Thursday, September 30, 2010

You're invited to Tony Curtis' funeral

The public is invited to attend funeral services for Tony Curtis, who died yesterday at home in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada.

The farewell is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at the Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas.

The Palm Mortuary is located in the Palm Valley View Memorial Park at 7600 S. Eastern Avenue, where Las Vegas superstar Danny Gans, who died suddenly at his Henderson home in May 2009, was laid to rest.

Cat's in the bag and the bag's in the river

Bernard Schwartz

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Greg Giraldo is latest comic dying

We hear Greg Giraldo follows Robert Schimmel as the latest quick-witted, very funny filthy comedian to die days after being rushed to a hospital. With Schimmel, it was a car accident; Giraldo overdosed on prescription drugs over the weekend, reportedly "accidentally." Too bad. very sad. Artie Lange should remember that life is precious. And we recall that as a judge on Last Comic Standing this past summer, Giraldo often looked like he'd been dragged out of a crack house without a shower.

Only 44. Went to Harvard. Comedy ain't funny. RIP.

Click here for Greg Giraldo's Facebook page

At least they didn't add mouse ears: Disneyland customizes worker's Islamic head covering

Disneyland, known for its strict dresscode for its "cast member" workers, is allowing a company intern to wear her religious hijab headscarf to work, after first banishing her to the stockroom.

But it's a special, Disneyfied hijab.

Noor Abdallah was hired as a vacation planner over the phone. When the 22-year-old arrived at Disneyland for orientation, she was asked by she didn't mention the hijab (a Muslim expression of faith) and told she would have to take a position with less guest interaction, working in the stockroom until a "customized uniform" could be made, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

She was told that making the customized uniform would take about five months, That's about the length of her internship.

In the meantime, she's wearing a beret over the hijab.

The woman is not Imane Boudial, who filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in August. Imane wants to wear her hijab to work in the Storyteller's Restaurant at Disneyland's Grand Californian Hotel.

Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown said in a statement:

"Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has a long history of accommodating a variety of religious requests from cast members of all faiths -- with more than 200 accommodations made over the last three years and this instance was no different."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Watch David Hull's first solo music video

Forty years after he jumped from rocking high school gymnasiums in suburban Connecticut to worldwide fame as a the teenage bass player for The Buddy Miles Express, David Hull has released the music video for the first single from his first solo album. Pay Some Attention can be found on Soul in Motion, which can be found at Amazon and iTunes among other outlets.

Troll the Tabloid Baby archives to follow the trajectory of David Hull's inspiring comeback, kicked off when he stepped in for ailing Tom Hamilton on tour with Aerosmith five years ago.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Donny & Marie boot Danny Gans' manager

Chip Lightman, the longtime manager of late Las Vegas superstar Danny Gans, has been bounced as producer of Donny & Marie Osmond's show at the Flamingo.

Gans and Lightman brought the show to the Strip venue two years ago, reviving Donny & Marie's Las Vegas career. There have been rumours for weeks that the Osmonds were severing ties with surviving producer Lightman (and the Ganslight company), but everything was confirmed late yesterday in a statement from Donny Osmond:

"The contract with Ganslight to produce our show expires in a few days, and we have decided not to renew that contract. The show will of course continue, and we look forward to a long run. We want to thank everyone at Ganslight for their efforts, and we hope to explore future opportunities with Chip Lightman."

Donny Osmond gave an emotional eulogy at Gans' memorial service at the Wynn after Gans' untimely drug-related death on May 1, 2009. We reported last week that Donny will again host a Danny Gans memorial charity run in nearby Henderson on October 9th.

Lightman made headlines last December, when he contradicted the timeline of Gans' death, stating that Gans' wife Julie told him that Gans had been dead for several hours before she called 911, telling police she just discovered his lifeless body. Henderson Police chose not to investigate the discrepancy, stating "there is no evidence to not believe" Mrs. Gans' timeline. The Las Vegas news media also failed to investigate the circumstances of the musical impressionist's mysterious death.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Leonard Skinner

High school gym teacher and basketball coach Leonard Skinner died today in Jacksonville, Florida. He's the guy who who inspired the name of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

He was 77 and had Alzheimer's disease. He also outlived most of the band.

Singer Ronnie van Zandt, guitarist Steve Gaines and backing singer Cassie Gaines were killed in a plane crash that seriously injured the other band members on October 20,1977. Bassist Leon Wilkeson was found dead in his hotel room on July 27, 2001; replacement drummer Hughie Thomasson died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack on September 9, 2007. On January 28, 2009, keyboardist Billy Powell died at 56. Wilkeson's replacement, Ean Evans, died of cancer on May 6, 2009.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Donny Osmond to host another Danny Gans memorial run

Donny Osmond will once again host the Danny Gans Memorial Champions Run For Life when it on Saturday, October 9, 2010.

The event benefiting the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation will be take place at the Paseo Verde Park in Henderson, Nevada, where Gans lived and died unexpectedly on May 1, 2009. It includes a 5K run, a fun run and walk, live entertainment, food and plenty of family fun.

Donny and the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation will raise money to benefit the children of the Southern Nevada community that have been diagnosed with cancer and other life threatening and critical illnesses.

After the day of competitions, Donny will introduce the Champions Run for Life. Children who are fighting their own battles for life will get a chance to shine as they run, walk, or wheel themselves around a specifically designed course. This is a very special moment for them as they are honored for their courage with the day dedicated to them.

Donny Osmond hosted the first memorial run last year, less than six months after Gans' drug-related death at 52. Danny Gans produced Donny and his sister Marie's Las Vegas comeback show at the Flamingo.

Click here for more information and here to register for the race.

Meanwhile, Gans' souped-up and vintage car collection will be auctioned off September 23-25 at the Mandalay Bay.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tabloid Baby's Mitzvahpalooza photos help convict war profiteer in fraud case

Tabloid Baby has aided in the conviction of body armour mogul and Iraq war profiteer David H. Brooks on 17 counts, including insider trading and securities fraud, stemming from what prosecutors described as corporate looting and stock-trading schemes that made him more than $190 million.

The multimillionaire from Long Island was found guilty yesterday of looting his business to fuel a lavish lifestyle-- including the infamous "Mitzvahpalooza": the $10 million Rainbow Room bat mitzvah where stars inclusing 50 Cent, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Don Henley, Kenny G, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty and Ciara serenaded his coming-of-age daughter.

The New York Daily News reports that:

"As proof, prosecutors showed the federal jury damning photos of Brooks holding court at the staggeringly opulent 2005 bat mitzvah for daughter Elizabeth."

The photos of that bat mitzvah, an embarrassment and shame to the rap and rock legends who were exposed as sellouts for making themselves available like balloon artists or party clowns, were first tracked down and published here on TabloidBaby.com- in November 2005- then republished and broadcast-- with credit-- to this news organization.

(See our original posts and exclusive photos here, here, here, here, and here.)

Brooks was indicted in 2007. Tabloid Baby was not called to testify in the case, nor were our photos ever subpoenaed.

photos © Tabloidbaby.com

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Liberace who?

"When this started 30-some years ago, Lee was still a name. Keeping that brand alive has been very difficult. When Liberace passed away, no one really did what they did with the Presley estate. If you turn on XM Radio, you're going to see a Sinatra station, you'll see an Elvis station. When you look at Liberace, his music is well-played, interpreted by a real talent. But it isn't kept alive the way Elvis or Sinatra's is."

--Jeffrey Koep, chairman of the Liberace Foundation board of directors, on Friday's announcement that the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas will close October 17.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Liberace Museum closing after 31 years

The Liberace Museum, tucked into a strip mall of East Tropicana Avenue two and half miles from the Las Vegas Strip, will close on October 17th, after 31 years in business.

The announcement came on Friday, the week in which a performer known as Prince Poppycock moved to the America's Got Talent finals after performing in a red-white and blue shortpants outfit that was surely a tribute to Liberace's star-spangled hotpants, and the month in which Michael Douglas, who is set to portray the flamboyant showman in a biopic directed by Steven Soderburgh, began treatment for throat cancer.

From Tabloid Baby, Chapter 38:

"...The papers would say it last snowed in Las Vegas in 1990. Wayne and I were in town for that last storm. We'd just arrived to shoot 'Vegas Week' material for A Current Affair. That was when Wayne got Maureen to dress up as a showgirl and I shot a piece on the Liberace Museum that we promoted as the discovery of the little known 'Mrs. Liberace.' The story was true. She was his sister-in-law."

A major recording slipped out this week

Jerry Lee Lewis is not only hanging in but still rockin. Mean Old Man was released on Tuesday. We're listening to the empathetic and rootsy duets album this morning. Nineteen tunes! Download it and send us your review.

Beverly Hills Trader Vic's more prudish than Dubai!

Our exclusive report that the Trader Vic's bar at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills is covering the bare breasts of cartoon Polynesian women on its iconic cocktail menu has caused uproar around the world. The story has been picked up from Los Angeles to London and is sure to be fodder for late night talk show monologues and editorial debate.

Amid the hoopla over the defacement of the pop culture artwork with sloppy splotches meant to be bikini tops, a commenter in the Tiki Room Forum makes a startling observation:

"I was just looking at a Trader Vic's menu I got in Dubai and noticed that the wahines wear two leis to cover their 'boobies'. I thought that was odd, but maybe expected, Dubai is 'liberal' but has limits. Ridiculous to see that LA has even taken it a step FURTHER than UAE!"

There are two Trader Vic's restaurants in Dubai, where Westerners have been arrested for "indecent" clothing at public beaches.

Trader Vic's was founded by Victor Bergeron Jr. opened a small restaurant-bar called Hinky Dink's in Oakland, California on November 17, 1934. As its popularity spread, the menu and decor developed a tropical flair, and Hinky Dink's became Trader Vic's. Thhe first franchised Trader Vic's opened in Seattle, Washington in 1940. Bergeron opened a Trader Vic's location in Hawaii ten years later and in 1951 in San Francisco.

During the Tiki culture fad of the 1950s and 1960s, as many as 25 Trader Vic's restaurants were in operation around the world, all featuring the popular mix of Polynesian artifacts, unique cocktails, and exotic cuisine.



Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Topless coverup at Trader Vic's!

We at Tabloid Baby, as much as anyone, have been delighted by the recent revival of the Trader Vic's brand. Years after our halcyon days in the basement of the Plaza Hotel, we've celebrated many an office party at the late, lamented Las Vegas location and the spectacular new nitery at the LA Live complex.

We are, therefore, quite disheartened by the censorship of the iconic Trader Vic's cocktail menu at its poolside outpost at the Beverly Hilton.

Beautiful native Polynesian gals in blue polka-dot bikini tops? A work of art defaced with sloppy splotches? What a sad, pathetic, cynical sign of the times. What would Victor Bergeron think?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Comedy vet stirred by Jerry Lewis display

Jerry Lewis fans the world over were taken aback and moved by his display of emotion and mortality at the close of the 2010 MDA Labor Day Telethon.

Among them is Dave Sinker, the Emmy-winning comedy writer, comedian, actor, Second City vet and genius behind the legendary, acclaimed Comedy Shrine outside Chicago.

Dave writes:

It has been so easy for people to belittle this man, to poke fun at him, and to trivialize his work. But for me, Labor Day means Jerry Lewis and this telethon. I remember watching it every year as a kid, glued to my tv set when my friends were outside trying to squeeze in one last ballgame in the last few hours of summer vacation before the start of the new school year.

I remember watching it on a black and white tv set.

A parade of real celebrities entertained me. These were television icons, real talent, not reality "talent."

I remember Sinatra reuniting Martin and Lewis. I remember Ed McMahon as his co-host predicting the final donation total. I remember the firefighters, the letter carriers and Seven Eleven executives handing over monster checks ... and my mom sending her usual twenty bucks. And always I recall the playful man-child Jerry with his greasy, jet black, slicked back hair. He never seemed to age.

I've missed the last few years or maybe it's been a decade. The years have flown by faster than those fleeting last hours of Labor Day when I was a kid; the final day of summer.

I caught a glimpse of the telethon this morning. Jerry looked old to me for the first time in my life. He looked every bit of his 84 years. The ten year old boy in me would have thought that by 2010 there would surely be a cure. I think the child in Jerry felt the same way this year. There was more sadness than exhaustion in his eyes at the end of this year's telecast; as he tried to get through the closing number.

It was poignant, it was real, and bitter sweet. Thanks for sharing this video.

Jerry Lewis' last telethon? His wife says not. "Unless we're putting him in the ground."

The spectacle of 84-year-old Jerry Lewis losing his composure during the finale of his 45th national Labor Day Telethon was the kind of reality television that cut right through the canned, faked standard TV fare. It was uncomfortable and unpredictable-- in its own way like Jerry during his sweaty, gassed-back Percodan jag heights of the Sixties and made even more urgent when producers in Los Angeles decided to cut away from the live moment, only to play the historic scene ninety minutes after it occurred.

The question is whether this will turn out to be Jerry Lewis' final telethon. Will Jerry Lewis be back in 2011? In his first-person backstage account for the Las Vegas Sun, John Katsilometes has a poignant and haunting answer from Jerry's wife, Sam:

“Oh, of course. Unless we are...“ She pauses, then says, “...putting him in the ground, he’ll be here.”