Two years after moving to Los Angeles to become the host of E!'s Mysteries and Scandals, former New York City gossip columnist A.J. Benza is still having a hard time adjusting to life in La-La Land.
"It's not good to wake up and there's oranges on your driveway every day," Benza tells the TV Guide Channel. "Keep the orange juice in the kitchen, not in the driveway. That's not life, you know what I mean? I wanna wake up to nasty, cold rain. Coffee smells like coffee in New York; here it smells like waffles. In this town, I got agents on the phone making deals. I want a homeless person to step over in the morning. I miss that ? is that wrong?
"New York is my wife, L.A. is my mistress," he adds. "I feel like I'm cheating on New York when I'm here. I feel like I have a little girlfriend on the side, and she's a little stripper in L.A. with blond hair and big boobs and I come to see her for three weeks at a time and I go home to my wife and kids and they're all happy to see me in New York."
Benza, whose wild ways in New York made him a subject of scandal himself, admits he's toned down a bit since moving to the left coast: "I have a mouth that roars and I've learned to shut it a little bit more, especially in this town. You gotta keep your mouth shut in this town and I hate that. In New York, it's mouth open, fists up. In L.A., it's fists down, mouth shut."
Benza says the closest he gets to New York these days is working with his Mysteries and Scandals crew. "There's a lot of black guys and Mexican guys and girls and Italian guys. It's just like a big ethnic soup of ridicule and banter and it's just a ball. My crew lets their guard down and lets the chips [fall where] they may."