Today's Z-lister may well be tomorrow's gold standard. Just ask Mel Gibson and Kate Moss, who were honored this week, respectively, by the Latin Business Association and British Fashion Awards.
Prince: What's next? The Mirage poaching another famous Jehovah's Witness to resurrect its one-time marquee attraction as "Siegfried and Michael"? At the very least, Prince may need to adopt "???" as his new symbol. The idea that the diminutive 48-year-old pop star will, starting next weekend, be headlining as a Friday-Saturday Vegas regular at the all-suites Rio Hotel and Casino is about as logical as Marilyn Manson happily taking part in an episode of Trading Spaces. And if you're planning on shouting out a request for "Dirty Mind" classics like "Sister" (about incest) or "Head" (about... you know), save your money for the "When Doves Cry" slots.
Kanye West: In the December issue of Playboy, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines hails the rapper as "brave" for his now famous calling out of George Bush on NBC's post-Hurricane Katrina TV fundraiser. But it's time to stop the presses after Kanye took his politics in a different direction at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Storming the stage after Justice and Simian won for Best Video, KW boo-hooed that he should have won because his entry, "Touch the Sky," cost a million dollars, featured Pam Anderson and had him jumping across canyons. Yeah, we're sure all those folks in New Orleans who have neither trophies nor mantelpiece are hurting for you.
Bill Gates: You're the richest man in the freakin' world, but you won't dip into the Seattle cookie jar for the dollars Microsoft needs to bring Halo to the big screen? Look, it's not like we're asking you to bankroll Marie Antoinette. And think of the cross-promotional opportunities: a sneak peek "Halo" screensaver bundled with Windows 2008, a tongue-in-cheek YouTube trailer spoof in which your mighty protagonist whimpers "You had me at Halo..." As far as we're concerned, charity begins at home, and by not stepping in when Fox and Universal stepped out, you needlessly left good guy Peter Jackson hanging.
Matthew Perry: Chandler has been reborn as a chick magnet, but it may not be enough to save Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Despite an order of three more episodes, and an early slot on the schedule for this winter's upcoming Television Critics Association Press Tour, rumors are swirling that cost-cutting NBC is about to pull the plug on this expensive ratings disappointment. Too bad, because we've witnessed first-hand how a room full of real-life Hollywood TV writers can take hilarious chunks out of the grandiose inaccuracy of Sorkin's deluded dud, and frankly, we're going to miss that water cooler fun.
Bob Saget: He was hilariously foul-mouthed in The Aristocrats and true to wink-wink form in Entourage. But his grand opus Farce of the Penguins, which he wrote, directed, produced and co-voices, has been unceremoniously dumped by ThinkFIlm from the Happy Feet theatrical schedule in favor of a straight-to-DVD January 2007 release. This, despite Samuel L. Jackson's parody version of Morgan Freeman's March of the Penguins dulcet narration, and the additional voice participation of folks such as Jason Biggs, Jon Lovitz, Norm MacDonald and Saget's old Full House pals, Dave Coulier and John Stamos. The tag line reads, 'What Happens In Antarctica... Stays in Antarctica', but the days when Saget could engender global warming are long gone.