The Washington Post

Celebritology Live

Jun 24, 2010

Join Celebritology bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney to gab about the latest celebrity gossip and pop culture news making waves across the Web.

Our Miss Liz has taken maternity leave a few hours earlier than expected. Don't worry, everything is fine. But that little baby could be here very soon. Of course, news will be shared with readers as soon as there is something to report.

In the meantime, you're stuck with good 'ol Jen. Let's talk about whatever's on your mind: Michael Jackson anniversary fanfare (including the Bubbles video that's still blowing my mind), "Twilight," Tom Cruise or whatever else you come up with. Let's do this.

Quick rant: I cringe everytime I hear the news, entertainment shows, etc name Michael Jackson's kids, Prince, Paris & Blanket. I know he did not give his children the best of names, but for the kid's sake can't they just say: Prince, Paris and Michael II (or Jr.) or whatever. Poor kid, he keeps getting called blanket! I just think the kid deserves to be called something other than "blanket"

Well, Jackson did nickname the kid Blanket. But yes, calling him by his given name would be more appropriate under the circumstances.

Of course, that may not be the only thing that's making people cringe by the end of tomorrow's marathon media coverage of the anniversary of his death.

Yes she is only 24 and made the announcement via twitter, but I say give the girl some credit: she has the guts to walk away which so many starlets don't. What would people have preferred to see her get extreme plastic surgery? Go on celebrity rehab? Shave her head? Have a quickie Vegas marriage? Get an eating disorder?

If she's genuinely walking away because she has other interests or has genuinely decided that acting just isn't for her, then I absolutely give her credit. People may be a bit snarky about this because -- as I noted in a post earlier this week -- stars have a tendency to imply they are retiring without really meaning it, especially if they might be seeking publicity. And in fact, Bynes's own publicist later said Bynes had never said anything about retirement prior to that Twitter announcement, which seems odd if it was something she had seriously considered.

The caliber of the Tweets that came immediately before her retirement announcement -- "I like black men I'm very attracted to them just fyi" -- also don't suggest that she's been taking time to really, um, think things through before she says them. But if it's what she really wants then, hey, that's cool.

But we never had our cupcake party! Unless you guys did it without ME.

Of course we wouldn't do it without you!

Yeah, things got too busy. Celebrities keep doing silly things, big summer movies keep coming out -- it's hard to make the time for a frosted treat. Sad, really.

I misread a Post photo caption yesterday and momentarily thought that McChrystal was in trouble for calling January Jones (instead of James Jones) a clown. And I thought, why on Earth is he in trouble for that? Good luck to Liz and her baby!

If people got in trouble for calling celebrities names, clearly Liz and I would have been called out by the President long ago. Thank God occasional snarkiness is part of our job description.

I'll pass on your good luck wishes to Liz, if she doesn't see them herself when she reads the chat transcript.

So his family thinks his story is fishy (see: People), and presumes he is back on drugs, his child is being raised by the wife's parents, and today a report came in about him sleeping in is car after a domestic disturbance (see: Radar). Normally this would be enough to make me think think the kidnapping story is a ruse, yet the Palm Springs Police did arrest someone and seem to be standing by London. What do you guys think?

Honestly, I don't know what to think. It's a curious case indeed. It's always possible that both sides are right. London's family may be right to be concerned about his addiction issues, but he also may be telling the truth about the kidnapping.

In any case, I hope he gets things straightened out. I always liked those London boys.

I read that she tweeted her retirement at 3AM - which sounds like she had some other things influencing her sudden decision to leave the acting world. I don't know about you but I have said and thought some pretty dumb things while partying.

The chain of tweets on the subject began at 2:58 a.m. Saturday, culminating with the official announcement at 3:50 a.m.  So again, not exactly the timing one would choose to make a major announcement about a career change.

Liz isn't going to name Liz Jr. "Blanket," is she??

Finally, one of you figured it out!

Hmmm. This reminds me of white friend of mine who ran around telling everyone that she was extremely sexually attracted to black men. When that didn't get the desired reaction, she was suddenly a lesbian. She was disappointed when everyone took it in stride. I mean who cares. If you like black guys, great, go for it. If you're a lesbian, great, date women. It was like she sat down one day and thought "what can I do to shock my friends and family?" and made a list of stuff to try out on us.

Did she also suddenly decide to retire at a very young age? And was her name Amanda?

Because if so, that is one freaky coincidence.

Hi Jen. Charice is going to join the Glee cast. Apparently she's famous? Really?

Famous is all relative these days, I guess. Some people know who she is because she became a mini-YouTube sensation for her performance of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," and wound up on Ellen and (I think) Oprah because of it.

She's viral-video famous, not People magazine cover famous.

My money's on Desmond. Can we do a poll?

Sure, you guys can throw out ideas in the chat. Whoever winds up being right wins ... uh ... the satisfaction of knowing he/she was right?

Also, to another question that was raised: yes, I can help the person who wanted to coordinate a little something for the baby. Just e-mail me offline.

Your post the other day about wee Tom didn't draw nearly the volume of Scientolocrazy we're used to. Have the hordes of cultists assigned to trolling hte web to refute Tom stories been reassigned do you think?

I don't know. We got some good feedback but I expected more.

In the poll, currently the prosecution (Liz) is easily winning with 50 percent of the vote. Defense (me) has 30 percent, and the rest fell in the hung jury or declare a mistrial camps.

My money is on Jack.

Let me guess: another one of you is going to say his name will be Sawyer.

Why didn't anyone tell me how wonderful "How to Train Your Dragon" is! I laughed, I cried, I ate popcorn in my "second-run" theater. Next on my list: Date Night. What other movies should I look for in this sequel- and remake-driven summer movie season? What other non-remake did I miss this year that I'll have to catch on DVD?

I still haven't seen "Dragon" but I've heard great things. So I'll be catching up with that one myself.

As for others, I know I've said this multiple times, but do see "Kick-Ass," which comes out on DVD later this summer. Unless you're very sensitive to excessive comic book violence. In which case, don't see it.

Poor fella! He has always been a class act. Let's hope he gets a gold medal in recovery.

Absolutely. He's had the tumor for a while, and he battled testicular cancer, as the article says. Seems like he's had his share of cancer scares at this point and deserves a smooth recovery.

Weird, random aside: Scott Hamilton was the first celebrity I ever interviewed when I started in the newspaper business years ago. I am 99.7 percent certain I sounded very nervous and asked him more than a couple of stupid question, but he was very nice. Definitely a class act.

How exactly does one email offline?

I meant offline from the chat, not offline from the Internet! You all take me so literally.

(Actually, that is kind of funny.)

Liz is unpredictable. She'll name him Hurley. Or Kate!

You think Liz would name a baby, even if it was a girl, Kate? Don't you know her at all?

My vote is on Wapo -- little Wapo Chaney -- nice ring to it

I can say, without hesitation, that that is incorrect.

I started following Ian Somerhalder's tweets after seeing the CNN telethon. I give the guy credit: he seems to be devoted to spending all his time trying to whip up interest in the aftermath of the BP spill. I can't hep but wonder though, were are the A listers? (The CNN thing was C-B list celebs at best.) Do Clooney, Pitt, Roberts & Jolie think the Gulf just isn't worthy of their time?

Well, we know Pitt and Jolie have plenty of love for New Orleans given their involvement post-Katrina. I don't know why they aren't more involved. It's a much dicier political issue in some ways because this wasn't a natural disaster, this was a massive screw-up by a corporation.

Of course, one could easily argue that Katrina was a government screw-up given the issue with the levees, but at least on the surface, it fell in the disaster category.

In any case, the fact that it's, arguably, a dicier political issue shouldn't matter. Maybe -- as Liz and I posited before -- they are waiting to see how things play out with BP containing the problem before they get involved.

So when the baby throws up, you can say "Dude, you got some Arzt on you."

Oh, I plan to say that to Liz regardless!

What's Drew Barrymore up to these days?

Well, let's see ... she's got that rom-com she did with Justin Long, "Going the Distance," coming out in August. She's also reportedly involved in one of the many "Wizard of Oz"-related projects ("Surrender Dorothy") swirling around in Hollywood these days.

Don't you worry about Drew, I am sure she's got plenty of things to occupy her time.

Hi ladies. Liz, I am going to miss you but have fun with your new baby. Jen, having read in your defense of Tom Cruise that you were a big fan of Andrew McCarthy back in the day I remembered this old celebrity sighting of him from years ago. I loved him too even though he is more my age than yours and saw St. Elmo's Fire like five times because of him. Fast forward a few years (1995) and I was on vacation in Nantucket and went to a toy store there to buy a birthday present for my older kid who was turning 6 while we were there. I had my 2 year old daughter with me and asked the store to wrap the present because I thought it would be easier. Well, the store was taking forever to wrap it and the two year old was getting restless as any toddler would be in a toy store. Then, in walks Andrew McCarthy. I didn't recognize him right away because he was older and little heavier but when he spoke it became obvious who he was. I tried to play it cool and at one point told my toddler to put something down that she had picked up and he said to me, "You are a serious mom-I even listened to you and put down what I was holding." I just laughed and it was about at that point that my toddler seriously messed her pants and it smelled just awful in that tiny store so I took her out on the porch to wait. He then came out on the porch too because he had a cellphone call and I remember being really impressed because his cellphone had call waiting, which was unheard of way back then. He was so cute and down to earth and now my toddler is 17 and a big fan of "Pretty in Pink" and she is mortified that she had a pants-load in front of Andrew McCarthy, whom she now loves. Well, long story but I wanted to share how nice Andrew McCarthy was to us, even though we (well my daughter anyways) smelled real bad. See what you have to look forward to, Liz?

Wow, that story was epic. Thanks for sharing.

If Andrew McCarthy walked into a store where I was shopping, I would not be able to resist telling him that whatever he was planning to purchase was "Hot. White hot."

BTW, I am sure your daughter will love the fact that we're all enjoying this story in a live discussion.

If it is a girl, and maybe even if it isn't, I am sure Liz will pick a super terrific name like Jen.

Har har.

Loved Wall-E. Is this installment of Pixar's Toy Story franchise worth seeing? Michael Keaton supposedly nails the difficult character of Ken the Doll.

Ken was very amusing, but I thought the whole movie was great. "Wall-E" may have had more artistic merit, but I think "Toy Story 3" is a more accessible movie for a mass audience. I laughed out loud numerous times. Those Pixar people are so unceasingly clever.

Could HM look any more uncomfortable?? I bet she washed her hands right afterward--I know I would.

Oh my gosh, I know. That photo is horrifying. I wonder if it's now the saved wallpaper on Bai Ling's cell.

I forget -- who hates the pleated pants? The reason I bring it up is that your own WaPo Magazine on Sunday actually highlighted pleated khaki shorts for men as the way to go for a great summer look. Thought of you immediately...

Liz is anti-pleats, but I am not a fan either. So count us both in. I used to wear them regularly in the '80s and early '90s until I realized they made me look like I was in a pool and a whole bunch of chlorinated water had inflated my crotch area.

That said, if you can pull them off, far be it from me to judge. I'm hardly a fashionista. I'm not even a Maxxinista.

I am relieved and think I can make it through the summer without Liz. The Celebritology columns and chats provide an important release in this often wonky dull town. thanks!

I'll do my best to make the summer and early fall tolerable in Liz's absence. As you all know, my interests tend to learn more toward pop culture than the ultra-gossipy stuff. But as God is my witness, if Lindsay Lohan does something publicly distressing, I will cover it to the best of my ability.

So, will Landon Donovan have to survive another massive dogpile on Saturday? And will you be watching?

As a red-blooded American, I am not a huge soccer fan. But I happened to catch that huge goal yesterday and was actually excited, excited enough to even watch on Saturday.

That said, if forced to make a choice, I'd go Wimbledon over World Cup, especially if Nadal is playing.

Well, that brings the discussion to a close, everyone. Thanks for your questions. Oh, and to the query about the exciting Tiffany/Debbie Gibson face-off, a post has been sitting in the queue on this very matter and will be published to Celebritology momentarily.

I'll be back to chat at 2 p.m. next week, as usual. Of course, we will surely have Liz baby news before then. And when we do, we will share it in Celebritology, despite the fact that neither Liz nor I is a celebrity.

Thanks, all! I'll send all your kind messages of good karma Liz's way!

In This Chat
Jen Chaney
An accredited Celebritologist, Jen focuses on pop culture news and trends in the entertainment world.

In addition to overseeing movie content for the Post's Web site, she also writes regularly about film, DVDs and stars of screens large and small.

When she isn't blogging or at the movies, she's ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.

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