larger chest and I always envied women with smaller chests and she just looked beautiful naturally. Ahem, I am not speaking about her fame desiring personality.
washingtonpost.com: The many faces of Jocelyn Wildenstein
Liz Kelly: I was wondering how long it would take for someone to bring Jocelyn into the conversation. And rightly slow. Have a good look, Heidi -- there's your future.
Curious: What did Leno say to the son at the book signing? You would think a professional funny-person would know how to gauge audiences and adjust the schtick as needed.
Liz Kelly: Mom, care to elaboarate?
DC: Normally, I wouldn't care at all about the weirdness surrounding Casey Johnson's death. But there's a little girl there, and that catches my attention. When I read in Express this morning that Tila Tequila would try to get custody, I just shuddered. Between her drug addiction, twitter addiction, and relentless attention whoring, I have a hard time figuring how she could be at all a competent parent. Have you heard if there's a will or something that gives her custody? For the love of all that is holy, judges, do not give her a small innocent life to play with!
Liz Kelly: The chances of Tila Tequila gaining custody of that little girl have to be about a gazillion to one. No judge could look at Tila and her lifestyle -- not to mention her daily Twitter output -- and give her custody of a child who she had limited contact with while Johnson was alive. Especially considering new allegations that the entire engagement was a publicity stunt and that Tila and Casey had only met shortly before the announcement.
Stick a fork in "Lost"?: Judging by the lack of response to your Celebritology posts of the Lostie interview, should we conclude that "Lost" is on its last legs?
Liz Kelly: Not at all. That actually happens with most interviews and Q&As I post here in Celebritology -- whether the subject be someone related to "Lost" or a run-of-the-mill celebrity. I guess the format doesn't leave much room for questions and comments.
Trust me -- based on the hundreds of questions Jen and I had in our "Lost" chat yesterday afternoon, the interest is not only there, but building as we approach the kickoff of season 6.
Josh Holloway: It has to be said, Josh Holloway on "Ellen" yesterday - YUMMY! And I loved the story he told about being a dad and giving props to his wife and all she does - awwwww how sweet :-)
Liz Kelly: Agreed, he was -- as usual -- easy on the eyes. But he didn't say much about "Lost" and Ellen sure didn't ask him anything that would lead to any insight into the show.
Still, I could watch the guy read the phone book for hours.
River City, VA: Wyclef Jean is raising funds for Haiti, all you have to do is text "Yele" to 501501, which will automatically donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund (it will be charged to your cell phone bill.)
Liz Kelly: Just passing this along. I've seen other variations of this, too. I'll leave it up to each of you to do the due diligence to make sure these numbers are legit.
Golden Globes: What can we look forward to seeing or hearing Sunday night with the inimitable Ricky Gervais hosting? Will he be unscripted, winging it up there on stage, not worrying where the barbs land? Or will they have him (somewhat) roped in? Likely we will see a plea for donations to Haiti as the HFPA has already made a $100K gift to Haiti relief--maybe Clooney will make the pitch?
Liz Kelly: I wouldn't expect him to be reined in too tight. The Globes have historically been the looser of the big film awards. Attendees sit around tables sipping wine, TV and film stars mix, much ad libbing makes its way into acceptance speeches.
So I'd expect Gervais to thrive with the less formal set up.
Newest season of Celebrity Rehab: Have you seen the newest season? These people are truly train wreck B/C list celebrities. Heidi Fleiss and McKenzie Phillips faces look like dough. Dennis Rodman lives in a clueless lala land. Otherwise known as "must see TV."
Liz Kelly: Nope -- I can't bring myself to watch. It's all I can do to keep watching "Jersey Shore" from week to week.
Liz Kelly: Paul feels very strongly that we must watch this Ricky Gervais clip.
Beards, why?: George Clooney and Jon Hamm. Two of the most gorgeous men around. (Okay to post pictures to confirm truth of this statement.) With beards, not so much.
Liz Kelly: I'm not a huge fan of facial hair -- just ask Mr. Liz -- but if I had to choose between Hamm, Clooney and Brad Pitt's whackadoodle goatee -- I'd have to say that Clooney carries it off better than his peers.
Still, I'm hoping he opts for a clean, close shave in the near future.
BREAKING! Report says next week in Conan's last!: I'm so sad! And I feel for Andy and the band. Wither Labamba?
BREAKING: Next Week Conan O'Brien's Last? (Movieline)
Liz Kelly: Yikes. All of this is happening far too quickly.
Curmudge, ON: BTY, speaking of embiggining Jessica Simpson, whatever happened to that guy to whom she was famously married?
Latchki or something like that?
Liz Kelly: Nick Lachey? He's still kicking around doing his best to hang on to some level of D-level stardom. You would probably find him getting the most airtime on D!'s "The Soup" where he's basically a recurring punchline.
Leno: keep in mind, it wasn't HIS choice to move time slots. Reserve your bile for NBC, not Jay. If you're talking about schedule, that is. RE: comedy stylings, yeah, my 70-something parents dig him, but I think he's corny too. Then again, I rarely am up past 9 anyway.
Liz Kelly: Wait a minute, you. Didn't I say above that I lay the most blame at the feet of the NBC execs?
Long Island, NY: Liz, Does Simon really think the X-factor will be as popular as Idol? Am I wrong in thinking the whole Three-Judge-Talent-Show genre is nearly as dead as the Former-Tonight-Show-Host-Prime-Time-Hour genre?
Liz Kelly: Well some would argue that Simon is "Idol" -- or at least the crack (so to speak) that keeps millions of Americans tuning in season after season. So it isn't out of the question to think that audience might follow him to a new show.
And I would've thought the talent show genre was played out at least three or four years ago, yet here we are with not only "Idol" but season after successful season of "Dancing with the Stars" inflicted on us. And neither shows any signs of slowing down.
celebrity care packages: I really don't want to sound creepy but where the heck were all these celbrities and charities before Haiti suffered such tragedy ? Wouldn't it have been nice for there to have been more doctors and better living conditions BEFORE this ? Maybe if some of these caring people had invested in helping the Haitian people to build better houses and hospitals, we wouldn't be seeing so much suffering today.
Liz Kelly: Well, that's one negative way to spin this. The positive way, of course, is to say "Hey, at least they're paying attention now. "
And, by the way, many celebs -- from Angelina and Brad to Jeff Fahey (whose humanitarian work in Northern Africa is featured in the blog today) -- have long been active in the humanitarian community.
Nick Lachey: Hosted "The Sing-Off" a capella competition last month. And did so pretty badly.
Liz Kelly: Righto.
Reston, Va.: Hi Liz: I find myself on Team Conan, not because I have a preference for him vs. Leno (I'm down for the count by 10 pm), but because I have to support my fellow ginger. Go Team Conan!!!
Liz Kelly: Like I said earlier, one reason's as good as another.
Gervais: Still love the clip from the Emmy's I think where he makes Steve Carrell give him the emmy that he won in absentia. Hilarious.
washingtonpost.com: YouTube - Steve Carell & Ricky Gervais at the 2008 Primetime Emmy Awards (embedding disabled by request)
Liz Kelly: Here you go...
Dorkus: Can we get some fair and balanced coverage here? If you link to images of Jon Hamm and George Clooeny, can you also link to Scarlet Johansson or Kate Beckinsale?
washingtonpost.com: To determine if they look better with beards? I don't think they will.
Liz Kelly: Nice show of restraint, Paul!
Burbank, CA.: I am sorry to hear the Jay Leno didn't know how to handle his humor properly at a book signing. I will just state, that for several people I know who've run into Jay Leno in the area, that Jay has always been known to be gracious and nice in public. Of course, I can't vouch for his every moment, nor am I talking about his show. Just stating that most people here say Jay is generally nice to the people he meets.
Liz Kelly: Maybe he doesn't like kids. Or just this woman's kid.
Nosy Parker: "I'll leave it up to each of you to do the due diligence to make sure these numbers are legit."
The Better Business Bureau is one source for checking out charities.
Liz Kelly: Thanks Nosy!
Kate Gosselin's new hairdo is awful: She looks like some faded truckstop waitress who was once a county beauty queen. I never thought I'd say this but: go back to your old hair Kate!
Liz Kelly: I agree. And according to Us, Kate's not a big fan, either.
In the picture at the link, she looks like a less ossified Dina Lohan.
Washington, DC: Am I the only one that thinks the Heidi plastic surgery is just part of a calculated strategy to stay in the headlines? I predict in 6 - 8 months she'll be doing the talk show rounds talking about how she regrets it & wants to be a good role model for girls blah blah blah blah
Liz Kelly: I think you're exactly right. Now the only way to up the ante is to have Spencer submit to 20 plastic surgery procedures in one day. Maybe they can sew his mouth shut.
Baltimore: Last night, Ricky Gervais did a wonderful turn with O'Brien, first telling him that he wanted to plug the Golden Globes, his new HBO series, etc. right away so they could talk about O'Brien and NBC.
Once that was done, Gervais looked at Conan solemnly and said, "What are you going to to do?" (PAUSE) "I mean, it's not like you have any skills."
From there, they were off. Conan saying, "Maybe I could be a lifeguard" and Gervais replying, "Your skin is so shiny, it would signal ships. In fact, you are the whitest white man I have ever seen. I think if you were naked, you would be sort of translucent--I could see your heart beating."
Conan played the straight man for an extended period of time. To me, another PR coup for the redhead.
Liz Kelly: More video!
Washington DC : Re Tila getting custody: Also, let's remember that Casey's father owns the New York Jets and is heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune. I think Casey's folks can provide for the little girl. I just wonder how she was allowed to adopt?
washingtonpost.com: Hey, isn't raising a child to root for the Jets also a form of abuse?
Liz Kelly: One does have to wonder what kind of a job Casey's parents did raising Casey considering how she turned out. Do we really want them raising version 2.0?
David Letterman: Looking golden for a) handling intern scandal quickly and surgically and b) getting his painful departure from NBC out of the way while there was still a late night kingdom to be had.
Liz Kelly: Agreed. Letterman is coming out looking like a prince right now.
Who's working the Red Carpet at the Globes?: And when did the Kardashians become fashion experts enough for E!'s day-after "Fashion Police"? (other than the fact they have that awful show on E!)
Liz Kelly: Hold on to your hats -- none other than Joan Rivers is returning to E! for the Globes. Look out read carpet!
Bawlmer: Charity Navigator also has an excellent list of charities responding in Haiti, as well as tips on giving wisely.
Liz Kelly: Thanks Bawlmer.
The Land of Beards and Honey: Now I see that Esquire has published a guide on how to grow a winter beard like a celebrity. Clearly this madness is growing.
(From a purely comfort perspective, though..I have to admit, if I had to scrape a sharp object over my facial skin every day, I'd probably want to find ways to avoid it too.)
Liz Kelly: Paul, as I recall, you experimented with a beard last year or the year before, right? What made you finally shave that scruff off?
Washington, DC: How will X Factor differ from American Idol? All I know about X Factor is Susan Boyle.
Liz Kelly: Well, X Factor will have Simon Cowell. And possibly -- possibly -- Paula Abdul.
Haiti and the Globes: Any word that the Golden Globes might turn into a Haiti fundraiser type thing. I think it will be so annoying if all the presenters and winners get up there and pretend to be concerned. I mean, they might be truly concerned, but it's so fake when they trot their causes out on stage.
(I do hope everyone donates aid, but I don't think the Golden Globes is the place for it)
Liz Kelly: I hear you. Honestly I do. And I've been guilty of the same cynical thinking. But what would the buzz be if they didn't address it at all? We'd be squawking about how self-absorbed these people are who live in their little Hollywood orbit and care little for those less fortunate.
And while it may bring down the usual high spirits of the Globes, I can't fault anyone for wanting to take advantage of a (relatively) highly-watched event. It's free exposure.
washingtonpost.com: There's like a two-week period of convenience, then a beard eventually gets hard to maintain in an orderly fashion and becomes just as inconvenient as having to shave every day.
washingtonpost.com: There's like a two-week period of convenience, then a beard eventually gets hard to maintain in an orderly fashion and becomes just as inconvenient as having to shave every day.
Liz Kelly: There you have it. Paul has spoken.
washingtonpost.com: Liz is having a spot of WiFi trouble, will be right back.
Seattle: I just would like to point out (indignantly) that I've had a beard since 1991, it looks good on me and the main reason I've kept it is that my wife loves it. And me. So there.
More infantilizing grooming, to also include the Abercrombie & Fitch hairless chest and the Weingarten subject Never To Be Discussed.
Liz Kelly: We're all about equal time here, so you and your beard will be given all due respect.
Apologies for the last few minutes -- and possibly the next few. I'm having some computer problems here. That's what I get for doing the chat from the office.
Whiskers?: If you can show Jon Hamm and George Clooney's beards, how about Andy and Opie's whiskers?
Liz Kelly: I can't offer anything in the way of the elusive Opie, but here's a recent snap of Mr. Andy.
RE: How will X Factor differ from American Idol?: To answer the actual question: X Factor is more than just singing -- dancing, magic, mime, whatever; and there's no age limit, like on Idol.
Liz Kelly: Well thank you, factotum.
Philadelphia, PA: Liz Kelly: One does have to wonder what kind of a job Casey's parents did raising Casey considering how she turned out. Do we really want them raising version 2.0?
Thank you Liz! That question has been tumbling around in my head since the death of Casey.
While I don't blame parents 100% for how children behave into adulthood - there had to be something early on in Casey's life contributing to such unpredictable/self destructive behavior.
Liz Kelly: Thanks for the thanks, but also for reminding me that it probably isn't incredibly fair for me -- or anyone -- to blame the parents for a problematic child. At least not without a better grasp of the facts.
Besides, I don't think Ahmad Rashad was around when Casey was growing up, was he?
Machete?: Since Esquire didn't follow up- what does Producer Paul recommend for removing one's two-week-old beard like a celebrity?
washingtonpost.com: A barber shop
Liz Kelly: Smartass.
Why do I know this?: re: Nick Lachey -- I was watching basketball last night and saw a commercial in which Nick Lachey was selling Blackberries for Cincinnati Bell. My, how the mighty have fallen!
Liz Kelly: Well, is that better or worse than Luke Wilson -- who one could argue has a more viable chance at a lasting career -- peddling Verizon Wireless?
Washington, DC : Casey Johnson is only the latest in a line of "poor little rich girls" although she was dramatically more dysfunctional than most.
One poignant item I read said that she had turned down The Simple Life, which she was offered before Nicole Richie. (Would have been a more natural pairing, as both she and Hilton are/were genuine heiresses.)
She seemed to regard declining as a huge mistake, as it might have taken her life in a totally different direction.
washingtonpost.com: That the regret of her life was turning down "The Simple Life" might be the saddest thing I've ever read. I'm going to go watch "Precious" to cheer up.
Liz Kelly: I'm going to watch Paul watching "Precious" to cheer up.
Book signee's mom: Son (aged 21) was in line for an hour with two copies of Leno's book. One was a Mother's Day gift for me, one was for his GF. Leno asked why he had two copies, and on hearing this started riffing on what kind of person buys the same book for his mom and his GF (we're both writers) and that was one way to cover his bets if the GF didn't work out, etc. If he had stopped with one comment, but he kept on until the folks in line were laughing and my son was embarrassed. I suppose Leno thought it was clever, but my son didn't feel very good about it.
Liz Kelly: Well, maybe Jay was trying to be funny. But as you and I both know, he's not in the least funny. The man was actually born without a funny bone. So what happened to your son is the result of Leno's mouth being let loose without the benefit of a roomful of writers to script his every word.
Trapped in Trappe: No one is asking how you and the baby are doing, so I thought I would.
Liz Kelly: Why thank you, we're both well. In fact, had our monthly OB visit yesterday and -- according to the doc -- we're right where we should be.
We go next month for our big ultrasound and hopefully find out whether we're due for a boy or a girl.
Liz Kelly: Okay, my tech woes are continuing so I'm going to sign off on time today. See you back here next week.
Also check the site on Sunday night -- we'll have some pretty comprehensive Golden Globes coverage: chats, galleries, latest news, polls and Jen and I will be doing some pre and during show tweeting. Hope to see you there!
Ahmad Rashad and Casey Johnson?: What do they have to do with one another? You're talking about the former football star-turned-announcer Ahmad Rashad who's married to Phylicia Rashad, right?
Liz Kelly: Turns out he and Phylicia split some time back and he's now married (since 2004) to Casey Johnson's mother, Sale.
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