Last night, Showtime aired the documentary Why We Laugh: Funny Women, a follow-up to its 2009 doc Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy. Dozens of female comedians were interviewed for it, including titans like Joan Rivers, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Aisha Tyler and Kathy Griffin, who riffed on what it's like to be a woman in what is still considered (by many of them even) to be a "masculine" job in a male-dominated field.
The members of TVTV (Top Value Television), the 1970s guerrilla video group I cofounded, were among the first to exploit the then brand-new portable video camera. We took them to big events and turned the cameras away from the spectacle and on to the people; almost no one had seen one before, and there were no rules about how to use them, or act in front of them—not even among Oscar nominees like Mike Douglas, Jack Nicholson and Lily Tomlin, all of whom were captured by the group in 1976 for TVTV Goes the Oscars.
Padma Lakshmi turns 39 today; let's hope Teddy remembered to pick her up something nice. New York Deputy Mayor Patti Harris is turning 54. Gloria Estefan is 52. Comedian and actress Lily Tomlin is turning 70. WNBC weatherwoman Janice Huff is 49. Actor Scott Speedman is turning 34. Billy Blanks, the man who brought you Tae Bo, is turning 54. Fall Out Boy's Joseph Trohman is 25. And Dr. Phil McGraw turns 59 today.
Five old media blondes are launching a website for women over 40 and enlisting their closest celebrity friends to contribute! The site is called WowOWow.com, which is supposed to refer to "Women On The Web," and should launch Saturday. It sounds a lot like that other celebrity website, the Huffington Post, except more like The View and less tech savvy — a good deal of the content is submitted via telephone calls, faxes and probably dictaphone cylinders that are then transcribed into digital bits by pitiable lackeys who "speak cyber," as one editor put it. The founders, who contributed $200,000 each, are Post columnist Liz Smith, 85; former advertising execute Mary Wells, 79; 60 Minutes reporter Leslie Stahl, 67; former Simon & Schuster President Joni Evans, 65; and Wall Street Journal Columnist Peggy Noonan, 57. They have wisely recruited contributors like Lily Tomlin, Candice Bergen and token-non-white-lady Whoopie Goldberg. But how can this thing take of with an address like "WowOWow.com?" After the jump, a number of more descriptive and accurate domain names, all still available at the time of posting:
PrivacyWatch celebrity sightings are submitted by our readers, and are posted several times a week, so send them in often. Submit yours to tips[AT]defamer.com (please put "sighting" or "PrivacyWatch" in the subject line so we don't lose them) and tell everyone about the time Mike Tyson whipped out his own camera at the Farmers Market to request a photograph of you.
The LAT notes that the I Heart Huckabees internet sensation—featuring an exasperated Lily Tomlin enduring the c-word, among other spittle-flecked indignities, from her tantrum-throwing director David O. Russell—has now officially "reached the parody phase." (In our experience, that often signals the beginning of the end, but they feel it indicates the leaks are still "gathering steam.") Realizing, as former sparring partner George Clooney recently put it, that such matters can "screw with people's careers", they generously offer an opportunity for the explosively temperamental director's supporters to defend the outburst in their pages, resulting in mostly "Waddaya want—he's a passionate guy!" and "Mind your own fucking business. It's a movie thing"-style responses:
PrivacyWatch celebrity sightings are submitted by our readers, and are posted several times a week, so send them in often. Submit yours to tips[AT]defamer.com (please put "sighting" or "PrivacyWatch" in the subject line) and let everyone know about the time you spotted foul-mouthed movie set mutineer Lily Tomlin on your Southwest flight into Burbank.
By now you have undoubtedly watched the now-infamous footage of Lily Tomlin and David O. Russell's love-in on the set of I Heart Huckabees dozens and dozens of times (if not, hey, there's a video hovering right above these words! Convenient!), delighting anew at every bird flipped in frustration and each heartfelt, profane accusation of directorial incest. The clips' rapid proliferation via the YouTubes prompted the Miami New Times to ask Tomlin what she thinks about having the three-year-old laundry run out on the interweb clothesline for a fresh airing:
Lily Tomlin, American hero, reacts to the recent leak of video outtakes that show her throwing-down with I Heart Huckabees director David O. Russell: "After poor Britney Spears, with her poor little legs open ... I'm not the least bit upset about it," she said. "That's part of the upside and the downside of the Internet." So, so true. We will sit through as many clips of Lily Tomlin as we have to if it means we also get the occasional glimpse of Britney's sad pudendum.
We don't know how or why these two utterly amazing clips of Lily Tomlin and David O. Russell, the headlockingest, Clooney-feudingest director in all of Hollywoodland, sharing a couple of very special moments on the set of I Heart Huckabees (video whose existence on the talent agency tape-swapping black market we first heard about in a Sharon Waxman NY Times piece in 2004—more on that later) have suddenly surfaced on the YouTubes, but here they are, giving us all a taste of the existential cockfight that the Huckabees shoot seems to have been.