A veteran press agent assesses the week in ballyhoo.
FAKE FEUD: Desperate for attention after ratings for last year’s duo of big butt (JLo) and big lips (Steven Tyler) began dropping faster than Justin Bieber’s voice, American Idol took a page from the WWE playbook and decided to stage what appeared to be a Read More
And in a shocking upset, Edward Norton beat out Kristen Bell, Sophia Bush, Jonah Hill and Eva Longoria in Zynga’s first-ever celebrity competition of Words with Friends, a game that we had all previously assumed Alec Baldwin was the hands-down champion of. As it turned out, Mr. Baldwin didn’t even enter the ring, basically throwing the fight to the Fight Club actor, who won $132,500 for his charity, Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.
Mr. Norton did give a shout-out to the WWF master in his acceptance speech:
Big Apple Idolatry
- Fresh off his Broadway run in Chicago, Usher will be kicking his feet up in one of those swivel pods on the third season of The Voice. He and Shakira will be taking over for Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo Green, who are vacating their judges’ chairs on NBC’s hit music contest. Of coorse, Usher has an ace card up his sleeve to win over any waffling young talent. It’s two words, and rhymes with Bustin Tweezer.
The Month In...
With Labor Day, we said goodbye to August, the Sunday of months, the last chance to relax until easing back into normal life. But if you’re Alec Baldwin, you never slowed down—not for a minute. Tracking the actor’s every move via Twitter, gossip columns and party photos (because how can you not?), we found that even in his leisure time the man is unstoppable, mixing work, play and philanthropy in a way that would exhaust mere mortals.
Click through our slideshow for an illustrated tour through Alec’s August, or click here for a large image.
The Observer put down our book last Saturday and ventured out to Gardiner Farm for the eighth annual Authors Night at the East Hampton Library. By the time we arrived, a plethora of library patrons—evidently undeterred by the cloudy skies—swarmed the tent in hopes of chatting up their favorite writers.
Hosted by library benefactors Alec Baldwin and Barbara Goldsmith, the reception boasted a guest list of more than 100 authors—everyone from the former Real Housewife of New York Kelly Killoren Bensimon, author of the “supermodel diet” book I Can Make You Hot, to the esteemed Lyndon Johnson biographer Robert Caro. Literary aficionados of all breeds meandered between tables with plastic cups of wine, accumulating stacks of personally inscribed hardcovers.
Sitting beside a large pile of copies of his second autobiography, Dick Cavett appeared to be thoroughly enjoying the attention of a throng of admirers and photographers. As we approached, he spontaneously grabbed both sides of our head and pulled us in for a dramatic kiss on the cheek. “I just wanted to give the photographer a thrill,” he whispered, a gleam in his eye.
Celebrities and religion
Poor Alec Baldwin! Not only is the recent Vanity Fair cover guy better known for his hot head than for his new, cool marriage to Hilaria Thomas or his role on 30 Rock, but it turns out most of the country refuses to accept Mr. Baldwin as the last word on their lord and savior as well!
The Emmy nominations are set to be announced tomorrow, and all eyes in coffee shops and traffic-thirsty blogs will be on the fate of Girls. Let’s predict what other shows were widely regarded as good this past year!
‘Tis a noble effort, Alec Baldwin, to dedicate your time to the responsibilities of being on the board of the Brooke Jackman Foundation, a non-profit that promotes literacy for at-risk children in NYC. Sometimes the best kind of giving back doesn’t involve donating money or showing up to a charity gala, but creatively finding a way to donate your abilities towards a common good.
So when the Foundation asked you, Alec Baldwin, a man respected by children everywhere, for suggested summer reading material, we’re sure that you put the utmost care and consideration into your two choices. That’s why we encourage all kids–actual kids and those just young at heart–to download Little House on the Prairie and Walter the Farting Dog on Kindle today.
Newlywed Alec Baldwin has gifted the New York Philharmonic a cool $1 million to honor Zarin Mehta, the orchestra’s departing president and executive director. Mr. Mehta, whom musical director Alan Gilbert has credited with supporting cutting edge programming choices like last week’s concerts at the Park Avenue Armory, will leave in August 2012 when his contract expires.
The money is proceeds from Mr. Baldwin’s Capital One Bank commercials, and part of ongoing donations from money he’s earned from those ads to his favorite cultural institutions. This has also involved synergy with Capital One Bank itself making donations, as described in a Wall Street Journal news item last year about the actor’s philanthropic activities.
Of Love and Real Estate
Alec Baldwin and and Hilaria Thomas, his yoga instructor bride-to-be, have kept us riveted with their constantly shifting wedding plans (eloping after Cannes! No, a big Hollywood-style wedding in New York on June 30!), but now we finally have proof of their dedication to and love for one another: a real estate deal.