Friday, February 16, 2007


When I as a kid, I had the big Lauren Hutton gap between my front teeth. We're talking Grand Canyon here, even Evil Knievel couldn't jump that baby. I could suck spaghetti through it. (No, that was not a euphemism for anything.)

I finally got braces in the eighth grade to close it. After the braces, I had a retainer but my dog ate it. No, really. At the time, it was purely cosmetic but they felt as I got older, my teeth might have started to move. Even now when I eat corn on the cob, they push apart a little bit.

Lots of people have dental work done for all kinds of reasons, especially celebrities. And then there are those celebs who really should have dental work done. They have the time, the money and the motive.

So, in the interest of research for this blog while stuck at an airport, I googled “celebrity teeth” and similar keywords. Boy, was that a trip. I was astonished to find that one of the most picked on celebrities in the bad teeth column was Kirsten Dunst. So I checked her out. Looks like she forgot to take out the props from Interview with a Vampire.

Tom Cruise wore braces a few years ago to correct problems with his bite, supposedly diagnosed by his son's orthodontist. I think the guy just wanted to say he was Tom Cruise's orthodontist. Apparently Scientology allows metal in your mouth as long as you don't swallow it. I do believe a loose wire pushed through the roof of his mouth and short circuited his brain. On the other hand, he can probably pick up the air traffic controllers from Jupiter, where L. Ron Hubbard's body lies frozen.

This guy is Justin Hawkins from a band called the Darkness

His inspiration must have been this guy.

Then there is Steve Buscemi, a man who shows that image certainly isn't everything. Memo to Steve: Crest White Strips work great and you can get them with a coupon in your Sunday paper.

Clay Aiken appeared on Jimmy Kimmel's show for Valentine's Day, his sixth appearance in 4 years. As usual, the comedic chemistry was first rate. Clay indicated that he had corrected a problem with his front teeth the day before as they were slanting inward. Here is a before and after.

The Zoom dentist must have stepped out of the office to take a call from his Porsche dealer and accidentally left the Zoom on the Zooooooom setting. As Clay pointed out, “they are blindingly white”.

He isn't kidding, here's a picture of his bathroom mirror.

Most fans love his new smile, a few prefer the imperfection of his old smile and small minority are afraid he's “gone Hollywood”. Yeah, the guy who left LA to move back to Mayberry has really gone Hollywood. Actually, it's my hope that he has gone Hollywood. I hope he's got opportunities with Hollywood television programs and Hollywood movies. The kind where the script calls for closeups and eye contact and kissing and..well, more kissing. (That Gabrielle Union chick that was on Kimmel that night too would do nicely. I liked her, she seemed very genuine.)

But in the end, it doesn't matter what I think about his mouth, it's HIS mouth. He may have done it for comfort, dental correction, cosmetic or all of the above. But he still smiles big and bright (very, very bright)

And he still sings like no other. Even when he only has a bowl of candy heart Valentine's candy for a muse.

For more Clay and Kimmel fun, see our other blog called Make Em Laugh.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Whose Life is it Anyway?

Tabloids. We've all seen them. Standing there in the supermarket checkout, getting annoyed that the guy in front of you has a cartful in the 12 items or less aisle. Now, you can get your sleaze electronically too with gossip blogs and even mainstream news sites who have entertainment gossip areas that irresponsibly blur the line between the network reputation and gossip whispers (, anyone?)

My grandmother used to read the tabloids faithfully. But most of it was silly stuff about aliens and two headed baby chimps and dates of the stars. Their version of “photoshops” were so pathetic and obvious, it was more comedy than gossip. Lately and especially in the past few years when software is available to make realistic looking pictures that never really existed, tabloids and online blogs and gossip columns have taken a rude turn. Complete fabrication of story and “evidence”. Intrusion well beyond what the public needs to know. Serial gossiping in which a story or theme of a story goes on and one for months. Cruelty to the point where readers forget there is a person they are talking about and not some figure at Madame Tussaud's.

Blogging has created a world of anonymity where any half wit with a computer can claim to be anything or anyone. Where I can pretend I'm a store clerk at Sak's Fifth Avenue and say that I saw Meryl Streep slip mink lined leather gloves in her coat without paying but since I'm a big fan, I looked the other way. Where copied AIM chats are used as evidence of conversations between celebrities and regular people to discuss drug use, elicit sex, or any illegal activity. The more salacious, the better. Any fifth grader knows that you can take an AIM chat, save it and then edit it to say whatever you it to say. Unfortunately, most fifth graders are smarter than those who read and believe tabloids and blogs. And most fifth graders that I've met are more mature than those who make their living gossip blogging.

The sad thing is there is real money involved here. Everyone has his price so some people's privacy is betrayed by the guy in the network mail room who wants fifty bucks and overheard something out of context, yet passes it on anyway. A disturbed "fan" who passes on a lie as a blind item just to see her story make print. A gossip blogger who makes his or her money by showing advertisers the number of hits they get on certain types of stories can take that small piece of personal info and fabricate an entirely false yet salacious story around it and voila', increased hits and more money for doughnuts. Sources? Who needs sources.

The disturbing thing is radio stations and other avenues that have constant access to the general public report on this stuff as if it were actually true. A celebrity who denies it looks like they “doth protest too much”. A celebrity who ignores it is seen as avoiding it and after all, “silence is consent.” Forget suing, the laws in this country make it harder for celebrities to sue because they are public figures. The vast majority of lawsuits you hear about are against tabloids in the UK.

Writers for Page Six, the New York Post's notorious gossip column admitted to accepting money from certain publicists to NOT write crap about them. Extortion over gossip.

Some narrow minded people may argue that celebrities enjoy the limelight and the perks of fame so they give up their right to privacy. I disagree. If you don't like a movie, then say the celebrity makes bad movies and can't act. Don't pay for another of his movies. But to probe into his private life, usually at a time when he needs privacy or if you really think he/she will sell papers or magazines or bring more hits to your site, make it up wholesale complete with pretty pictures.

Gossip "journalism" has drifted from Elvis Lives to the lives of real people with no regard to truth. And now that has unfortunately crept into real news. But some celebrities are fighting back.

George Clooney refuses to talk about his private life. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair he said

"I want to spend every single night for three months going out with a different famous actress. You know, Halle Berry one night, Salma Hayek the next, and then walk on the beach holding hands with Leonardo DiCaprio.

People would still buy the magazines, they'd still buy the pictures, but they would always go, `I don't know if these guys were putting us on or not."

This past week, Tyra Banks discussed the hurtful pictures and comments that addressed the fact that she's not a waif thin runway model anymore. She is a beautiful woman with a beautiful body but for some reason, even though she's not asking anyone to buy anything from her because of the shape of her body, it's OK to call her names, draw infantile grafitti on her pictures (not to mention that the pictures themselves were taken while she was on her personal time). It's OK to say to young girls struggling with their weight that Tyra Banks is fat as they look at themselves and think “Tyra is much thinner than I am.”

But Tyra is strong and Tyra knows these young girls are out there. So she fought back and told the tabloids and the to kiss her ass. Literally

Clay Aiken has been tabloid and especially blogger fodder for a long time. Most of it centers around the fact that they think he is a closeted gay man, despite the fact that he has said on countless occasions that he is straight. Of course, many stories about Clay say he has never addressed his sexuality which is blatently untrue. I guess it would take them too long to look up his Rolling Stone interview or others like it.

Clay's had photoshopped pictures made up of him as if he trolls gay websites looking for men. He's had fake AIM chats published, despite the fact that all AIM chats can be edited. Heck, you can set up two accounts and chat with yourself and make the two “people” say whatever script you want. He's had pictures manipulated, stories made up around pictures taken in innocuous moments but made to seem like “evidence”. He's had a group of people who find him so fascinating in their hate that they can't walk away but instead spend more time on his career than most fans by feeding these gossip sites ideas. It takes all types but typically consists of people who will lie for fame, money or because they are a few cards shy of a full deck.

But this week, Clay got fed up too. On his blog at the official fanclub site, he indicated he's had enough. While fanclub rules prohibit us from copying over the entire blog, he noted once again that “bull$#@& journalism” (written like that with deference to the younger fanclub members) was once again spinning tall tales about him and perhaps we should “lend them a hand”. He challenged his fans to do the same as the tabloids and gossip blogs. Create a scandal involving him using all the same techniques that they do, whether it be photoshop, audio manipulation programs or making up conversations. He will give a prize to the most creative work.

It's brilliant. In some ways, it reminds me of Clooney's statement. First, show how easy it is to make up this crap so that it is both perfectly believable while being perfectly false and fabricated. Second, create a seed of doubt in everything anyone hears or reads about because you don't know if it was one of the fake ones made up by the fans or the fake ones made up by the lowlife.

How about it Oprah? Let's get Clay, George, and Tyra on your show. You've been a victim of the tabloids too. Talk about how enough is enough and let's get back to important things like Bat Boy.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007


(Clay and Kimmel are on the phone, as usual.)

Kimmel: So...I saw something interesting when I was slumming over on Perez Hilton yesterday. Looks like you’ve been out there advertising your wares again, ya big horndog.

Clay (sardonically): Oh, that's so funny Ah fergot ta laugh.

Kimmel: I gotta say, after looking at this latest batch of incredibly flattering photos, I think you’re going about it all wrong.

Clay (dripping with sarcasm): Oh, rilly? Please tell me how Ah’m messin’ up, since yore such an expert on internet trollin.’

Kimmel: Dude. What are you trying to attract on that webcam, looking like that? Fleas? I mean, for crying out loud -- you look like you just woke up from a long nap and ran out of a house on fire with a head cold. I suppose that’s your idea of spiffed up?

Clay: Jimmy, I--

Kimmel: And what gives with that crappy webcam? Are you telling me, Mr. Millionaire Popstar, that you’re so cheap you won’t spring for one where you’re actually recognizable?

Clay: HA!HA! What makes ya think Ah actually HAVE a webcam? How d’ya know some wacko didn’t jump out in front of me in a hotel hallway with a cell phone camera at 3 in the mornin?’

Kimmel: Oh, so that’s what happened?

Clay (sighs): Yeah, Ah purdy shore. Ah remember Ah thought it was jest a fan. But now, obviously, Ah’m thinkin’ mebbe not.

Kimmel: Where was your bodyguard? What’s his name?...Tyrone?

Clay (laughs): Jerome. An’ he was asleep down the hall. Ah snuck out ta git some Cheez-Its outta the vendin’ machine.

Kimmel: Geez. No wonder you looked so pissed. (disgusted sigh) Your life really IS a Fellini movie, isn’t it. Can’t even go for some Cheez-Its without ending up plastered all over the Internet.

Clay: Oh, it was mah fault, rilly. Ah shoulda known better -- Jerome’s always lecturin’ me ‘bout goin’ anywhayre without him when we’re on tour.

Kimmel: Well, I guess this whole thing has been an education, huh?

Clay: You ain’t kiddin.’ A year ago, Ah thought “Manhunt” was one o’ those scuzzy TV shows where nekkid drug dealers git chased down an alley with thayre faces blurred out. You know, whayre the cops are always drawin’ thayre weapons an’ yellin’ (yells, deep voice) “FREEZE! GIT DOWN ON THE GROUND!”

Kimmel: I love those shows.

Clay: Heh. You would.

Kimmel: Hey, for somebody who’s addicted to Golden Girls reruns, you seem to know an awful lot about those shows.

Clay (protectively): Don't be runnin' down The Golden Girls. Ah jest like ta keep up with popular culture, that's all. An’ speakin’ o’ scuzzy shows, are ya shore ya still want me on yores? Seein’ as how Ah’m such a degenerate an’ all?

Kimmel: Like I keep saying,’s sweeps. I’d have Osama bin Laden on if he could score me some big ratings.

Clay: Nice ta know you’ve got such high standards, Jimmy. But y’know, if ya actually knew whayre he was and DID have him on, ya know you’d git a HUGE audience.

Kimmel: Sure. And then I'd get thrown in the slammer for harboring a fugitive. But I guess it'd be worth it.

Clay: (modestly) Anyhow, he prolly doesn’t sing as well as Ah do.

Kimmel: No, that's a safe bet. Remind me again why you’re not singing on my show?

Clay: Well, RCA wouldn’t spring fer mah band, an’ Ah wasn’t too big on singin’ with a crummy tape, or with nothin’ at all.

Kimmel: Hey, at least you didn’t get stuck with “Feelings” for your next single.

Clay: Thank God fer small favors. That an’ “Havin’ Mah Baby” woulda sent me over the edge.

Kimmel: And me too, if I’d had to listen to it. (slyly) Hey...since Osama is probably not available, maybe I should get Perez Hilton. He’s almost as bad.

Clay: Or Clive Davis. (pause, shrugs) Same difference.

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