Elton John and Ben Stiller Sing about AIDS
Remember in Team America when they parodied Rent by including a musical number called “Everybody’s Got AIDS”? Looks like what was once just a piece of satire may now be coming to fruition. Sir Elton John says he’s collaborating with Ben Stiller on a movie musical about a Broadway singing-and-dancing star who discovers he’s got AIDS, and then has to go home and explain the situation to his wife and kids. And in case you were wondering, John insists that it’s a comedy. It sounds a little dubious, sure, but don’t forget that Stiller is coming off the smash hit Tropic Thunder, which managed to find laughs in any number of unlikely, touchy subjects. If this thing ever gets off the ground, Romeo can’t wait to see it.
De Rossi Joins Better Off Ted
It’s been a busy year for Portia de Rossi, between her storybook wedding with Ellen DeGeneres and the constant rumors about an Arrested Development movie. Now it looks like the Aussie actress will be returning to television in an ABC mid-season replacement sitcom called Better Off Ted. De Rossi plays Veronica, the severely coiffed boss at Veridian Technologies, a research and development firm known for its groundbreaking inventions and somewhat questionable business ethics. The show focuses on the titular Ted (Jay Harrington of Desperate Housewives), one of Veronica’s employees. Better Off Ted’s creator, Victor Fresco, brings impressive comedy credentials to the table as one of the driving forces behind Andy Richter Controls the Universe and My Name is Earl. Look for Ted on your TiVo in early 2009.
Kevin Smith to Have a Close Encounter
When it comes to gay issues, Romeo thinks that Kevin Smith is one of the coolest straight dudes on the planet; the comedy auteur loves to include gay and lesbian characters while goofing on queer sex just as much as he does on all the hetero kinds. So strap on your astronaut suit, because Smith is about to leave orbit. The man behind Clerks and Zack and Miri Make a Porno recently announced that he’s planning a father-son comedy set in outer space. No word yet on what specific gay humor the film will have, but since it’s Smith, we can almost certainly predict that there will be some. Before blasting off, Smith will make his first horror movie, Red State, about an unhinged, Fred Phelps-ish fundamentalist.
Amy Sedaris Returns to the Tube
If you were a fan of Strangers with Candy, the polymorphously perverse sitcom starring Amy Sedaris as rapacious bisexual “user, boozer, and loser” Jerri Blank, you’ll be excited to hear this news. Sedaris and her Candy collaborator Paul Dinello have just signed a deal with 20th Century Fox TV for a new comedy series that Sedaris will write and create. She’ll also star on the new show, which will be partially scripted but will also allow Second City alum Sedaris—sister of gay essayist David and BFF of queer designer Todd Oldham—to improv. No word yet on what the sure-to-be-outrageous sitcom will actually be about, but Sedaris and Dinello will shop it around to networks before the end of the year, with hopes of winding up on cable.
Romeo San Vicente once met a stranger with candy. They wound up living together for three years. Romeo can be reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com.