Pucker up for inefficacy
Wearing masks, distancing.
6 feet apart, no hugging, no smooching. It’s the perfect time to remember a first kiss.
Usher’s first smooch was at 12. But he dealt with seconds because she also kissed his friend . . . Beyoncé says her first was in her teens. And she was last in her crowd to do so . . . Jessica Alba? Age 10. Claims she did it so the boy would pick her for his baseball team . . . Drew Barrymore? Age 10. The boy? Age 11 . . . Nicolas Cage recalls it was in summer camp. “I was 11 or 12. The bitch broke my heart. I remember her to this day.” . . . Sandra Bullock: “He got his little best friend to go on all fours and stood on his pal’s back to get up high enough to kiss me through my bedroom window.” . . . Tori Spelling? “It was in sixth grade.” . . . Tyra Banks: “Complete disaster. I freaked out. It reminded me of a worm.” . . . Winona Ryder: “I was 12. It was in my class. Awful. I can’t even talk about it. A long time before I allowed another one.” . . . Denise Richards: “He’d had his two front teeth removed the day before.” . . . Sharon Stone: “I was playing darts in my parents’ basement. He kissed me. Really KISSED me. Like wow! Like whoa! I was 15.” . . . Charlize Theron: “He had braces. It was in the backyard. Name was Nicky and I’m like, ‘You wanna do it?’ We’re standing there arguing about it for so long and it was just awful.”
Wack vax attack
Now, another matter. People once sent a dime to President Roosevelt to underwrite developing a polio vaccine. His March of Dimes raised millions. Over 35,000 a year afflicted in the ’40s and ’50s. In 1952, 60,000 children. 1955 brought the vaccine. Church bells rang. Loudspeakers everywhere trumpeted its arrival. Today, 41 million US reported cases and over 661,000 deaths. We have a COVID-19 vaccine. And it has become a political statement.
‘Gossip’ lives online
Thanks to whoever watched “Gossip,” the documentary on me, Ron Howard’s four succeeding Sunday 8 p.m. hour episodes on Showtime. Here’s some unknown scenes of doing this column 40 years:
Barbara Walters invited me on a world cruise starting in Rome. A doctor prescribed Ambien for the flight. Five milligrams. The nurse incorrectly prepped 10 milligrams. Never taking it before, I later awakened and swallowed another. I was OUT! The stewardess couldn’t lift my head off the breakfast omelet. Strapped in a wheelchair, they rolled me up the gangplank. I was out for two days.
How about too many interviews, phone calls, corrections, additions, complaints, deletions and pains in the behind editors-in-chief. Overstressed on deadlines once, I flushed VIP credentials down a john and threw my bank’s single-copy private key into a mailbox. Also, halfway through interviewing Sir Michael Caine, I had absolutely no idea whatthehell his name was.
The documentary is now streaming. I thank you again.
NYFF art revamp
THE 59th New York Film Festival has a new poster. Previously it’s been artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, John Waters, Pedro Almodóvar and Robert Rauschenberg. Now it’s Kara Walker. By an odd happenstance it’s available for purchase, $150, in Alice Tully Theater’s merchandise store. Lincoln Center members get a discount.
FROM the lips of a spokescreature for Hunter Biden’s father: “We are now gratefully and thankfully responsible for bringing together all the people who love and respect him. Both are now waiting outside in the phone booth.”
NOT Only in New York, kids, not only in New York.