"A perfectly silly, genius idea" -- David Letterman

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sylvester Stallone

A well-dressed man came out the stage door.  A few people called "Sylvester!  Sylvester!" and I began shooting.  But no -- it wasn't Sylvester Stallone.  I'd been Pemlich'ed!

Meet Chuck Pemlich, legendary gum photo-bomber.  He travels around the country, turning up at gum-related events and weaseling his way into the photos.

You see him leaning in and smiling at Wrigley press conferences. Crashing the annual Dentyne Ball and posing with puzzled gum VIP's.  His face was all over the recent Bazooka rebranding coverage.

It occurred to me that Pemlich might target CelebriGum next, and I resolved to be vigilant.  But I wasn't vigilant enough.

There's Sylvester Stallone, just a few feet away from every gum photographer's nemesis. 

Well played, Pemlich.  You win... this time.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dustin Hoffman

My friend David Schatsky recently asked me if I'd "considered the challenges of licensing CelebriGum in Singapore."

Singapore, as you may know, is a strict society.  The import and sale of chewing gum is illegal.  The ban, enacted in 1992 and modified in 2004 and 2010, came in response to used gum being inconsiderately disposed of on floors, stairways, and pavements, not to mention in mailboxes, keyholes, and on elevator buttons.

Under pressure from the U.S. government and lobbyists working for the Wrigley company, Singapore eventually allowed the sale of sugar free gum of a sort that strengthens tooth enamel, but it must be sold by a dentist or pharmacist who records the names of buyers.

All this leads to my answer to David's question: yes, for over two years CelebriGum has been in negotiations with the government of Singapore, which outlawed viewing this website shortly after it launched in 2010.  CelebriGum's lawyers have pointed out that simply looking at the site does not constitute gum sale or possession, but the government takes the position that the photos are inflammatory and may inspire law-breaking.  For example: this Dustin Hoffman photo, which depicts a considerable amount of gum on the sidewalk as well as the gum on the ledge.

I hate to admit it, but I kind of see their point.

Anyway, the negotiations have concluded.  If you are a resident of Singapore, stop looking at that photograph.  

Also do not look at this photograph:

Instead, navigate your browser to my new, Singapore government-approved site, celebriledge.com, which features sanitized photos such as this:

I'm sorry, Singapore CelebriGum fans.  I really tried.  But I don't want you to be subject to fines, imprisonment, or caning on my account.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tony Bennett

In an era when many celebrities are famous merely for being famous, and have accomplished about as much as a piece of gum stuck to a window ledge, it's instructive to consider the life and career of 86 year old Tony Bennett.

He grew up in the Depression, the child of poor immigrant parents.  He saw combat in World War II.  He marched for civil rights with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He's an accomplished painter, with works on display in several museums.

His musical career spans over 60 years.  His awards include 17 Grammys, two Emmys, and a Kennedy Center Honor, just to name a few.  His music continues to find new audiences with each succeeding generation.  Just days ago he performed at one of President Obama's inaugural events.

In 1991, he set the world record for the long jump. He received the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription.  His Magic Marshmallow Crescent Puffs won the 1969 Pillsbury Bake-Off.  In his effort to rid the Florida Everglades of invasive species, to date he has killed 30 Burmese pythons, in most cases using nothing more than a rake.   A YouTube video shows him nonchalantly swallowing a tablespoon of cinnamon, then swallowing the spoon.

Tony Bennett doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis. 

(Note: Tony Bennett also created Dos Equis's "The Most Interesting Man In The World" ad campaign.  Damn, he's impressive.)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Guest Photographer Todd

Late Show cue card guy and occasional on-air personality Todd Seda has been a valuable CelebriGum ally since the early days.  Here are some of the recent shots he's grabbed when I couldn't be at the window.

 Carly Rae Jepsen.

A cool one of Steven Tyler.

Naomi Watts.  "I see why you got the little nighttime clip-on gum light," Todd said.

 Brian Williams, partial, freaky.

Brian Williams, complete, conventional.

 Josh Brolin.

Here's Todd:

This photo is part of my Googly Eyes series, which you can see more of here.  Yeah, I have too many projects.  Thank God Todd is around to help.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Charlie Sheen

Charlie's in a strange business if he doesn't like having his picture taken.

Well, I'm sure he knows what he's doing.  He always displays excellent judgement.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Michael J. Fox

 Always good to have Michael stop by for a visit.

Michael will be starring in a new NBC comedy in which he plays a -- wait, what's that at the top left?

Holy crap, is that a Doosan Daewoo G32P?

Yes!  I knew it!

I owned a G32P back in high school.  I bought it right after I got my forklift license, and it had seen better days, but man, I loved that thing.  Cruisin' on a Friday night, stacking pallets in the warehouse, going to the drive-in, unloading bales of pulp at the paper mill, and of course taking my date to the prom… she balanced on the forks while I drove… this was in the days before anyone worried about "safety."  Yes, it was a sweet industrial truck, but I used it less and less once I went off to college, and it needed more and more expensive repairs, so eventually I sold it… now, of course, I wish I'd kept it.  Once fairly common, G32P's are rare these days.  You occasionally see one at a vintage forklift show, or you might spot a rich Wall Street guy zipping around the city on a meticulously restored example.  

I know Dave's got an old Clark C500-45, a Hyster H50XM, and a Crown CG30E, so I'm sure this beauty is his too.  I wonder if for old time's sake he'd let me take it for a spin around the block and move some bags of cement.   

Friday, January 18, 2013

Kim and/or Kourtney Kardashian

That day I happened to forget my "good" camera, and ended up using my little old Canon point-and-shoot.

Things got weird.

This one of Kim or Kourtney looks almost normal.  But wait -- is that a bit of double exposure?

Then the poor little Canon, or Kanon, really became confused.

I have to admit, I like those just fine.  I think from now on I'll "forget" my "good" camera every time the Kardashians are on.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jennifer Lawrence

I got some dramatic shots of Jennifer as she was leaving.

But the real star of this entry is…

Late Show security chief Bill Delace, keeping the peace as Jennifer arrived.

Look at that dramatic stance, that balletic grace as he verbally slaps down some out-of-bounds paparazzo or over-eager Jennifer Lawrence fan.

Bill's been a constant presence in CelebriGum since the beginning.  One of his greatest moments was with George Clooney, featuring his magnificent tie work: 

And I like this solo shot:

Jennifer is great, but Bill, you're the silver lining in today's CelebriGum playbook.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Michael Strahan

The affable co-host of "Live! with Kelly and Michael" encounters some sort of problem as he steps onto the sidewalk.

Please, people, don't throw your used gum on the sidewalk.  Stick it on a window ledge where it belongs.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Billy Crystal

 That guy is so close to wearing the orange cone as a hat.

So close!

Hold on.


 Hold still, Billy, this won't hurt a bit.

Yes.  So stupid, yet so satisfying.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were announced Thursday morning, and while many excellent films and performances were recognized, there were also many inexplicable omissions.

CelebriGum is proud to salute these outstanding actors for their overlooked work:

Artie Lange, for his portrayal of Monseigneur Flambeau, the singing and tap-dancing bishop in "Les Miserables."

Dr. Phil, for his portrayal of Professor Shrink, Batman's terrifying nemesis in "The Dark Knight Rises."

Bill O'Reilly, for his portrayal of Nate, the talented but past-his-prime stripper fired from the club in "Magic Mike."

So sorry, guys!  Good luck at the Snubbie Awards, airing February 27th on CBS!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jessica Chastain

We haven't heard from CelebriGum's favorite made-up gasbag art critic, J. Arlen Parkwood, in quite a while.  I bet he'll like this photo.  J. Arlen?

"Devastating.  The axis captured by the CelebriGum camera delineates a modern trinity: the bold-faced name behind the fortification of official enthrallment, balanced by the excluded "average Joe" and the piece of discarded gum -- equally inconsequential, in the eyes of our celebrity-mad culture.  Meanwhile, the opposing diagonals of the ledge and sidewalk suggest a subtle rebellion, a nascent nay-saying as yet unrealized except through the other-directed gaze of the actress -- but is she gazing as herself, or as one of her fictional constructs?   Are we seeing two roads diverge in a concrete jungle, with an invitation to take the one less traveled by?  But should we take that road if the movie star goes coatless in January, impervious to "Frost"?  What, if anything, will make all the difference?  If one poses enough rhetorical questions, will one eventually be able to stop writing?"

Thank you, J. Arlen.  You've given us a lot to pretend to think about.   

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Steven Tyler

Where's the rock star?

Maybe this will help:

There he is!

This one's a little easier…

But just in case…

It's a good look for you, Steven.  Consider adding it to your rotation.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Kathy Griffin

Here's a new theory about Kathy Griffin's notorious behavior with Anderson Cooper on New Year's Eve.

Kathy Griffin on January 2nd, 2013:

Kathy Griffin on January 19th, 2012:

The chronic lameness in Kathy's left leg obviously makes her very unsteady; she may have simply been trying to brace her head against Anderson's crotch while falling.

Kathy, you don't have to keep suffering!  Make orthopedic surgery one of your 2013 New Year's Resolutions.  Your left leg, and Anderson, will thank you!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Carrie Brownstein

Let's start off 2013 with an unusual, kind of eerie photo.

Here we see Carrie, one of the stars of the acclaimed IFC show "Pointlandia," in character as Pointin' Betty.  

Season 3 of "Pointlandia" premieres January 4th!  Tune in as Pointin' Betty points at people, cars, buildings, trees, and more!

(Please excuse any factual errors in this post.  I'm still hung over from New Year's Eve.)

(New Year's Eve 2011.)