34 minutes | Feb 27, 2015
Episode 72: The Unexpected Virtue of Fraudulence
It didn't surprise me that Birdman won Best Picture last weekend. What surprised me is that the movie isn't very good. In fact it's kind of bad. Not, you know, Titanic bad, but around there somewhere. So how does a mediocre movie with schticky camerawork and the most self-serving premise since The Player win filmdom's most coveted statuette? Dirty pool, most likely. I'm not saying that the publicists for Birdman necessarily played said pool, but somebody sure did. I'm talking about underhanded Oscar campaign tactics, kids. There were a lot of them this year. I discuss how I know this in my latest podcast. Also! I covered the run-up to the Oscars. I also covered the coverage of the Oscars. I am tired. My co-host from Chill City needs to talk about the Oscar gowns for a minute and I let him. More of your questions about how Hollywood really works... answered! Have a listen.
24 minutes | Feb 5, 2015
Episode 71: Jennerbender
Morning, kids! I promised a new podcast. Ergo and thusly, here it is. Three whole people have won free copies of my new book this week. (Congrats, three people!) Is one of them you? Listen to this latest episode to find out. What's inside? Well... How about what it's like to buy a car while famous? (Hint: Do you get to take possession of a car before paying for it? Celebrities do!) How about what it's like to dodge, I mean do, jury duty while famous? How about some celebrity dish from Chill City? And how about some very, very, VERY little known dish about Bruce Jenner's latest news? It's all here, my little Fatalities. Enjoy.
26 minutes | Jan 22, 2015
Episode 70: Screener tantrum
So it's Oscar season, and lo! A certain popular historical drama has found itself largely shut out by the powers that be at the Academy. Could it be because the director of Selma is an African-American woman, and the Academy, in contrast, is largely white and male? (That's a silly question. Of course it could be.) But there's more to the snubbing of Selma than just run-of-the-mill, everyday bigotry. There are other factors in play. There are politics. There are sensitivities. There are... screeners. Turns out, much of a film's Oscar chances depend on how many DVD screeners are sent out to key Academy voters, and when. Paramount, the studio backing Selma, apparently didn't send out as many screeners as rival studios did. (And here you thought that all those free, big-screen presentations for guild and Academy voters actually made a difference.) Just how important are DVD screeners to the chairborne masses who vote for Oscars every year? Read this Variety piece to find out more. Or just listen to this brand-new podcast, in which I explain exactly why a media darling like Selma can face a near-total Oscar shutout largely because of DVD screeners... and one sassy Tweet, and, yeah, probably some bigotry. Also in this new podcast: I give away another copy of my book, and disclose the secret airport tunnel that lets some stars avoid public security screenings. Plus so much more (Baby Vegas)! Have a listen.
33 minutes | Dec 4, 2014
Episode 69: Kristen Stewart is lonely
Another week, another two lucky listeners are getting free autographed copies of my new book! A book that's available in paperback or on Kindle here in the U.S. as well as across the pond! Are you one of the two new champions of Hollywood truth and justice? Have a listen to this brand-new episode to find out. (Hint: I answer your questions about how stars open checking accounts and navigate rush-hour traffic. Yes, they do it differently than we do.) Plus! Ever wonder exactly how an Oscar gets won? Truth is, it's like a presidential campaign: You need money behind you to win. As in, millions of dollars. In this episode I outline exactly who shells out, and where all that money goes. (Remember all this as you watch your favorite actress stump on the Oscar campaign trail this month.) Also in this episode: Kristen Stewart recently told the media that no one wants to talk to her because she's famous. Except that there's a hole in her story. And I dig into it for ya.
26 minutes | Nov 19, 2014
Episode 68: We have a winner
I told you I was going to give away free signed copies of my book, and—unlike many a Hollywood publicist—I do not lie to my public. In fact, whenever possible, I double the hell down. On truth. As in, what if I select not one lucky book winner this week, but two? Yep, this week, two lucky listeners wrote in celebrity-related questions that I answer on this week's edition: a) Is booking a ski vacation the same when you're famous? b) What about, you know, birthing? The quick answers: a) No. And b) ...definitely no. Two signed copies of my book are on their way to a) Jessica Carico and b) Katie Basse. Thanks for playing along. Also this week: Co-host Baby Vegas slings a celebrity sighting from deep within the Hollywood privilege hole. Then I offer a way-better celebrity sighting. It's a fresh Cage Match, people! I read your letters in a brand-new edition of our recurring Burn After Reading segment. And I offer an extremely vain Blind Item. Think you know the star I'm talking about? Have a listen.
29 minutes | Nov 12, 2014
Episode 67: Win a copy of your favorite book ever!
My new book is out! My new book is out! Maybe you're not familiar with my conquests in the world of publishing. Maybe you remain ignorant of my bestselling sort-of selling book, which exposes the real secrets behind how celebrities operate. (Hint: Stars are not just like us.) Maybe you've been waiting for such a book your whole life. Well here comes your second chance. The second edition of my book is now out! The Celebrity Playbook gives you all the updated dish on what it's really like to be a star—how to not pay for things, how to not raise your kids, how to not serve time in jail, how not to stand in line for... anything. And here's the best part: You can buy this brightly colored, candy-like volume on Amazon right now. Or you can win a free copy. It's easy. Listen to my brand-new podcast for details on what to do and how to do it. (Or just buy a copy of the book, really. It's pretty cheap. Santa wants you to put it under your tree.) Also in this brand-new episode: A listener wonders what all those random people are doing on Talking Dead. So I find out. Another listener asks whether stars pay for their own trainers if they're getting buff for a role and OF COURSE THEY DON'T STARS DON'T EVER PAY FOR ANYTHING IF YOU READ MY BOOK YOU WOULD KNOW THAT. A third listener writes in to ask why stars get away with bringing their dogs into supermarkets out here. Again, I find out for you. It's all here for you! Have a listen.
31 minutes | Nov 4, 2014
Episode 66: Rene Zellweger's $20,000 mistake?
So, it's no secret that Renee Zellweger looks... different. Radically. (If you care to remember her how she was, here's an old-timey photo of her. I even put a sepia tone on it for an added level of feel-good nostalgia.) The only question remaining: Precisely what did she do, and, more importantly, was this a good idea? You listeners have been writing to me this week with those very questions. So I wrangled a top Hollywood plastic surgeon, John Vartanian, who has famous clients of his own, and asked for his unvarnished opinion. It's not, as they say, pretty. In fact, there's a good chance that she touched more than her eyes when her face... changed. Also this week: I reveal the reason for my unusually long absence. I bait my co-host, Clint Wells, into a Cage Match he thinks he can win. And a Lena Dunham hater lobs a question that I guarantee he is not alone in asking. Have a listen.
31 minutes | Oct 9, 2014
Episode 65: A freakshow... of truth!
Tonight marks the return of American Horror Story, the beloved series that's kind of like a toddler's birthday party: It starts off so charmingly, but ends up a total hot mess by the end of its run. One element of AHS that never fails to disappoint—because it always stays the same, episode after episode—is the opening title sequence. Season four is no exception. In fact the opening titles for Freak Show are so memorable, so mesmerizing, that I had to call the guy who made them to find out how he pulled it off. You can read all of the secrets I downloaded from Kyle Cooper here. But you can get a few extra, never-before-revealed tidbits on this week's Fame Fatale episode, available right here. Also in this latest edition: Baby Vegas gets a question about Baby Vegas. Baby Vegas answers it. A listener asks about potential jail sentences for whoever is responsible for the celebrity nude-photo hacks, and I crunch the numbers. Another listener floats a conspiracy involving Facebook and celebrities. And I finally reveal what drew me to Jamaica a few weeks ago...other than, you know, a free hotel stay in Jamaica. Turns out, a few powerful folks are trying to turn Jamaica into the next North Carolina or Atlanta–film industry-wise, anyway. They plan to start with a three-picture horror franchise based on the legend of—cue lightning—the White Witch of Rose Haaaalllllll. All that and a Cage Match!
32 minutes | Oct 1, 2014
Episode 64: Fall TV is terrible
This just in: Pretty much every single new TV show debuting right now is not worth your time. I found this out because one of you asked, and because one of the greatest authorities on fall TV subsequently told me so. Let the flame wars begin. Just in case you need details—precisely how cringeworthy is The Mysteries of Laura? Is Shonda Rhimes the Antichrist or a mere limb of Satan?—that's what this new podcast is for. Along with this week's co-host, Dan Fienberg of Hitfix, I get down and dirty and explain it all. (Preview: Rimes is doing terrible things to Viola Davis. FREE VIOLA DAVIS.) My listeners also had other TV-related questions: What was up with the credits for that terrible Simpsons/Family Guy crossover? Is there a vetting process for people who want tickets to see a talk show? How does one get tickets to a talk show, anyway? And once I'm there, can I get some hair and makeup done by a glam squad please? (Preview: Good luck with all that.) One word of warning: I may sound a tad weary in this podcast. If you've been following my new Instagram account, you know I've been away in Jamaica reporting on a couple of stories I will be sharing in the near future. And finally: Watch this space! I'll have a very-special thank-you to a jewelry-making genius of a fan, right here on the blog, later this week!
29 minutes | Sep 17, 2014
Episode 63: Keep on earning' and earning' and earnin'
No, people. No, Matthew McConaughey is not hurting for money. Sure, he earned an upfront salary of only $200,000 for Dallas Buyers Club—not nearly enough to keep an A-lister in marijuana and bongos. And yes, he just shot a commercial for Lincoln, part of a multi-year deal that seems—seems—to demote him to the farm leagues, warming the B-list benches with the likes of The Silver Fox. But all that does not mean that McConaughey is somehow lurching into the same financial straits as, say, a Nic Cage. He's Alright Alright Alright. I swear. In this latest episode, I explain precisely why megastars like him are shilling for cars that haven't been cool since 1989. And doesn't necessarily have anything to do with desperation. Also in this episode! Baby Vegas is back and has his own Joan Rivers story. I, however, have a better Joan Rivers story. I explain why stars keep taking nekkid photos, even though we civilians don't even take nekkid photos anymore. Your letters! Read aloud! In a brand-new segment of Burn After Reading! And so much more. Have a listen.
31 minutes | Sep 11, 2014
Episode 62: Hollywood caste-ing
When it comes to red carpet events, Hollywood is kinda like India: There's a caste system. The brahmins at the top get to arrive whenever they want, diss whoever they want, talk to the masses, or not. And the untouchables--fledgling pop singers, wannabe reality sensations, regional beauty queens--scrape and hustle for whatever they can get. A lot goes on behind the scenes of a movie premiere or awards-show arrival schedule. And in this, my latest episode, I break it all down: Why do you hear from some stars when others remain silent? Why does one star arrive 30 minutes earlier than another if they're in the same movie? And why was McDreamy ever relegated to the untouchables category? What else can you look forward to in this edition? How about... The real reasons why Angelina Jolie was able to keep her wedding so quiet, starring this week's co-host and celebrity wedding insider Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar The totally obvious reason why Bill Gates challenged Ryan Seacrest to the ice bucket challenge Why every woman on the planet owes a thank-you to Joan Rivers Have a listen.
28 minutes | Aug 20, 2014
Episode 61: I am Grossly Overpaid! Groot!
Well, look at that. We're at our 61st episode already. That's no small feat, given that I'm starting to rack up mortal enemies. Take the film office for a certain southwestern metropolis, for example. I hear that someone over there considers me formidable, or, at least, enough of a threat to shut out my sources down there. I feel so important! This week's co-host is Friend o' the Show Clint Wells, who, for reasons yet unclear, has decided to play the Kim Kardashian Hollywood mobile game until he either reaches A-list status or spends all his money. Thinking of picking up the game yourself? Be warned. It's addictive. And not necessarily in a good way. Let Clint fill you in. Also! In celebration of The Expendables 3: How to hire your own real-life expendable, for less than seven figures How much Vin Diesel likely earned for his three-word part in Guardians of the Galaxy How the media seemed to know in advance that Lauren Bacall was preparing to shed her very hot mortal coil And yet another installment of my new segment, Things I Learned From Watching The Strain! Have a listen.
27 minutes | Aug 12, 2014
Episode 60: The sexiest hell on earth
Welcome to Episode 60 of my show! A listener has written in asking why "all" of the celebrities are currently on Ibiza, that sexy Mediterranean island that features eight Scandinavian models for every fake Rockefeller in a sweaty silk shirt. In this latest episode, I reject the premise of this question. "All" of the celebrities are not currently in Ibiza. All of the single, horny celebrities with an Instagram account are in Ibiza. And they're attracting others of their kind. It's kind of like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; they're building they're own little nation out there, and the rest of us are just endangered humans whose only advantage is higher cognitive brain function. Also! Wondering why Hollywood is foisting two Hercules movies on us at the same time? Why not one Hercules movie, one Ajax the Lesser movie? Why not throw Orpheus a bone, for chrissakes? Turns out, Hollywood has a long history of releasing two movies with the same theme at the same time. And there are reasons for that. I reveal 'em. Plus! I get to the bottom of what I call the Endless Tentpole Mystery. You tell me whether it's a conspiracy. (It's a total conspiracy.) And finally! I explain, once and for all, why you should never, ever feel sorry for a celebrity who gets photographed by paparazzi after getting her hair did. Have a listen.
30 minutes | Jul 30, 2014
Episode 59: 1 of 2 good things from Comic-Con & the celeb wedding dish Tom Cruise wishes would go away
That's a long headline up there. Deal with it. It's a jam-packed podcast, and that's what happens when you record a jam-packed podcast that's jam-packed with jammy-packy dish. For instance: My co-host this week is none other than Harmony Walton of the Bridal Bar, the celebrity wedding planning company that knows more secrets about star nuptials than pretty much every other person on the planet. You all wrote in with questions about said weddings: Do stars really marry for profit? Who really handles their guest lists? How many marriages are fake? And we answer. So there's that. Plus! One of you wanted to know if anything really worth your time happened at Comic-Con. I found precisely two things. And! The next time your officemate insists that Kim Kardashian's new mobile game is set to make $200 million, tell your officemate to shut her dirty, lying mouth, because it's not even close to true. And I have the numbers to back that claim up. Enjoy.
27 minutes | Jul 23, 2014
Episode 58: Mermaids are totally real
No they're not. But in my latest podcast, my co-host delves deep into the world of fake documentaries, particularly Animal Planet's amazing two-part "scientific" series that drew millions of Americans in the wild, wonderful and completely fake world of fish people. The Nerd Out's Lisa Jenkins admits she's kinda mesmerized by what Animal Planet has accomplished...and reveals just how devious such shows can be. Plus! A listener writes in to ask whether anyone who has ever worked as a production assistant ever gets anywhere in this cruel business of show. The answer is: Yes. There is hope for you, Mother of a Son Who Just Quit College and Moved to Los Angeles. Also! We ponder why tentpole movies seem to be getting longer. Or are they? Or do I maybe need to do more research on this? And! We introduce a new segment bound to please fans of horror or genre TV in general. And Jenkins offers a basketful of celebrity sightings. (If you're headed to Los Angeles and are wondering where the smart celebs really go hiking, this is the episode for you.) Have a listen.
25 minutes | Jul 15, 2014
Episode 57: Know thine Emmy
The Emmy nominations are out! And they're as confusing and poorly reasoned as an episode of The Strain! But fret not, TV watchers. You have questions about why the nominations came down the way they did, and I have answers. This whole episode is dedicated to your queries about the 66th Annual Emmy Awards. Bonus points to me for managing to mention Murder She Wrote, Cher and Julia Duffy in an episode that–I swear–was taped in 2014. Yesterday, in fact. Wondering how Martin Freeman qualifies as a supporting actor for Sherlock but as a lead in Fargo? I found out for you. Confounded by the fact that Jon Hamm looks like he does, and acts like he does, and still has no Emmys? There's a reason for that. And I deliver it unto you. Or maybe you're just in the mood for a truly greedy little blind item. I've got a great one for you this week. Short version: TV hosts aren't exactly brilliant in the math department. Enjoy.
26 minutes | Jul 1, 2014
Episode 56: Mashugana gigolo
Happy week of Fourth of July! Nothing says American independence like showing up at a synagogue and strippin’ down, amiright, fellow patriots? This week’s podcast features a nifty celebrity sighting that, if not red or white, is certainly blue. Find out which star recently shot a film at a synagogue, and used one of the offices as a changing room before settling down and taking a good old, all-American nap under the congregation’s tree. Plus! Casting expert Bonnie Gillespie of Cricket Feet explains the likely real reason why we won’t be seeing Zendaya Coleman play Aaliyah in that upcoming Lifetime biopic. (Hint: It’s got nothing to do with fan backlash or skin color.) And! A listener writes in asking if we’ll ever see another episode of Cosmos again. (Another hint: The universe doesn’t really update all that fast.) Have a listen, my fellow Yankees!
40 minutes | Jun 24, 2014
Episode 55: I'm alive, thanks for asking
I’m back with a brand-new podcast, people! For those of you who voiced concern over the utterly vicious, Uruk-Hai army of a head cold I had last week—and to those three of you, thank you—know that I am back. I am alive. I am ready to, once again, answer your questions about what’s really going on in show business. As promised, this week I dig deeper into the Hollywood Black List, the annual survey of the most popular scripts that, for whatever reason, have yet to make it to the big screen. As Black List founder Franklin Leonard tells me this week, if you’ve been to the movies recently, chances are, you’ve seen a Black List script. Why do so many future Oscar-winning films end up on the Black List? Wouldn’t a project with Oscar potential shoot straight to the top of the production schedule? You’d be surprised. Listen to learn more. Also! Game of Thrones obsessives Sean Serino and Nerd Out co-host Lisa B. Jenkins critique the recent season finale, including the producers' decision to leave out that really big plot point from the books. Inside dish on how children are cast for massive touring musicals. (Hint: They’re children. They're all the same.) Plus! The real reason why someone like Kendall Jenner gets to walk the red carpet at Cannes and you don’t. Have a listen! I’ll be over here. Hacking up a lung. No, no. Go. Go on without me. Save yourselves.
26 minutes | Jun 10, 2014
Episode 54: Never change, Gold Pants
If you've ever wondered why so many pop stars like to compare themselves to slaves–I'm looking at you, Prince–this is the episode for you. Yes, famous musicians are insanely rich, so rich that they can wear mountie hats made by Vivienne Westwood and not lose any of their friends. But that doesn't mean that record labels are beneficent overlords. They're pretty cut-throat when it comes to money, actually. Spurred on by listener James L. and assisted by music industry vet Lisa Jenkins (co-host of The Nerd Out), I dig deep into the cesspool of the music industry to explain precisely how cut-throat we're talkin'. Also this week: Another listener wrote in to ask what this here Hollywood Black List is all about. So I answer that question too. But maybe you're not into the music industry. Maybe you don't care about record labels. Or black lists. Maybe you don't even care about Prince, which would make you a hater of America and all things funky, by the way. Maybe–maybe–all you care about are dudes in gold sequined pants. If that's the case, you have something in common with a certain Saturday Night Live alumna who happened to hang out on a stage with my co-host earlier this month. My co-host was wearing gold sequined pants at the time, see, the very garment you see in this photo. And then.... Oh, just listen, already. It's pure–well, gold.
29 minutes | Jun 4, 2014
Episode 53: Starving artistes
This week I promised you a podcast jam-packed with answers to your burning Hollywood questions, and here it is. Red carpet reporter and reality TV obsessive Lawrence Yee joins me for this episode, in which… A listener named Kaitlin wonders what goes on behind the scenes whenever a star appears on a talk show. (Hint: Absolutely nothing that hasn’t be pre-approved by at least 6 people.) And by the way: The typical talk show guest makes more in a day than many people make in a week. God bless America! Fame Fatale fan Julia expresses grave worry over poor, bony Matt Bomer in The Normal Heart. And I do nothing to curtail that worry. In fact, I disclose that some actors undergo 300-calorie-a-day diets to get that thin. And, yes, says JJ Virgin, nutritionist and author of The Virgin Diet, that’s hella dangerous. Yet another listener asks for advice on resurrecting a TV show that should probably stay dead. Is there anything she can do? It’s all ready for you.