It’s a weird week in entertainment news when comedy scares horror. It’s also loads of fun to find out, via lawsuit gossip, which celebrities live next door to each other—and by “next door” I mean, “with thousands of acreage between them.”
It seems that Wes Craven, director of both the “Scream” and “Nightmare On Elm Street” franchises, is suing his next-door neighbor for property damage. Evidently, said neighbor was negligent in tending to his estate’s fountains, springs, sprinklers and waterfalls, causing a “landslide” to occur on Craven’s property. The horror director claims he is suffering “severe emotional distress and anxiety” at the hands of his lazy neighbor. And who is this craven (sorry) criminal who has caused anxiety to the man who makes the rest of us so anxious with bloody-claw flicks? Nobody but Pauly Shore, the “standup comedian” (his mom Mitziowns the famous L.A. comedy club The Comedy Store, where Pauly got his “start”) who broke out in 1990 with the MTV series “Totally Pauly,” in which he played a dude whose shtick was being too strung out on drugs to have a shtick. And now, perhaps his shtick is being too strung out to keep up his lawn. Pauly, I smell a moist comeback on your craven shores!
This juxtaposition makes all the rest of this week’s news seem like a blending of genres, institutions and personalities that have no right to be blended. Did Robert Frostteach us nothing with his poem “Mending Wall”? Good fences make good neighbors, Hollywood! Stop with all this mushing together!
Stop having “exploratory” dinners with MSNBC, Jon Stewart! Apparently, the Comedy Central “Daily Show” host and his agent had some chow recently with some network suits—nothing concrete, everybody just sharing shrimp cocktail and golf handicaps and talking about the future of late-night talk shows. Now, I know we’re due for a shake-up: Conan O’Brien has been announced as Leno’s replacement in 2009, but there are rumors that he might be bought out so Leno can stick around (who likes Leno anymore? Okay, Mom, besides you?)… in which case, Conan would leave the network and his 12:30 a.m. slot would be open. Eh, maybe you should go for it, Stewart. At first I didn’t like the idea of you going to Network, but in this era of satellite, is NBC the megalomaniacal monster it used to be?
Don’t answer that. Tell me, instead, when did “bump” became synonymous with “pregnancy”? She couldn’t hide her bump in her Stella McCartney gown! Watch it, Nicole Richie, your bump is showing! Where I come from, bumps are either things that go ( ) in the night, or things one does in dirty bathrooms off of somebody’s car key. Now we have a new bump to report on, and I have this to say: Katie Holmes, stop colliding in the night with Tom Cruise, or his Xenu-proof clone! Naturally, the actress—star of the hit t.v. show “Dawson’s Bump” and the movie “Bumpman Begins”—is thrilled with her new addition to the family. Somebody quick give me a bump. The Totally Pauly kind.
Or, in lieu of bumps, pass the psychotropic drugs! Or would that upset you too much, John Travolta? Somebody’s to blame for allowing the famous scientologist to collide with a microphone, so that he could say, “I think that if you analyze most of the school shootings, it is not about gun control. It is [psychotropic] drugs at the bottom of it.” Oh, where is my Tony Manero who just shook his gorgeous little tush and didn’t ruin everything by talking?! “There is nothing wrong with stating your opinion if you are asked,” Travolta continued, cravenly. “Everyone wants that right, and because you are famous doesn’t mean you have less of a right.”
Danny Zuko, I’d like to snatch that right-to-be-stupid away from you, and in the meantime, I’d like to prevent Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne from telling the media that their son Jack once shagged Paris Hilton. But it’s too late! Paris Protection Device breached! Damn you, puppy-eater! I’d also like to prevent Rod Stewart from marrying his girlfriend of 9 years, Penny Lancaster, who’s of course 96 years younger than he is. Too late! They married last week in Italy. Foiled again!
In this porous entertainment community we live in, is it any wonder that the buzz is already off and running for Michael Moore’s new documentary, “Sicko”? Apparently, the movie was released online prior to its 6/29 official opening—and it’s unclear whether Moore approves of the leak or whether he believes it was part of a conspiracy to keep his opening weekend numbers down. Ah well, it’s hard to be a famous documentarian and not be a paranoid freak to boot. This entertainment news hound can’t wait for “Sicko”’s theatrical release, when I will eat my buttery popcorn, drink my syrupy soda, feel my arteries clog and escape into a film about the health care industry which has no personal relevance to me at all.Ã‚ÂÂ
Speaking of movie-making and heart trouble, a word to future comedy movie-makers: don’t combine your comedy with lots and lots of money! Evidently, “Evan Almighty,” the most expensive comedy ever made, sucks! The flick ranked a 20% on the tomatometer at rottentomatoes.com, with virtually every reviewer saying it’s a humorless, sanctimonious waste of celluloid. Too bad, Steve Carrell! But that’s good news for all those poor, funny moviemakers out there. Learn the lesson of “Pluto Nash” and “Ishtar,” and keep it cheap!
One collision we’re all glad about: the musical “The Lion King” has finally hit South Africa, where it’s being performed with an all-South African cast. Most exciting is the fact that it looks like Disney is finally going to pay royalties to the family of Solomon Linda, the guy who wrote “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and who died destitute in 1962. Africa and a show that’s been exploiting Africa from afar for years: now there’s a good juxtaposition.
May the South African shores facilitate more harmony than Wes and Pauly have done.
And to all, a good night!