Howard Stern


1352910431291_Xfinity_DavesOldPorn_1280x640_Overlay_590_295The great David Attell (above), starring in the little known Showtime show, “Dave’s Old Porn.”

When we tuned in to Howard 100 on Wednesday of last week, we weren’t sure the show would even be new, with the show’s seemingly always expanding vacation breaks.  When we heard that it was, we figured it was to be a one day work week, since Howard stopped doing new Thursday shows with his last contract.  So when we tuned in Thursday we were doubly delighted, both at the prospect of a fresh show, and at the very interesting SNL cast member Fred Armisen, who guested, with a new season of Portlandia about to debut.  Armisen meets both major criteria for an excellent guest.  He’s funny and honest.  It made for interesting radio to hear Armisen candidly discuss having to borrow money while in his 30’s from disappointed parents, his failed marriage to Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss (who told a magazine recently that Armisen’s greatest impression and least employed one is that of a “normal person”), his relationship with Lorne Michaels, and how he is a life long Stern fan who, as a boy, would listen to the show in the mornings with his South American mom.

Better still was Armisen’s willingness to do the Wrap Up Show, which, let’s face it, is greatly enhanced by any outside help it can get.  When Armisen was asked to weigh in on Ronnie’s practice of hopping up on the sink and washing his asshole, his genuine discomfort was priceless.  The holidays are a great time to hear recounted by Howard, whether he is complaining about his Christmas gifts (always classic), or describing his disdain for travel and ill ease when on vacation (also classic).  So when Armisen discussed a row boat he had gotten Lorne Michaels as a present which started Howard on a ‘Howard is unappreciated by the staff who’d be nothing without him’ rant, it gave us Howard at his best: angry Howard.  It was also great to hear Armisen back Howard’s belief that going to Italy is stupid, saying that essentially Howard is right when he says that people go away to a foreign place and immediately begin to watch foreign TV while they plan where they can get their familiar tasting coffee, longing for the comforts of home, like of course, “good toilets.”

The show seems to always hum when celebrity guests are fans of the show, which was also the case on Friday–the rarest of indulgences–when super fan Natalie Maines and long time guest Dave Attell, visited the program.  It seems like it was centuries ago when Howard did a Friday show, and that Robin was absent, who often lends a much needed soft balance, actually enhanced the program, for our money.

In part that is a real credit to these guests, Stern show veterans, who don’t need the buffer that Robin sometimes provides to the reticent.  Natalie Maines, who we do not appreciate as an artist, is an absolutely compelling guest, both because of free speech issues and because she is geeked up on the show.  Natalie Maines is a true lesson in the cautionary nature of free speech, vilified for criticizing perhaps the nation’s worst ever president, and though the Dixie Chicks were right and only exercising their 1st amendment right, it’s also true they have never recovered, and will never recover.

Now obviously it isn’t very smart to disrespect a Republican, Texan president when you are essentially a countrified novelty act, alienating a lot of your fan base.  We doubt, for instance, that Eddie Veder or Dave Grohl would have suffered similarly had they have made similar remarks.  The thing about Natalie Maines that one must always respect is her willingness to speak the truth, which remains undiminished despite her career travails.  It was outstanding to hear her criticisms of Lisa G, who we have absolutely no use for, and which were nothing if not true.  Lisa G is awful.  She is a dried up, chaste spinster, a hack, annoying and overly opportunistic but who lacks the talent to justify it.  Shuli’s and some other staffers’ bitterness at Lisa for cashing in on the show with her tea party/cookie party nonsense is totally warranted.  At least the block parties and other comedy tours offer some entertainment value.  We have to say that we have appreciated, in Howard’s quest for brevity, the consolidation of the show’s daily timeline, insofar as it has diminished Lisa’s boring bit.  Consequently, we have been pleased by John Leiberman’s expanding role because he is a good sport who is good for the show, and funny, which Lisa is not.  Does anyone recall Lisa with that put on bit where she considered sleeping with Ronnie?  Absurd.  First off, Lisa is an old maid.  Secondly, Ronnie?  Perhaps the most unattractive person at all of Sirius–impish, old, foul mouthed, uncouth and grotesque.  When Natalie Maines called out Lisa for trying to get Back Office Radio off the air, Lisa, on the spot, said something to the effect of, ‘well, they make fun of me.’  Maine’s response summed up Lisa’s sorry existence perfectly.  She said, “why don’t you take it like a man?”

BTW, Back Office Radio is actually very entertaining, especially as it comes on a day of the week when there’s no other live programming.  And say what you want about Will or Jason, who we normally don’t love but who has grown on us, they are not opportunistic.  They are happy to be there, and as Jason described last week when challenged to put down his pipe, loathe to disappoint Howard.  You don’t see them trying to capitalize on Howard’s name every which way, or combining shameless money grabs with cheap pandering, like the nonsense about having Howard take the picture for the cover of a book.  Was anything at all more transparent?  In truth, we feel that Howard probably feels a bit sorry for Lisa, and so he is willing to let slide some things that he won’t tolerate from others.

After Artie’s departure, we had felt that the show was foundering a little bit, as Howard and Robin regrouped and readjusted to a show that had one less significant contributor.  We worried a bit for the show’s long term prospects, but soon we saw that it was foolish to doubt Howard, and that the show was as good as always.  Though in our opinion, the more is usually the merrier when we are talking about adding funny people to the mix.  We always like when a person we approve of is sitting in, like for example, Jimmy Kimmel, and so we look forward to those few days a year.  As we also do, of course, with the great George Tekkai, and the often great David Arquette, who brings in an interesting dynamic by his inability to not know when to shut up.  We thought that when Shuli sat in for those days this fall that he was funny and wasn’t overbearing, and wondered if he wasn’t maybe on tap to be a low cost replacement in Artie’s chair.  We guess the chemistry was lacking though, because Shuli hasn’t been back.

Of course, we absolutely love Sour Shoes.  His appearances as in house musical talent have been stellar.  Not just his musical talent either, but the voices and quirks, as well as the very interesting history/background, which Howard loves to probe.  The guy basically comes upon nominal contact with a female, has not been on a date since the 90’s, and lapses into baby talk or Bababooey talk while flipping burgers at Wendy’s.  What could be better?  Sour Shoes would provide a lot of bang for minimal buck, which is obviously important to Sirius, which frankly, has seemed to skimp on talent and on the Stern Show, which is why we suspect that Howard is really down to 3 days a week.  Howard was adamant last year that he had not and would not accept a pay cut, and technically, a reduced schedule at the same rate does not constitute one.  We can also tell that the entire show really appreciates Sour Shoes’ presence there.  To hear Fred be so complimentary of Sour Shoes, or Sal just gush about him, really tells us that he is not only valued but has the right chemistry for the gig.  It’s a shame that Sirius has created acrimony with Howard, denying him his bonus, denying Fred and his daughter access to the One Direction concert, when obviously Fred is not the type to make untoward demands of his employers.  Gary recently talked about how when they all got to Sirius, there was a lot of good will, promise, and optimism, and that “now it’s long gone.”  We really hope Howard is there for a long time to come, but also feel that Howard and his people, that talent in general, needs to be respected, honored, and paid accordingly, and we’ve seen a trend away from that, with Howard being a prime example of management’s lack of respect for talent (another obvious example would be the very despicable NHL lockout).

Below is a link to the uber talented Sour Shoes in another radio appearance, this time with Mike Francesa.  Take a look:

Friday’s other guest, Dave Attell, one of the flat out funniest dark comics anywhere, would be an amazing, if higher profile and more expensive option.  It was great to hear Attell, whom we’ve always loved, and it was also excellent to hear Attell and Howard talk, uninterrupted by Robin, who does not need to play buffer for a comedic genius like Attell.  As great as Howard is mad, he is also great when he takes a fatherly tone with people, in a sort of advisory capacity, as he often does with Sal, as he did with Jason about cannabis, and as he did with Attell regarding his career and finances.  We have to apologize to Attell, as even as big fans of his, we were unaware of his Dave’s Old Porn, which we’ve now quickly sought to become acquainted with.  Whether Attell is joking about his masturbation frequency or methods (‘on an old IBM mission control’), discussing his discomfort with first class flying, citing a “certain level of douchebaggery” among first class travelers, or just being candid about his life and the state of comedy, we were enthralled.  As huge Doug Stanhope fans, we were very interested to hear Attell tell us that Stanhope, and another favorite, Louis CK, are the best in the business.  We also thought it extremely humble of Attell, a comedy lifer, to critique his own comedy, saying that he’s definitely “not great, could be better.”  It too was nice to hear him say nice things about Kathy Griffin, another favorite of ours.

We know that Attell would be a perfect fit on the show in a permanent role, and in fact, would enhance an already great product tremendously.  With Attell traveling with Artie (“The Anti Social Comedy Tour”) though, and so humble and careful not to offend fellow comics, we aren’t sure how comfortable he’d be with what could be perceived by some as taking Artie’s job, though he’d have to be comfortable with the pay, especially since he is losing money on Showtime.  And let’s face it.  Artie has obviously moved on with another national radio show, and it would be very petty of him to stand in the away of Attell, who, frankly is a much better comic than Artie, no disrespect, whether off the cuff or as a standup.  Especially since Artie has no one to blame but himself that he no longer works on the greatest radio show in history.

We’ll conclude with a kind word for Jason and his bid to go straight for a month without herb.  Your predicament has inspired me to do the same, and I too, will have a party when my time is through.

In Solidarity,

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Beth O. (above) as she accepts some bullshit award that we all know should have a name like “Wife of Legend” award.

On Tuesday night, Beth Ostrovsky, or Stern rather, graced the Bravo airwaves to do her ultra nice, painstakingly inoffensive North Shore Animal League shtick, no doubt because Andy is a huge Howard fan, among other reasons.  Most of which also relate to Howard.  We could see them all part of the same Hamptons circle, and Andy did Howard’s show recently, holding his own despite following an impossible act–Sacha Baron Cohen–appearing as himself.  Great stuff.

So we could picture WWHL wanting Howard and with no shot at landing him on the cable show, settling for Beth.  We are not Beth fans.  We have been hard on her in the past, most recently probably when she published her book about dogs which we said was probably stupid.  Beth has been real savvy when it comes to using Howard’s fame to get herself notoriety, entertainment reporter gigs, and nouveau socialite status.  Very savvy for a B model (do not dare call her a super model now) who has always seemed overly nice in an annoying way, but not really very interesting at all, nor particularly beautiful either for the reverential tones which people use to describe her, like she is some sort of Carmen Electra.

But we watched what happened live the other night and were rewarded with perhaps Beth O’s most interesting appearance ever, anywhere.  While her appearances on Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show are so pre-canned and innocuous  with Howard bending over backwards to protect her, and supremely boring for us, Andy Cohen got a gem out of her the other night, although it may have been a remark she’d like to have back.

Andy did a nice job, showing some old pics of Howard, leaving no doubt as to why he is so quick to call himself ugly.  Especially during the NBC years.  Horrifying.  Then he asked her how long they had been together.

“13 years.”

“13 years?”

“13 years.”

So that is Beth declaring that number 13 , not once but twice.  We thought it odd, being the huge fans of the show that we are and having some familiarity with the timeline of Howard’s personal life. And so we hopped right onto the net to check out where 13 years put Howard.

As we thought, Howard was still married to Alison in 1999, the year when Beth and Howard supposedly got together.  They were not divorced until 2001.  Now Howard and Alison were separated in 1999, according to reports.  But Howard often recounts this whirlwind fast lane bachelor period that occurred after he broke up with Alison, when he was “single.”

We would certainly love some clarification on these issues.  Howard, like our good friend Jeff Lewis, has a right to enjoy his personal life, and we are not trying to make him out to be an adulterer.  Moreso, we know there are times when Howard, who proclaims himself to be always truthful, does not tell the truth.  Is this a case of that?  If it isn’t, then Howard essentially met Beth and has been with her from the moment he separated with Alison, in which case, he didn’t have much time for the red hot bachelor period which he often boasts of.

As we’ve also iterated, we are not fans of Beth.  That’s our right.  She’s done absolutely nothing to win us over.  She’s not talented, not funny, not quick on her feet, and not nearly as beautiful as portrayed.  We’ve never liked hearing the stories of how pussy whipped Howard is at her hands.  So this would be an ironic twist to the Howard/Beth love story in the very least, and would provide us with a very concrete reason to justify our distaste for Beth.

Andy should have her back on so that she could clarify (i.e. change her story).  And good job on sneaking in a question from Marianne from Brooklyn.  While we sometimes cringe at how overly gay WWHL is, overall the show has provided some very high quality entertainment.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Brooklyn’s own, Andrew Dice Clay (above), in his dilapidated Entourage living room.

So Dice was on line at the bank, and some jerkoff tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘Excuse me.  Is this the back of the line?’  And so Dice says, ‘No, it’s the front of the line and we’re all standing backwards.  Oooe!’  It’s been a long road for Dice, and no one was more thrilled than us to see the Diceman reconcile with Howard Stern and start getting high profile gigs again a few years ago.  For Dice is our own.  We have been to the club on Emmons Ave. where it all began for Dice in Brooklyn, we’ve seen him perform and bought his records, even fell in love with the oft panned The Day the Laughter Died, and were happy to call Dice a neighbor for a short while in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn. 

So we didn’t like the first Entourage of the season, and we were right not to.  Lazy storylines about love life bullshit and powder puff rehab nonsense with Vince?  If that’s the final year of Entourage, then we walk away very unhappy.  But as we watched last week, somewhere around minute ten, the show came to life like a Volcano, at once giving resonance to Turtle and righting what had been a wayward plotline, resurrecting a jewel in putting Ari back with Dana, and showing us a more reality based side of rehab, with Kim Coates in his reprised role as scumbag producer Carl Ertz, spiraling out of control on a coke binge and in the end blowing his brains out.

We have long admired Koates and more recently, as a hard partying biker tough guy, perhaps the show’s best, on Sons of Anarchy.  It’s a guilty pleasure show for us, and not one that has distinguished itself well enough for the good or the bad for us to write about it.  Still, it’s a decent enough guys’ guy show if one can lose all connections to plausibility.  But Entourage is the guys’ guy show, and having ridden out or reversed its early season weaknesses, we were left on the edge of our seats last week, having done a 180 on the shows prospects, as we at once lamented and savored the fact that the show has 5 episodes left.

The Mrs. Gold/Bobby Flay storyline has given way to Ari’s return to the dating scene, with his initial foray on a dinner date with a pretty, easy young thing who states openly early on that she’s there “to have a good time” and that they will.  Ari, starts out of sorts and somewhat depressed before admitting that he probably will get divorced.  The young girl tells him he will get his groove back, to which Ari replies “Yeah, well Stella did.”

The actress, played by Breanne Racano (hottie), pricelessly then says, “Who?”

Entourage is and has always done a lot to illustrate the generation gap between old school and new breed, usually with mainstay Johnny Drama’s character, but now, doing so with Ari on such a real level is quite well done.  And now, to rekindle Ari’s and Dana’s (Constance Zimmer) flame, who have always had a chemistry that has frankly trumped the chemistry between Mr. and Mrs. Gold is an excellent turn for the show to take. 

Taking Turtle out of that pussy whipped nonsense around Alex, and consequently out of Avion Tequila, gives Turtle substance and also, might just have laid the groundwork for an ocean of regret, since obviously, Avion Tequila is gonna be huge.  Did anyone not wince when Mark Cuban offered Turtle financing for Don Pepe’s, that Turtle refused?  Hopefully, the lad will have a change of heart, but if not, mistakes are part of life, and the show has always been more dynamic when the characters are struggling, rather than living out every poossible perfect fantasy under the sun out in pastry land. 

Perhaps the show’s most dynamic moments were the failed Medellin project and the damage it did to Vince’s bank account and public standing, and the unforgettable conversation he had with Ari when he asked him if Ari thought he was a good actor.  Ari replied that he didn’t sign him because he was a good actor, he signed him because he was a movie star.  It’s that type of hard moment that elevated Entourage from a labored comedy with gratuitous ass thrown in for the sake of the male audience it wanted, to a show that’s really about something, and one that doesn’t always end up wrapped in a perfect bow.

We felt the same way last year with all the turbulence around Vince’s pornstar girlfriend, Ari’s marriage, and E’s new job, and the suggestion that he didn’t have what it took to do it well.  Now the show is firing on all cylinders, so soon after we were so disappointed in it.  And they’ve thrown their old school male audience a bone, giving us back the Diceman, a legend to so many of us while growing up.  Have you noticed that Dice is more perverse than ever, if not sexually, but moreso in terms of his logic, that of a borderline has been egomaniac male diva?

How about devising a way to have unearthed another favorite, Jamie Kennedy, who gets to pay homage to Dice by impersonating him in the context of the Johnny Bananas storyline?  Sticking with Entourage is paying huge dividends.  We’ve told you when it was subpar.  So listen when we tell you that you’d be crazy to miss out on one second of what little remains.

And Entourage does deserve to cash in with a major motion picture.  Who better? 

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/entourage-hbo-breaking-badly/

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Walt, Jessie, Gus, and Mike (above).

Scratch our recent criticisms.  Hey, we’ve admitted to being wrong before, if only on so seldom an occasion.  But with Breaking Bad’s season 4 premiere, “Boxcutter”, we have perhaps never been more happy at our own folly.  With a minimum of dialogue, Breaking Bad has seemed to restore what was to us a lost and past damaged working relationship between Gus, Walt, and Jessie.  And it was the murder of Gail (David Costabile), perpetrated by Jessie, now a full fledged and dirty handed cold blooded killer, that set the whole thing in motion and restored Breaking Bad’s universe to order, even if the “calm” turns out to be brief.

What we liked best about the plot turns we saw Sunday, in the first new episode of Breaking Bad in over a year, was that to us they were plausible for a show in the realism genre, and specifically, for this show, which had almost defeated its own intentions by setting the bar so maddeningly high for itself.  How lucky we also were to catch Aaron Paul, who plays Jessie Pinkman, in a very candid interview this afternoon about Breaking Bad, Big Love, Mad Men and more with John Hein on a new program on Howard101 called “What’s Worth Watching.”  Paul described the surreal nature of filming Big Love in Los Angeles and Breaking Bad in Albuquerque simultaneously, and going from the shirt and tie wearing boyfriend of Amanda Seyfried to Pinkman, our favorite meth head, how the Pinkman character was originally slated to be killed off in season 1, episode 5, and how Vince Gilligan completely switched up the story arc due to Cranston’s and Paul’s um, chemistry.

Paul told great stories about some of the actors he worked with on Big Love, such as Bill Paxton and Harry Dean Stanton, and then offered the highest praise for Breaking Bad actors Bryan Cranston, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, and Giancarlo Esposito.  The two then had a very interesting discussion about whether Walter White, Jessie Pinkman, and Don Draper–AMC’s 3 best leading men–were good or bad people, or whether they just do bad things.  On White, Paul said Pinkman’s former chemistry teacher started out as a desperate man caught up in some really bad decisions, but at this point, he really was a very bad guy.  On his own character, Paul said that Pinkman spent a lot of season 3 trying to live up to a bad person because of the guilt he associated with his girlfriend Jane’s (Kristen Ritter) death, but by the time he finds himself at Gail’s door in season 3’s finale, gun in hand, that the odyssey was complete.  On Draper, Paul was quick to label the Mad Men lead a terrible guy, and not surprisingly professed his love for both shows, for AMC’s original content and their foray into original programming, and for his own show for which he won an Emmy award most of all.

As you may know, we were very concerned here in this space that Pinkman’s character would go soft and that Gail would somehow escape with his life.  That he did not made all the difference for Walt and Jessie, who could have found themselves stewing in waste drums full of acid by the end of Sunday’s episode like Victor (Jeremy Bitsui), but instead, were casually chatting in a fast food joint while Jessie munched on fries and sipped at a large cup of Coke.  But with a minimum of words, Gilligan had orchestrated the demise of Gus’s boy Victor instead, which culminated in the bloody boxcutter scene and Gus’s mandate of “get back to work” because Victor was dispatched to Gail’s apartment, and he, and not Jessie was seen there and could have been placed there by witnesses.

Sunday we saw the incomparable Saul Goodman sweeping his office for listening devices, pretending not to hear Skyler on his office line when she refers to her husband’s job at a meth lab, at which point he calls Skyler a “Chatty Cathy”–all in his first scene–and then, when he calls Skyler back from a pay phone.  No doubt foreshadowing as to the changing landscape for Albuquerque’s leading criminal attorney.  The show’s opening scene, in which Gail tells Gus that he can “only” achieve 96% purity, and a subsequent one in which he tells Gus that the difference between the blue crystal’s 99% and his 96% really was a “wide gulf” were also telling clues that the dynamic duo would indeed be getting back to work.  In retrospect, Gilligan did much to foreshadow one aspect of the choice of saving Walt and Jessie over Victor when he had us watch an uncomfortable dinner date between Walt and Gus last season, when Gus proved handy with a knife in the kitchen.

While Walt seemed very uneasy in the aftermath of recent events in the lab, Jessie, who had murdered in cold blood less than 24 hours before, was well at ease.  Walt, the academic, couldn’t make sense of those events as well as the street wise Jessie, who explained to Walt that at least now they all had “an understanding.”  We also thought that Mike had a better understanding of the duo after watching them dispassionately disintegrate Victor’s body in acid.  While questions persist about Walt’s and Jessie’s longevity with Gus and about Gail’s cell phone and notes being recovered by the authorities, we are more comfortable with Breaking Bad’s direction right now than we have been in over half a season spanning some 15 months.

A lesson perhaps to have faith in your favorite things, or maybe, drug of choice?  Not really ironic considering the page, except when not in reference to a drug but rather, a television show (about a drug).

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, http://www.crackbillionair.com)

A chunky Savannah Brinson on the beach with Lebron James (above).

With Lebron James struggling mightily in the NBA Finals, a rumor has surfaced that his baby momma, Savannah Brinson, slept with Orlando Magic/Washington Wizards forward Rashard Lewis at some point this season when Orlando passed through South Beach.

Over the past two days, the Miami Heat star forward had to deal with scurrilous, Houston radio-based rumors about an affair involving his fiancee Savannah Brinson and Washington Wizards player Rashard Lewis.

Lewis denied those rumors Friday on the same Houston radio station — 97.9 The Box — adding he’s never even met Brinson.

“I have no idea,” Lewis said when asked why the rumors were circulating. “That’s what I’m trying to figure out. … Now I come home and I hear the same rumors. … Those rumors are 100 percent false. They’re not true. I don’t know how they came up.”

A day earlier, a host on that same Houston station reportedly claimed to have “a very reliable source” in the Orlando area, someone who was “all over the Tiger Woods issue” before it became public. This supposed source relayed word of a rumored tryst on South Beach between Brinson and Lewis, a former Orlando Magic player.

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-06-10/sports/fl-lebron-james-girlfriend-rashard-lewis_1_baseless-rumor-savannah-brinson-rashard-lewis

A word on all this, if we may.   Lebron James needs to play a lot better, regardless of whether or not this rumor is true.  His personal life is completely irrelevant.  How much hype can there be around a guy who can not seem to score in the half court?  We are not about to be hard on him, either, though we won’t hesitate to say that Brinson is sloppy looking and wonder why on earth such a star is into little fat chicks.  I mean, is the below picture not of some Oprah like slop?

James had the right to go to Miami and he made the right decision.  Obviously.  Does it suck to be him?  Let’s be real.  The guy is sitting pretty, rich as all hell, and on the verge of collecting a ring.  It does not suck to be him, even if this rumor is true, and we’d guess that it very well may be.  Who knows what, if anything, went on?  And for that matter, what choice does Lewis have but to deny this to the media?

This is not something one owns up to on radio, not even on Howard.  We also think the bit about Lewis reaching out to Lebron James’ stepdad sounds kind of stupid.  By our math, wouldn’t that be Delonte West, anyway?

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/lebron-james-mother-had-sexual-relationship-with-lebrons-clevela-nd-teammate/

The fact that these rumors are introduced, two years running, around James’ playoff struggles is extremely weak on the part of whomever is responsible for suggesting that James has a heavy head, and that’s why he plays poorly, when he plays poorly.  James is in a great position to win the championship.  All the Heat needs to do is hold serve.  But let’s face it.  He’s no Kobe Bryant.  He isn’t even the best player on his own team.  Yet.  But it should happen.  The kid is 26 and lives basketball.

Let’s not act all surprised if the guy is pussy whipped though.  I mean, he is a bit of a pussy.  He actually told the media last month that he felt drained due to a head cold.  And that is not the first time James has cried about the sniffles, either.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Celebrity Rehab’s Frankie (above).

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/celebrity-rehab-good-morning-crackheads-see-rachel-uchitel-camel-toe-pic/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/celebrity-rehab-best-show-on-television-rachel-uchitel-bikini-shots/

We’re slightly less thrilled with the last 2 episodes of Celebrity Rehab than we were with the first few. Rachel Uchitel has not been sporting the short shorts, for one, and Eric Roberts seems to have abandoned his titty tanks.  Roberts though, has been a major emphasis of the show of late, and the drama surrounding the reunion with his step son Keaton, who was interestingly attired in a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “Legalize Gay.” 

Frankly, the focus on Roberts’ personal life is not nearlyas fun or entertaining as the engines that moved the show early on and are so satisfying to us.  Like Jason “Gummy Bear” Davis’s scorched earth policy of nervous breakdown inducing abuse.  In fact, we were very dissatisfied with 2 weeks ago’s cliffhanger ending and resolution or lack thereof, when 4 police officers filed into the recovery center looking for Jason Davis.  We’re still unsure what the cops wanted.  Could the incident be chalked up to some combination of poorly cut video/dead end publicity stunt?  That’s our opinion.  Davis has settled in a bit and calmed down, and though he offered us no highlight reel moments of late, we do agree with the great Howard Stern that Davis is entertainment gold.  In this space a few weeks back we called for Gummy Bear’s own reality show, and this week, Howard said in his return to the air that Davis has a knack for verbal abuse and cutting sarcasm, and is interested in giving him his own show on Sirius XM.  Still, Davis’s best moment of late was when Dr. Drew said that Gummy Bear has “the body of an 80 year old man.”

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https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/howard-on-trip-to-la-crazy-town/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/crack-beth-o-book-probably-sucks/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/willie-nelson-tells-howard-he-uses-vaporizer-instead-of-smoking-marijuana/

A placid Davis, a low key Uchitel, and a calmer but crimped out Janice Dickinson have given way to the family sagas of Eric Roberts, who we feel is far better on the attack than on the mend, and of Jeremy London, who we do not give a damn about.  London’s drama over a tabloid piece planted in the Enquirer by his burnt out and blown out silicon spectacle of a wife, now also at the Pasadena Recovery Center and who is spying on London through the bushes from a separate wing of the facility, is not at all compelling.  As London complains about how the incident has destroyed his “career”, only the following question and statement come to mind: what career, and get that fucking Yankees shirt off.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/yanks-ny-media-out-cashed-in-cliff-lee-pursuit-see-cashman-scale-building-dressed-as-elf-video/

Leif Garrett and Frankie have lent spice to the show in the wake left by the absence of outrageousness from our favorites.  Garrett, a card carrying crackhead, had the group as well as counselor Bob in a tizzy when he got up from their table in a restaurant and announced he should like to have a beer.  It’s even more interesting when several people attempt to explain to the dense Garrett why recovering addicts can’t drink alcohol.  “But I’m not an alcoholic” he continues to repeat while a full air force fleet sails over his head.

Then Frankie and Shelly argue when Frankie refuses to do as the others had and won’t delete the drug contacts from her phone.  Frankie, another dense one, fails to see how not doing so will be harmful to her.  Shelly, clean 14.5 years, tries to explain it to her, to which Frankie declares that there’s really no difference between the 14 years Shelly has clean and the 18 days Frankie has clean.

The highlight of the episode had to be when Mike Starr and Tom Sizemore, Celebrity Rehab alumni and personal favorites who are now clean, talk to the current crop about how the program saved their lives.  We thought about how great it was to see them doing well, as we contemplated the fact that this Celebrity Rehab season is winding down.  We hope Dr. Drew can recruit Uchitel, Gummy Bear, Janice Dickinson, and Frankie for Soberhouse.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

The very funny Artie Lange (above).

Artie Lange, veteran comedian and former regular on The Howard Stern Program, delighted Comedy Cellar audiences in New York City recently by performing impromptu in his unexpected return to the stage.

Howard Stern‘s troubled sidekick Artie Lange returned to stand-up with a triumphant, surprise appearance at the Comedy Cellar over the weekend — his first since his grisly suicide attempt in January.

“He had a great line when he opened the show,” comic Craig Gass told The Post’s Mandy Stadtmiller. “He said, ‘Well, folks, I gotta say I am so glad that Fashion Week is over because I am [bleep]ing exhausted.’ ”

The audience gave the schlumpy 42-year-old comedian a deafening ovation during the two midnight shows he played on Friday and Saturday, following Chris Tucker one night.

http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/artie_makes_em_laugh_again_hF2ISlKH5T7RmneYJHwQwJ

Could there be any better news for Artie fans who have no doubt agonized over the comedian’s troubled plight this past year, which included a suicide attempt?  Well, there could be, but we shouldn’t hold our breaths if we are waiting for Artie’s return to Howard’s show on Sirius XM satellite radio.

Howard has hinted to the audience that an Artie return is not in the cards, and has brushed off callers who have inquired about Artie’s well being of late, usually claiming that he “doesn’t know” how Artie is or how he is doing.  On the Wrap Up Show, producer Gary Dell’Abate recently mentioned that Artie has made overtures to him about coming in as a guest, and that likely isn’t going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

I understand that the Stern staff still feels the weighty burden from worrying about Artie’s health and psyche on a constant basis, and has been troubled by the pandora’s box that an Artie return engagement, or even visit, would open.  But Gary and Howard have been a bit flip in this regard.  Gary especially, who has sort of joked around with Wrap Up Show callers inquiring about Artie–at Artie’s expense.

Gary should recall that Artie took Gary on a USO tour a few years back to Afghanistan, despite Gary having no discernible performing talents, which advanced Gary’s career and did little for the magnanimous Lange.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/robert-schimmel-60/

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https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/kathy-griffins-life-on-the-d-list-returns-tonight-to-bravo/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/southwick-od-now-called-suicide-try/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/shawn-southwick-larry-kings-wife-overdoses-hear-southwick-on-howard/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/kimmel-tells-howard-on-hollywood-party-most-refined-group-of-people-at-my-house-ever/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/stamos-to-robin-do-you-have-to-back-howard-up-on-everything/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/howard-on-trip-to-la-crazy-town/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/crack-beth-o-book-probably-sucks/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/willie-nelson-tells-howard-he-uses-vaporizer-instead-of-smoking-marijuana/

Though Artie might not be appearing on Howard’s show anytime soon, J.D. Harmeyer, who pulls tape for Howard, also travels with Artie as part of his road crew on weekends, and video tapes his shows.  If Artie is getting up on stage at the Comedy Cellar, it can’t be too long before he is scheduling gigs.  If Harmeyer is still to serve Artie in the same capacity, Artie will likely become a very hot topic for Howard in absentia by nature of J.D.’s frequent on air appearances.

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

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