“Larry King Live” tackles Jersey girl Chelsea Handler

“Larry King Live” devoted an entire hour recently to Jersey girl Chelsea Handler, who was promoting her new book, “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.”

(Chelsea’s dressing down of Kate Gosselin, above, is just one of the reasons I like her.)

Not surprisingly, at least if you are familiar with the three-time author and host of E!’s late night talk show “Chelsea Lately,” her conversation with Larry turned to the Garden State and the plethora of television shows about it. Their discussion went something like this:

Larry: What do you make of this Jersey thing?

Chelsea: Well, I mean I’m from New Jersey so I’m proud to be from New Jersey. I’m from a nice part. But there are parts of New Jersey that look like the “Jersey Shore” and what’s depicted on this show. It can be pretty crazy. So when people from New Jersey get mad about the depiction, and they say “Oh, how can you say that?,” well, I’m from there and it is like that.

Larry: Do you think it’s because it’s between New York and Pennsylvania?

Chelsea: Yeah, somebody told me that the other day. It’s kinda like a middle child of those states. Maybe. I didn’t see all of New Jersey like that. But these reality shows are all ridiculous so why not get New Jersey in the mix?

Larry: Where are you from in New Jersey?

Chelsea: Livingston.

Larry: Oh ohhhh. That’s upper class.

Chelsea: Well, it was upper class. But my parents were just below middle class.

Johnny Weir isn’t just good, he’s all over the place

Since I first started watching Johnny Weir’s reality show “Be Good Johnny Weir” last week, I have seen the U.S. figure skater (and Jersey boy) all over the place. And that’s a good thing!

First, I caught up on an interview Johnny did for HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” where he hilariously pointed out that figure skating and football aren’t all that different (except maybe figure skaters keep their hands to themselves):

I think he really hit it off with correspondent Frank Deford (himself a Princeton University graduate), don’t you?

Then I found this outtake from “Be Good Johnny Weir,” in which Johnny does one of his hilarious impressions of his Ukrainian coach Galina Zmievskaya:

Then last night Johnny appeared (all too briefly) on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” in which he was thrown the ridiculous *Facebook* question “How does it feel to be so fierce?”

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Johnny was back on the tube this morning, visiting “Regis & Kelly.” Kelly Ripa, herself a Jersey girl, is evidently a huge fan.
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Johnny also is featured in a Vanity Fair spread on athletes of the 2010 Olympics. The caption accompanying Johnny’s photo includes his revelation that after competing in this month’s World Figure Skating Championships in Italy, he plans on a little sojourn to Mongolia, of all places.

One thing you can definitely say about Johnny: He's comfortable in his own skin./Photo by Vanity Fair

“I’m going to take a vacation to Mongolia because I want to ride a yak,” he told the mag. “…and then maybe (I will) continue skating, but if not, I want a career in fashion.”

Alas, not all of the Johnny-mania lately has been positive.  People reported that two insensitive and clueless Canadian sports broadcasters stuck their feet in their mouths when they made inappropriate remarks about Johnny during the Olympics.

“This may not be politically correct, but do you think he lost points due to his costume and his body language?” Claude Mailhot of RDS, a French-language sports channel in Quebec, is quoted as saying.

Fellow broadcaster Alain Goldberg said he thought that Johnny’s mannerisms might hurt other male figure skaters.

“They’ll think all the boys who skate will end up like him,” he said. “It sets a bad example.”

The mocking didn’t stop there, though. The pair also joked that maybe Johnny should be required to take a gender test and that perhaps he should compete against women instead.

In his typical style, Johnny rose above the fray.

“It wasn’t these two men criticizing my skating, it was them criticizing me as a person, and that was something that really, frankly, pissed me off,” Johnny said. “Nobody knows me. … I think masculinity is what you believe it to be.”

Balloon Boy: We’ve all been taken for a ride

Like many other people, I was fixated on the news networks for much of yesterday afternoon, watching as the “Balloon Boy” supposedly flew through the sky, hoping like heck he would be OK.

Once you tuned in to yesterday's drama, it was impossible to tune out.

Once you tuned in to yesterday's drama, it was impossible to tune out.

Thankfully, the Balloon Boy (aka 6-year-old Falcon Heene of Fort Collins, Colo.) was OK. But last night, during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on “Larry King Live,” precocious little Falcon made what just might be the ultimate faux pas, suggesting it may have all been a publicity stunt.

(Note: I had posted all five segments of the Heenes’ “Wife Swap” episode from YouTube, but ABC yanked them all – save for this one below – a few hours later.)

And after sitting through an agonizingly unwatchable episode of ABC’s “Wife Swap” featuring the Heene family, I have little doubt that yesterday’s events were exactly that.

The Heenes – father Richard, wife Mayumi and their three sons, Ryo, Bradford and Falcon – were clearly mugging for the cameras the entire time. They came across as completely boorish, ill-behaved and offensive (with burping, farting and cursing amongst their favorite dinnertime activities).

Of course, ultimately Richard and Mayumi Heene are to blame for their children’s behavior. And it is obvious from watching “Wife Swap” that Richard eggs them on, encouraging their loathsome and repulsive actions.

After subjecting myself to this horrible episode (the final clip of which is below), I am convinced that little Falcon did not misspeak when he said to his dad, “You had said that we did this for a show,” during “Larry King Live.”

And that is why I take comfort that the “Balloon Boy” story ends with Falcon being safe and sound – and satisfaction in the fact that it was the tike who ratted his father out on national television.

Payback is a b*tch, isn’t it?

“Jon & Kate Plus 8”: Enough already!

Cease and desist, indeed.

Preventing TLC from stepping foot on his property isn't Jon Gosselin's only problem. He also doesn't know how to spell. "Penelty"? Ugh./Credit Us Weekly

Preventing TLC from stepping foot on his property isn't Jon Gosselin's only problem. He also doesn't know how to spell. "Penelty"? Ugh./Credit Us Weekly

So Jon Gosselin has thrown down the gauntlet to “Jon & Kate Plus 8’s” parent, TLC, barring the network from filming at the $1+ million Wernersville, Pa., home he jointly owns with Kate (and which, ironically enough, was paid for by money given to them by TLC). He also told Larry King last night that he thinks the show is exploiting his twins and sextuplets. (No, really?)

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“I don’t think it’s healthy for them,” he told Larry as his attorney, Mark Heller (who has also represented David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz), sat beside him. “I think my kids should be taken off the show.”

Mark said he thinks “Jon & Kate Plus 8” (in any form) is “dead” and added that no judge would ever “subject the children to the show if the father believes it’s detrimental” to their well-being.

Of course, Kate’s attorney appeared via satellite and repeatedly pointed out that Jon had just filmed the show last week and didn’t express concern about it adversely affecting the kids until TLC announced his role on the program would be diminished and the show renamed “Kate Plus 8.”

Jon’s lawyer said that wasn’t the case at all, and that he notified TLC a week ago that Jon was going to quit the show and take his children off of it.

Meanwhile, Us Weekly reports that Kate’s lawyer, Mark Momjian, told “Today” that Jon will not be able to legally prevent “Kate Plus 8” from going forward.

Kate “is going to honor her contract,” her lawyer said. “She’d like to continue with the show. She loves doing the show.”

Obviously.

So who to believe? At this point, I don’t really care. I totally agree that continuing the show would be detrimental to the children’s well-being. Kate apparently disagrees, but I think she’s looking at it more from the perspective of a woman who is making money hand over fist and is unwilling to give up the cash cow.

I have no idea what Jon thinks he’s going to be able to do to support his family in the manner to which they’ve all grown accustomed. Then again, I wonder if all of this isn’t just a ploy to force TLC to release Jon from his contract, which would allow him to pursue that dopey reality show with two other father-of-the-year contenders, Michael Lohan and Kevin Federline.

I also find it hilarious that Kate’s attorney took Jon to task for taking his complaints about Kate and the show public rather than resolving the issue privately. What about all of Kate’s public appearances – hello “Larry King Live” and “The View” – which have given her a public forum to air her dirty laundry? Apparently what’s good for the gander isn’t good for the goose.

Sure, in an ideal world, Jon would take the high road, behave like a responsible adult/parent and keep his mouth shut in public. But it’s obvious that neither Gosselin is mature enough or thinking rationally enough to do that.

And Jon’s not done blabbing, either: He will appear on tonight’s episode of “The Insider,” where he’ll be confronted by the likes of Niecy Nash. I can’t wait!

Until then, you can read more about Jon’s “Larry King Live” appearance right here.

Is Michael Jackson pulling a Casper?

Is the spirit of Michael Jackson alive and well at Neverland?

If you’re into ghosts (like me), you’d probably say “yes.” And while I was initially excited by this video – thanks, Larry King! – the more I watch it the more I’m convinced it’s nothing more than the shadow of someone walking past an out-of-view window.

Oh, well. That’s not to say MJ isn’t hanging around. It’s just CNN hasn’t managed to capture him on film. Yet.

Hear that, PRS?

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