It looks like Robert "Bob" Jaffe, the Palm Beach social fixture and Bernard Madoff middleman now under investigation by the FBI, could use a couple of bucks. Palm Beach Post gossip columnist Jose Lambiet reports that Jaffe recently turned up at a consignment shop in town with some of his jackets. "We're selling Mr. Jaffe's things right now," says the store manager. "We've got some nice Kiton jackets and sportcoats that belong to him. New, they're about $5,000. I've got one on sale for $895." From Jaffe's skeleton-filled closet straight to you!
Bernie Madoff has been sequestered in his apartment since his bail conditions were modified on Friday, but that's hardly put a damper on the media frenzy. Over the weekend, the Post was kind enough to tally the funds lost by members of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue (or the "Temple of Doom," as the Post describes it), a $2 billion sum that includes a $200 million investment by Ira Rennert, an amount that is about twice what he spent on his house in the Hamptons. The Times offered up an extremely detailed look at Madoff's rise over the years, and revealed that Walter Noel, who runs the Fairfield Greenwich Group, collected more than $500 million in fees from the $7.5 billion he steered into Madoff's hands, a good portion of whuch was rustled up thanks to the efforts of his globetrotting sons-in-law.
If you're excited to read something terrible today, you're in luck! The LAT's Patrick Goldstein has taken time out of his busy, blogger-excoriating schedule to continue his second career as a one-man promo machine for the Samuel L. Jackson/Bernie Mac vehicle Soul Men, and today, he's produced a real whopper. Periodically, Goldstein has used his column to check in with the film's producer David Friendly (also a former LAT writer, and thus easy to get on the phone) to rebut rumors about Soul Men that you haven't heard, but rarely have the results been this dunderheaded:
Welcome back to Defamer Attractions, your guide to everything new, noteworthy and/or intolerable this week at the movies. Another competitive fall weekend yields perhaps the season's biggest blockbuster alongside David Wain's studio breakthrough, not to mention choice candidates for the weekend's biggest disappointment and must-see indie gem. As always, our opinions are our own, but what can we say? We're just in a giving mood!WHAT'S NEW: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa revives the DreamWorks zoo-animal-on-the-loose franchise this weekend in the hopes of pulling down as much as $60 million — which it might manage, considering High School Musical 3's slowed box-office pace in its third week. Universal deftly counterprogrammed David Wain's R-rated comedy Role Models, featuring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott as would-be mentors to McLovin and a black kid whose best jokes you've probably already seen in the commercials. That shouldn't stop it from pulling down around $12.6 million while the screeching Madagascar throngs tear down the multiplex around it. Also opening:Stranded: I've Come From a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains, the reenactment-heavy doc about cannibal survivors of a 1972 plane crash in the Andes; the Holocaust drama The Boy in the Striped Pajamas; and the goth horror-musical Repo! The Genetic Opera. THE BIG LOSER: Maybe "loser" is too harsh an estimation of Soul Men's fate, but let's face it: If it weren't the final entry in both Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes's filmographies, it wouldn't likely fare in the top five on any weekend outside the dumping grounds of January or August. But as cynical, posthumous curios go, it'll draw, coaxing up to $9.5 million and possibly cracking the top three. Whatever sells, we suppose.
Though no one cared enough to actually make it to her funeral, Golden Girls actress Estelle Getty was beloved in Hollywood, where actors and agents whiling down coke benders at 4 a.m. grew to love the misadventures of her sassy Sophia Petrillo during countless late-night Lifetime reruns. Still, that didn't stop the sketch comics at Upright Citizens Brigade from trotting out their impressions of the actress — as well as those of the deceased Heath Ledger and Bernie Mac — during a 72-hour marathon at the theater. According to the NY Daily News, celebrity panelist Brooke Shields wasn't laughing:
Bernie Mac's tragic death sparked a surge of postmortems around the Web over the weekend, with many invoking his role as the bad-ass mall gumshoe opposite Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa. But one perceptive observer commenting at Hollywood Elsewhere noted that the late comedian's passing is the latest in a string of similarly untimely demises for other Thornton co-stars as well:
An update on dearly departed comedian and actor Bernie Mac. His friends are expressing their love for the man and their grief at his passing today. ""Bernie Mac was one of the best and funniest comedians to ever live, but that was the second best thing he did," said fellow comic Chris Rock. "Bernie was one of the greatest friends a person could have. Losing him is like losing 12 people because he absolutely filled up any room he was in. I'm gonna miss the Mac Man."
We interrupt your weekend to relay sad news: Comedian and star of TV and movies Bernie Mac succumbed to pneumonia early this morning at the ridiculously unfair age of 50. Mac seemed an unlikely candidate for crossover success: He never outwardly solicited an audience's love, instead playing on his cannily conceived persona of the put-upon, working-class every-African-American. Despite his imposing size, booming voice, and those angry eye flares, the comedic hook, of course, was his blustery impotence—like a latter-day Ralph Kramden who insisted on referring to himself in the third-person, but who could give a shit if we knew that deep down he had a heart of gold. (We'd suggest he should have played him in The Honeymooners instead of Cedric the Entertainer, but that thing was such a piece of shit it wasn't worthy of his talents. Motherfucker had an appointment with Clooney and Pitt, anyway.) Listen to the bit above about taking in his drug-addict sister's kids—what would become the premise of his underrated Fox sitcom. Of the youngest he says,"That two-year-old—she the motherfucker. She the ringleader. She was sent here by the Devil. She works for the Devil!" Peace, Bernie. You're gone too soon.
Actor/comedian Bernie Mac passed away in a Chicago hospital this morning a week after being hospitalized with pneumonia, his publicist Danica Smith confirmed. He was 50. The sad news comes as a shock since newspaper reports just yesterday stated that he was responding well to treatment and would be released soon.
Bernie Mac's publicist spent much of last night dispelling rumors that the 50-year-old comedian has died. He was checked into a Chicago hospital with pneumonia Friday night, but she says he's still alive and responding well to treatment. A source close to Mac's family, however, describes his condition as "very, very critical."
· The writers strike could result in a windfall for Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, who are reportedly in talks with NBC for the acquisition of blogtastic new online series Quarterlife, which is scheduled to premiere on the MySpaces on Sunday. If the alleged deal should fall through, forward-thinking network president Ben Silverman will announce that once he's out of new episodes of Bionic Woman, he'll run an hour of grainy YouTube footage of cheerleading-competition bloopers in its place. [THR]
· Had enough of the writers strike yet? Good news: a newer, fresher walkout by the stagehands union could be on its way, forcing Broadway productions to go dark. As we've said before: Strike fever, catch it! [Variety]
· A two-hour, crossover block of CSI/Without a Trace episodes brought CBS a ratings victory Thursday night, as viewers flocked to the network to enjoy every moment of their last few weeks of barely differentiated crime-procedural programming. [THR]
· Don Imus earns a multi-million dollar windfall for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos." Nicely played, CBS! [Variety]
· Disney adds Bernie Mac to a magical Old Dogs cast that already includes John Travolta and Robin Williams; Mac will play the part of the take-no-shit character that glowers out from the one-sheet as his harried co-stars are run ragged by the 7-year-old twins they have no idea how to care for. [THR]
· Rosario Dawson hitches her wagon to Shia Labeouf's quickly rising star, signing on for the DreamWorks thriller Eagle Eye. [Variety]
· Fox's late-summer crap (the Hell's Kitchen finale and a new episode of So You Think You Can Dance) easily wins Monday night against other network's rerun garbage. [THR]
· NBC cordially invites the loyal viewers of Today to choke on a new, fourth hour of their beloved morning chatfest. [Variety]
· Paramount rewards South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone for ridiculing their biggest movie star with a three-year production deal. The team has also formed their own company, Trunity, a Mediar company, a division of True Mediar, a Unity Corpbopoly. OK, we get it, you're wacky! [Variety]
· The OC continues to throw new characters at its third season story problems, this time signing up thirteen's Nikki Reed for a four episode arc. Still, should be a better addition than the Preppy Psychotic Statutory Rapist Dean. [THR]
· The ratings sweeps race is looking like a two-horse affair, with ABC and CBS battling for position "down the stretch." To further belabor the metaphor: NBC is still stuck at the gate, humping its dead steed with eyes squeezed shut, thinking of the Friends cast. [Variety]
· "Self-described hot-rod enthusiast" Jon Favreau will write and direct hot-rod drama Johnny Zero for Columbia. We hate to be so cynical, but why do we get the feeling that his assistant was printing out every Google result for "history of hot-rodding" the night before the studio meeting? [THR]
· Bernie Mac is developing an "All in the Family-like" sitcom for Fox. But this time, of course, the Archie Bunker character will be black instead of Michael Rappaport. [Variety]