EXCLUSIVE: Fred Norris on Howard Stern, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Stevie Wonder

king-norris01.jpgIt’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to sit down and bust out the transcript from my exclusive interview with Howard Stern sidekick Fred Norris, but it’s not something I wanted to merely gloss over.

As you might recall, Norris was in Eastchester on Dec. 8 with his rock trio, King Norris, to perform at Mickey Spillane’s. In between sets, Norris (far right in photo) checked out a couple of rounds of the Mayweather-Hatton boxing match with drummer Frank Fallon on the second floor of the restaurant and chatted with fans and bandmates.

The same night, Norris was missing out on Howard 100 News correspondent Lisa G’s cookie party, which was being broadcast live on Sirius channel 100 — seriously! — while he was prepping for his show. Norris said he didn’t regret missing it.


You know what? As long as Lisa G. doesn’t miss me too badly, I think I made the better choice of coming up to Eastchester. It seemed like the right thing to do.


Check out the rest of my exclusive interview with Norris after the break. In it, he discusses his 28-year working relationship with Howard Stern, his ideal guest for the show, and the chances of the “Win Fred’s Money” trivia contest returning.

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Sorkin’s ‘Farnsworth Invention’ likened to ‘an animated Wikipedia entry’

farnsworth.jpgIt’s a good thing Aaron Sorkin is Jewish, because he got the equivalent of a half dozen lumps of critic coal after the debut of his new Broadway play, “The Farnsworth Invention,” which came out at the beginning of this month.

The play is about the birth of the modern TV set and let’s just say that it was met with about as much warmth as Sorkin’s last foray into TV land, “Studio 60.”

NY Times critic Ben Brantley ripped the Scarsdale native a new one, comparing the production to “a classroom presentation on a seven-figure budget.” Actually it was even harsher than that:

<blockquote><div>With billionaire parents now producing bar mitzvah celebrations and sweet-16 parties as if they were major motion pictures, it’s only a matter of time before this spare-no-expense approach is applied to their kids’ school projects. The resulting effort might well be something like ‘The Farnsworth Invention.'</div></blockquote>

He goes on to say “you’re likely to leave ‘The Farnsworth Invention’ feeling that you have just watched an animated Wikipedia entry, fleshed out with the sort of anecdotal scenes that figure in “re-enactmentsâ€? on E! channel documentaries and true-crime shows.”

Slate wasn’t any nicer: “It’s typical that Sorkin wrings optimal tension from the mission-control countdown—and also that the play ends before liftoff.”

Fortunately, there was one holiday surprise for the LoHud native: “Charlie Wilson’s War” nabbed a Golden Globe nomination for best screenplay. Undoubtedly that means his chances at winning his first Academy Award are rising, too. Ho, ho, ho.

(‘Farnsworth Invention’ photo of Jimmi Simpson, left, as Philo T. Farnsworth and Hank Azaria as David Sarnoff; AP Photo/Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Joan Marcus)

Last-minute stocking stuffer tip: Trump cologne on clearance at TJMaxx

Yes, you know it’s a sign of your falling celebrity cred with your over-hyped fragrance, like everything else in your over-hyped empire, arrives in the bargain bins with a stickered price of $8, down from the suggested retail of $48.

As BloggingStocks summed it up: “The signs have been there for awhile: rampant overexposure, a feud with Rosie O’Donnell, declining ratings on ‘The Apprentice,’ a falling stock price on Trump Entertainment Resorts, a terrible book with the clown of personal finance, Robert Kiyosaki, and an appearance on World Wrestling Entertainment. But now it’s all over.”

People of the Year — 7. Leona Helmsley & Her Dog

leonahelmsley.jpgAfter the billionaire hotelier died in August and was laid to rest alongside her husband, Harry, in a $1.4-million mausoleum in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone thought the “Queen of Mean� could cause no more trouble. Everyone was wrong. In Helmsley’s will, in addition to leaving two of her grandchildren zilch, she gave $12 million to her dog, a beloved Maltese named—you guessed it—Trouble. She also requested that the pooch be buried beside her when his time comes.

Prediction for 2008: In September, a state official declared that it’s unlawful for animals to be buried in cemeteries for humans. Sorry, Leona. Commence rolling over.

Adapted from “People of the Year,� InTown Westchester, December 2007

(AP Photo/Jennifer Graylock)

EXCLUSIVE: Fanning the Flames with Fire


Over the summer, the Nyack-based rapper Lucky Me drew attention to his music by talking about drugs, Uggs, and slices of pizza in New City. When we included Lucky Me as one of our People of the Year, several readers informed us of another incendiary act from Nyack—Fire.

The 23-year-old, raspy voiced artist (Gregory Dubuisson on the dotted line) has been penning rhymes since he was 12-years-old and started passing out demo CDs back in his days at Nyack High School. He launched a MySpace page last year, which connected him to several promoters who got him gigs in Manhattan and Atlantic City, opening for Saigon at one point (Entourage fans will remember Saigon, who lives in Nanuet, as Turtle’s protégé). Fire has a deliberate, confident flow, and a gravelly voice that exudes character, but a few of the themes that pop up in his songs—sex, violence, contempt for the law—are bound to cause a stir among some Nyack residents. Especially nettlesome is a song where Fire slams the police, repeating a refrain that talks about proffering an insolent middle finger and a gesturing with his crotch. But more on that after the jump.
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‘Celebrity Apprentice’ NOT bumped for college football or ‘Grey’s’


UPDATE: Turns out that the premiere of “Celebrity Apprentice” will take place on Jan. 3 after all, according to this press release. One story on the Hollywood Reporter speculates that the initial move wasn’t to avoid football, but rather “Grey’s Anatomy.” Now that ABC has said the “Grey’s” episode will air on Jan. 10 instead (it’s the last original one ABC has in the well, which has dried up due to the writer’s strike), NBC responded by returning Trump to the Jan. 3 spot.

According to BuddyTV, the premiere of “The Apprentice: Celebrity Edition” (or “Celebrity Apprentice” or “Celebrity Edition Apprentice” or “Has Beens at a Lemonade Stand” or whatever it’s being called these days) has been delayed a week, from Thurs, Jan 3, to Thurs, Jan 10. This is primarily, they suspect, to avoid going head-to-head with the Orange Bowl, scheduled to air on FOX on the 3rd.

After seeing video of Upper Grandview’s Stephen Baldwin on hotdog duty, I’m as psyched as anyone to catch the show (and give Trump TV another go), but BuddyTV’s Oscar Dahl does make point out one other major scheduling problem: the show is going to be opposite Lost, returning from a fall hiatus. Thank God for TiVo.


“NBC Delays premiere of Celebrity Apprentice” [BuddyTV]

(photos: NBC Entertainment)

Hulk Hogan hates on Rosie O.

hulk-hogan.jpgSooner or later, it seems, every A-, B-, and D-list celebrity will be forced to weigh in on where they stand on South Nyack resident Rosie O’Donnell. The latest to sound off is Hulk Hogan, who, at a press day for his new show “American Gladiators” was asked which celebrity he’d most like his gladiators to pummell.

“Without a doubt Rosie O’Donnell,” he said. “Somebody needs to shut that big mouth up.”

Rosie’s response, via her r blog in a post inexplicably titled “Dead in Iraq”:


hulk hogan
the wrestler guy
wants to pummel me
isnt that sweet
and wildly odd

its like a gang of gross guys
a club almost
old dumb white and on tv


Hulk Wants to Pummel Rosie … and Not in a Good Way” [TMZ.com]

(AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

SAG Award nominees announced, more lovin for the LoHud


For a full list of the TV nominees, check out our sister blog, Remote Access, or for film nominees, go to the SAG site. But here, in short, are the locals you’ll be rooting for:

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
ANGELINA JOLIE / Mariane Pearl – “A Mighty Heartâ€? (Paramount Vantage): Jolie grew up in Sneden’s Landing

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
AMERICAN GANGSTER (Universal Pictures): Denzel Washington is a Mount Vernon native and Russell Crowe lived in Nyack while filming the movie.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Kevin Kline / Jacques – As You Like It (HBO): Kline lives (or at least used to live) in Garrison with Phoebe Cates.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Ellen Burstyn / Posey Benetto – Mitch Albom’s For One More Day (ABC): Burstyn lives in Nyack

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Glenn Close / Patty Hewes – Damages (FX): Lives in Bedford
Edie Falco / Carmela Soprano – The Sopranos (HBO): Attended SUNY Purchase

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin / Jack Donaghy – 30 Rock (NBC): Brother of Bedford’s Billy Baldwin and Upper Grandview’s Stephen

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Vanessa Williams / Wilhelmina Slater – Ugly Betty (ABC): Grew up in Millwood, currently lives in Chappaqua

(Nominations ceremony photo with President Alan Rosenberg, left, and actors Jeanne Tripplehorn, center, and Terrence Howard on Thurs., Dec 20 — AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

People of the Year — 8. Martha Stewart

itw_people08.jpgDon’t call it a comeback. Judging by the indomitable growth of Stewart’s empire in the last year, her prison stint wasn’t so much a setback as it was a speed-bump. Of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s 15 licensed product deals, nine came in 2007 (including 2,000 home products at Macy’s, a crafts line at Michaels, wines made by E&J Gallo, and prepared foods at Costco). Add to that the continued successes of her daytime show and magazine, and she seemed unstoppable. That is, except in her present hometown of Katonah. After attempting to trademark the village’s name for a line of home products, she encountered an organized resistance from the chamber of commerce and the Katonah Village Improvement Society (KVIS). Among their tactics: a satirical Marthometer newsletter (themarthometer.com) and two protest songs. Meanwhile, Martha showed up at a town meeting in February to plead her case bearing plenty of chocolate-chip cookies.

Prediction for 2008: Stewart won’t get off that easy. Villagers and KVIS have been trying to organize a Times Square Stewart roast (originally scheduled for early November), a pending lawsuit, and other shenanigans. Next time, Martha, try brownies.

UPDATE: As with some of the other “People of the Year” writeups, there were some breaking developments with Martha that took place after we already went to the printers. The roast did indeed take place, on November 28. But that was about a week after Martha and the KVIS came to a settlement about her usage of Katonah, and what products she can and can’t trademark the name under. To read more on the compromise, check out our post from November 16.

Adapted from “People of the Year,� InTown Westchester, December 2007

(Illustration by Ismael Roldon)

People of the Year — 9. The Bedford Dominatrix


The only thing more masochistic than the cost of living in Bedford Hills? The town’s 46-year-old dominatrix, Sandra L. Chemero, who was arrested in March on charges of prostitution and weapons possession. But she didn’t operate just any old run-of-the-mill bordello. Inside her idyllic clapboard farmhouse on Haines Road was an actual S&M dungeon. “Situated on four private acres, in a century-old stately manor, here life is devoted to female superiority, proper training, and etiquette for the betterment of men,� said the description on Chemero’s website for “The Sovereign Estate.� Also posted were pictures of her brandishing whips and leather chains, plus an exhaustive list of available erotic, sadistic services. The weirdest part of all (other than this all going down right near where George Soros and Ralph Lauren live): Chemero was renting the home from an ultra-Orthodox (and ultra-shocked) yeshiva.

Prediction for 2008: The dominatrix pled not guilty and, at press time, the trial date hasn’t been set. We’re just hoping that, like Heidi Fleiss, she has a list of former clients. That’s when things will get really interesting.

Adapted from “People of the Year,� InTown Westchester, December 2007

(Photo: Rory Glaeseman / The Journal News) 

Suburbarazzi Week in Review on RNN: Exclusive interviews with Chevy Chase and Fred Norris!


At the end of the video and after the break is the answer to this week’s quiz: During my interview with Chevy Chase earlier this month, whom did he say was his best friend from his “Saturday Night Live” days?

A. Dan Aykroyd
B. Jane Curtin
C. Garrett Morris
D. Bill Murray

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