Robin Williams Bounces Back QuicklyWho is Robin Williams new girlfriend? Which socialite is shipping out of town? And which actress-singer’s voice “doesn’t match her face” according to a Grammy-winning artist? Find out in our daily rundown of the juiciest bits from New York’s gossip columns.
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Robin Williams to Touch Viewers on ‘Law & Order: SVU’Like every other person who has ever performed on Broadway, Robin Williams will be making an appearance on Law & Order: SVU. As everyone knows, SVU is the best of the series’ iterations, especially since the original Law & Order got all those weak new characters. Plus, it stars the best ADA ever — Diane Neal! We’re hoping that Williams brings to the role some of the creeptasticness that he learned from films like One Hour Photo, The Night Listener and Death to Smoochy.
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Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘I’m F—ing Ben Affleck’ Confirms Our Celebrity Suspicions
You know how you kind of wonder whether celebrities are all friends with one another? Like, do they all go to each other’s houses in Los Angeles and play parlor games on Saturday nights? Has Natalie Portman, for example, ever had to do Benicio Del Toro during the charades portion of Celebrity — which required her to point at her friend Scarlett Johansson sitting on the couch and then do a pantomime of having sex in an elevator? Well, we’ve always imagined life in La La Land to be like that. You know, like everyone has sort of all slept together and given one another weird, unfunny nicknames. And sometimes there are moments in pop culture that confirm our suspicions. This weekend had one of them, and it wasn’t the Oscars. No, the biggest clue that being famous is like being on the indoor-track team in high school was actually Jimmy Kimmel’s brilliant musical debut, “I’m Fucking Ben Affleck.” It was, of course, a follow-up to Sarah Silverman’s “I’m Fucking Matt Damon,” and although the musical caliber is a lot lower, the self-loving celebrity rate is off the charts. Click above to enjoy. It’s like Ocean’s Twelve, but watchable.
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The Audacity of Obama’s SpeechwritersMuch has been made of Barack Obama’s speech-making capabilities in the last couple of weeks, and Hillary Clinton has even been accused by some people of cribbing some of his phrases. But is it is possible that Obama himself borrowed one of his signature lines, from a most unlikely source? “I tuned out the NH debate the other night to watch Man of the Year, in which Robin Williams plays a comedian who gets ‘elected’ President,” one reader commented on John Heilmann’s piece about Obama in last week’s New York. One of Williams’s speeches in the film, he noticed, was strikingly similar to one Obama gave in an ad in Iowa: “We are not a nation of red states or of blue states; we are the United States of America.” So we got a copy of both speeches, played them one after the other, and, well, what do you know? Now, we’re not accusing anyone of plagiarism: Like “I’m a uniter, not a divider” before it, it’s a pretty facile construction, one that could have easily just, you know, seeped in. But on the off chance that Obama’s aides are turning to Hollywood for inspiration, we highly recommend studying Martin Sheen in The West Wing. Or Michael Douglas in The American President. Now that’s a man who would sweep the primaries. Click here to watch the video!
Related: The Changeling [NYM]
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Hathaello Facing Another, More Dangerous Hurdle?Gawker just put up a very upsetting item: Hathaello is in danger! Apparently at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation gala last night there was tight security, but Raffaello Follieri and Anne Hathaway felt the need to have their own burly bodyguard. None of the other (brighter) luminaries had personal protection, not even A-listers like Meryl Streep, Diane Sawyer, Robin Williams, or Barbara Walters. As Gawker points out, Anne Hathaway doesn’t usually travel with a bodyguard (we know, because once we accosted her at a party about her New Jersey Eastern all-state choir days and there was no one there to stop us), so it was probably all for Follieri’s benefit. “The weird thing,” explains their source, “was no one was approaching the guy anyway.” Does this mean that there is a hidden threat to their controversial love? Is one of the men (or churches) that Follieri allegedly ripped off going to come after him? Or, as we secretly suspect, is the young Italian exerting a Scientology-like hold over the lovely Anne, refusing to allow her to read bad press about him? That would explain why he’d hire a bodyguard: to keep prying reporters away. That would also explain something we’ve been wondering about for a long time: why the hell she hasn’t dumped him already.
Marked Man: Who Is Trying To Kill Anne Hathaway’s Hot Crazy Boyfriend? [Gawker]
Robin Williams, One-Man BandRobin Williams was in rare (okay, typical) form last night at the premiere of his new schmaltzy caper, August Rush. In it, he plays a Fagan-like proprietor of an abandoned theater, home to a gang of musical orphans (really). We asked him if he ever played a musical instrument in real life. “Yes,” he said, “and I’ve been asked to stop.” Turns out he spent some time playing the sax: “I did a black blues-player set,” he said; then he turned into a black blues player: “Man, you just gotta relax! You gotta make love to it, don’t hurt it, you know?” But his favorite music, he said, is the music of New York. “Look around you,” he exclaimed. “It’s like Gershwin flowin’! It’s got music, girl, everywhere. Uptown, downtown” — he turned into a feisty Latina. “Hola, mira, Mami. You got this thing, and it just keeps you movin’, ju know? You gotta have it, Papi. You know, leesten, leesten. Iss all crazy! You got to have music! And then you have the Russian clubs in Brooklyn” — with this he made some Russian-seeming sounds — “and Jewish music, Vhot, music!? It’s klezmer, what! Music to flee by! That’s why we take the skin off our penis — you gotta move! You can’t travel with that! Then you get in a cab” — he made some high-pitched wailing sounds — “Can you turn the radio down? Osama, please.” At this, the publicist began pulling him away, either because she felt enough was enough with the ethnic stereotypes or because the screening was about to begin. In his wake, however, there was a chorus of laughter. —Ben Kawaller
More Party Lines quotes and photos from the August Rush party: Keri Russell’s an instant cello virtuoso; Tamara Tunie philanthropically screws over her relatives.
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.
Cisco Adler Plops Down Near Another Hot BlondeA-Rod and ur-agent Scott Boras dined at Nello’s. Eva Mendes hopped in the wrong limo. New York’s First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer told attendees of a More-magazine convention that the best advice she ever got was “either piss or get off the pot.” Cisco Adler and Lydia Hearst were cozy at Bungalow 8. Jann Wenner was widely mocked at the 30th reunion party of the Rolling Stone staff from 1977 (everyone gave him the finger in the group photo, and no one drank the Champagne he sent). Joaquin Phoenix hung up on a reporter from Time Out after she asked him what he did to prepare for his roles. Single-again Nick Cannon hung out with a bunch of beauty-pageant queens at Tenjune.
Judd Apatow Gets the Last LaughRight before Undeclared was canceled in 2002, creator Judd Apatow sent a Fox executive a note saying, “I don’t understand how you can [bleep] me in the [bleep] when your [bleep] is still in me from last time.” Christian media-watchdog group Renaissance complained that the female anchors on Fox News wear really short skirts. While taping 30 Rock recently, Tracy Morgan didn’t know his lines, didn’t listen to the director, and got into arguments with cast members on set. Stifler from American Pie and Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite sent out an invitation for their joint birthday party at Room Service to a bunch of modeling agencies. Famed British chef Fergus Henderson is cooking at the Spotted Pig tomorrow. Penélope Cruz and new man Javier Bardem acted “touchy-feely” at the New York Film Festival.
The Return of Peter Gatien?Deported former Limelight owner Peter Gatien might be coming back to the States because he is part Native American. CBS Evening News executive producer Rick Kaplan orchestrated an office dance-off to boost morale. Jewish boxer Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita, from Brooklyn, had his fight at Cipriani Downtown rescheduled because it fell on the Sabbath. Paris Hilton’s crisis PR guy, Mike Sitrick, is the reason she’s been out of the tabs lately, but friends say she can’t keep up the act. Robin Williams went to an AA meeting in Greenwich. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Isiah Thomas hung out at Socialista.
All in the FamilyBee Shaffer and Austin Bryan, the offspring of Anna Wintour and her boyfriend, Shelby Bryan, held hands at Marquee. Harlem congressman Charles Rangel is likely getting a divorce and may be dating other women. The typewriter that disabled author Christy Brown used to bang out his best-selling autobiography (with his left foot, no less) will be auctioned off tomorrow. New York Yankee Jason Giambi took shots at a club. Sophie Dahl and longtime boyfriend Dan Baker Jr. broke up, and Mick Jagger may be to blame. Lindsay Lohan ex Harry Morton is now dating Friday Night Lights star Minka Kelly. Mark Wahlberg and the real-life “E” acted like Vinnie Chase and the fictional “E.” Ronald and Nancy Reagan were once funneled money by a Hollywood studio through an illegitimate real-estate transaction.
Giuliani Not the Only GOPer Who Knows His Campaign Faces ProblemsSome Republicans think his business and the press will keep Rudy Giuliani from running for president. Robin Williams made friends with a bunch of former enemies in the New York Film Critics Circle. Ron Perelman brought rabbis over to bless a plot of land he purchased on the secluded Harbour Island in the Bahamas; locals, having never seen a rabbi, thought they were terrorists. Dita Von Teese left Marilyn Manson because he was partying too heartily with Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, and Evan Rachel Wood. Word association with Forbes publisher Steve Forbes: Nancy Pelosi: “Trouble.” Hillary Clinton: “Future Trouble.” Speaking of Pelosi, daughter Alexandra’s latest documentary features a telling interview with outed pastor Ted Haggard. Claire Danes’ new boyfriend, Hugh Dancy, seems to be more interested in boys than in poor Claire. Simon Cowell prefers Kelly Clarkson to Bob Dylan. Britney Spears went out drinking, shacked up with model Isaac Cohen at the W Hotel on Monday. Bill Nighy prefers his matzo-ball soup without matzo balls. Coke-loving, hooker-loving Pat O’Brien is out at The Insider. Amy Sedaris was listening to “Desperado” when she lost her virginity; an 11-year old Tracy Morgan had “Superfreak.” The guy behind the N.J. sale of Whitney Houston memorabilia may not actually own all the stuff he’s selling. Paris Hilton pleaded innocent to her DUI charge from September. Katie Couric is having a 50th birthday party at Tiffany this weekend. Cross-town goalie rivals Henrik Lundqvist and Marty Broedeur avoided each other at Tao. PETA claims that the makers of POM pomegranate juice fund experiments in which the arteries of male bunnies are severed so that researchers can study the effect of the juice on male impotence.
Stalkers, Anchors, and a Show Tune–Lovin’ GeneralStalkers are threatening Audioslave front man Chris Cornell’s children, prompting him to install a high-end security system. Diane Sawyer skipped a GMA party, either because she was sick or because she’s leaving the show. General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, went to see Hairspray. Christie Brinkley makes wake-up calls at Hyatt hotels. Ellen Barkin didn’t want to work when she was married. Quentin Tarantino has a new girlfriend, who sucked his fingers. Barbra Streisand didn’t like her suite at the Carlyle. Neither Robin Williams nor Jon Stewart is running for president. Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett went to a Titanic exhibit in San Francisco. Cheeta, Tarzan’s retired, now-74-year-old chimp sidekick, wouldn’t sit for an interview, drank Diet Coke instead. Candace Bushnell’s Sirius radio show launches today. Hillary Swank went on vacation at Donatella Versace’s house. Diddy bought an eight-foot teddy bear. Bobby Kennedy’s family likes Bobby. Three West 27th Street club owners also have roles in movies. Jimmy Buffet takes vitamins, not Ecstasy.