Greetings from the Big Apple to all my readers! While in New York, I’ve been interviewing old pals, agents and family as I continue filming my docudrama, "The Curse of Being Monti Rock III."
Before I go any further, this week brought the devastating news of the passing of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Ed McMahon, all icons of the entertainment industry.
In the middle of my hectic schedule I received a phone call regarding the passing of Ed McMahon, a great American icon. My recollections of Ed are all positive and fun. I considered him one of my mentors whose input at the beginning of my career was most appreciated.
Ed would frequently stop by Trudy Heller’s in New York where I was performing, and after getting fired from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Ed was one of the few who reminded me to keep going, Caesars was merely a fork in the road.
Ed was a gracious and great gentleman who always managed a smile and warm words for everyone, including your humble correspondent.
Johnny Carson and Ed may have shared the same television stage for 30 years, but in reality they were not as close as they appeared. I once heard Ed was invited to Carson’s home only twice during their years together and even then Carson did not invite Ed’s wife.
Carson was a very private man and few people were close to him. The last time I saw Ed he was at the Orleans in Las Vegas doing his act as W.C. Fields, one of his crowning glories.
He will be missed by many. Heeeeere’s Ed!
Farrrah Fawcett died on Thursday after a long battle with cancer. Farrah, one of the top pin-ups of all time (can anyone forget that poster?), was also a very good actress. She had received three Emmy nominations over the years and also worked in film and on the stage. Her personal life was filled with controversy, including a failed marriage, a battered significant other and the infamous stint on David Letterman’s TV show.
Through all this, she maintained a relationship with the love of her life, Ryan O’Neal. Sadly, their son, Redmond, could not be at her bedside as he is in prison on drug charges. However, as of this writing, he will be allowed to attend his mother’s funeral. Let’s hope he straightens himself out.
To complete the "three at a time" theory, we lost Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, at the age of 50. The entire world is mourning the passing of this great entertainer, who was the entertainer of his generation as were Elvis and Sinatra in theirs.
Throngs of people gathered all over the world to pay tribute to this entertainment giant. There is nothing I can say about Michael that hasn’t already been said in all the media. He was a musical genius who changed the look and sound of today’s pop music. In the talking stage was the possibility of a Cirque show featuring the music of Michael in the same vein as Love and the upcoming Elvis/Cirque show.
The world will miss you, Michael, Farrah and Ed. Each of you was one of a kind. May you all rest in peace.
Sirius XM Radio, "The Kentertainment Report," was my first stop in New York City on Thursday where I was asked about my upcoming film and of course about my friend Ed McMahon.
At that time I ran into Howard Stern, and advised him to move over because it was just announced that Rosie O’Donnell will be on Sirius radio with her new talk show. Maybe satellite radio is where she should be, as she has failed lately in most of her other ventures.
Not sure if I received an invitation to Warren Buffett’s Netjet gala at the Encore for last Saturday since I was out of town, but my spies tell me it was truly a who’s who in the world of money and entertainment. Elaine Wynn was emcee for the affair. If everyone attending the gala flew in on Netjet it’s no wonder the regular airlines are crying over their losses.
On a personal note, I was disappointed to read that extreme sport skateboarder Tony Hawk was using the White House to exhibit his talents on the skateboard. Yes, Tony was allowed to skate both inside that historic building, as well as adjoining areas.
The White House has appeared to most of us as a symbol of America, a dignified place in our history. Now it’s turned into a skateboard park? Lots of changes at the White House.
It just can’t be politics as usual when every week, or so it seems, another remorseful man steps up to the microphone to announce, "I’ve been unfaithful." The current list continues to grow and this week it was South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford.
Spitzer, Edwards, Ensign and President Clinton at least are keeping it bi-partisan. Maybe if they were taking care of business instead of taking care of their business, things would be better for everyone.
To continue on the "sport" level, Las Vegas tennis star Andre Agassi has just announced he’s joining Word Team Tennis this year to play for the Philadelphia Freedoms. It was in 2006 that Agassi retired. He’s only one of many well-known tennis stars playing World Team Tennis. Among others, you can add Venus and Serena Williams as well as John McEnroe to the list of competitors to play World Team Tennis this year.
World Team Tennis was founded by Billie Jean King and she also owns the Philadelphia Freedoms that Agassi will join. Apparently his decision to join was the result of Billie Jean’s person-to-person invitation.
"Lord of the Dance" has arrived in Las Vegas and is opening at Planet Hollywood in the Steve Wyrick Theater. There’s much fanfare about the arrival of "Dance" and this columnist wishes them much success with their latest Vegas visit.
Hats off to Broadway superstar Patty Lupone. She stopped her show at the Orleans during the singing of her signature song, "Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina" to chastise a third row patron who was using some kind of recording device.
He should have known better, as Lupone has been known to do this before. It’s time for audiences to respect the entertainers and not distract them while performing.
Rumors are still flying about the possibility of Garth Brooks signing a contract to appear as resident entertainer at Encore. He is one of the few who would consistently sell-out.
Jubilee, the last of the old Vegas-type glitz shows celebrates its 28th anniversary on July 31. This show is the Las Vegas version of the French-style revue, "Lido de Paris." It has it all – lavish costumes, gorgeous show girls, music, dancing and comedy.
CityCenter will have a Latin theme steakhouse, a spin-off of Beso, when it opens later this year. Latin actress Eva Longoria, who incidentally is contributing a few recipes, is one of the investors along with chef Todd English.
Our favorite Latin superstar, Jennifer Lopez, has closed down her designer clothing business. C’mon J-Lo, get back to what you do best – acting, singing and dancing. The public wants you out in front, not behind the scenes.
From NYC, The Rev Monti wishes you all a great week.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Monti Rock III