Michael Musto

Michael Musto writes the popular, long running "La Dolce Musto" entertainment column in The Village Voice, as well as the opinionated blog "La Daily Musto." His fourth book, a collection called "Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back," comes out in February on Alyson Books. Musto is also a regular TV comentator on shows like "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" and "Theater Talk."

Naked Levi Johnston Is Not Alone

Article: Naked Levi Johnston Is Not Alone

Sarah Palin’s worst nightmare, Levi Johnston, just did his Playgirl shoot, flaunting some of his body parts as unselfconsciously as he tried to show the world the flaws in Palin’s family values. The ex of Palin’s daughter Bristol, Levi’s the one who earlier this year carried out a p.r. campaign labeling Palin a hypocrite and an opportunist who stepped down as Alaska Governor partly because she could make more cash on the lecture circuit.

And where does Levi go from there? Making more cash on the nude magazine circuit! Tacky? Maybe, but it was an inevitable step on the road to reality shows and Seth Rogen movies. And Levi will be thrilled to know that the history of celebrity nudity and semi-nudity reveals that he’s in really good company.

Susie Essman Works all the Right Nerves

Article: Susie Essman Works all the Right Nerves

Long before Chelsea Handler was cutting down celebrities and Lisa Lampanelli was cutting down audience members, Susie Essman was at the front lines of female standup, being catty, neurotic, and totally funny.
She’s earned her reward with the plum role of Susie Greene on the HBO kvetchfest Curb Your Enthusiasm, where she gets to use her instinctive comedy skills and her talent at loud-mouthed improv. And she’s now got a best-selling book out called What Would Susie Say? which leaves the delightful impression that there’s nothing she wouldn’t say. (Check out the part about the boyfriend who’d make her applaud every time he went to the bathroom. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.)

Having seen Susie around at various benefits and promotional events, I know exactly what’s on her percolating New York Jewish mind these days. After doing her trademark line from the show (“You fat f—”), which has become a sort of nouveau version of Carol Burnett’s Tarzan yell, Susie will tell you all about the male New York Jewish standup-turned-TV-star in her life–Larry David. Is he like his character? “Larry thinks those things,” she swears, “but he would never actually do them.” That’s reassuring somehow. Would Larry ever submit to a Friars roast? “Never!” says Susie. “He’s thin skinned!” Well, how about a Seinfeld reunion? “No way,” she screeches, even louder. “What are they, The Brady Bunch?” No, The Brady Bunch was about something.

HALLOWEEN

Article: HALLOWEEN

Photo credit: Linda Simpson

Halloween is terrifying! It brings swarms of normally well behaved adults into the streets, where they stomp around oozing pus and looking like ghouls—and some of them aren’t even in costume.

This year, October 31 falls on a Saturday, so the terror alert will be even higher in scary-enough New York City. That’s the night the bridge-and-tunnel people invade Manhattan every week for low-budget thrill seeking, and anyone sane double bolts himself inside his apartment while ritualistically throwing garlic out the window. As a B-and-T person myself (I’m from Brooklyn), I know just how crass and awful these people can be. And when you add vampire fangs and Sarah Palin drag on them—not mutually exclusive motifs, by the way–the effect is even more chilling than the SAW series.