Conan O’Brien Reads, But Does Not Give Recipes to, ‘Good Housekeeping’MEDIA
•Yesterday the New York Post reported on Tiger Woods’s new $65 million Hamptons pad. The only problem? He didn’t buy the house. [Radar]
• Good Housekeeping published Conan O’Brien’s stew recipe in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day. Except it wasn’t actually his recipe. “I’ve never cooked anything in my life. I didn’t send this to them; they completely made this up,” he said, then added: “I love this magazine, I’m not mad or anything.” [WWD]
• After a year of bickering, Dow Jones decided it will no longer carry news from the Associated Press. [Reuters]
Conan O’Brien Will Be Drinking Diet Coke on Saint Patrick’s DayAt the American Ireland Fund’s St. Patrick Day party last night, Conan O’Brien picked up an Irish Spirit award for his work with the charity Labels Are for Jars. But as it turns out, the funnyman sadly isn’t stereotypically Irish. He didn’t even like fairies as a kid! “My only connection to Irish lore was through the breakfast cereal Lucky Charms,” said O’Brien. “And the Leprechaun horror movies. Leprechaun in the Hood!” But any self-respecting Irishman, leprechaun-loving or otherwise, should at least be able to put a few beers back every March 17, right? Not so for O’Brien. “I get very self-conscious around a lot of Italian men and African-American men pretending to be Irish,” said O’Brien. “Of course, on Saint Patrick’s Day someone like me just becomes an Irish piñata. ‘It’s Conan O’Brien — ARRRRRRR!!!’” The late-night host has had to deal with his fair share of drunken Irish fans — though the madness has calmed down with upped security budgets — and now chooses the “less obvious” holiday route. “I want to have a Diet Coke, eat some melba toast, and go to bed early. Pretty sexy, huh?” —Jocelyn Guest
in other news
Late-Night Hosts Take the Spitzer Ball and, Um, Dribble With It
If any good could come from the Eliot Spitzer scandal, it’s that the late-night shows have some of their best source material since Bill Clinton requested the definition of the word “is.” So with that in mind, we fired up our DVR for the most promising night of comedy in years. And boy, were we disappointed.
Letterman, predictably, was funny enough, opening his monologue by asking whether it was too soon to hit on Mrs. Eliot Spitzer, then telling a handful of jokes (“Did you happen to see the press conference? Very dramatic. Eliot Spitzer was there with yellow crime-scene tape around his pants”). The Times has a complete rundown of every joke, if you’re interested. Seated back at his desk, Letterman read off a Top Ten List of Eliot Spitzer excuses (No. 8: Just trying to help the economy!).
Arnold Schwarzenegger Also Loves Anderson’s Biceps!Readers! You are the worst! Why didn’t anybody tell us about this? Last night, we were in bed before Conan O’Brien went on, so we missed Anderson Cooper’s appearance. But apparently an incredibly, stupendously amazing thing happened. HE TALKED ABOUT HIS BICEPS. And not even just in a chitchat-y “Sometimes I use these things for lifting and gesticulating” way. He told an anecdote about how big they are. He’s totally ripping off our best work! It was after Conan asked him whether anyone had ever thrown him off his game before he had to moderate a debate (as if anyone could ruffle our Manderson). Cooper then told a story about how, once, before a Republican debate at the Ronald Reagan library, he spotted Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the audience. Click above to view the clip. The important stuff comes about 3:11 in.
Anderson: What was weird is, and I’ve never met the man, and we didn’t talk then or anything but moments before the debate started, he looked at me and motioned to his bicep, and he was like, “You’ve been working out.” And I was completely thrown. Pleased that Arnold Schwarzenegger had noticed that I’d been working out, I guess.
Conan: What if he was telling you, “I will crush you with my bicep”?
Anderson: It could have been that. I could have misinterpreted it. For the first five minutes, I was flustered by that.
OMG. Our campaign to get everyone to recognize the glory of Anderson Cooper’s arms has just taken a great leap forward! Do you think he gets flustered when we talk about his biceps?
Click here to read the rest of our loving, caressing coverage of Anderson Cooper’s twin torso turtles.
The ‘Times’ Touches Upon Checkbook Journalism — With Two Fingers, Of CourseMEDIA
• “OK!, the celebrity magazine, could not possibly have purchased all the attention it enjoyed in late December after it got the scoop that Jamie Lynn Spears, the younger and until then less sensational sister of the troubled pop queen Britney Spears, was three months pregnant. Or could it?” [NYT]
• Josh Stein isn’t actually leaving Gawker; Emily Gould will write for Jezebel; Choire Sicha will continue contributing columns; and recently departed Wonkette editor Ken Layne returned after just a few months off the job. Can anyone escape the tentacles of Nick Denton? [HuffPo]
• The Writers Guild plans to picket Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and Conan O’Brien as the three late-night hosts return to the air. Letterman gets off easy since he struck a deal with the writers and may get a big boost since big stars (like Robin Williams, natch) won’t have to cross the pickets to go on his show. [NYO, NYT]
it happened this week
As thousands of European budget travelers swarmed the rainy city and prepared to gaze at the big crystal ball in Times Square, many New Yorkers had already moved on to 2008. Bill Clinton worried about Mayor Bloomberg’s buying his way into the presidential race: “He could spend $1 billion and hardly miss it,” said the former president.
Some Lawyers Are SadLAW
• Know a troubled lawyer? If you work in the law, you probably do — some estimates put the ratio of depressed attorneys at 20 percent — and a few new Websites are trying help them out. [Law Blog/WSJ, WSJ]
• How not to get out of your marijuana arrest: When the judge lets you off easy, pull out a driver’s license covered in pot. [New York Law Journal]
• So just how lame was Cadwalader’s Wild Wild West holiday party last night? Wildly. [Above the Law]
John Mack Gives Zoe Cruz the Heave-hoFINANCE
• John Mack decided to can Zoe Cruz just three weeks after naming her as a strong potential successor at Morgan Stanley. Two execs, Walid Chammah and James Gorman, will take Cruz’s place as overseeing the firm’s trading and risk operations. [NYT]
• Eddie Lampert has lost quite a bit of his luster: The star investor sometimes mentioned as the heir to Warren Buffett lost millions on a big investment in Citigroup, and the earnings debacle at Sears is only making things worse. [Deal Journal/WSJ]
• A small local council in Scotland managed to trump the Donald’s $2 billion plan to build “the world’s greatest golf course.” It was just never clear on where Trump’s hair would fit in the course. [NYP]
Mr. Big Almost Gets Beat UpChris Noth was accosted by an angry trucker in the Bronx who wanted to know when he was going to marry Carrie. People were afraid to talk to Javier Bardem at the New York premiere of No Country for Old Men because he was so crazy in the movie. Dr. Ruth gave a copy of Sex for Dummies to Ivana Trump and fiancé Rossano Rubicondi while eating lunch at Michael’s. Anna Wintour had a meeting yesterday with Mayor Bloomberg. Ethan Hawke wowed the crowd at Off Broadway play Jump by breaking out a Karate Kid kick during an audience-participation bit. Zac Posen’s mom claims that her son can remember every outfit he’s worn to every party over the past 27 years.
Conan O’Brien Dearly Misses His WritersConan O’Brien seemed a little bit worried before last night’s “Stand Up for Heroes” comedy show to benefit the Bob Woodruff Family Fund, which he was hosting. “It’s little bit different because it’s such a serious tone, and if you see my show, you see what I do,” he said. “You just do the best you can to walk the line. And my job is to sort of get to the humor and get the show started and walk that line as best I can.” If he knew what he was in for, he’d have been a lot worried. Conan’s monologue immediately followed a set of videos of Bob Woodruff interviewing injured Iraq-war veterans and a performance by the Marine band. Good thing he had a team of writers to help navigate that tricky situation! Except he didn’t, because like everyone else in TV, his writers are on strike. It’s a situation that Conan empathizes with, since he was once a writer himself. “The first thing we did in respect is try and shut our shows down and hope it gets resolved quickly before all of us have to start laying off staff,” he said. “We’ve been able to get them about two weeks’ pay right now to buy us some time and hope that the WGA can get things resolved with producers in that time. But, you know we’re taking it day by day. Everybody in this industry is asking each other, ‘What do you think is going to happen? What do you think is going to happen?’ and nobody knows.” He noted one upside to it all, though: “It’s a pretty empty office right now so we’ve taken to running around it naked.” —Amy Odell
in other news
Conan’s Stalker Loves Fellini, JesusWe learn today that Conan O’Brien has a stalker, which is no big news. David Letterman had one before Conan was even a twinkle in NBC’s eye. But what’s interesting here is that Conan’s stalker is a Catholic priest. A totally scary Catholic priest, in the awesomest way. In Father David Ajemian’s letters to Conan, some written on parish letterhead, he comes out with quotes like this:
“I’m told by some of those officious little usher people that you’re overbooked. Is this the way you treat your most dangerous fans? You owe me big-time, pal. I want a public confession before I even consider giving you absolution.”
Wow, we never before thought of confession and absolution in such a terrifying/erotic way. (There are other letters where he issues veiled threats at Conan’s life, which are, you know, less funny, like when he compares himself to the Virginia Tech killer.) Other fun facts about Ajemian? Well, when he was ordained, the Boston Herald said he was a “turned on to religion partly by Federicio Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita.” Oh, yeah, and he went to college with Conan. Yeah, that’s right. Harvard: just as unscrupulous with admission as the Catholic clergy.
Priest Jailed in Stalking of Conan O’Brien [NYT]
Padma: When in Doubt, Suck Face With SalmanA prankster made lewd comments to Ann Curry and Matt Lauer during a media conference call between TV writers and the Today anchors. Banker Rafael Follieri, boyfriend of Anne Hathaway, flew commercial from Atlanta to New York despite supposedly owning a private jet. Padma Lakshmi was overheard telling someone she still was “still trying to work the secret to a great relationship out” hours before she made out with Salman Rushdie at Bungalow 8. (Rushdie also almost fell asleep during a play at the Guggenheim on Saturday.) Ivanka Trump couldn’t get into East Village dive Black and White because she didn’t have an I.D. The smoking hot ex–First Lady of France, Cecilia Sarkozy, is coming to visit New York with her kid.
Richard Gere’s Sell-Buy ConundrumRichard Gere may buy the penthouse in Julian Schnabel’s West Village building, if he can sell his Sullivan Street townhouse for $12 million first. Henry Kissinger, Michael Eisner, and Barry Diller were among the power players who ate at Michael’s for lunch yesterday. Some designers are refusing to use the Earth Pledge’s ecofriendly “Sea Leather” because it’s actually made out of dead fish skin. Ivana Trump’s new engagement ring, from daughter Ivanka’s jewelry line, costs $250,000. Anderson Cooper told Conan that he has a “fatty deposit” under his eye that is visible in high definition. NBC refused to run a Larry Craig–inspired political commercial, though CNN picked it up. (Perhaps it had something to do with Matt Lauer’s interview with the disgraced senator?)
in other news
Jay Leno Thinking of Jumping Ship to Fox?Over the summer, Variety reported on the ways in which NBC was going to try to keep Jay Leno after his contract ran out in 2009, which sparked talk that he might actually stay at the Tonight Show for longer. NBC would do anything to keep him away from a rival channel, including alienating his anointed successor, Conan O’Brien. But today Cindy Adams hints that NBC’s worst nightmares may come true. “Jay Leno is not about to retire. Going quietly into the night to sit home and watch his missus Mavis fold bananas into the Jell-O, he ain’t,” she writes. “He is definitely — definitely — moving to another network. Friends think he’s making a big money deal. But, he says, he’s not one to follow the money. He’s one to follow the access. The best TV airtime. The best spot. The morning line, 2-to-1, is Fox.” If you sift through the verbal effluvium (bananas? Missus? Ain’t?), you’ll see Adams is trying to tell us that Leno’s going to join the dark forces of Rupert. Which would be a step down in stature for him but might be a step up in eye candy. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. He can finally join his long-lost twin, the American Dad!
Leno Eyes Other TV Opportunities [NYP]
Mariah Carey Even Out-Divas Bill Clinton at ‘Save the Music’ FêteEvent planners for last night’s “VH1: Save the Music” benefit were so accustomed to diva Mariah Carey’s lateness that they built in an hour’s delay into their schedule. As a result, the songstress arrived right just in time, joining stars like Conan O’Brien, John Mayer, James Blunt, Jon Bon Jovi, Mya, and Quincy Jones. Hillary Clinton was supposed to be there but sent her husband instead. ““Ladies and gentlemen, I’m doing tonight what I hope I’ll be doing for all of us for the next several years,” Clinton told the crowd. “I’m just sort of standing here for Hillary.” Read more about what the stars said in our complete “Save the Music” Party Lines.
Oh, John-JohnJFK Jr. had sex with escorts and men, but never with Madonna, according to a new book. Another new book reveals that people throw up a lot at Per Se and that the name on Frank Bruni’s credit card is Dirk McKenzie. Al Pacino spits a lot when he acts. A new novel by Megan McCafferty unflatteringly depicts Park Slope moms as, well, Park Slope moms. Cynthia Nixon was concerned that the Tonys were up against not just The Sopranos but also the Puerto Rican Day parade. House-shopping Conan O’Brien was kicked out of a prospective home.
Conan Returns to New York, and Thank God
After a week in San Francisco, Late Night With Conan O’Brien returns home today to the cozy hearth of Rockefeller Center. Like previous trips to Toronto, Chicago, and Finland, the San Francisco sojourn was marked by high spirits and top-notch japery. (Particularly enjoyable: the outing to Intel headquarters; repeated references to Mayor Gavin Newsom’s sex scandals delivered as ingenuous expressions of gratitude to the city government.) The return to boring ol’ Studio 6A is welcome, however, because it means relief from the overeager Bay Area audience.
Conan O’Brien Owes His Career to a Crank
Four things about Conan O’Brien and his show that we’re pretty sure haven’t been published before, which we learned last night at his rare public appearance — with four of his writers — at the Museum of Television and Radio:
• The character “
• Turns out models can speak — at least in Ridley Scott’s new Prada movie. [Fashionista]
• Bottega Veneta has designed the interior of a penthouse suite at the St. Regis. [British Vogue]
• Model Paulina Porizkova has joined the cast of Dancing With the Stars. [Flypaper]
• Naomi Campbell left Premier Models, where she’s spent most of her career, for IMG. [All Company News]
Tom and Katie, Together AgainTom, Katie, J-Lo, and Marc double-dated at Prince’s Golden Globes after-party. And Drew Barrymore and Bruce Willis hooked up at the same party. Diddy tried to pick up Sienna Miller at the CAA after-party, but he couldn’t get in. Cameron Diaz blew up at Jessica Biel for chatting up former boyfriend Justin Timberlake. (Although the Daily News claims their encounter was a bit more jovial.)