Only in Jersey: 2/16/12

TGI Thursday!  We’re almost there, folks.  And it’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Whitney Houston: Final farewell to be broadcast online.

Whitney Houston’s private funeral, which is scheduled for Saturday at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, is expected to be a star-studded event. People reports that Whitney’s costar from “The Bodyguard,” Kevin Costner, will speak at the service, and her godmother, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder will perform. Others anticipated to attend include Whitney’s mentor Clive Davis and Oprah Winfrey, reports TMZ. Newark’s police are already preparing to keep fans and onlookers far, far away: The Star-Ledger says Newark’s finest will lock down streets within six square blocks of the church beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday (the funeral begins at noon). Fans hoping to catch glimpses of those in attendance will have a better chance by staying home, as The Associated Press confirms it will stream the service live online. And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is responding to critics who say he should not have ordered the state’s flags fly at half-staff on Saturday in memory of the singer. “I am disturbed by people who believe that because her ultimate demise — and we don’t know what is the cause of her death yet — but because of her history of substance abuse that somehow she’s forfeited the good things that she did in her life,” The Associated Press quotes Christie as saying. “I just reject that on a human level.” Whitney, he added, deserves the honor as a “daughter of New Jersey.” “What I would say to everybody is there but for the grace of God go I,” he said. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

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Only in Jersey: 2/1/12

Welcome to the second edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Teresa and Joe Giudice

Montville’s Giuseppe aka “Juicy Joe” Giudice of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” pleaded not guilty Monday to using his brother’s documentation to obtain a driver’s license. His attorney, Miles Feinstein, told The Record that the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office offer to cap any prison sentence at 5 years in exchange for a guilty plea was “totally unfair.”  “I believe that because of Joe’s celebrity he is being treated differently,” Feinstein added. Joe is the entrepreneur husband of Teresa Giudice, who will appear on the upcoming season of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” beginning Sunday, Feb. 19.

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Greg Giraldo: A (not so) funny thing happened on the way to the comedy club

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I don’t go to Stress Factory Comedy Club very often, and when I do it’s usually to see a big star.

This is the face I was expecting to see but didn't last night at Stress Factory./Photo credit Getty Images

In the past, I’ve been lucky enough to have seen Chris Rock AND Wanda Sykes try out new material on Central Jersey audiences. And last night I was there again, this time to see one of Comedy Central’s favorite roasters, Greg Giraldo.

Except that never happened. Following opener Melvin George, Stress Factory owner/comedian Vinnie Brand came on stage. But instead of introducing the headliner, he announced that Greg had been taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (also in New Brunswick). That was it; no other information was provided.

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Kate Gosselin’s career makeover: Meet William Shatner

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After seeing Kate Gosselin’s (funny!) performance in the opening skit of the Emmys last night, I have a suggestion for her: Start making fun of yourself on a regular basis. You know… like William Shatner.

Seriously, the dude has turned goofing on himself into an art form… and he’s laughing all the way to the bank.

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Maybe there’s hope for Jesse James after all

In case you haven’t heard, Jesse James has gone to rehab.

People reports that rehab was “100 percent his idea,” according to his rep, and not because jilted wife Sandra Bullock gave him any ultimatum.

“Jesse checked himself into a treatment facility to deal with personal issues,” his rep told People in a statement. “He realized that this time was crucial to help himself, help his family and help save his marriage.”

The facility he checked into is in Arizona, says TMZ, and it also – ironically – was the same center Sandra visited while doing research for her role as a drunk in “28 Days.”

Yes, unlike some other male celebrities I could mention <cough> Tiger Woods <cough> David Letterman <cough> Jesse has decided to be proactive, take the bull by the horns and face his demons head-on.

I have to wonder if any of Sierra Tucson’s group therapy sessions look like the one depicted in this recent “South Park” scene (WARNING: THIS CLIP INCLUDES EXPLICIT LANGUAGE THAT MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME VIEWERS – AND IT IS DEFINITELY NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK!):

Good for Jesse, I say. Checking himself into rehab is something  the *old* Jesse I remember from his “Celebrity Apprentice” days might do. Speaking of which, those of us who watched him on that show are well aware that he’s a recovering alcoholic who stopped drinking about 10 years ago. Let’s take a look back at how he forced teammate Dennis Rodman to confront his own drinking problem:

If Jesse been successful at keeping alcohol at bay for a decade, I’m hopeful he can beat this addiction, too. But in the end, it all comes down to how much he wants to beat it. And, I’m sorry to say, he can’t do it to get Sandra back. He’s got to do it for himself.

I wish him luck.

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