WITH DEBORAH SCHOENEMAN
Cattle Call: Rivers Runs Deep
Joan Rivers may want to watch her furs when daughter Melissa is around. The young Rivers is the latest celeb to hop on the PETA bandwagon. Celebrity shutterbug Greg Gorman recently shot Melissa for a PETA ad in which she’s covered in nothing but a strategically placed smoky-gray faux-fur wrap, with the tag line “fake it . . . for the animals’ sake!” The posters will be plastered around the city for Fashion Week next month. It was about five years ago that PETA released a very different kind of Rivers poster. That one actually poked fun at Joan by featuring Frank Marino, a Joan impersonator from Las Vegas. Just months before, Joan blamed PETA members for spraying red paint on a sable coat she was wearing out one night in midtown. Joan tells us she’ll never go without her animal hides. “I think the last time Melissa was covered in fur was when I was pregnant,” she joked. But like any proud mom, she beamed, “Did you see the ads? She looks fabulous.”
Retired file clerk Harvey Pekar was a regular on David Letterman’s show until 1987, when he accused G.E. of criminality. But even now that his autobiographical comic American Splendor has become an award-winning movie, he still hasn’t gotten any love from the Late Show host. “He’s not calling. But Dave never talked to me when I was on the show—during commercial breaks, before, after, nothin’, ” Pekar said with a shrug at the film’s premiere party on August 12. At least Rosie Perez, Maggie Gyllenhaal, John Cameron Mitchell, and Sean Astin were able to appreciate the author, who spent the night lounging on a couch. Gretchen Mol, meanwhile, was staring wide-eyed at the catering table, which appeared to represent a taste of Cleveland: “This is a world I barely knew existed! I started with White Castle and moved on to the mac and cheese.”
Higher Office: Political Tokin’
One of Jimmy Kimmel’s recent gags about Arnold Schwarzenegger almost went up in smoke. An insider tells us that ABC’s standards-and-practices department gave Kimmel a hard time when he asked if he could use footage of Schwarzenegger smoking a joint in Pumping Iron in order to poke fun at the gubernatorial candidate on his late-night talk show. Kimmel was told that ABC does not allow any of its entertainment programs to show people doing drugs. After some debate, ABC execs decreed that Kimmel could show a clip of Schwarzenegger bringing the joint to his lips, but not actually inhaling. Kimmel put up a fight, and just a half-hour before going live, standards-and-practices caved and Kimmel ran the entire pot-toking scene. “They don’t allow the ingestion of drugs,” our snitch reports. “But it wasn’t like they were trying to show a Cheech and Chong movie.”
Social Circus: Club Kids
Just when you thought private clubs were so, like, three months ago, another one is gearing up for a grand opening—if it gets financed. Last week, elaborate invitations went out to about 100 VIPs deemed worthy of making a $100,000 investment in the Core Club, a luxury spa, gym, and café opening at 60 East 55th Street. In addition to the promise of getting their money back, investors get a free five-year membership. (Regular memberships cost $1,000 a month plus a $25,000 initiation fee.) Though the list is mostly made up of friends of the spa’s owner, Aby Rosen, and his socialite-shrink girlfriend, Samantha Boardman, not every invitee has jumped onboard. Edgar Bronfman Jr. and a few heiresses who requested anonymity say they’re taking a pass. And one socialite sniffs that Soho House is enough: “I mean, for $1,000 a month you can go any night and see Iman.” But Alex von Furstenberg has faith in his friends—and, of course, money to spend. “Aby said I would get my money back,” he says. “And that’s all I need.”
“I’m really upset that they make as much as me, especially since one of them is not really Jewish. That takes a lot of nerve.”
-Jackie Mason, on Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane’s getting $100,000 a week each to return to The Producers.
Baby Makes Three: Acting For Two
Congrats to Mary-Louise Parker and Billy Crudup. We hear that the 39-year-old actress is about eighteen weeks pregnant. This is the first child for the couple, who met while starring on Broadway in the 1996 production of Bus Stop. But the expectant mom isn’t slowing down just yet. She’s currently in Los Angeles filming her second season of The West Wing, in which she plays Amy Gardner, the First Lady’s chief of staff. No word on whether the pregnancy will be written into the show.
Grimm Tidings: Roman Holiday
Roman Polanski may be returning to the big screen. But this time, the Pianist director will be in front of the cameras. A source tells us that director Terry Gilliam has been wooing the controversial Polanski to appear in The Brothers Grimm, a $75 million flick loosely based on the lives of the fairy-tale writers. The movie, which is being shot in Prague, stars Matt Damon and Heath Ledger.
Restaurant News: Iron In the Fire
Add another celebrity chef to Manhattan’s swelling cadre. Nobu’s former executive chef, Masaharu Morimoto, who’s also been the Food Network’s “Silver Iron Chef” since ’98, is returning to New York. After leaving Nobu a few years ago to open a popular Philadelphia restaurant called—what else?—Morimoto, the chef is opening an outpost in the meatpacking district. “This has always been Morimoto’s dream,” says Morimoto’s business partner. No word if Morimoto’s famous Philadelphia-cream-cheese ice cream with caviar will be served.
Carriage Trade: Fashion Royal David Lauren Joins the Village People
We doubt David Lauren will have any problem decorating his new bachelor pad. Ralph’s 31-year-old son—he works at Polo as a vice-president of advertising, marketing, and corporate communications—recently closed on a $2.225 million carriage house on Charles Street in the West Village. The two-bedroom home features a planted courtyard, a landscaped roof garden, and a wine cooler.