Last Friday, Conan O'Brien bid The Tonight Show adieu. Jay Leno will reclaim the "King of Late Night" title in March. But to understand the present, one must know the past: here's how we got to where we are now.
Artie Lange visited Late Night in November 2008, as Conan O'Brien prepared his move to Los Angeles to take over The Tonight Show. Lange did not want O'Brien to leave, and his words about it then ring eerily true today.
• The Casey Johnson saga continues: Yesterday, Nicky Hilton and Bijou Phillips, both of whom were pals of the late heiress, showed up at Tila Tequila's house to take possession of Casey's two dogs. A screaming fight ensued, and the police had to be called in to mediate, since Tequila claimed the two women were taking away the canines to be euthanized. There's some bizarre video of Tila acting crazy, if you're interested. [NYP, NYDN, TMZ]
• Peter Orzsag, the seemingly straight-laced White House budget director (and the owner of the worst toupee in Washington), has been hiding a little secret. It seems he got engaged to ABC News correspondent Bianna Golodryga a few weeks ago only after dumping his previous girlfriend, shipping heiress Claire Milonas, who happened to be pregnant with their baby at the time. [NYP]
• Speaking of embarrassing White House news, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the fameseeking couple who crashed the state dinner back in November, will be collecting $5,000 to host a party at a Las Vegas club next week. [P6]
• The reason Howard Stern regular, Artie Lange, was hospitalized recently: He tried to commit suicide by stabbing himself nine times. Surgeons managed to save him "despite heavy bleeding." [P6]
• Jersey Shore will be coming back for a second season—or at least that's what one of the cast members is now saying. In the meantime, the crew will continue to collect appearance fees for showing up at bars and clubs. Prices range from $3,000 to $7,500 a piece, or you could pay $30,000 for the whole bunch. And just think of all the hair gel that could buy! [NYDN]
• Lady Gaga has signed a deal with Polaroid to become the brand's "creative director and inventor of specialty products." It's a touch unclear what this will entail exactly, but she may develop "imaging products" for the company and market a line of Gaga-branded cameras and accessories. [People, NYP]
• Is Tiger Woods in New York right now? Did he settle with his estranged wife by handing her a check for $300 million? In two pretty dubious stories now making the rounds, a friend of Elin Nordegren says Woods' scorned wife—who spent the holiday weekend at a French ski resort—has been telling pals she got a $300 million gift for Christmas from her estranged husband. Meanwhile, rumors also surfaced that Woods was spending the weekend holed up at New York's Trump International Hotel, where he ordered huge amounts of Red Bull and vodka and was accompanied by a "leggy blond." Alas, the paparazzi camped out outside the hotel never caught a glimpse of him and the hotel staff denied Woods was ever there. [NYDN, NYP]
• Down in St. Barts, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich made it rain by hosting a $5 million New Year's Eve party at his $90 million estate. Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani and Prince all performed at the shindig, and the Russian mogul's party—along with fetes hosted by Larry Gagosian and Paul Allen—attracted a long list of boldface names to the island, including Jay-Z, Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr, Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone, Rachel Zoe, Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman, and Russell Simmons. For her part, Lindsay Lohan spent much of the weekend aboard Abramovich's boat, where she was seen jet-skiing and shopping in a teeny bikini and ginormous wedge heels. She also sent out a rather ominous tweet on New Year's Eve: "Everyone get ready for more (but positive—LOHAN MAYHEM!!!" Sigh. [NYP, People, DM]
• According to Peter Biskind's new biography of Warren Beatty—and some "simple arithmetic" on the part of Biskind—the actor has bedded 12,775 women during his lifetime. Annette Bening must be so proud. [NYP]
Sean Lennon turns 34 today. Sharon Osbourne is turning 57. Newly retired pro golfer Annika Sörenstam is 39. Former Senator Trent Lott is turning 68. Director Guillermo del Toro turns 45. Tony Shalhoub is 56. Jackson Browne is 61. John O'Hurley of Seinfeld and Dancing with the Stars is 55. Actor Brandon Routh is turning 30. C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb is 68. Singer-songwriter P.J. Harvey is 40. And Randy Spelling—son of Aaron and Candy and brother of Tori—turns 31 today. A few weekend birthdays are below.
• Are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie moving to NYC and into a giant apartment at the Apthorp? That's the rumor! [NYDN]
• The good news/bad news for Madonna: She's getting along much better with her ex, Guy Ritchie, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, the reconciliation isn't making Madonna's boyfriend, Jesus Luz, very happy. [DM]
• After six months in St. Lucia, Amy Winehouse is lonely, homesick, and deeply unpopular with the locals. So now she may return to the U.K. where she's totally adored, naturally, [DE]
• Boys will be boys: Leonardo DiCaprio looked like he was "on the prowl" in NYC last week. And Jeremy Piven looked like he was "ogling" Hayden Panettiere the other night. [P6, P6]
• Just when you thought Lindsay Lohan couldn't do anything to surprise you: It seems $400,000 worth of Christian Dior jewelry went missing following an Elle photo shoot in London. The last person to see it? That would be Lohan, who is now being sought by investigators for questioning. [NYDN, TMZ]
• Despite rumors to the contrary, Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone did not get married in Provincetown last weekend. It'll go down later this summer, however. [WWD]
• Adrian Grenier was seen "getting cozy" with Twilight star Ashley Greene. [P6]
• Paris Hilton says she's just getting to know soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. Her definition of "know" is probably different from yours. [Mirror]
- Jennifer Aniston is turning 40 in February, childless and unwed. No one cares except the actress herself, who according to OK!'s source is "at an age where she is thinking with her head not just her heart" and according to Star's source is telling friends "it's my turn now" to have babies in the manner of a certain bitch who stole away a certain man from a certain starlet who is so not bitter and so totally over him. So Aniston is already planning the "Wedding Of The Year" even though, apparently, the groom hasn't even proposed yet?? Getting two tabloids involved is a bit much pressure on poor John Mayer, no?
Forgetting Sarah Marshall star Jonah Hill's initial baby steps into a regular work out routine were thwarted by a nosy photographer. Hill politely asked if the photographer could leave him alone, seeing as how Hill had successfully finished his first block. Unfortunately for all parties involved, the photographer said no and offered Hill the halfway melted Snickers bar in his SUV. Hill continued on his walk, but the ever-persistent photog asked if Hill wanted to make a run to Crumbs in Beverly Hills, adding in that it would be his treat. Hill sighed and continued on with his power walk, then muttered, "Any other day, I'd be there. But you know, I'm working hard not to be the Artie Lange of the Apatow gang."