Are David Letterman and Paul Shaffer feuding?

Tom Shales, who cowrote one of my favorite books of all time, claims that he’s witnessed a breakdown of the professional relationship between golfing buddies/Westchester residents David Letterman and Paul Shaffer. I’ve seen “The Late Show” recently, and I have no reason to believe this.

Still, here’s what Shales wrote earlier this week:

<blockquote><div>Could it be that at long last, late-night king David Letterman is getting fed up with the zany inanities, forced cackled laughter and imbecilic interruptions of his long-time bandleader Paul Shaffer?

Shaffer made an annoyingly disruptive dope of himself on the first night of Letterman’s recent mock-event “Ventriloquist Week II� — rattling on and on about some obscure ventriloquist he used to see on “The Ed Sullivan Show� — and Letterman did little to hide his extreme disinterest, and displeasure, on the air. Shaffer couldn’t take a hint and kept babbling.</div></blockquote>

Who do you think is most in the wrong? Letterman? Shaffer? Or Shales?

(Associated Press file photo by Adam Rountree)

Larry King to interview Judge Judy to reinforce that Anna Nicole Smith is still dead

Former Putnam Valley resident Judy Scheindlin will be Larry King’s guest tonight to talk about “Anna Nicole Smith’s estate, her baby, and the mansion in the Bahamas,” according to CNN.

Because, in the immediate aftermath of a personal tragedy, it’s crucial to know who gets the dead woman’s huge house.

Perhaps she’ll mention at some point that her one of her three sons, Adam Levy, is running for Putnam County District Attorney. If so, and if King half-heartedly wishes him luck, I’m hoping Judy snaps and replies with “Don’t spit on my cupcake and tell me it’s frosting.”

Mmm… frosting.

(Photo courtesy of Gannett News Service.)

When Rosie O’Donnell wants Anna Nicole Smith off TV, she WANTS SMITH OFF TV

Granted, Nyack resident Rosie O’Donnell might not have been able to predict Anna Nicole Smith’s fate when she ripped into Smith Thursday morning on “The View.” But as noted that afternoon, it might not have been the best idea for O’Donnell to say…

<blockquote><div>If I have to see Anna Nicole Smith one more time on television….</div></blockquote>

…and tease Smith for allegedly using a “medication or substance.”

More ominous were the five words O’Donnell uttered after offering an unflattering impression of Smith:

<blockquote><div>It’s a tragedy all around.


With 20/20 hindsight, O’Donnell’s probably sorry for the timing of her anti-Smith remarks. But there’d a greater lesson here: Don’t cross Rosie. Or you might (coincidentally) die.

Donald Trump might want to update his will right about now to ensure his Bedford property winds up in the right hands.

Which leads me to my next point. Rosie, this part’s for you:

For the record, Ro (I can call you Ro, right?): The only time I’ve teased you on Suburbarazzi is when I implied that “Exit To Eden” was not exactly Oscar-caliber. But come on, you know even then I was just teasing, right? Tee-hee? Ha-ha? (Cough.)

Please forgive me, Ro! I want to live. I WANT TO LIVE!

[Video: Rosie O’Donnell criticizes Anna Nicole Smith on “The View,” hours before Smith’s death.]

(Associated Press file photo by Mary Altaffer)

You think Ed McMahon’s sloshed in this ‘Tonight Show’ clip? You are (probably) correct, sir.

I’m not saying the former Bronxville resident was blitzed for a segment on “The Tonight Show.” But thanks to a vintage clip on YouTube, we learn that Johnny Carson all but confirms this allegation, saying his sidekick “had a few martinis” and was “off the edge.” And Ed’s not arguing.

Watch the clip, complete with awkward silences and exchanges, and decide for yourself why Ed became fodder for “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes.”

(Associated Press file photo by Reed Saxon)

Vintage ‘Late Night’: Bill Murray, David Letterman chat about ‘Ghostbusters’

YouTube, even though you’re cracking down more than ever on copyright infringement, somehow this 1984 clip with North Salem resident David Letterman and Sneden’s Landing resident Bill Murray remains in your library. Let’s keep it there, OK?

This Thursday night, Murray — who was on Letterman’s first late-night shows on both NBC in 1982 and CBS in 1993 — crashes Dave’s set again to celebrate the host’s 25 years on late-night TV.

Nine years before Murray defaced Letterman’s desk with spraypaint for Dave’s CBS debut (above), the two comedy geniuses were discussing “Ghostbusters” a week before its release. Murray was at his best, mocking movie merchandise [at the 1:16 mark], accurately proclaiming that the flick as “just the funniest damn bunch of funny you’ve ever seen in your life” [2:18] and working the crowd [2:36].

Bonus points:

•To talk about how he may have gotten into shape to prepare to costar with Sigourney Weaver, Murray says (jokes?) that he worked with the guy who trained “Chris What’s-His-Name on ‘Superman.'” Of course, Murray’s referring to the late, great Pound Ridge resident Christopher Reeve. [3:47]

•Off-screen, Bedford resident Paul Shaffer’s on keyboards. [5:44]

The second part of the interview is arguably even more fun. Find that link and learn how much movies cost in 1984 after the break.

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Isabella Rossellini once appeared in Pelham, giving me an excuse to write about ’30 Rock’

Isabella Rossellini — who visited Pelham in October to promote a movie about her father, director Roberto Rossellini — will be making a cameo on “30 Rock” next week, playing the ex-wife of Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin). According to the promo that appeared after last night’s rerun, Paul “Pee Wee Herman” Reubens also guest-stars and Rossellini’s character gets into a cat-fight with Liz Lemon (Tina Fey). Place your bets.

I was slow to give “30 Rock” a chance when it premiered this fall, mostly because of its original time-slot and my general malaise when it comes to trying out new shows. But, wow, is it funny. It reminds me a lot of “Saturday Night Live” at its best and “The Simpsons” in terms of its comedic style, running gags and its ability to prompt frequent, genuine guffaws.

NBC was smart to move it to Thursdays as part of its “Comedy Night Done Right,” formerly dubbed “Must See TV” before an awkward stretch of programming after “Seinfeld” (and, to a much lesser extent, “Friends”) went off the air. NBC would really get me to watch for a solid hour if “The Office” and “30 Rock” were back-to-back, because I’ve never really enjoyed “Scrubs” all that much.

Find out why I appreciate the performances of Fey, Baldwin and Tracy Morgan after the break.

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David Letterman’s staff releases ‘Top 10 Signs Donald Trump Hates You’

Some personal favorites from the North Salem resident’s Jan. 11 Top 10 list that jokes about the part-time Bedford dweller:

9. Pet hamster is missing and Donald’s got a new hair style

5. Buys all the pie in the world just so you can never have pie again

1. You’re one of the hosts of “The View”

If you’re more against Nyack resident Rosie O’Donnell in this feud that won’t quite die, you might laugh more at this Suburbarazzi post about Letterman’s Top 10.

(Associated Press file photo by Henny Ray Abrams)

Meredith Vieira inducted into only Hall of Fame that really matters

Last night, while surfing past simulcasts of some guy talking in Washington, I wound up on one of my favorite frequently forgotten channels, GSN. On it was a documentary that announced the induction of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” to an alleged and long-overdue Game Show Hall of Fame.

As the daytime host of the show once helmed in prime time by Regis Philbin, Irvington’s Meredith Vieira also was honored and interviewed in the one-hour documentary that covered the show’s origins, best moments, memorable contestants and secrets.

Vieira recounted one of the stranger tales, involving a contestant who was so nervous that the player — um — relieved herself on the “hot seat.” Vieira’s advice to future contestants should they share the same fate? “Go with it.”

Notice she didn’t say “Go on it.”

After the break, find out a behind-the-scenes fact about what the “Today” show cohost does to complement the contestant experience.

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Keith Olbermann does not like ’24’

tjndc5-5d09mm7je8z1coxi1lta_layout.jpgSo the plot is hackneyed, the writing uneven, the characters one-dimensional, and the hype overrated. You know you’re still going to be watching 24 tonight. They just set off a frickin’ nuke in L.A.!!

But, according to Hastings-bred MSNBC talker, Keith Olbermann, the show is nothing short of right-wing propaganda. Last week, he suggested the producers exploit our fear of terrorism to get ratings and possibly advance an agenda.

It’s a familiar tactic for grabbing and holding the public’s attention, beloved by both the Bush administration and, just as another example, Fox News Channel. Step 1: Fear, and if step 1 does not work, Step 2: More fear…it is also evidently how the producers of the Fox series “24” plan to keep viewers during the show’s sixth year, as evidenced by the first 30 seconds of the season premiere [when terrorists blew up a bus in L.A.]…If that wasn’t enough to scare or outrage you, the rest of the four-hour, two-night show featured a mall attack, a would-be suicide bomber on the subway and a successful suicide bombing on a passenger bus — not in places where these things have already happened, but in a country called the United States of America… In case you missed the point, the show finished up with a nuclear weapon detonating in a major American city, literally conjuring up the administration’s imagery for the war in Iraq: the good old mushroom cloud.
He’s probably right. The producers have always –proudly, believe it or not—bragged about how they don’t know where the show is going each season, and are usually only a few episodes ahead of the rest of us. In place of plot development, they rely on the outrageous and shocking. It’s also a bit unnerving how the show has slowly anesthetized the audience to the idea of torture. Of course torture is worthwhile when it’s seemingly done against would-be terrorists and there is LITERALLY a ticking clock!

Still, the show is like an addiction. And I’m not the rehab-type. So, I’ll be watching with the rest of you tonight. Because, they just set off a frickin’ nuke in L.A.!!

(AP Photo/2006 Fox Broadcasting Co., Kelsey McNeal)

Arbitrarily predicting where I would place if I competed on 10 reality TV shows

In honor of Bedford dweller Donald Trump’s relaunch of “The Apprentice” this week, I present to you my predicted finishes if I appeared on 10 different reality TV shows.

For the sake of uniformity, let’s assume that there are 12 finalists for each of the following shows and that, for some bizarre reason, I actually made the top 12 for all of them.

“Survivor” – Last place. My inability to swim wouldn’t really help me on an island. Hopefully, I’d be resuscitated in the medivac chopper.

“The Bachelorette” – Last place. The whole “I have a girlfriend” thing could hurt my chances. On the show and otherwise.

“Project Runway” – Last place. I can’t sew a patch, but I’d enter the competition just to hear Tim Gunn describe my awful brown frock design as “faux bois” and walk away with some serious Sturm und Drang. There’s no one else I’d rather hear insult me.

Do I have a shot to finish with more than some “wonderful parting gifts” on any other reality show? Find out after the break.

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Westchester representin’ on late night TV

With Bedford resident Paul Shaffer playing keyboards in the background between jokes, North Salem resident David Letterman playfully took a shot at Verplanck native Mel Gibson’s birthday in the opening monologue for last night’s broadcast of “The Late Show.” In the bit, Letterman imitated Gibson’s bemusement after unwrapping a gift of a yarmulke.

After sitting at his desk, Dave talked up a spoof of a commercial for “The Apprentice: Los Angeles,” hosted in real life by part-time Bedford resident Donald Trump. The fake TV ad claimed contestants would be “eliminated” by Robert Blake.

Dave’s first guest was “Today” show cohost Matt Lauer, who grew up in Westchester, according to The New York Times. Letterman had a fun quip about CBS stealing NBC stars like himself and Katie Couric, about whom Lauer joked, “When does she start?”

Letterman took a commercial break and then spoke to comedian Artie Lange, the sidekick of Howard Stern, who got his start spinning records at 107.1 in Briarcliff Manor.

After this Suburbarrazus watched Lange’s hilarious appearance, the channel was changed to see “The Tonight Show’s” musical guest: Matisyahu, who grew up in White Plains.

I’m sure Kevin Bacon has some connection to all these guys, too.

(Associated Press photo by Adam Rountree.)

‘Mathematicians! Freeze!’ An interview with Joe Howard of ‘Mathnet’

Photo courtesy of Joe HowardSome heroes fight crime with super powers or guns. As Officer George Frankly on the long-running PBS series “Mathnet,� Joe Howard did it with exponential powers and puns.

Starring as the crime-solving mathematician on the “Dragnet� parody that concluded each episode of “Square One TV� from 1987-1994, the Yonkers native reportedly beat out “Saturday Night Live� alumnus Phil Hartman for the part. A year after “Mathnet� closed its final case, Howard moved with his wife into a Sherman Oaks, Calif., house previously owned by “Curb Your Enthusiasm� star Larry David.

Throughout the 58-year-old actor’s career, Howard has worked steadily in film, television and more than 100 commercials. In the process, he shared scenes with Academy Award winners Ben Kingsley in “House of Sand and Fogâ€? and Anthony Hopkins in “The World’s Fastest Indian.â€? Despite this credibility, he graciously accepted a phone interview with Suburbarazzi last week.


• Since Children’s Television Workshop was the creative force behind both “Sesame Street” and “Square One TV,” you’ve said on that your wife Sharon thought you had an edge getting hired for “Mathnetâ€? because you “look like a Muppet when (you) grin.â€? Did she really say that?

That’s true…. I figured there was some kind of subliminal thing going there that they couldn’t resist.

• Was the calculator holster uncomfortable?

That was a standard police holster and it was quite comfortable. In fact, I’m kind of kicking myself I didn’t ask them if I could keep it. (But) the calculator itself was just one of these little cheesy things that you could buy in any Staples store. I used to think, talking to myself, “What a cheesy prop this is.”


Learn about Joe Howard’s off-screen friendship with “Saved By The Bell’s” Mr. Belding and on-screen family bonds after the break!

(Photo courtesy of Joe Howard.)

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