August 28, 2008

Bill Maher Bypasses the Masses

By Penny Parker

Comedian Bill Maher stopped on the red carpet in front of the Sherman Street Event Center Monday night only long enough to chat with USA Today and Fox News (doesn't he despise Fox?).

Then he blew by the rest of us local press and relative nobodies to hike the stairs into the building where he would grant a private audience to New York Post gossip gal Cindy Adams before his 45- minute stand-up act, sponsored by Trojan condoms and Rolling Stone magazine.

EAVESDROPPING on Maher talking to USA Today while pointing to the Trojan logo on the wall behind the red carpet: "I've never worked for (Trojan) before, but they've certainly worked for me."

DON'T GET LOONEY OVER CLOONEY: Let this be the last time we discuss this . . . heartthrob actor and big-time Dem George Clooney is not, I repeat, not coming to Denver during the DNC. I told you this weeks ago when his publicist, Stan Rosenfield, told me that Clooney was definitely not going to make an appearance here this week.

But, no. So many of you didn't believe me and kept sending me reports of Clooney staying here, eating there, hosting parties everywhere. So, Monday I e-mailed Rosenfield , who's out of the country, just to make sure the movie star's plans hadn't changed.

"You spot him there and I'll give you a million dollars," Rosenfield e-mailed back. That's got to be the quote of the day . . . if not the week.

HUDSON WILL SING ANTHEM: Oscar-winning Dream Girl Jennifer Hudson has been asked by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama to sing the national anthem prior to his acceptance speech Thursday at Invesco Field, according to an Access Hollywood report.

Hudson, who got her big break as a contestant on American Idol season three, won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role as Effie White, opposite Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Beyonce Knowles in the movie-musical Dream Girls.

MARY, MARY'S NOT CONTRARY: So Rocky Food Editor Marty Meitus and I are sitting in a private room upstairs minding our own business - blogging our brains out, actually, at the Friends of New Orleans Jam- balaya at the Fillmore Auditorium on Sunday. During a break in the action who wanders in? Mary Matalin, as in the Republican adviser during many administrations. As in the Republican married to the Democrat, James Carville.

But push party politics aside. Matalin, who turned double nickels this month, is here in a bipartisan role supporting Katrina relief organizations Women of the Storm and Friends of New Orleans, the folks who threw this crab boil Sunday night.

"It's a national issue," Matalin said about the rebuilding efforts. "One third of our gas and oil comes through New Orleans. It's the No. 1 port in the country, and so much of our seafood comes from the Gulf Coast. This is specifically about coastal restoration. We'll be doing the same thing at the Republican National Convention, where I'll be more Republican."

But she couldn't resist a few political comments. After all, it's what she does.

"Obama will get a good bounce after the convention," she said, adding that she is mystified about Sen. Joe Biden as Obama's running mate choice. "An Obama-Clinton ticket would have been unbeatable," she said. "This ticket is beatable. You can call it spin, it ain't spin.

"Hillary people are seeking me out to tell me they're not happy. (Picking Biden) was a very irrational decision. It's not a Biden thing; I like Joe Biden. But I'm standing waiting for a cab and people are coming up to me like I know something about (the Biden decision). I'm flummoxed."

TICKETLESS IN DENVER? What, no ticket to see Sen. Obama make his acceptance speech live Thursday at Invesco Field? No worries. You can watch the Invesco action on a really big screen - the side of Jet Hotel on 16th and Wazee streets - where the speech will be projected live.

A post-speech invite-only party will be held in the parking lot next to the hotel with hip-hop artists Clipse and The Cool Kids, DJs from Spank rock and Denver DJ Vajra.

YAH THINK? Our own dear Mayor John Hickenlooper was a tad tardy for his role to introduce the philanthropy seminar during the Rocky Mountain Roundtable at the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Monday. Why? Apparently Hick got caught up in demonstrations. He apologized to the crowd: "I just ran four blocks to get here. There was a commotion on the streets."

PEPSI CENTER POOP: My spy, who was on a VIP tour of the Pepsi Center Monday, observed that CBS news anchor Katie Couric garnered more attention of any other media celebs in the joint.

"She's getting more attention than Wolf Blitzer or anyone else who was there," my spy said.

"A huge crowd gathered around her. She's beautiful and sharp as can be."

THE SEEN: CBS Early Show anchor Harry Smith talking on his cell phone in the lobby of the Westin Tabor Center Sunday.

Super singer Tony Bennett, former Rep. Richard Gephardt, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Illinois Sen. Emil Jones Jr., Geraldine Ferraro and California Rep. Barbara Lee at The Palm Sunday.

Hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, a member of The Fugees, conducting interviews at The Magnolia Hotel Monday. Political pundit Carville lunching with two men at the Ship Tavern in The Brown Palace Sunday.

EAVESDROPPING on a police officer at Speer and Blake: "You can't get around this city unless you have a helicopter."

Originally published by Penny Parker, Rocky Mountain News.

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