Action! Westchester shoots attract A-listers, including George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close

The public relations reps for Westchester County became unofficial Suburbarazzi late last week, informing the public about county-based TV and film projects featuring high-profile stars, including Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and George Clooney (pre-motorcycle crash).

george.jpgClooney was quietly wrapping up a New Rochelle shoot at a “private home and inside CostCo” for the Coen brothers movie “Burn After Reading,” according to a Sept. 21 county press release. The film, which also stars Brad Pitt, is about a former CIA agent who writes memoirs after being fired. Perhaps Clooney forgot this weekend that he wasn’t playing Evil Knievel.

meryl.jpgAlso according to the release, Westchester “soon” will host Oscar winners Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman for the big-screen adaptation of “Doubt,” the Tony Award-winning play. Streep plays a Catholic school principal who accuses Hoffman’s character, a priest, of pedophilia in 1964. “Numerous locations will be used,” but the county does not specify which.

glenn-close.jpgBedford resident Glenn Close, a five-time Academy Award nominee, didn’t have to travel far to film parts of her new TV series, “Damages,” in a featured Harrison house and, earlier this month, in the Rye Town Hilton.

quinn-margulies.jpgSuburbarazzi already gave you the scoop about Spring Valley native Julianna Margulies and Sneden’s Landing resident Aidan Quinn teaming up for “Canterbury’s Law,” but what you might not know is that the courtroom drama was shooting scenes at Larkin Plaza in Yonkers last week.

After the break, check out news about more Westchester shoots involving Tim Allen at Westchester County Airport, Julie Taymor in Somers and New Rochelle, and “Law & Order: SVU” in Yonkers.

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Where did the Howard Stern show first go to try to replace sidekick Jackie ‘The Jokeman’ Martling? Westchester County Airport.

Today on the Howard Stern show, Jackie “The Jokeman� Martling returned as a sit-down guest for the first time since the show moved from terrestrial radio to Sirius satellite radio on Jan. 9, 2006. There were plenty of laughs and awkward exchanges between Martling and friend/rival Fred Norris, who both wrote jokes for the shock jock before Martling left the show after a drawn-out contract dispute.

In early 2001, Martling rejected a final contract offer from Infinity Broadcasting (now CBS Radio) to return to the show and laugh too hard at his own jokes. Stern — who launched his professional radio career at 107.1 FM in Briarcliff Manor — agonized over the transition to move on, but it was one he said he had to make, according to producer Gary Dell’Abate (a.k.a. “Bababooeyâ€?).

After today’s show, the producer explained to listeners how Stern made his first real step toward replacing Martling by authorizing Dell’Abate to pick up a prospective replacement at Westchester County Airport, which straddles North Castle and Harrison and borders Fairfield County, Conn.:

<blockquote><div>Howard called me that weekend and he was like, ‘Listen, it’s done. Jackie’s not coming back. I just got off the phone with (92.3 FM General Manager) Tom (Chiusano). The last offer was made. We’re moving forward.’ And for Howard to speak those words was very difficult. And I remember we talked about who would we get to sit in. … He goes, ‘Hey, you know, Ron Zimmerman? The comedian? He’d like to sit in.’ And I remember, it was a big deal. I had to go to Westchester Airport on a Saturday night and put on my credit card a first-class ticket for him to come in overnight. But I remember when Howard gave me the go-ahead — he was like, ‘Fly him in’ — that was really the finality of it: that, like, we’re putting a different guy in that chair. And it was hard for him. It was hard for him to do that. He did not want to do that. It wasn’t what he wanted, but he was like, ‘I have to move ahead.’</div></blockquote>

In the months that followed, other comedians — including Tarrytown product Greg Fitzsimmons — would audition for the right to sit in Martling’s chair. Former “Mad TVâ€? star Artie Lange was awarded “The Jackie Chairâ€? later that year.

(Associated Press file photo/Louis Lanzano)