If Howard Stern, in his ego-fueled delusion, can call himself the King of All Media, can Jane Fonda call herself the Queen? Fonda helped launch a new radio station this week called Greenstone Media, for which she serves on the Board of Directors with other notable women, including Gloria Steinem.
Greenstone’s programming is primarily aimed at women and broadcasts over the Internet, with plans to roll out to Satellite in the future.
A launch party this week at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York brought out Fonda, Steinem and Greenstone’s on-air talent, including Rolonda Watts (formerly host of the daytime TV talk show, "Rolonda,") and Lisa Birnbach, author of 1980’s wildly popular "The Official Preppy Handbook," among other titles.
With Fonda now setting foot on Stern’s turf — though "turf" may be the wrong word, as neither are involved in "terrestrial" radio — let’s compare media fiefdoms to see who is more deserving of a "King" or "Queen" title. (And for the sake of fun, we’ll scrap "neither" as an answer.)
Film: Jane has "Klute," "On Golden Pond," "Coming Home," and my personal favorite, "Nine to Five." Howard has "Private Parts." Round One to Jane.
Video/DVDs: Jane has her wildly successful, pop-culture shifting workout videos. Howard has "The Girls of Scores," "Howard Stern: Shut Up and Listen," and "Butt Bongo Fiesta." Uh, Round Two — Jane.
TV: Jane mostly has countless talk/award show appearances. Howard has the E! broadcasts of his radio show, and the short-lived syndicated series, "Son of the Beach," the "Baywatch" parody he produced. He also has talk/award show appearances, including that of a bare-bottomed "Fartman" at the MTV Awards. Because Howard should be banned from showing his naked private parts on TV, I’m giving this round to Jane.
Radio: Jane has the newly launched Greenstone Media. Howard… OK, so Howard wins this round — for now.
But Will He Spike Ratings?
In the latest installment of "Women Never Get Hired to Host Late-Night Talk Shows," FOX presents its snarky new Saturday night series, "Talk Show with Spike Feresten," premiering this weekend.
With a frat-boy-trained-in-Letterman feel (but not as funny), the show is short on celebrity guests — one per episode for the first two that I watched — and long on taped comedy bits.
Like Conan O’Brien, Spike Feresten is a TV comedy writer ("Seinfeld," "Late Night with David Letterman") completely unknown to viewers.
But his executive producer is a nine-year veteran of "The Daily Show," so between the two of them they’re fairly seasoned in late-night sarcasm.
Still, when Feresten appeared in New York a few months ago for a Fox presentation to advertisers and media types, his routine was laugh-free.
Lucky for him, most critics glossed over his performance, given that Brad Garrett stole the show with his distasteful cracks about Paula Abdul.
(Garrett, who was there promoting his new series "Til Death," joked of Paula’s shiny gown, "Nice dress. Maybe it’s time to get back in the lamp.")
On the bright side, I can tell you Spike’s "Talk Show" performance is a heck of a lot funnier than that of FOX’s previous late-night host Chevy Chase. Remember his painful debacle? Or Joan Rivers — the only woman ever hired full-time as a late-night chatter.
As someone who covers celebrities, I thought Spike’s bit called "Idiot Paparazzi" was a funny idea. A gaggle of photographers are seen roaming L.A., mistaking regular folk for famous people. "Look, it’s Keith Richards!" one of them shouts at a haggard eighty-year-old woman.
In the second episode, "24" costar Mary Lynn Rajskub is given free reign to do whatever she’d like. Her idea: Medical warnings be damned — she wants to operate heavy machinery after knocking back cold medicine.
Maybe it’s my fondness for Nyquil, but I couldn’t help but laugh at what ensued.