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The Coulter Controversy; Most Outrageous TV`s Guests Ever; The Race to Become the First Puppy; Cashing in on Obama

Aired January 13, 2009 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT - the Coulter controversy on "The View." Tonight, the outrage and fallout after the conservative lightning rod shows up on "The View," disses Barbara Walters, and gets into it with Whoopi and Sherri. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares to ask - was Ann Coulter the worst guest ever?
Plus, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes a stand and reveals the most outrageous TV guests ever.

The SHOWBIZ Obama watch. The neck-in-neck, or perhaps we should say tail-and-tail race to become the first puppy.

Plus, cashing in on Obama, from bobbleheads to snow globes. You are not going to believe the stuff that is for sale. Tonight SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates, "cashing in on Obama."

Plus, Britney Spears reaches out to Harvard University. But why, Britney, oh, why?

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.


Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City. And tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares to ask, was Ann Coulter the worst guest ever? Tonight, there is explosive new fallout from the conservative writer`s blowout with the ladies of "The View." And when I say blowout, I`m not talking a hair styling segment, OK?

Just when we thought we had seen it all on "The View" - and let`s not forget this is where Rosie O`Donnell ruled the roost. Well, along came Coulter and dared to somehow make a connection between Barbara Walters and Adolf Hitler`s "Mein Kampf." And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can now reveal that what has happened since then is making big news right now.


(voice over): It`s something we rarely see. On Tuesday, the hosts of "The View" actually refused to talk about something.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Yesterday`s show was yesterday`s show. It`s gone.

HAMMER: What the ladies were so intent on forgetting was the storm that hit their studio a day earlier - Hurricane Ann.

ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE AUTHOR AND COMMENTATOR: You guys attacked me for it and I can`t respond. Halle Berry.


OK. Just let me answer.

HAMMER: Everyone is still talking about "The View`s" collective smackdown of conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter. It all started when the hosts talked to Coulter about some of the controversial views she expresses in her new book.

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Ann Coulter talks in her book about how some mixed race, well-known people like Alicia Keys, like Halle Berry, like Obama identify more with the black side of their family rather than the white side. She talks about single mothers being a problem for society.

HAMMER: Take note - four of "The View`s" hosts are single moms. Two of them are African-American. So, needless to say, Coulter`s comments didn`t go over well.

GOLDBERG: You title a chapter, "Victim of a Crime? Thank a Single Mother." What is your issue with single mothers?

COULTER: 80 percent of the inmates in prisons were raised by single mothers.

HAMMER: When Coulter took exception to the tone in which Walters was reading from her book, Coulter had an official, "oh, no she didn`t" moment.


COULTER: Yes, and read it like you are reading "Mein Kampf" again.

HAMMER: Oh, no she didn`t. Walters didn`t take kindly to Coulter`s reference to Adolf Hitler`s manifesto.

COULTER: Read it like you are reading "Mein Kampf" again.

WALTERS: I don`t think I did that.

COULTER: I think you did. You spat out the words when I wasn`t sitting here.

HAMMER: Sherri Shepherd soon decided she had had enough.

SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I don`t appreciate the way you are talking to her. I mean, nobody is attacking you. You didn`t have to talk to her like that.

GOLDBERG: I want to reiterate, nobody was putting down or attacking you.

COULTER: Look, you were claiming that I was basing this on personal experience. I was not basing it on personal experience.

GOLDBERG: No, I asked -


COULTER: Halle Berry`s Academy Award acceptance speech went on and on about how she was doing it for the blacks. That was identifying with her black father. I am talking about what you say in public.


GOLDBERG: You can dish it out but you can`t take it. We`ll be right back with Ann`s book.

HAMMER: Despite the abrupt end to the segment, "The View" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Coulter`s appearance ended when it was scheduled to and that she didn`t walk out nor was she booted out. But it was clear that despite the publicity, "The View`s" hosts weren`t too sad to see her go.

SERAFIN: None of them like Ann Coulter and it wasn`t really a happy segment. So I think they want to put it behind them and move on.

HAMMER: "The View" dustup happened days after Coulter tangled with Matt Lauer on the "Today" show after a booking snafu led to her publicly accusing NBC of banning her from the program.

MATT LAUER, HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: Do you think though that much was made of this and maybe you helped fan the fire here a little bit to make a contribution to sell the book.

COULTER: No. I don`t think I`d be sitting here now if it hadn`t been a headline on "Drudge."

SERAFIN: The interview still wasn`t actually very nice. Matt Lauer certainly didn`t coddle her in any way.

HAMMER: So she tangles with hosts, sometimes insults them, and she doesn`t always play well with others. So SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has to ask, is Ann Coulter really the worst guest ever? If she is, then why do people continue to have her on their shows?

SERAFIN: That is her schtick. That`s what she does. She walks into an interview and is immediately ready to fight.

HAMMER: "In Touch Weekly`s" Kim Serafin tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for the right amount of attention, most TV hosts can put up with a little "Coulter- versy."

SERAFIN: If you are the host and you`re interviewing Ann, you are thinking, "Oh my gosh! This is the worst guest ever." But then, the next day, you read all the articles. You see the publicity and you see the ratings. And you think, "She is probably the best guest ever."

HAMMER: So maybe Coulter can be a polite guest and respect her hosts.

SHEPHERD: You didn`t have to talk to her like that. (CROSS TALK)

HAMMER: But judging by her bestselling book and packed public appearances, that could be bad for business.

SERAFIN: Unlike other people who go on interviews and want people to like them and buy their books, she wants people to hate her and buy her books.


HAMMER: All right. So is Ann Coulter the worst guest ever? Or is she just plain good TV?

Joining me tonight in New York is Lisa Bloom who is an anchor for "In Session." Also joining me tonight from Hollywood is Howard Bragman, founder of Fifteen Minutes Public Relations and author of this brand new, and I might say, fascinating new book "Where`s My 15 Minutes?"

So we know Ann Coulter`s reputation. This is no secret. This woman makes headlines for being outrageous. That`s how she sells books. But she also has the reputation of being disruptive. And she usually drops a smoke bomb or two when she`s on TV. So plain and simple, and out to you first, Lisa Bloom, is Ann Coulter the worst guest ever?

LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": Yes, she is. And the reason is because like the Grinch, her heart is three sizes too small. She doesn`t have an ounce of compassion. She calls 9/11 widows harpies whose delight in their husband`s deaths, whose husband were probably going to divorce them before they were murdered.

I mean, this is a mean, nasty person. Blames single moms for the problems in society. And you see it when she is on a show. She turns on Barbara Walters. Are you kidding me? Like the nicest interviewer on the planet. That shows who Ann Coulter really is.

HAMMER: I`m sorry, Lisa, we expect you to tell us how you really feel when you come on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. All right.

Howard Bragman, off to you. Now, you actually write about Ann Coulter in your new book "Where is My 15 Minutes" and you write about her as an example of what not to do. So even if she succeeds at selling books by being this way, she is still the worst guest ever?

BRAGMAN: She is burning some very big bridges here. And I don`t see Matt or Barbara Walters wanting her back quickly. And I want to tell you a little secret. I did Judith Reagan`s radio show last week on Satellite Radio in New York. And Ann Coulter was the guest before me. They got in a fight. Ann Coulter hung up.

So there is a third bridge she has burned. She is the most obnoxious woman on TV. She relishes in her obnoxiousness. And guess what? We are tired of it. It`s not that interesting anymore.

HAMMER: Man, but people still keep buying her books. I just don`t get it. Let me show you though a perfect example of her being a rude guest. It was when Coulter blasted Barbara Walters because she thought that Barbara Walters had read Coulter`s book like Hitler`s "Mein Kampf." Watch what happened here.


WALTERS: Can I just read a section aloud?

COULTER: Yes. And read it like you are reading "Mein Kampf" again.

WALTERS: I don`t think I did that.

COULTER: I think you did. You spat out the words when I wasn`t sitting there.

WALTERS: Let me do this. That`s because I would look to discuss something current. I read this because I would love to hear your view on Caroline Kennedy`s desires to become a senator.

COULTER: Yes, that was lovely. You could do the audio book.


HAMMER: By the way, bravo to Barbara. Did you see her at the very beginning clearly biting her tongue? She thought about it and she thought better of saying something rude and tried to get on with the interview.

But Lisa Bloom, you know, you being a long time host of your own television show, I`m curious what you would do. How would you react if you had a guest on your show and they disrespected you like that? Would you have bitten your tongue?

BLOOM: I would channel Barbara Walters. I would do Lamaze breathing, in, two, three, four, out, two, three, four - try to remain calm. Because you don`t want to get down and dirty on their level. You want to take the high road. You want to garner the respect because you are the host.

And I think Ann Coulter is her own worst enemy. The more obnoxious she is and the calmer Barbara Walters is by comparison, I mean, we see what their true colors really are.

HAMMER: It really was an example of restraint. And you, Lisa Bloom, obviously a trained broadcast professional. Now, the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines - no big surprise here - just flooded with lots of calls coming in all about Ann Coulter. Let`s listen to what Shirley from Canada has to say.


SHIRLEY, CALLER FROM CANADA: I don`t know why you would even put Ann Coulter and show her on your show when she is such a disgrace on "The View." And she`s one of the rudest women in television. I don`t know why people keep putting her on in your country.


HAMMER: Well, it is in our country and I`m sure in other countries. And really, echoing a point that Howard just made and Lisa, about the type of person Ann Coulter is viewed to be.

And Shirley, we appreciate your call. I think you have a great point there. Everybody knows you have Coulter on TV. There is a very solid chance she is going to be rude. She`s going to be out of control, do something that is going to make you mad.

So Howard, I have to look at the flipside of this. Are TV shows just as guilty for booking her and having her on?

BRAGMAN: I do think they have to assume a certain amount of responsibility. You know, TV shows all like that viral moment. But there is a big line between discourse and disrespect. And I think she has crossed that line.

Plus, everything with her feels too intentional. Rosie got genuinely upset. Ann Coulter has done it so many times it`s the girl who has cried wolf. I don`t think there is any authenticity, any credibility. And I hope she goes away. And the way that your viewers can really register their protest is just not buy her book.

HAMMER: Yes, interesting how to see what happens, because the truth is we have been through this before. We have seen it before. We have seen her act out on TV shows and in interviews. And then we`ve seen her books go to the top of the bestseller list. So I guess it is a wait-and-see kind of thing.

Lisa Bloom, Howard Bragman. Thank you both.

BLOOM: Thanks.

HAMMER: All right. So Ann`s appearance on "The View" pretty shocking, but that got us thinking. You know, she is not the only one in the running when it comes to outrageous guests. You remember Tom Cruise, of course, on the "Today" show.

What about this one? Paula Abdul just losing it on live TV. Coming up, you will not want to miss it when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reveals the most outrageous guests ever.

We will also have this -


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the Obamas are going to need a very social dog that can deal well with people coming and going.


Tonight in the SHOWBIZ Obama Watch, we`ve got big news about the search for the first puppy. You definitely don`t want to miss this. The new first family looks for the top dog.

HAMMER: And Britney Spears and Harvard? Did I just say that in the same sentence? Yes, those are two things that usually don`t go together. So why is Britney reaching out to the Ivy League school? We`ll be getting into that.

And now, the SHOWBIZ News Ticker - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck name their baby Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck. Howie Mandel released from hospital after being rushed there for an irregular heartbeat.)



JON HAMM, ACTOR: Here`s what I hope for. I hope that we can - that we - I mean it in every sense of the word as Americans can just be on the same page and start pulling for a greater America.


HAMMER: That was Jon Hamm of TV hit, "Mad Men," talking about his hopes for President-elect Barack Obama and his new administration.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. It is time now for the SHOWBIZ Obama Watch. Of course, Inauguration Day only a week away. And tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your inside look at Cadillac One. We are talking the car or part car, part high-tech tanker that Barack Obama will be riding in during the inaugural parade. You`ve got to check this out.

Here is CNN`s Jeanne Meserve for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JEANNE MESERVE, HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Secret service agents call the presidential limousine "The Beast." And if spy photos are any indication, President Obama`s new ride lives up to the name.

KEN LUCCI, OWNS PRESIDENTIAL LIMOUSINES: It`s a rolling tank with windows.

MESERVE: At the turn of the last century when President McKinley was inaugurated, he relied on an entirely different kind of horsepower. President Harding`s inaugural parade in 1920 was the first to use a car.

President Franklin Roosevelt used the first bullet-proof ride once seized from mobster Al Capone. President Johnson`s limo was armored and enclosed, a by-product of the Kennedy assassination.

Ken Lucci owns a limousine used by Presidents Ford and Carter and another that carried President Reagan.

LUCCI: This is a 1975 -

MESERVE: Though its doors and undercarriage are armored, it seems quaint next to the high-tech limousine President Obama will use.

(on camera): I like this. No campaign, no election, instant president. Great.

(voice over): Lucci notes the new limo`s windows are smaller to make it less vulnerable. Some of the body appears to be built of a different material. He speculates it`s a tougher composite. Lucci says rubber gaskets could protect against chemical weapons, and he guesses the holes in the door are for a mechanism to lock it like a bank vault.

LUCCI: That door probably weighs as much as a 757`s aircraft door and the inside of that cab is as sealed as a jet plane.

MESERVE: And that may surprise Obama, says Joe Funk, a former Secret Service agent who drove President Clinton`s limo.

JOE FUNK, FORMER SECRET SERVICE: It`s a cocoon. And the everyday noises will be gone. He will be totally isolated in this protect envelope.


HAMMER: They definitely want to check the tire pressure before they head out. That was CNN`s Jeanne Meserve for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And I`ve got to let you know, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is going to be right there in Washington where that limo is going to be rolling for Barack Obama`s presidential inauguration. This is expected to be the most star- studded inauguration ever. It`s SHOWBIZ at the inauguration right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And now over to you. Here is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Barack and Michelle Obama: Are they bigger stars than brad and Angelina?" You can vote at You can also email us your thoughts at

Tonight Mrs. Hasselbeck goes to Washington. Yes, "The View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck went to the White House and she met with President Bush during her visit to the Oval Office on Friday. Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd were in Washington last week. They were filming a pre-inaugural segment that`s going to be airing on "The View" next Monday. And you`ve got to take a look at what happened when Elisabeth met the outgoing president.


ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Mr. President, it`s so great to meet you. Thank you so much for having us.


HASSELBECK: I really have been waiting so long for this. Thank you, first and foremost, for keeping our country safe. I appreciate it.

BUSH: Thank you.

HASSELBECK: Do you take hugs?

BUSH: I take hugs.

HASSELBECK: OK, good. I`m a hugger.


HAMMER: She is a hugger. She hugged me. Well, the president also spent some time with Elisabeth`s husband Tim and their two children. That`s good for them. I know it is.

All right. The "Showbiz On Call" phone lines - they will not stop ringing. A lot of people have been calling in about many things including the Golden Globes. John from Kansas called in to "Showbiz On Call." He said he loved that Mickey Rourke won best actor for "The Wrestler."


JOHN, CALLER FROM KANSAS: I want to say congrats to Mickey Rourke. He deserved it. He reinvented himself with this movie. And this truly was a comeback story.


HAMMER: All right. John, thank you for your call. We also heard from Sandy in Ohio at "Showbiz On Call." Sandy really put off by the way the stars acted at the Golden Globes from the language they used to the director of "The Wrestler" flipping the bird. Here`s Sandy.


SANDY, CALLER FROM OHIO: I am absolutely appalled and sick at what they did. These people are dressed in beautiful clothes, and stuff, acting ignorant. Flipping each other off and cussing and saying stuff. Is that what this is all about? To me it is pure ignorance.


HAMMER: Sandy, we appreciate you calling in. We also got a message at "Showbiz On Call" from Kintesha in Texas who had a different take on the night. Let`s listen.

KINTESHA, CALLER FROM TEXAS: I would just like to say that the Golden Globes was very refreshing. Kate deserved the win. And what an amazing thing it is to see her really appreciate it. And she`s just so genuine. And it`s great to see people win that really, really, really, really deserve it.


HAMMER: Kintesha, I couldn`t agree with you more. And I appreciate your call. You, too, can call to "Showbiz On Call." That way, you can let us know what you think about the Golden Globes, winners, losers, or anything else. The "Showbiz On Call" phone lines open all the time at 1-888-SBT- BUZZ. That`s 1-888-728-2899. Leave us a voicemail. We`re playing your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And your calls to "Showbiz On Call" now online on our homepage,

Well, the outrage continues over Ann Coulter dissing Barbara Walters on "The View." But she is certainly not alone when it comes to outrageous guests. We all remember Tom Cruise on the "Today" show. We all remember Paula Abdul losing it on live TV.

Coming up, you`ve got to see it as SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reveals the most outrageous guests ever.

Also this -


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From bobbleheads to t-shirts - all things Obama are raking in cash.


HAMMER: And tonight in the SHOWBIZ Obama Watch - cashing in on Obama. I have got the inside story on how Obama`s election has meant big business for everything from bobbleheads to snow globes.

And Britney Spears and Harvard - two things that don`t usually go together. So why is Britney reaching out to the Ivy League school? That`s on the way.

And now, the SHOWBIZ News Ticker - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making big news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Victim in 1977 Roman Polanski rape case asks that charge be dismissed; wants no further publicity. Hilary Duff cast in NBC sitcom, "Barely Legal," based on true story of 18-year-old who passed the bar.)


HAMMER: All right. Did you see this? It`s a flying car. Yes, a team of British adventurers plan to set off on a journey Wednesday from London to Timbuktu in the world`s first road-legal biofuel flying car. This is kind of a souped up sand buggy with a parachute and a giant fan motor.

The para-jet sky car team says it plans to make the journey over six weeks by road and by air. And that is pretty cool.

And welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York with some more stories that are making big news right now."

"Grey`s Anatomy" is getting a major guest star. Oscar-winning actress Faye Dunaway, will be joining the cast at Seattle Grace for at least one episode. "" reports Dunaway will play a doctor from another wing of the hospital and that episode will air in February in during sweeps.

Glenn Close now has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Glenn was at the ceremony in Los Angeles, Monday, surrounded by dozens of fans. Glenn has won Emmies, and Tonies, and Golden Globes and has been nominated for an Oscar five incredible times. But she says getting her star has special meaning for her.


GLENN CLOSE, ACTRESS: To be considered a star is one thing. But to be embedded in the sidewalk with life passing over us - that for me is the best part of this honor. Five-inch heels, flip-flops, Birkenstocks, dropped ice cream cones, the odd tobacco squared, baby carriages, rollerblades, skateboards, wheelchairs. Bring it all on.


HAMMER: I love Glenn Close. And Heath Ledger`s mother says that the Golden Globe that he won posthumously for his role "The Dark Knight" will probably go to his daughter, Matilda. From her home in Australia, Heath`s mother tells "People" magazine that she and her family are just bursting with pride over all the recognition he is getting for his performance as The Joker.

She says there were a few tears when she heard about his golden globe win and that Heath would have appreciated his peers` acknowledgement. As for the award itself, Heath`s mother says, quote, "I should imagine that eventually, it will be going to Matilda. At this stage, she is only so young, but down the track, she will have all these things. It will belong to her because she is a part of him."

Well, the outrage continues over Ann Coulter dissing Barbara Walters on "The View." But you know, she is certainly not alone when it comes to outrageous guests. Remember Tom Cruise on the "Today" show? What about Paula Abdul when she lost it on live TV? Coming up you`ve got to see this. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT revealing the most outrageous guests ever.

Also this -


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the Obamas are going to need a very social dog that can deal well with people coming and going.


HAMMER: Yes. You got that right. Tonight, in the SHOWBIZ Obama Watch, we`ve got big news about the search for the first puppy. You don`t want to miss this. The new first family looks for the top dog.

And you may want to get your Dramamine ready. It`s time to cruise back to the `80s. I have the story on how you can sail the high seas with none other than these guys, New Kids on the Block.

But first, you need to know you can stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news by being a subscriber to our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. And you can subscribe by surfing on over to and clicking on the "signup for newsletter" link. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, coming right back.


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the most outrageous TV guests ever. Tonight, new anger over Ann Coulter and the ladies of "The View" going at it. But what about other big stars who cause some serious uproars? Tom Cruise, ripping into Matt Lauer, Paula Abdul, totally losing it on live TV. Making news right now, the most outrageous TV guests of all time.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the Obamas are going to need a very social dog that can deal well with people coming and going.


HAMMER: Brand new. Big news about the Barack Obama dog search. Which puppy will be the president`s best friend? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the search for the White House dog everyone is talking about.

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show continues right now.


Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is taking a stand. We are going to reveal the most outrageous TV guest ever. And we got to thinking about this after the fallout from Ann Coulter`s explosive confrontation with the ladies of "The View" including where she ripped into Barbara Walters and dissed Barbara on her own TV show. You can`t do that.

Joining me tonight from New York Lisa Bloom who is an anchor for "In Session." And from Hollywood tonight, Howard Bragman, who is the author of the brand new and compelling book "Where is My 15 Minutes?"

So let`s begin with Ann Coulter. She had a very fiery appearance on "The View" on Monday. She was there promoting her new book.

Now, Ann, we well know, is known for stirring things up. But what happened on "The View," I`ve got to say, was a complete shock. You`ve got to take a look at what happened when Barbara read aloud from Ann`s book.


WALTERS: Can I just read a section aloud?

COULTER: Yes, read it like you are reading "Mein Kampf" again.

WALTERS: I don`t think I did that.

COULTER: I think you did. You spat out the words when I wasn`t sitting here.

WALTERS: Let me do this. In this case I would look to discuss something current. I read this because I would love to hear your view on Caroline Kennedy`s desire to become a senator.

COULTER: Yes, that was lovely. You could do the audio book.


HAMMER: Insinuating that Barbara read Ann`s book like Hitler`s book. Now, most would agree, Ann makes her living as a result of saying outrageous things. But Lisa - and I realize why I was suddenly feeling queasy and nauseous every time I see her on TV. Is she the most outrageous guest ever or most entertaining ever?

BLOOM: How about the most repulsive guest ever? You know, Senator-elect, Al Franken wrote a book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them," and he has a couple chapters devoted to all the lies and the untruths that she`s told in her book.

That`s the problem we have with her. It`s not that she is outrageous, she`s flamboyant or event that she`s mean. It`s just that she has no credibility. I don`t know why she`s even asked on these reputable shows, honestly.

HAMMER: No credibility? Perhaps, no soul. I`m just saying. Howard Bragman, most outrageous or most entertaining?

BRAGMAN: I`m voting most obnoxious ever. You know, outrageous is something that happens. This doesn`t happen. It is so forced and feels so forced that we`re just not buying it anymore, A.J.

HAMMER: All right. Well, then, from forced, let`s move on to something which I think came very easily. It happened very organically, our next outrageous guest. This time, we`re talking about Danny De Vito. He was also on "The View." And good old Danny was just there, you know, promoting a movie. It was the movie that was out at the time.

And during the course of the interview he confessed he pulled his big all-nighter with George Clooney. And in the course of that evening, drank one too many limoncellos. Let`s watch again.


DANNY DE VITO, ACTOR: I knew it was the last seven limoncellos that was going to get me.

ROSIE O`DONNELL, FORMER CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Exactly. Have you been to sleep yet? Not really.

DE VITO: No. The guy who -

WALTERS: You`re waking up, aren`t you?

DE VITO: Trying to figure out what to do with our country.


HAMMER: A television classic to be sure. Lisa, I have to say, I think Danny gets points for being very honest there at the very beginning of the interview that he was drinking with his buddy George. But what do you think, most outrageous or most entertaining?

BLOOM: I`d say most entertaining. Yes, refreshingly real. He`s honest. By the way "The View" is on at 11:00 a.m. So if he`s up all night, he is really up all night. Didn`t get a nap in. But he`s honest. This is who he is. This is what he did. You know, it makes us like him, I think, all the more.

HAMMER: And what always strikes me whenever I see that clip, I am reminded that he was actually on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the night before. So some time in between his appearance here and his appearance there, no sleep for Danny.

BLOOM: Maybe you drove him to drink, A.J.

HAMMER: Well, that is always possible, isn`t it? And Danny - you know, I have to give him a lot of credit as well for turning the whole fiasco into a big money-making deal. He launched his own line of limoncello. So Howard Bragman, you`re all about your clients making a buck off of their missteps or their proper steps. Most outrageous guest or most entertaining?

BRAGMAN: Oh, he was entertaining. And as you say, he turned lemons into limoncello, so you`ve got to give him credit for that one. But it was truly a spontaneous moment, and he owned up to it. He didn`t come up with excuses.

And let me tell you, if I was up all night drinking with George Clooney, I would want to announce that on national TV, too.

HAMMER: All right. The classics keep on coming. We`ve got to move on to Tom Cruise, his big war of word with Matt Lauer when he was a guest on the "Today" show, promoting his movie. And Matt simply asked Tom Cruise about his attack on Brooke Shields for using psychiatric drugs to battle her postpartum depression. And who can forget how that conversation just spiraled out of control. Watch.


MATT LAUER, HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: Maybe there are too many kids on Ritalin. Maybe electric shock is -

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: Too many kids on Ritalin?

LAUER: I`m just saying -

CRUISE: Matt, Matt, Matt, you don`t even - you`re glib. You don`t even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, OK? That`s what I have done.


HAMMER: I think Tom is happy that`s in his past. We know that Matt and Tom have made up since then. Lisa -


HAMMER: I`m asking you not to be glib with your answer here. Does this fall under most outrageous or most entertaining?

BLOOM: A.J., A.J., you just really haven`t done your research here, clearly, A.J. I mean, come on. Tom Cruise does not look good there. This is a very open kind of live moment. You see this condescending, nasty, arrogant side of him. That is a bad, bad day for Tom Cruise.

HAMMER: Yes, and lighting was pretty horrific as well.


HAMMER: For whatever reason. I don`t know if that was the "Today" show`s fault or Tom`s.

All right. Our next outrageous guest is Paula Abdul. She was appearing via satellite on a morning talk show in Seattle. And she was acting - oh, I don`t know - let me just say, a little loopy. Charles, would you roll that?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE ANCHOR: Simon Lithgow(ph) said, the singers in Seattle were crazies drinking too much coffee. Simon Cowell says these were the worst miserable singers he`s ever seen. Why do you think we`re so bad here? That`s not true.

PAULA ABDUL, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN IDOL": You know what? Listen, any publicity is good publicity. You got to learn to eat it up and embrace it and say, "Seattle had the best delusional people."


HAMMER: OK. Well, Paula of course later claimed that she was linked up to two different TV stations at once. Both were talking in her earpiece at the same time.

OK. Howard Bragman, most outrageous or most entertaining?

BRAGMAN: You know, the biggest train wreck in Hollywood, and I love her. I have had the pleasure of representing her on numerous occasions. And that was kind of entertaining, I have to say.

HAMMER: And a little weird or really weird. All right. Time to recap. We had Ann Coulter, Danny De Vito, Tom Cruise, Paula Abdul. Lisa Bloom, off to you first. Who among them the most outrageous?

BLOOM: Oh, the most outrageous, I would say, Paula Abdul. I mean, come on -

HAMMER: Howard Bragman, lodge your vote?

BRAGMAN: Most outrageous was Tom Cruise. Because you got probably the biggest movie star in the world, and one of the most controlled, calculated guys in town. So that was a shocking moment.

HAMMER: And get set for more outrage because we know it is just around the corner. Lisa Bloom, Howard Bragman, I thank you both.

BLOOM: Thank you.

HAMMER: And yes, I`ve got to tell you the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines - they`ve been scorching. I`m talking red-hot about Ann Coulter, people calling in about her and the ladies of "The View" just going at it. I want to get to a call from Nancy calling in to "Showbiz On Call" from New Jersey.


NANCY, CALLER FROM NEW JERSEY: What makes for a good host is a host listening to their guests, wrong, right or indifferent. They invited her. They knew Ann Coulter. They knew she was going to be controversial. Either they set it up or they`re not good hosts.


HAMMER: All right. Appreciate your opinion, Nancy, and thank you for your call. Let`s listen to Monique calling into "Showbiz On Call" from Nevada who is definitely not a Coulter fan.


MONIQUE, CALLER FROM NEVADA: I think the ladies were a little hot and heavy, but rightfully so. I will not mention her name because she doesn`t need any more press. But that woman is just sick in the head.


HAMMER: All right, Monique. Thank you very much for your call. What do you think about Ann Coulter, and "The View" and the ladies going at it? Or how about your thoughts on the most outrageous TV guest?

Well, here`s your opportunity to call and let us know about that or anything else at all. "Showbiz On Call" phone lines are always open. Here is the number - 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; 1-888-728-2899. Put it at the top of your speed dial. Leave us a voicemail. We`re playing your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

All right, so Barack Obama`s inauguration is a week away now. But he is very close to making one of his first big presidential decisions.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the Obamas are going to need a very social dog that can deal well with people coming and going.


That`s right. And tonight, I`ve got big news about the Barack Obama dog search. Which puppy will be the president`s best friend? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the brand-new developments in the search for the White House dog. That`s coming up.

And more of the SHOWBIZ Obama Watch cashing in on Obama. Tonight, I can tell you there are some very interesting new ways people are trying to make a buck, or a million, off Barack Obama. I mean, plates, pearls, even bobbleheads. You`ve got to see this stuff.

And am I reading this correctly - this right here? Britney Spears reaching out to Harvard, like the university, for real? I have got to look into what this is all about, and I will.

And now time for the SHOWBIZ News Ticker - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: CBS says country singer Taylor Swift will guest star on an episode of "CSI." "Law and Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay suffers a collapsed lung, won`t miss work.)



JON VOIGHT, ACTOR: We just hope that he - you know, we all have our own way of looking at it, and I certainly have. You know, I said a lot of things but we are hoping he is a great president. No question about it.


HAMMER: That was Jon Voight telling SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about his hopes for President-elect Obama and his new administration.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight, the SHOWBIZ Obama Watch is counting down to the biggest, most star-studded party of the year, the presidential inauguration.

That is Black-Eyed Peas singer Will.I.Am who has written two amazing songs paying tribute to Barack Obama, including "A New Day." And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned that Will.I.Am is going to be among nearly 20 of music`s biggest stars who have said "yes we can" to performing at a pre- inaugural concert this coming Sunday.

Now, some of the other big names performing, U2, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, Josh Groban, and Shakira. They are just a few of the stars who are going to be rocking the mall in Washington in front of thousand and thousands of people.

Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Queen Latifah are also expected to be on hand to read historical passages on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as part of this incredible celebration. And if you can`t make it to Washington, D.C. - no problem. The inaugural concert is going to air on HBO on Sunday night. And anybody who has cable or satellite can watch this thing, because even if you don`t subscribe, HBO is good enough to be unblocking its signal for the concert.

And once the big party is over, the real work, of course, begins. And you know there is one huge campaign promise that the president is going to have to address right away. Of course, I`m talking about the selection of a first dog.

Tonight, brand new developments. I can tell you that the field has officially been narrowed down to two contenders. Here`s CNN`s Erica Hill for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.



ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And then there were two. Two breeds, that is. The president-elect offering up a bit of first dog news in an exclusive interview with ABC News` "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT-ELECT: They seem to have narrowed it down to a labradoodle or Portuguese Water Hound.

HILL: Actually, it`s a Portuguese Water Dog, an animal of, quote, "spirited disposition, self-willed, grave and very resistant to fatigue. A dog of exceptional intelligence and a loyal companion."

That`s the word from the American Kennel Club, which is pulling for the breed. One reason? It`s the only AKC-recognized breed in the race.

The labradoodle is actually a hybrid developed in the `80s on the quest to create an allergy-free guide dog. And, while there`s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, both dogs are generally considered good options for allergy suffers like 10-year-old Malia Obama. Both are smart and busy.

GAIL BUCHWALD, ASPCA: They`re both going to have a pretty active adolescence. And until they`re about 2 years old, those dogs are going to - they`re going to need to run every day.

HILL: Dog people tend to be pretty particular about their best friend. So we thought we`d ask a few to weigh in. The first woman we met was walking a labradoodle.

(on camera): What`s the best thing about having a labradoodle?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re active; they`re fun. They`re gentle, despite what he`s doing to my hand right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know Portuguese Water Dogs that well, but poodles are great. I love them.

HILL (on camera): What do you think? Who should the Obamas get for a dog? What do you think? One of you? Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`ll be a winner with each - either one.

HILL (voice-over): The deciding factor may be chance. The Obamas hope to find their dog at a shelter, but both breeds are in high demand.

Gail Buchwald at the ASPCA says the key to finding the right dog is patience.

BUCHWALD: I think the Obamas are going to need a very social dog that can deal well with people coming and going. It`s going to need to be a dog that`s very flexible and adaptable to different schedules. There may be a bit of hectic quality to the lifestyle there in the White House.

HILL: And one last tidbit, from a veteran dog walker here in New York City.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s one other thing that you can tell President- elect or President Obama, to get a dog to do anything you want. One word. Bacon.


HAMMER: I`m so happy they`re going to be looking for a rescue dog. That was CNN`s Erica Hill for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And if I had to pick one, I guess I`d have to pull for the labradoodle because I had a poodle when I was a kid. And my dog now, rescue dog, is part chocolate lab. So there you have it. I`m officially casting my vote for a labradoodle for a first dog. And now, you know.

All right more of the SHOWBIZ Obama Watch now. We all know that Barack Obama has arguably become one of the biggest celebrities in the world right up there with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Will Smith. Everybody wants a piece of him.

And tonight, I can tell you dozens of companies are cashing in on the president-elect in brand new big ways. From t-shirts to hats, even got those commemorative plates. Everything Obama just flying off the shelves faster than those UGG boots out in Hollywood.

Here is CNN`s Mary Snow for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As he tries to solve the country`s crisis, President-elect Barack Obama is also unwittingly doing his part to stimulate the economy. From bobbleheads, to T-shirts, all things Obama are raking in cash.

This store in Washington, D.C., expects to make an extra $80,000 in sales during the next two weeks. Vendors are saturating New York street corners with memorabilia, even snow globes.

But there are other companies that are making millions.

ANNOUNCER: A limit of two plates per caller.

SNOW: The company selling these Obama victory plates says it has sold 700,000 so far, meaning nearly $14 million in sales.

The "New York Times" says sales of Obama and election-related amount to $2.3 million so far. "The Chicago Tribune" estimates $1.4 million in sales.

The founder of one New York marketing firm says it`s hard to pinpoint an exact dollar amount on this historic presidency.

ROBERT PASSIKOFF, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, BRAND KEYS: I believe that this is hundreds of millions of dollars worth of branding that is available.

SNOW: TV retail giant QVC is seizing the moment.

LEAH WILLIAMS, PROGRAM HOST, QVC: And we have amazing collectibles in the next 60 minutes that we`re going to talk about.

SNOW: QVC is moving its show to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration, touting everything from coins, to simulated pearls, to a portrait of the president-elect.

QVC wouldn`t discuss sales figures, but says its commemorative coins started selling minutes after Barack Obama was elected president.

DOUG ROSE, VICE PRESIDENT OF PROGRAMMING, QVC: Already, we have seen over 100,000 of our customers ordering commemorative products related to the inaugural.

SNOW: While presidential memorabilia isn`t anything new, the high interest in Obama is being compared to the type seen when President Kennedy was elected.

PASSIKOFF: Obama the brand is almost 100 percent emotionally based.


HAMMER: Wow. that was CNN`s Mary Snow for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And I`ve got to let you know, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is going to be right there in Washington for Barack Obama`s presidential inauguration. This, of course, is expected to be the most star-studded one ever. SHOWBIZ at the inauguration right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Now, we`ve been asking you to vote on our question of the day - "Barack and Michelle Obama: Are they bigger stars than Brad and Angelina?" Keep voting at, or E-mail us at

All right. Here`s the deal. If you`re not sitting down, I suggest you grab a seat right now. You`ve got to hear this. Seriously, sit down. Are you ready?

Britney Spears is sort of, kind of, heading to Harvard. Yes, Harvard, as in Boston, as in the top Ivy League college. You`ve got to hear this, coming up.

And now, the SHOWBIZ News Ticker - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: More big stars performing at Obama`s inauguration: Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks, Shakira, John Mellencamp, Josh Groban, James Taylor, Mary J. Blige, John Legend.)


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Here are some more stories that are new right now.

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, Britney Spears is going to Harvard. Ah, yes, well, not exactly. Here`s the real deal. According to "," Britney is hiring. She`s looking for somebody to manage all of her Web stuff, you know, "," her MySpace page, Facebook, Twitter pages.

But here`s the thing. The job posting was put up on a Harvard grad- only job board. That`s right. If you want to work for Brit, you`ve got to have some serious Ivy League cred.

Listen to some of these job qualifications. Unbelievable. You have to be addicted to social networks such as MySpace and Facebook. You also have to be a pop culture addict and passionate about the intersection of Silicon Valley and Hollywood. And you have to know how to moderate content and when to ban party crashers - whatever that means. Womanizers need not apply.

Also new right now - tonight, I can tell you that New Kids on the Block are taking to the high seas. No, they are not setting sale on the "Love Boat." But Joey, Donnie, Danny, Jonathan and Jordan are totally psyched for their New Kids cruise. Y

Yes, fans can travel with them from Ft. Lauderdale Florida to the Bahamas where you can stop yourself at the midnight buffet. Or if you`ve got the right stuff, go to the shuffle board on the veranda deck. The New Kids will be channeling their inner Isaac, the Bartender from the "Love Boat" and serving you up some drinks though listen to what they told ""


JOHN MCINTYRE, NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK MEMBER: It`s going to be crazy. Actually, you guys, are going to be entertained. We`ve never - we`re not going to work any harder for these three days. I wish we could be drinking pina coladas with you. But we won`t be. We will be serving them. That`s how hard we`re going to be working.

DONNIE WAHLBERG, NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK MEMBER: Seminar on etiquette on the road, on pop etiquette. On when visiting the bus.


WAHLBERG: We`re going to do all types of stuff - classes, seminar. We`re going to gamble, show you how to eat food. We`re going to drink, eat and be merry. We`re going to have a jolly good time.


HAMMER: Seminars, eating, classes - I`m in. All right. Sounds like a blast. Why not? I also think they are going to be bringing along a surprise guest, by the way.


All right. Maybe not Christopher Cross but the New Kids will definitely be sailing.

Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And you can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, and in the morning at 11 a.m. Eastern.