The strange, "K Street"-like blurring of the line between reality and fiction that started in August when Jay Leno had Arnold Schwarzenegger on to announce his candidacy for governor moved to another level when Jay introduced Arnold after his victory on Tuesday with "Tonight is a testament of just how important one appearance on 'The Tonight Show' can be ..." And then last night capped it off with a "surprise" appearance by the newly elected guv on Leno's show (that was promo-ed all evening). As Nikki Finke writes in the L.A. Weekly, "These days America expects its late-night comedians to be evenhanded when it comes to political humor" and Leno is letting them down. She notes that ever since 9/11 the host has gone easy on the Bushies and has even dredged up old Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky barbs. Case in point, a recent Jay joke: "What's the difference between the Clinton women and the Schwarzenegger women? I'll tell you the difference -- about 200 pounds." (L.A. Weekly)
Speaking of the Clintons, Sen. Hillary was Jon Stewart's guest last night. When he suggested that Arnold's quick campaign might bode well for Hillary if she decided to run for president two months before the 2004 election, she dodged by saying Jon should consider running now that he has an Emmy. As for the Arnold factor, Hill was discreet -- saying only that she thought a lot of the economic woes that swept Gray Davis out of office were caused by Bush administration policies.
Someone who might want to take discreet lessons from Hillary is Maryland's first lady, Kendel Ehrlich, who, during a domestic violence prevention conference last week said, "Really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would." Know how you feel, but her music's not that bad. (CNN)
Russell Crowe is threatening to boycott the British premiere of his blockbuster new movie "Master and Commander" if he doesn't like the Channel 4 biopic being shown tonight. The film reportedly shows Crowe in bar brawls and alleges that he pulled a gun at a photo shoot. Guess ol' Russ was tipped off by the bio's title: "Russell Crowe's Greatest Fights." (IMDB)
Woody Allen is shopping the promise of an autobiography at the Frankfurt Book Fair and Der Spiegel, in a hilarious online translation, reports: "The Medienneurotiker is to have offered in a conceivablly short 'expose' its autobiography for the purchase, concisely 'A to plumb bob of money' have required and last explain, as soon as it became with the highest bidder commercialunited, it even with the writing of the book would begin." Start writing, Medienneurotiker! (Gawker)
-- Karen Croft
Former Columbus Zoo director Jack Hanna adding credence to the theory that the tiger that attacked Roy Horn onstage in Vegas the other night was not trying to kill his trainer, but was instead simply confused: "I have seen a Bengal tiger that size take down a water buffalo in less than 30 seconds, and break his neck. If he had done that, it would have been over with." (ABC News)
Pamela Anderson on her secret gender confusion: "We are all born naked. Everything else is drag, right? I often feel that I am a gay man trapped in this body." (Jane magazine via Page Six)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Kevyn Aucoin's family tries to keep late makeup artist's cosmetics company afloat; Willie Nelson dedicates song to California's new gov-elect, "To All the Girls I've Groped Before"; Lauren Hutton alarms New Jersey women's conference attendees by making rambling speech, talk of tryst with younger man.
Rush and Molloy: Daryl Hannah rumored to have threatened to sue Playboy magazine over nude photos in November issue. Says friend of actress, "She [was promised] full approval on the shots, and they used photos she hadn't approved of"; New York Times editorial endorses Red Sox win against Yankees; Eric Benet denies report that Halle Berry left him after finding him with two women "in various stages of undress"; Courtney Love insists she broke into her ex-boyfriend and manager's house the other night because she owns the house and needed some stuff inside; Christie Todd Whitman disses former boss President Bush for billion-dollar Halliburton oil well deal, telling Harper's Bazaar, "That was dumb. Why in God's name [would] you let that happen? Halliburton may be the best people to do the job, but you have to bid it, because it just looks terrible."
Boldface Names: At New York "Kill Bill" premiere: Uma Thurman unsheaths sword, denies similarities to vengeful character; Quentin Tarantino fails to show; Daryl Hannah manhandles Peter Bogdanovich; and Vivica A. Fox says her boyfriend, 50 Cent, will "absolutely love" the movie, elaborating, "He loves a little bit of violence, he loves shooting, he loves fighting, he likes all that."