The other night I happened to be watching a few minutes of a George Lopez interview with the young, cute, adorable, bubbly, zaftig, black actress from Glee. I looked on the cable guide to check out the guests for the other shows and it said that Jimmy Kimmel had on Gabourey Sidibe. Gabourey Sidibe. God I love saying her name. I put it right up there with Nikolai Khabibulin, the goaltender for the Edmonton Oilers, as two of my all-time favorite names to say out loud. “Hello sir. I am Nikolai Khabibulin and I am here to escort your lovely daughter to the Ball. Maybe I can be of some assistance Madame, I am Nikolai Khabibulin, and I once delivered a baby in a Moscow Sizzler with some napkins, a wet nap and salad tongues.” I’m telling you the name just rolls off the tongue, like Gabourey Sidibe.
After I was done pondering the sound of Gabourey Sidibe’s name, I realized she is the young, cute, adorable, bubbly, zaftig black actress from Precious. I could be wrong, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s a coincidence that they would both be on competing talk shows at the same time. It's not like there's 20 young, cute, adorable, bubbly, zaftig, black actresses that are currently famous to choose from. They are the only two.
I'd like to believe a scenario occurred in which the talent booker for Kimmel found out the girl from Glee (Amber Riley) was on Lopez and shouted to her assistant to get the agent on the phone for another Glee cast member. She pointed to her chart of “Celebrities of Equal Importance” or “C.E.I.” that she made up on Excel to ensure that the other talk shows would never one-up her with a booking. It’s a pretty simple formula. If Leno books one member of an ensemble show than she would book another member of that show or an equivalent show. For example, if Leno booked Mathew Fox from Lost, than she would try and book the actor who played Sawyer from Lost and if they couldn’t get him, they would possibly book Simon Baker from The Mentalist, who has equal sex appeal and TV show status.
Sometimes, they can go with someone who has an equal audience attraction but to the opposite sex. So, if Letterman had Simon Baker, Leno had Mathew Fox and Kimmel had David Boreanz from Bones, she might go with Jennifer Love Hewitt, who has the same appeal to men that Mathew Fox does to women(and was also his co-star on Party of Five which would add symmetry.) Now, Michael J. Fox would not be considered as a match for Mathew Fox, but he is one of the few matches for Muhammad Ali. It’s a delicate system of checks and balances, not unlike our own United States Congress, she once told her assistant.
The creation of the C.E.I. chart is what got Amy Fuller, Jimmy Kimmel’s talent booker, her promotion. After paying her dues in the industry; spending six months as the craft service person for Leno, where she had to keep the fridge in his office stocked with Mallomars and root beer and then two years as his assistant talent booker, she had perfected her system before taking the job with Jimmy Kimmel. There was only one famous person in Hollywood who had no C.E.I. match. David Caruso.
David Caruso's overt belief in his own perceived greatness and his continued insistence on talking like Adam West’s more serious asshole brother in roles, is quite apparent in interviews. Since this persona can not be duplicated by other crime show actors and can only be compared to agents, producers and British oil company CEO’s, he is usually booked against animal trainers and country singers.
Amy Fuller, the senior talent booker on The Jimmy Kimmel Show looked at her C.E.I. chart and realized that Glee’s Amber Reilly had not been added to it. “Either the gay guy, the dumb jock, the cheerleader, the Asian girl, the Jewish dude in the wheel chair, the Jewish hot guy, the teacher that gets way too involved in his students lives, or Jane Lynch will do”, she told Becky Slater, her protégé/assistant. When Becky told her that the rest of the cast of Glee were busy in rehearsals for “Glee On Ice” Amy thought out loud "Ok, who can we get that will compete with this young, cute, adorable, bubbly, zaftig, black actress. Then they both turned to each other and said “Gabourey Sidibe.” Amy called Gabourey’s agent and booked the appearance on the show.
They relaxed for a moment and Amy Fuller, a 32 year old woman with Tina Feyish glasses, tells Becky how Harrison Ford talked to her for a half hour before a show the other night thinking she was S.E. Cupp. (1) Becky Slater, a 25 year old dead ringer for every 25 year old blonde girl in LA whose face is prematurely thinned out, pursed her lips and said “weird.” Amy replied “Yeah, that’s the second time this week. My friend who works at Bill Maher says she’s not really the uptight conservative bitch she seems to be. I mean she’s uptight and conservative. She’s just not a bitch.” Well that’s cool, Becky said in between sips of her mocha frappucino. “Plus, guys really want to do her.” When I was 13, I looked like Fiona Apple. You know what it’s like to have 8th grade boys tease you about being a bad, bad girl? It’s no fun having a doppelganger whose bat shit.”
I did notice a day later that there were two movies on at the same time that used the Kiss song Beth as a plot point. The first was the appropriately titled “I Love You Beth Cooper,” the other was Role Models (which I consider to be the slightly less funny Paul Rudd vehicle than I Love You Man) I’ll give Kiss some credit. It’s not easy for a rock band to have a romantic ballad sung by a man with cat whiskers painted on his cheeks and still look cool. If you were magically transported to a Kiss concert in 1978 and had never heard of Kiss before and Peter Criss came out from behind his drum kit and sat down and crooned Beth, you’d expect Rum Tum Tigger to dance on to the stage and lick his face.
(1) I recently saw S.E. Cupp on Bill Maher and although she is a conservative capitalizing on Republican men who seem to love having sexy, snooty women represent them, I actually was taken aback by her hotness. She reminds me somewhat of what Grammar Girl might look like in real life. I have a huge crush on Grammar Girl, the Web site and her sexy librarian cartoon representation. Mignon Fogarty, the woman who created the Grammar Girl site comes off on her pod cast as not only cute, but genuinely sweet. She would probably approve of my dorkiness but disapprove of my overuse of parenthesis. I can picture her pointing out to me the fact that S.E. Cupp was not actually physically on Bill Maher. At that point, I would probably imagine myself physically getting off of her.