An Open Letter to Hayden Panettiere

tjndc5-5d3hxyu9g3418goj1335_layout.jpgDear Hayden,

Can we speak frankly? Heck, you’re MySpace friends with Suburbarazzi, course we can.

You’ve got a lot going for you, girlfriend. “Heroes” is, like, totally kick ass, and that new song of yours, “Your New Girlfriend,” ain’t so bad either. You looked great at the Golden Globes (even though “Heroes” did get robbed in the best TV drama category!). Rockland misses you since you moved from Palisades to L.A., but it’s been thrilling to see your career taking off.

That’s why it’s been so painful to see you on the road to Lindsey Lohan and Mary Kate Olsen territory. And that’s why, speaking as your friend, it’s so important that you stop hanging out with Paris Hilton (not to mention pole dancing and smoking with her). It’s become painfully obvious that Mizz Hilton is running a boot camp for people destined to be on “The Surreal Life” or in jail for a DWI, and she’s interested in just one thing: turning you into what Steve Carrell dubbed a “ho, for show.”

In addition to avoiding Hilton, remember that Britney Spears isn’t a role model either. And stealing her post-Federline boyfriend, music producer J.R. Rotem, is no way to go making a name for yourself in Hollywood. Ok, check that — it’s a pretty damn good way to get attention. But in this scenario, you come off looking more like K.Fed 2.0’s arm-candy instead of the other way around. Never mind that you’re 17 and he’s 31. The man can produce your new album, but nothing more.

Finally, if you absolutely must partake in underage drinking, avoid boozing it up with gangs of frat boys holding buckets of beer and please spare us the “It was a birthday party” excuse.

So, to recap, no more Paris, less partying, and ixnay on the Britney. And please continue saving the world and being indestructible. And giving us a steady stream of blog material.

That is all.

(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Jason Bateman + Alyssa Milano + Mr. Belvedere + Nintendo = Classic YouTube goodness

Speaking of Rye native Jason Bateman, there’s a great YouTube clip of him hamming it up with Alyssa Milano backstage at the 1988 Ice Capades. The plot thickens when the Super Mario Brothers — on ice, no less — must save the world from the menacing threats of King Koopa, played by “Mr. Belvedere” himself, Christopher Hewitt. Naturally, it’s a shining beacon of ’80s savory goodness.

When I wrote about this for my personal blog, Varsity Basketweaving, here were two of my points:

• I think Bateman is a great actor (seriously!) and nothing conveys this better than the way he is cheesily thrilled to find a “Nintendohhhh!” game system, as if he just found his lost doggie. Bonus points for gushing, “I’d love to play!” while gripping a controller. And the Emmy goes to….

• My absolute favorite part: At the video’s 4:30 mark, after Luigi has vaporized various enemies, check out the Hammer’s half-hearted approach to vanquish the green-clothèd plumber. Just sad. With sad meaning hilarious.

Catching up with the Bateman siblings

Ever since “Arrested Development” got the ol’ heave-ho, there hasn’t been much news on Rye native Jason Bateman. And as for his sister Justine, well, I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything since “Family Ties” (except, of course, the Family Ties episode of “Arrested Development”). But suddenly both Westchester sibs are coming back in a big way.

Jason Bateman is in “Smokin’ Aces,” which comes out this week, and the comedy “Fast Track,” which will probably come out some time in the next 365 day. He’s also taking on more dramatic roles for 2007. The latest project he’s signed on for is “White Jazz,” a sequel to “LA Confidential,” in which he’ll star with George Clooney and Peter Berg. Alas, the original “Confidential” director, Curtis Hanson, won’t be helming the movie, but up-and-coming director Joe Carnahan (who’s also doing the adaptation of Mark Bowden’s “Killing Pablo”) has been attached.

Meanwhile, Justine has joined the cast of the inexplicably successful “Men in Trees” as Jack’s former girlfriend (the one who got away) — and newfound competition for Anne Heche. I know this only because my wife watches the show religiously and kept cheering “Mallory, Mallory” when Justine showed up in a recent episode.

“Berg and Bateman join L.A Confidential 2” [Moviehole]

“ABC transplants Trees” [Monterey Herald]

(Jason: AP Photo/Reed Saxon; Justine: ABC/Sergi Bachlakov)

Mount Vernon native Art Buchwald, columnist, dies

Political satirist Art Buchwald, a Mount Vernon native who poked fun at Washington statesmen and his own failing health, died late Wednesday at age 81.

Via the Associated Press, CBS News reports Buchwald had “refused dialysis treatments for his failing kidneys a year ago and was expected to die within weeks of moving to a hospice … but he lived to return home and even write a book about his experiences.”

I particularly liked one quote from his son, Joel Buchwald:

<blockquote><div>The last year he had the opportunity for a victory lap and I think he was really grateful for it. He had an opportunity to write his book about his experience and he went out the way he wanted to go, on his own terms.


Also, be sure to check out the NY Times “Last Word” video about Buchwald’s death. Skip forward 30 seconds to see how, even in death, Buchwald can still crack you up.

(File AP photo by Evan Vucci)

Jeanine Pirro’s beads

tjndc5-5bwqj13jnte1inccb7n8_layout.jpgApparently the former Westchester District Attorney wasn’t busy enough prosecuting bad guys while she was in office. She also set up a jewelry side business. And now, the FBI is allegedly investigating whether it was illegal. According to a Pirro spokesman, federal agents have interviewed people who bought beaded jewelry from the prosecutor.

The spokesman also told the Associated Press that the business turned out to be a “flop,� but the jewelry was “nice.�

“She bought beads, and she strung them together,” he said. “It was a hobby. If there had been any profit it would have gone to charity.”

He said pieces sold for “maybe $150.”

This could all turn around for Pirro, if reports that she’s inked a $1 million dollar a year deal to host a talk show are correct. I see a beading segment in her future!

Does anyone out there own a Pirro necklace?

[The Journal News]

(Photo: Stephen Schmitt / The Journal News)

Martha Stewart’s Katonah?

Once upon a time there was a Native American tribal leader, Chief Katonah. He died along with his wife and son when, according to legend (i.e. the internet) they were struck by lightning…other sources say it was only his wife and son who were struck by lightning, and he died a short time later of “grief.� Regardless, before he died, the Chief sold a piece of land to local settlers, and part of that land was eventually named after him—Katonah. Yada yada yada a few hundred years—past the Revolutionary war, the invention of the railroad, Teddy Roosevelt becoming president, women getting the right to vote, and Abba debuting—and today, the name Katonah is at the center of a new battle.

Martha Stewart, one of Northern Westchester’s most high profile residents, wants to use the name on a new line of furniture and home furnishings. The domestic diva has applied for a trademark on it, according to The Bedford Record-Review. Intjndc5-5bhvj8ftjig128wy36jw_layout.jpg a story by Neal Rentz, some locals expressed their anger. The co-president of the Katonah Village Improvement Society, William O’Neill, said Ms. Stewarts attempt to “appropriate our name� is a “terrible idea…Katonah is our town, and the name should be available for us to use without restriction.�

According to a press release cited by the Record-Review, Ms. Stewart said the product line “was inspired b not only my own farmhouse and stables but by the beautiful landscape and topography of the region in which I live.�

There’s been no word yet on whether anyone will try to block Martha Stewart’s trademark application. But somewhere, Chief Katonah is surely turning over in his grave.

David Letterman interviews the real Dreamgirl, Diana Ross


The former MoTown Queen, who was the inspiration for the original Broadway production that the movie was based on, said she hasn’t had time to see Dreamgirls yet.When the North Salem funnyman asked her whether she was curious about the film, Ross said: “Yes, I’ve heard a lot about it. I’m going to see it with my lawyers.”

Before you get the wrong idea, Ross is well known for taking her hired help to films. Last month she saw Running with Scissors with her driver and Happy Feet with her gardener. That’s just the kind of stand-up woman she is.

Ross also revealed to David Letterman that she would be “mentoringâ€? this year’s crop of American Idol wannabes. Which is kind of “Circle of Life,â€? the Hollywood version, don’t you think? Ross becomes a MoTown Diva. Hollywood make a movie about her. A castoff from a talent show gets to the opportunity of a lifetime to star in the film and then the inspiration for the movie goes and helps other people from said talent show make it in the entertainment business. Isn’t life beautiful?

Rosie vs. American Idol


Yes, some people might be tempted—after Rosie’s latest outburst on The View against the American Idol judges—to say, there she goes again, chasing another celebrity feud (Donald Trump certainly was, quickly coming to the defense of his “friend� Simon Cowell). I was tempted at first also. Except for the fact that I agree with her 100%. There is a weird fascination America has with public shaming (it’s like the 21st century equivalent of watching a hanging in the public square). And Rosie’s right—a lot of these people are not completely there mentally. Is it really necessary to embarrass them in front of millions? Not to mention the fact that quite a few of them are teenagers. Who hasn’t had delusions of talent when they were 16?And there is something unnerving about watching “four millionaires� (Rosie included Jewel, who sat in on the season premiere) laughing at these people.

You can call me Rosie’s “sister-friend,� but I’m totally with her on this one. And I too have often wondered what exactly is in Paula Abdul’s cup of coke.

“Paula was very thirsty last night, did anyone else notice?” Rosie said yesterday on The View. “Every shot, that woman was sipping the Coca-Cola in her cup,” she said, with a wink. “Towards the end of the show, one eye was wandering.”

As if Lindsay Lohan’s life wasn’t enough of a train wreck, now she’s dating the “Girls Gone Wild” guy


In a rare post about our extended Lower Hudson Valley community, I’d like to briefly look at the new boyfriend of 20-year-old, Long Island native Lindsay Lohan. That man would be 33-year-old Joe Francis, the creator of the “Girls Gone Wild” videos and the fourth horseman of the apocalypse.

On the spectrum of sketchy male suitors, Francis ranks somewhere between OJ and Marv Albert — he may not murder you, but he might sexually assault you with more than teeth and a toupee. Clearly Lindsay didn’t take the time to read Claire Hoffman’s riveting profile of Francis for West, the LA Times’s magazine, in which she describes how he roughed her up, convinced underage kids to indecently expose themselves, and then went ahead and allegedly raped a girl. (That article, “Baby Give Me a Kiss,” is the best magazine story I read last year … outside the pages of InTown of course).

I don’t normally reach out to celebrities outside Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam, but this is a special exception. Lindsay, please, before you find yourself Francis’s next unwitting victim, go find yourself a normal man — or at the very least a non-rapist.

“Lindsay Lohan and Joe Francis get it on, of course” [The Superficial]

UPDATE: According to Us Weekly, Lohan just checked herself into rehab today, Wednesday, at about 2:30pm. She chose the posh Wonderland Center in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon for her treatment. Let’s just hope the counselors there have the good sense to ween her off the Joe Francis addiction, too.

(Lohan: AP/Danny Moloshok; Francis: AP/Mark J. Terrill)

Take note, Suburbarazzi: Rosie O’Donnell jokes wanted for ‘Late Show’

Looks like Nyack resident Rosie O’Donnell has been in the news so often that the writing staff of “Late Show with David Letterman” has exhausted its material and is looking for help from the public to fill out a Top 10 list.

This week’s contest asks participants to come up with one of the “Top Ten Signs Rosie O’Donnell Hates You.” Oh, the possibilities!

Winners whose jokes make the North Salem resident’s Top 10 list win a Late Show Online T-shirt. If you’ve got a punch line, here’s the form to fill out.

My submission: “She sends you an autographed copy of ‘Exit to Eden.'” That would have been funny 10 years ago, when people still remembered that movie. So let’s see what you Suburbarazzi readers can come up with.

All right, fess up, who sent the cookies to Clinton?

tjndc5-5b202yuz0uhahz3hk3i_layout.jpgEverybody knows that 3×3 cookie boxes mailed to the former prez immediately put the New Castle police, the Westchester County Bomb Squad, and the Secret Service into a code-red situation. With the still unsolved roadside killing of the Clintons’ neighbor and an emerging pension-fund scandal, the last thing the local PD needs is more distractions.

So remember, even if Hillary has ordered a few boxes of Girl Scout Cookies (as pictured here), be sure to deliver the Samoas to her Chappaqua home in person. Now you know, and — to invoke the GI Joe mantra — knowing is half the battle.

“Box Sent to Clinton Causes Scare” [NY Times]

(Clinton ordering cookies: Stephen Schmitt/The Journal News)

Name that veiny celebrity!

Obviously, seeing as how this is a blog devoted to celebrities from the Lower Hudson Valley, the person either lives in Westchester, Rockland, or Putnam — or grew up here.

Hint: We’ve written about said person in the last week, and her or she is under the age of 40.

Another hint: This person used to play with snakes as a child.

For the answer (and full picture) go to The Daily Mail.