Matt Lauer was on the hot seat Friday as the The Friar's Club of New York roasted the TODAY co-host. First out to take his shots at Lauer? Tom Cruise.
Cruise, who was famously roasted by bloggers and other pundits after a 2005 interview with Lauer in which he called the anchor “glib,” had the house in stitches. The actor began by recounting a faux conversation he had with Lauer before his now-famous couch-jumping appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. “Matt gave me some advice: ‘When people come on my show, I don’t want them talking about their dopey movie. Tom, don’t be glib. You are in love. Talk about (Katie). People will love you for it,’” Cruise said.
The actor also recounted a golf outing Lauer had with O.J. Simpson. “Matt said to O.J., ‘If people have your memorabilia, go back and get the (stuff) back. People will love you for it.’”
Cruise later dragged NBC chief Jeff Zucker into the joke, saying that Lauer told Zucker, “Jay Leno’s contract is up. Why don’t you let him go while everyone still thinks he’s funny. People will love you for it.”
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As Cruise closed by saying “Lose my number you glib putz.” Lauer embraced the actor and asked, “Hey, can you stay? Can someone find Tom a booster seat.”
Al Roker, the master of ceremonies for the surprise roast, quickly responded that Cruise couldn’t stay because his spaceship was waiting outside.
According to a Friar’s Club source, Cruise wrote his own material and the Scoop can attest that he did not refer to his notes during his delivery.
Katie Couric, Lauer’s former TODAY co-host, suggested Cruise was threatened by Lauer. “He wants to be the only heterosexual man in the room who everyone thinks is gay,” she said.
NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker, former executive producer at TODAY, revealed the origin of Lauer’s popular travelogue feature, “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?”
“We got that idea when I got a call from his wife one morning at 3 a.m.,” he said.
His colleagues and comedians like Richard Belzer roasted Lauer for being a germophobe and having a clothes budget rivaling GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
“I always say, a lot of the outfits you see him wear on the TODAY show, they also make for men,” Williams said.
A fun time was had by all.
Lindsay Lohan's career in trouble
Lindsay Lohan’s professional life is only getting uglier, so to speak, since news broke that Lohan’s stint on “Ugly Betty” is being cut short because of tension on the set. According to multiple sources, after “Betty,” Lohan doesn’t have any lucrative projects lined up, and she’s not on the short list for any roles, either.
Slideshow: Lindsay Lohan “It’s over for Lindsay,” said one well-placed Lohan source. “She’s got no film work, after this (‘Ugly Betty’ news) she’s not going to land TV jobs; I hear she’s tried to get on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and can’t.”
What’s the cause? “It’s not a matter of will she show up or not anymore, it’s that she can’t carry a movie, she’s just not a draw anymore. When you aren’t a draw, you aren’t going to get auditions. It’s that simple,” the source said.
Another industry source added, “Every project she’s had has fallen through. She’s not even filling up her time with independent films, which is usually the strategy when work gets slow. She’s a good actress, she’s just stuck right now.”
A rep for Lohan didn’t comment.
Zac Efron, camera shy
Video: Zac Efron wins award At his first outing after celebrating his 21st birthday, “High School Musical” star Zac Efron didn’t draw attention to himself for taking advantage of his new legal status.
Instead, at the Oct. 21 Us Weekly Hot Hollywood Party, the camera flashes on the red carpet “were almost more than he could handle,” said a source. “He literally needed to take breaks, turn around, rub his eyes and take a breather before facing the photogs again. One would think he’d be used to this by now?”
Gwyneth Paltrow’s kids visit ‘SNL’
Rumors that there is tension within the Paltrow/Martin family seemed especially ridiculous the morning of Oct. 23 when Coldplay was on the set of “Saturday Night Live” rehearsing for their performance this weekend.
“While they were playing there were these two little blond-haired kids running around the set, and then suddenly we realized it was Apple and Moses,” said a source from the set. “They were totally normal, a really cute family.”
Dakota Fanning, not a diva says director
Earlier this month it was reported here and in several other outlets that young Dakota Fanning wasn’t so easy to work with on the set of her film “Winged Creatures.” The director on the film, Rowan Woods, sets the record straight.
Slideshow: Celebrity Sightings “I was shocked by the totally invented quotes that have appeared on the Internet attributed to me about Dakota Fanning. These quotes do not in any way represent my opinion of Dakota, the actor or the person. As a director, I am proud to be associated with her great performance in ‘Winged Creatures.’ Dakota is both a great actor and an impeccably behaved teenager… She and her family have always shown great friendship and loyalty to me, and I will always defend her.”
Weekend box office
This weekend it would take not just one, but an entire herd of Chihuahuas to best “High School Musical 3” at the box office. Early estimates have the Zac Efron/Vanessa Hudgens Disney vehicle bringing in upward of $55 million.
“Saw V” also opens, and even though the franchise does exceedingly well, there’s no way it can oust “HSM 3.” Also opening, Warner Bros./New Line film “Pride & Glory.” Say a prayer for this one: Ed Norton, Colin Farrell and Jon Voight are going to have their work cut out for them this weekend. It will be lucky to crack the top three.
Johnny Cash’s America
Wondering what the man in black would have said about this political campaign? In the new documentary “Johnny Cash’s America” you can find out. While the doc is quite cool (you can see Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow and Snoop Dogg, among others, talk about Cash’s take on politics), one of the bigger draws to the DVD/CD set is that it includes a never-before-heard spoken word track. The CD/DVD is available Oct. 28.
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