By David Hiltbrand, The Philadelphia Inquirer –
This is going to sound morbid only because it is.
When a celebrity of sufficient stature dies, TV’s high-gloss infotainment shows (“Access Hollywood,” “Extra,” et al) continue to do nightly stories on him or her long after said programs have run out of viable things to report.
“Entertainment Tonight” earned the coveted “Weekend at Bernie’s” Award for an absurd segment this week speculating that Whitney Houston might have had an affair with Jermaine Jackson.
The primary proof? “ET” anchor Nancy O’Dell drew our attention to the startling resemblance between Jermaine and the rugged leading man in the music video to Whitney’s “Saving All My Love for You.”
Just for the sake of argument, let’s say that would actually mean something.
The problem is, the guy in the 1985 clip looked like a black Dolph Lundgren. Jermaine and this male model — lookalikes? Sure, and I’m a dead ringer for Tom Brady.
“ET” also had a wifty, inconclusive clip from Jermaine’s sister LaToya. I got news for you: Give LaToya camera time and she’ll confess to killing Jimmy Hoffa.
O’Dell acknowledged that Jermaine wouldn’t address the rumor, then pulled this quote from his 2011 book “You Are Not Alone: Michael, Through a Brother’s Eyes”: “Ultimately, we had to go our separate ways and it killed us both.”
Looking into the camera, O’Dell said, “Many people feel the same way.”
Wait, what? How do many people feel?
In any event, don’t miss “ET’s” explosive two-part hallucination next week: Did Whitney’s “Bodyguard” costar Kevin Costner get the idea for his sci-fi epic “Waterworld” because Whitney had gills and webbed feet?
—This could get ugly. I don’t want to appear dismissive of the important work done by “Entertainment Tonight.” It’s not easy to stitch together a half-hour of gossip and puffery on a nightly basis.
Sometimes things go kaflooey. Like the night after the Whitney-Jermaine speculation.
Covering the increasingly acrimonious and public custody battle between Christie Brinkley and her ex, Peter Cook, “ET” brought in expert psychotherapist Robi Ludwig to address how this nasty spat might affect the couple’s kids.
To establish Ludwig’s creds, they displayed her book” Till Death Do Us Part: Love, Marriage, and the Mind of the Killer Spouse.”
Yikes! It’s a gruesome study of spousal murderers such as Rabbi Fred Neulander and Scott Peterson, with a foreword by Nancy Grace. What is “ET” trying to tell us about Christie and Peter?
—The finder. On “Smash” this week, Tom (Christian Borle) got a call from Leo (Emory Cohen), the teenage son of his writing partner Julia (Debra Messing).
“What’s up?” he asked.
“I can’t find my mom and my dad’s out of town and I kind of got arrested,” the kid blurted out. The camera pulled back and we saw he’s on a pay phone with a uniformed cop standing guard over him.
“Sit tight,” said Tom, making for the door. “I’m on my way.”
Before you rush off, Tom, shouldn’t you maybe find out where the kid is being held?
—That’s classy. Soon after confirming her pregnancy, Snooki declared that she wouldn’t be living and carousing in the “Jersey Shore” house no more.
“I don’t want to be one of those moms who’s pregnant in a club,” she said. “It’s disgusting.”
You mean up until now your behavior has been pretty dignified?