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Five Stories Of 2012 We’ll Still Be Talking About In 2013

Seems like the big stories of 2012 are still going to be the buzz stories of 2013. Here’s where I stand on the year of weird.



Thanks to NBC’s Today Show for having me on to talk about my take on these big stories of 2012.  Seems like the big stories of 2012 are still going to be the buzz stories of 2013. Here’s where I stand on the year of weird. VIdeo of the Today Show Segment first, then some more below!

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The Year of Honey Boo Boo

I wonder if Snooki looks at her television and says to herself ‘That used to be me!’ I used to be that famous! Honey Boo Boo is the Snooki of 2012! In fact, just take out the Italian “Guido” sterotypes of Jersey Shore and replace those characters with “Redneck” stereotypes and you have ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” (Okay, perhaps moreso, the upcoming MTV series ‘Buckwild.”) But back to Honey Boo Boo. It has never been hotter to be a redneck. Whether you love her or hate her, we’ll be seeing a lot of Alana and June this year. I think people find their unvarnished, unpolished (and that is pretty much the biggest understatement of the year) to be refreshing in a world of skinny models and TV celebabes with plastic surgery, fish lips and implants. This family is the ANTITHESIS of that – and aside from all the antics – this is a family that truly loves and accepts one another just as they are – and that is really refreshing. I think people actually really like that – I guess they like that AND the farting. (Ugh.)

 Fifty Shades of Grey Makes Me 50 Shades Of Uncomfortable

Everything thing about this phenomenon makes me Squeamish! But I think that’s what makes it all so interesting. Generations of grown up women are acknowledging that they aren’t prudes… that they like a little sauciness in the bedroom! The funny thing is, almost everyone I speak to that has read the book admits that it is HORRIBLY written – but many women bought it JUST to see what the fuss is about… and then they’re hooked. Oddly enough, romance novels have never gone away – they’ve been there forever – but f*or some reason – this struck a chord! I just don’t want to know when the women in my family are reading it – having a family member reading it is like having to admit that your parents have a sex life – we all know it happens but none of us want to talk about i! I DON’T want to know!

But if you thought the talk of this tale would die down – think again… the books are being made into a film. Even though there’s no release date, the casting rumors are in full force.

The Breakup & Makeup of Rihanna & Chris Brown

If there anyone ever doubted that Love is complicated, I give you Chris Brown and Rihanna. This is the couple pretty much no one wants to see together… except perhaps for the two of them! I know that we don’t know the ‘whole’ story, but I think we all recognize that it sends a really bad message for Rihanna to go back to him. Please say it aint so. I can say this – a lot of people had written Chris Brown off completely after he beat up Rihanna back in 2009 – and I assure you a lot of people are going to be watching him really closely now. It’s easy to imagine that some people are probably losing some respect for Rihanna right, but one thing is for sure, if Chris so much as touches this woman in the wrong way, it’s all over for him. His career and public image will be completely destroyed forever.

PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ Phenomenon

This video is unstoppable! It is the first YouTube video to reach 1 Billion views – in less than six months! Take THAT Justin Bieber! (Although its interesting to note that Justin’s manager was smart enough sign PSY to a record deal too!) For years to come, anyone who wants to make a viral music video will probably look to Gangnam Style for inspiration. I’m sure some college student is doing their dissertation on it because the whole thing is pretty amazing. Especially considering how popular it is in the US and no few people even know what the song really means. It just goes to show, if you have a catchy hook and a great video, you can have a hit – it doesn’t even matter what you’re saying!!!!

Examining The Past and Predicting the Future of Lindsay Lohan

I would love to sit on the Today Show set in a year and say that 2013 was the year of Lindsay Lohan’s comeback. But I’m more and more doubtful that this will be the case. Liz And Dick was pretty much a disaster, and with the exception of a cameo In Scary Movie 5 this year, the biggest thing Lohan can look forward to this year seems to be the possibility of more jail time!

I hope someday she makes a Drew Barrymore style recovery. Once upon a time Drew was the girl everyone was worried about and now she’s a successful actress and producer. I can only hope Lohan gets it together in the same way … but in a business like showbiz, and with parents who seem to be even crazier than her, the odds are stacked against her. Then again, America loves a comeback story!

For more entertainment updates, follow @BrianBalthazar on twitter!


Watch Brian Balthazar and Wendy Williams Talk About What’s Trending Now



Always SO much fun going on the Wendy Williams show to talk about what’s trending! In this case, the best part (for me at least!) was wearing a creating by art director Michael Lee Scott, who recreated the iconic hat worn by Billy Porter at the Grammys! What a recreation!

Brian Balthazar Billy Porter Hat



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Wendy Stuart Kaplan Knows How To Party – Now She’s Throwing An Epic One Of Her Own!



Wendy Stuart Kaplan knows her way around a party. In her book, ‘She’s The Last Model Standing,” she wrote about her headline grabbing days at Studio 54, and now throws more than a few of her own. The latest is her “Reading For Filth” and her birthday extravaganza, where she, hosts Eileen Dover and Nick Lion and others (including yours truly!) will perform a collection of wildly entertaining essays, poems, comedic rants and more. The kind of person who is so ‘on the go’ you get exhausted just thinking about it (she, however, does not) I caught up with her as she was taking a break between a radio show, a modeling job and a party tonight. If you want to catch up with Wendy, you have to be flexible… she’s probably got a full schedule that day! Her party this Friday is one that will not only celebrate a wildly varied and entertaining life, but also celebrate the spoken word from a variety of performers.

Anyone who’s ready your book “She’s The Last Model Standing” knows you’ve been partying since studio 54 – when did you first realize you were a party girl?

I first realized when I came back to New York after college! I wasn’t until then, because there was no good place to party.

Where did you go to school?

SUNY Binghamton where I majored in anthropology – and then I went to Nigeria! I definitely enjoyed partying eventually, but back then I really, really wanted to go to Africa, which I did!  I have gone back often, most recently to work on my documentaries.

Wendy Kaplan was a bold faced name for tearing up the dance floor AND going home right after.

That’s wild! But it’s not surprising to hear of that passion since you make films about wildlife conservation there. But your festive side eventually DID come out! We all know you now as a social butterfly! Whether you’re at a party, or working a film premiere – but were you as confident and comfortable in the spotlight as a kid as you are now?

I was an oddball kid. I had two things: I had my friends in the Bronx, and the ones that I had in school and they didn’t mix all that well. I loved growing up there, that was home – but I remember as a kid I would get stomachaches before parties! How weird is that? Until you asked me I had forgotten all about that.

What were you worrying about?

Social pressures – what if nobody talks to me – oh my god, I’m not pretty. I had a short mop of brown hair because my mom thought I looked better with short hair, and I had chubby cheeks. I didn’t love that look. I used to put on wigs as a kid and imagine myself with long blonde hair!

And here we are! 

Here we are, right? Long blonde hair. I morphed into it. I’m totally self made!

Tell me more about Reading for Filth – your event this Friday at Club Bedlam.

Reading for Filth came about when Brian Butterick, also known as Hattie Hathaway, used to have these events. One had the byline, “low rent reading for a high rent city.” Reading for filth is an expression for ‘I’m going to read you to filth,’ as in, “I’m gonna tell you what I really think.” The performers would do a reading of their choice. Something personal, maybe about an old boyfriend, or something someone else wrote, and they’d get up and read it in front of a room. At the last one we had, Michael Musto read from Suzanne Somers’ poetry book. I didn’t even know she wrote poetry… here the same person who wrote about African violets is also behind the Thighmaster! Brought me to tears! I imagine her thighs going back and forth as she sits next to a table with a sole African violet in its little pot, which inspired her to write the poem.

The reason we chose to open my birthday party with it is, when Hattie passed away, my friend and partner in crime Michael Fontana (Eileen Dover) really wanted to keep it going. We say it’s such a downtown New York thing but it’s a New York thing. It’s a nationwide thing. Think about what’s hot right now: storytelling. And here we have had Reading for Filth going on long before all that other stuff. Brian Butterick had been doing it for six to ten years. He was very ahead of his time. We brought it back this past year.

You love people and being around them, entertaining them, but you also love your home life – please describe your NYC living situation. You have a beautiful place… but describe your roommates.

Well, we will have to go back about 30 years when I got my first rabbit. I haven’t lived without one for 30 years, so when one dies I always have one in the wings. Fast forward to now, we always have two rabbits. It’s nice if they have another rabbit to hangout with. Also, 33 years ago we got a baby cockatoo, named her Louise, fed her formula, and she is now hanging out with me in my living room. Did I also mention our blue merle chihuahua?

In my New York apartment everyone is loose. No one is caged.  Everybody is trained to go on those wee-wee pads you buy for dogs, and everybody goes on a wee-wee pad including the rabbits… but not the dog.

Wendy’s rabbit S’mores roams free in her apartment along side another rabbit, a cockatoo and a Chihuahua.
Wendy Kaplan’s dog Nugget does what it wants.

You know how to party – we know that – your wedding was no exception…describe your epic wedding.

So my wedding was 32 or so years ago. I should know that! Alan (a renowned photographer) and I got married in our huge loft, and you had to come dressed as members of a bridal party. It was on Halloween – you could be a bride, or a groom or a bridesmaid. The only problem was a lot of people thought it was a costume party and not an actual wedding. So we had people dressed as bridesmaids with five o’clock shadows and brides with full beards. They thought this was just going to be a big loft party – because we always gave huge parties – and not a wedding. But it was actually our wedding. I didn’t get many gifts because no one took it seriously. I won’t make that mistake again!

You’ve been modeling since you were in your twenties – what’s the best thing anyone can do to look and feel like a model whether they’re walking down the street or working it in the office?

You have to know who you are. What’s your style? What makes you feel good? What floats your boat? When you put on a certain dress how does that make you feel? Don’t go with trends, go with what you’re attached to! Listen to your inner fashionista. And you know what? We all have that.

Reading For Filth is open to the public this Friday at 8pm at Club Bedlam, 40 Avenue C, NYC. For more on Wendy visit her book’s Facebook page, her personal facebook page, or her instagram.

Visit her website, and buy her book on amazon!





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All 18 of the BAFTA Acting Nominees Are White, All Directing Nominees Are Male



“Joker” is the one to watch at the upcoming BAFTAs, but if you’re looking for diversity and female directors, sadly you’ll have to look somewhere else. All the acting nominees are white, and all the directors are male.

Led by a lead actor nomination for Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” received 11 nominations for Britain’s equivalent to the Oscars, competing with familiar Golden Globe nominees Taron Egerton, “Rocketman,”  Leonardo DiCaprio for “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” Adam Driver for “Marriage Story,” and Jonathan Pryce for “The Two Popes.”

Renée Zellweger leads the nominations for the best actress category for her role in “Judy,” alongside Jessie Buckley,  “Wild Rose,” Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story,” Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women,” and Charlize Theron for “Bombshell.”

Here are the other notable highlights:

See the full nomination page HERE.

  • 11 nominations for Joker
  • 10 nominations for The Irishman and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
  • Nine nominations for 1917
  • Six nominations for Jojo Rabbit
  • Five nominations for Little WomenMarriage Story and The Two Popes
  • Four nominations for For SamaParasite and Rocketman
  • Three nominations for BombshellJudyLe Mans ’66 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The ceremony will be held on Feb. 2 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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