Archive for celebrities

Joan Rivers in stable condition, stops breathing during throat procedure


Joan Rivers via APImage via AP

UPDATE: On a personal note, I am appalled at the tweets I'm getting mocking Joan Rivers' condition and wishing her dead because they were offended by her humor re: Gaza. Or because of her serial cosmetic surgery.

If you disagree with someone, no problem. Hate them even. But to respond to her health crisis with tasteless jokes and vicious comments? Grow up and show some respect and common decency. She's a human being who is suffering right now. Her family is going through a real scare.

I'm being called an "apologist" for feeling this way. Show me where I apologized for anything or anyone. I am calling for civility, not agreement. That's pretty obvious to anyone with the ability to read my words and process them.

Nothing justifies responding to a comedian's jokes, even tasteless ones-- or her physical appearance-- with insensitive, nasty, infantile bile that celebrate her pain and even possible demise. Nothing.

UPDATE: MSNBC calls her condition "stable but critical," mainly due to her age. They're still calling her "stable," and sound very optimistic.

Joan Rivers, 81, was reported to be in critical condition.But now is updating:

UPDATE: E!’s Ken Baker announced on Live From E! that Joan is in stable condition.

Via People:

Joan Rivers has been rushed to the hospital after she stopped breathing during surgery on Thursday.

Rivers, 81, was at a New York City clinic for a throat procedure on her vocal cords when the complications occurred, reports TMZ.

NBC adds more, including an overview of her amazing career. She works constantly, including a reality show and regular stints on the Emmys and QVC.

In interviews throughout the last decade, Rivers said she had no intention of slowing down. 

"I'll only stop the day I die," she told the Las Vegas Sun in 2007

Not yet, please. Thinking all good thoughts.


VIDEO: ALS #IceBucketChallenge can be... challenging



gotta laugh political jokes

There are some very well-meaning celebrities who are taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. And then there are those who appear to be indulging themselves in a Self-Serving Moment of Promo.

Take Les Moonves, for example. He's the president and CEO of CBS. His video happened to appear on his CBS show "Big Brother," which, not so coincidentally, his wife Julie Chen hosts. And where his wife also took the challenge after airing her husband's video. Her douser, by the way, was Will Arnett... of CBS's "The Millers":

What's that saying again? Oh yeah, "It's all in the family." I truly hope their efforts help, but, IMHO, they are also exploiting a good cause.

And something has been puzzling me about the ALS challenge's very premise. Wiki:

A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.

So those who comply aren't donating? Why are the drenched participants proud of that? Isn't the whole point to not only bring attention to ALS, but also to help fund raise? Color me confused. But I digress...

Allow me to introduce my buddy "Special K" to you. She and I both live in sunny California where a major drought is underway. Conservation is a huge issue here, which inspired Special K to come up with this:

She's already gotten negative feedback on Facebook (quel surprise) for injecting some humor into something that comedians and others have already playfully skewered. Lighten up, people. Nobody's anti-good cause here. When you think about it, provoking laughter is already incorporated into the very act of dumping ice water all over the heads of participants, so why not increase awareness with a little more (benign) humor?

giggle laughPerhaps her critics should have taken a moment to read this at the ALS Association site:

Please be thoughtful about water usage! If you’re in an area of the country or world affected by drought, repurpose the water for later use or help spread ALS awareness by becoming an ALS advocate, joining the Walk to Defeat ALS® in your community, getting involved in our fundraisers, or sharing information about this disease via social media. Or you can make a donation instead at

Say it with me now: GottaLaff or you cry.


Mid-Day Distraction: Celebrities Read Mean Tweets



I seldom watch much tv (I'm a Netflix fan), but when I do I try to always catch Jimmy Kimmel. I am really curious to see what's going to happen when Steven Colbert moves to latenight.

In any case, enjoy this mid-day distraction as a break from the real news.


Book Booth: Getting Ready for Summer Edition.



The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

It is the weekend once again and a good time to dream about summer vacation. I've posted several travel ideas the past couple of weeks, but Buzzfeed has come up with more places to consider. Or consider them all. Summer Vacation Travel Destinations

Of course some of us just wont be able to travel this summer and will be having staycations (I think I don't really like that word). Author Emma Straub at Publishers Weekly has some ideas on books to read while you stay at home.

With summer coming soon, many of us think about grilling. And then grilling some more. For this summer, you might want to consider this handy book for your BBQ needs.

For folks looking for a good read this weekend, Shane Parrish at The Week makes the argument for staying off the bestseller grid. There are book delights out there that don't make lists. (And apparently Mr. Parrish has discovered the 25th hour of the day and says he read 161 book last year. Color me envious.) Here's the list.

One anomaly on current bestseller lists is Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century, The Report on income inequality. I haven't read it, but I don't doubt its importance. Thomas Frank had this assessment at Salon and suggests one major lacunae in its analysis. The Labor Union. Read about Thomas Piketty's Capital here.

In this week's cautionary tales, be careful what celebrities you choose to use in any particular novel you happen to be writing this weekend. And certainly don't think of Scarlett Johansson, who gets easily pissed off.

Then there are writers who enjoy appearing on the silver screen. MentalFloss has 25 such examples. A couple that were left off the list include E.L. Doctorow in Robert Altman's Buffalo Bill and the Indians (Altman was the original pick to direct Ragtime, but replaced by Milos Forman) and Dennis Lehane who appears waving to the crowd in the parade that ends Clint Eastwood's film version of Mystic River.

In our search for great book cover art, the Shortlist offered up their 50 coolest jackets. And they are pretty cool.

My hope is that the art of reading is not a lost cause, but after perusing this article from HuffPo, I begin to wonder.

Maybe our hopes for better readers resides in the generations to come. Daniel Dalton gives us some, well, interesting reviews of contemporary young adult fiction over here at Buzzfeed.

Have a magnificent weekend and please let us know what


Hollywood Huckster Meets Hollywood Squares



As many of you know, my book, HOLLYWOOD HUCKSTER is out in both print and eBook form. For an upcoming interview, I was looking for some old footage of celebrities that the real Hollywood Huckster and I wrote for -- and then bang. I hit the gold mother lode. I found a collection of Hollywood Squares that has been compiled with only celebs that the Huckster and I wrote for.

It was nothing more than pure coincidence, but finding it makes me want to share it with you all, to give a sense of that era, who the Hollywood Huckster spent his time with and what he could do with these great talents.

With smiles of pride, I ask you to sample this set of classic clips:

If any of you want to know more about the book, feel free to check it out on (where it rose to #1 on the biographies & memoirs list) or at


Caine Reveals Connery Has Alzheimers


Connery - Caine


Since the story broke on Mail One two days ago, Sir Micheal Caine has come forth on the British Mirror News with a statement that he was misquoted about the condition of his good friend, Sean Connery, by German Newspaper, Bild. The full explanation can be found here: MIRROR NEWS. It is with great relief that I can post this correction as it now has perhaps a happy, or certainly happier, more hopeful continuation. DG

Time marches on, the old replaces the new. Sadly Double-O Seven has become Double-O I Can't Remember.

Across the internet, news organizations are starting to report on what was previously just rumored. Now the stories and coverage seem to be more than that. What's distressing is the horrific symptoms, the diminishing faculties of one of my all-time favorite actors, Sean Connery. And the reliable source of this face-slapping sobriety is none other than an equal favorite of mine, Michael Caine. I've got to believe this is true.

Mail Online

Screen legend Michael Caine says his best friend- 007 actor Sean Connery - is 'no longer in control of his senses' and fears he is in the grip of Alzheimer's.

In an interview with German newspaper Bild am sonntag Caine said: 'One must have serious concerns for him.'

Bild said the loss of his (Connery) memory is 'noticeable' and that only a few close friends and confidantes, like Caine, had access to him.

Individually they have been in amazing films, but their start together was in an entry on my top ten list of all-time great movies, THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING. This classic, directed by equally mesmerizing director, John Huston, marked the first time these gentlemen appeared together in a film. It was magic. They are and always will be Peachey and Danny.

Connery - Caine 2

Sadly Alzheimer Disease strikes so many, robbing them and us of the beautiful lives they've lived. Maybe Connery's membership in that tragic club will be an inspiration to all of us to  help and motivate both the scientists and researchers to march on with their experiments to find a cure. It will come too late for many, but hopefully save so many more in the future.

Let's not take the pressure off of our Congress to continue to fund medical research. And not just Alzheimer's. Cancer, heart disease, Parkinson's, and so many more. This isn't for the James Bonds or Danny Dravots. This is for our mothers, our brothers, or even ourselves someday. No one is above life's game of chance. Let's put the time and money into finding cures now -- not kicking it down the road while Congress debates phony budgets and anti-social legislation. We must keep the pressure on. People first.

If you by some chance are too young, or missed this most classic of Rudyard Kipling tales, then please have a taste with this trailer for the film, THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING. We all can be a king someday -- if we give a little of ourselves every day.


The Rule of Threes


Gary David Goldberg   Richard matheson  resized James Gandolfini

Last night, Hollywood breathed a morbid sense of relief.  To understand it better, you must realize that the entertainment industry is very superstitious.  One of their axioms is "omne trium perfectum" (everything that comes in threes is perfect).

Think about it: blind mice, the R's: (Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic), the Musketeers, the Power Puff Girls, The Dixie Chicks, coins in a fountain, little piggies, biblical wise Men, The Stooges, The Chipmunks, contents in a can of tennis balls, members of Cream,  Three Dog Night, Rings in a binder, the Holy Trinity, the Amigos, Donald Duck's nephews(Huey, Louie and Dewey), My Three Sons and emus' toes.

There’s one that Hollywood fears the most: celebrity deaths.  And as of last night, Hollywood breathed a morbid sigh of relief as it lost Gary David Goldberg. Make no mistake. His loss will be greatly felt.  But his is Hollywood. The home of schadenfreude.  He, along with the late Richard Matheson and James Gandolfini completed the latest trio of tragic losses in Tinseltown.

We all remember Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. Richard Matheson was the iconic sci-fi writer. And now they are joined in memorial by Gary David Goldberg. He was one of the most celebrated and influential comedy writers of his generation – responsible for Family Ties, Spin City and Brooklyn Bridge. Among his awards were two Emmy’s and four WGA awards…  As a television comedy writer, his loss effects me personally and greatly.  He was a writer/producer who I admired and wished I could have worked with more.  His effect on TV sitcoms was immeasurable.  He was a giant -- a gentle giant at that.

Dark suits, memorial services, and Forest Lawn/Hillside Memorial are going to be packed this week.  But for those entertainment industry survivors, there will be a feeling that they have dodged a bullet, for now.  Yes, this sounds unsympathetic.  But this is Hollywood.

For a quick video by Gary David Goldberg about Gary David Goldberg, here you go: