Tag Archives: Kristin Chenoweth

David Hasselhoff: You Can’t Keep Guys Like Me and Shatner Down

Get out your jingle bells.  David Hasselhoff is coming toward us Saturday (11/10) as a very merry guy who helps clients get through the holidays in style in “The Christmas Consultant,” a Lifetime movie he says he glommed onto because it’s family-oriented, and so is he.

Hasselhoff also tells us he is in negotiations for a show that would bring him back into the reality TV realm, this time on the Travel Channel, and that he plans to tour the U.S. with his one-man “An Evening With David Hasselhoff” stage show next year.  That show’s already been a success in Europe and the U.K, where the former “Baywatch” and “Knight Rider” star continues to have an avid following.

Will his “Evening With” show fare as well back home?  Followers of the Hasselhoff saga are well aware his life has been fraught with trauma, from past battles with booze to public derision.  However, he says, “I always feel that I’m staying mobile and staying positive.  It’s like William Shatner, you know?  You can’t keep guys like us down.  No matter what is said about us, or who’s made fun of us, we’re able to laugh at ourselves and move forward.  Life is about waking up and smelling the coffee,” he continues.

“I look at my dad and he’s 87 and he’s still a positive, incredible man.  That’s why I took this movie. I’d rather have a perfect kids’ movie, like ‘Home Alone,’ than play Santa’s rough-around-the-edges helper” — another role he says the network dangled before him.

So, does Hasselhoff feel a kinship with Shatner?

“I’ve seen his show before, in concert,” the Hoff replies.  “I’ve spoken to him several times.  We’re actually managed by the same guy so we have a lot in common.  I

really like his work ethic.”

Hasselhoff can identify with working hard on multiple fronts.  His home is “always rockin’ with a lot of different projects,” he says.

He already has investors lined up for his “Evening With” tour, he informs.  He’s looking forward to communing with audiences across the U.S.A., including the young crowd that knows him from “The Spongebob Squarepants Movie” or his short-lived “Hoff.”

“People are so kind to me and they seem to get it.  They know I am resilient.  To have a long and happy life, you have to be resilient,” he notes.

Meanwhile, there’s “The Christmas Consultant.”

Hasselhoff says that as soon as he read the script, he told his agent “100 per cent book it.” He explains, “I’ve been a fan of Christmas movies my whole life.  As a matter of

Fact, one important piece of information that I’ve never shared with anybody is I’ve been living on the same block where they filmed ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’  The backlot, where they built the town — Bedford Falls — is exactly four blocks from my house.  That was pointed out to me by one of my associates, my musical director, who is a real movie buff.  We’re in Encino, where they built Bedford Falls.  That is so amazing to me, because that is a movie that has so touched my heart.  Being in a Christmas movie that is family-oriented and very emotional and very fun is a great honor.  It’s cool, it’s really cool.”

SPEAKING OF FAMILY FARE:  Kristin Chenoweth makes a much — much — better host for the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards than

Carson Kressley, who emceed the canine kudofest last year.  Cute as Carson can be, his campy humor was a weird mix with the often heart-tugging, sometimes heart-wrenching

honors — kind of like putting a hot pink frame on a George Earl painting.

Talk about heroics!  Among the eight honoree dogs, for example, is Jynx, a German Shepherd who sniffed out a gunman who was lying in wait to ambush a group of sheriffs on his trail, then attacked the gunman, then tried to pull his mortally-wounded handler to safety.  The widow accepted on behalf of Jynx, who now lives with her and her baby daughter.

Joey Lawrence, Pauley Perette, Kellie Martin, Denise Richards, Naomi Judd, Mark Steines and Jake T. Austin were among the celebrity attendees at the Beverly

Hilton event, airing tonight (11/8) on The Hallmark Channel.  Jewel was in great voice performing for the crowd.  And Carson — well, he was a good enough sport to do a little

comedy bit on tape.

End it

Celebrities Celebrate Beastie Besties at Hero Dog Awards

Dogs have always been man’s best friend, but it’s only been in the last few decades that we have started behaving as if it works both ways.  That’s an encapsulation of an idea that Betty White expressed last night, when she was honored at the Second Annual American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards — and Betty is one who would know.

The 90-year-old national treasure has been an animal lover throughout her lifetime, of course, going back to the days that, according to her, animal advocates were viewed as “a bunch of zealots” and our beastie besties were strictly considered beneath us.  Now, though, every year we’re discovering more capabilities of these wonderful creatures, Betty enthused.

Kristin Chenoweth presents a new line of greeting cards for dogs — not too seriously — at the Hero Dog Awards

At the Hero Dog Awards, many of these remarkable capabilities were celebrated, as eight Hero Dog honorees and their stories were introduced with the help of emcee Kristin Chenoweth (and her own dog, Madeline Kahn Chenoweth), Joey Lawrence, Jewel, Pauley Perette, Kellie Martin, Denise Richards, Naomi Judd, Mark Steines, Jake T. Austin and other celebs.

For instance, there’s Jynx, the Law Enforcement/Arson Dog honoree.  He was on duty with his handler, Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pagerly of the Berks County Sheriff’s Department, and other officers in rough terrain — and the German Shepherd alone detected a bad guy lying in wait, ready to ambush the law men with a sub machine gun and a cache of other weapons.  Jynx alerted the deputies to the gunman’s presence, attacked the gunman — who nevertheless managed to fire several shots at Pagerly — and then attempted to pull his wounded master to safety.    Pagerly died at the hospital, but the other officers on the scene that day feel they owe the hero dog their lives.   Jynx now lives with Pagerly’s widow and baby daughter.   It was Mrs. Pagerly, only a few weeks pregnant when she lost her 28-year-old husband,  who tearfully accepted Jynx’ award — and a heartfelt standing ovation from the crowd.

There are stories of therapy dogs who’ve saved lives and brought troubled humans out of their shells, stories of courageous canines on the battlefield, dogs who’ve given people with disabilities ways to live normal lives.   Yes, have the hankies handy if you watch the Hero Dog Awards on The Hallmark Channel November 8.  Each honoree is loveable and deserving, unlike other awards shows we could name.

The Beverly Hilton Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, where such galas as the Golden Globes take place, was again the setting for the Hero Dog Awards, with quite a few canines, large and small, there to enjoy the event first-paw.  (Whatever must those doggies have thought of being applauded by a ballroom full of people?)  The crowd feasted upon sauteed tenderloin of beef and seared citrus olive marinated filet of sea bass — and a dessert of espresso almond tiramisu in a chocolate cup, complete with white chocolate hero dog medallions.   For those who watched the first Hero Dogs Awards last year, with Carson Kressley as host — expect a more even program this year.



Kristin Chenoweth Bouncing from ‘GCB’ to Concert Tour and More

Kristin Chenoweth and Leslie Bibb ABC photo by Bill Matlock

There’s not much in the way of down time for Kristin Chenoweth.  The indefatiguable Tony and Emmy-winning performer will segue from ABC’s March 4-debuting “G.C.B.” back to her beloved stage.  “I’m going on tour in May and June.  I’ll be all over theUnited States and Europe,” she reports.  “It will be everything I do: dancing, singing, opera, musical theater, country, original — all of it.”

First, come Feb. 6, she’s being honored by New York’s Drama League with an all-star musical tribute including such names as Joel Grey, Donna Murphy, Cheyenne Jackson, Marlo Thomas and Elaine Paige.

Chenoweth has been busy beating the promotional drums for the wild new “G.C.B.” series, in which she plays the leader of a pack of Dallas socialites who are none too happy about the return of former high school mean girl Leslie Bibb into their midst.  Her lines include the notorious “Cleavage makes your cross hang straight.”  She was on hand for this month’s Television Critics Association press tour session in which the “G.C.B.” producers and cast repeatedly insisted that the show does not and will not do any Christian-bashing.

“What we’ve discovered about this show is, it’s an all-out comedy.  They can use that word ‘dramedy,’ but it’s just fun,” she said in a chat after the panel session was over.  Chenoweth hopes to continue in the vein of the funny ladies of whom she’s a fan:  “Madeline Kahn, Sally Field — those are the women who inspired me.”

 AND:  Wow, NBC’s “Smash” is getting a lot of help from people on other networks.  We mentioned yesterday that “Glee’s” Matthew Morrison is giving a big thumbs-up to the upcoming drama-with-music that takes place in the Broadway world.  Chenoweth is also cheering for that highly-touted brainchild of Steven Spielberg.  She loved the pilot, she says.  Plus, “I know practically all the people in it and the producers are like my best friends, and (director) Michael Mayer obviously was great to me in (ital.) You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (end ital.), which I won the Tony for,” she notes.  “So, I obviously want it to do well, because it’s my people.”

She adds, “Katharine McPhee is pretty special.  And Megan Hilty — I just met her twice, and I just loved her.  I thought she was perfect for it.”

Chenoweth is mentioned in the “Smash” opener.  Might she guest star sometime?  She gives one of her signature arched-brow looks, and purrs.  “You never know.”

ABC’s Upcoming ‘G.C.B.’ Not Anti-Christian Explains Jennifer Aspen

Jennifer Aspen ABC photo by Bob D'Amico

 “G.C.B.” actress Jennifer Aspen weighs in on the title controversy on the forthcoming ABC prime time serial drawn from Kim Gatlin’s book, Good Christian Bitches — which then became “Good Christian Belles,” and is now reduced to its monogram.

“It’s not an anti-Christian project.  I would never, ever be a part of something that attacked any religion.  That’s not my thing,” says Aspen.  “I spoke to the author of the book, who is a devout Christian.  The point of the title was, she felt there were certain people in the Christian community acting inappropriately and giving the religion a bad name, and she wanted to call them out.  If you’re going to talk the talk, you should walk the walk.  So she wanted to coin the name and make it strong so people would remember it.  Well, I could get behind that idea.  It was a risky move, but for me, it was an enlightened one.”

 However, Aspen goes on, when the company went to Dallas to shoot exteriors, “We went to church there, and talking to the members, I realized that name is very offensive to various people.  When we got their viewpoints on it, I was really glad they changed the name.”

Aspen points out that “Two of our executive producers are Christians, and their faith does mean a lot to them.  This project was not born out of a Hollywood idea — it was born out of that community.”

The midseason replacement comedy, set in Dallas — “Where every day is judgment day,” per the promo tag — has Leslie Bibb as a former high school mean girl who has to return to her Texas home, and face all her one-time frienemies, after her marriage ends in scandal.  Annie Potts and avowed Christian Kristin Chenoweth are also in the cast.

“Leslie is the girl who was bad who has now gone good, but you’re very suspicious when she tries to friend you on Facebook.  ‘How do you have the nerve to request me?  Don’t you remember the terrible things you did to me?’  But you see her picture with two kids there and she looks nice.” 

According to Aspen, who a Scientologist, the set contains “a rainbow of faiths.  Normally, you don’t talk that much about religion or politics on a set, but on this one, we do.  Not in an argumentative way.  It’s more like, ‘What do you practice?  That’s cool,’ respecting each other’s beliefs.  I’m personally a lover of religions. because each of them contains universal truths.”

That may be, but the lusty ladies and their lines like “cleavage makes your cross hang straight” are bound to rankle more than a few.  However, by the time viewers see “G.C.B.,” production of the first 13 episodes will be complete, Aspen says.  “We’re dying to see when we get on the air.”

‘You Again’ Filmmaker Laying Plans for Billy Crystal Multi-Generational Comedy

You Again Stars Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Kristen Bell photo by Mark Fellman

“You Again” director Andy Fickman might just be going from one multigenerational romp to another.  With his Kristen Bell-Jamie Lee Curtis-Sigourney Weaver-Betty White comedy due for release this Friday (9/24), the prolific moviemaker tells us he has a Billy Crystal picture in the works.

“Billy is one of my favorite comedic actors.  I know he’s been so busy – directing, doing his book, his Broadway show – but speaking purely as a fan, I really want to see him back on the big screen again,” says Fickman.

He’s awaiting a rewrite now from Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel on the ye- untitled Crystal film he describes as “tonally very much like ‘Parenthood.’  It has to do with how we treat our parents, and how our parents treat us as well.  It’s going to be fun.”

Fun, too, was the process of making “You Again,” he wants us to know.  The movie has Bell and Curtis having to confront their nightmare high school adversaries — Odette Yustman and Sigourney Weaver – as new members of their family.