On Tuesday night, the broadcast portion of the TCA press tour wrapped up in fine style. That's when UPN hosted an all-star clambake at Shutters on the Beach, a posh shorefront hotel in Santa Monica, Calif. In Party Boy's humble opinion, the belle of the beach was Missy Elliott, whose hip-hop talent search, On the Road with Missy Elliott, debuts this fall.
Although surrounded by her entourage of sexy sistah friends and bulky bodyguards, Missy was surprisingly friendly and accessible. (Especially since I happened to know Road's exec producer, who also helms Big Brother.) I took advantage of our meet 'n' greet to ask a question that's been burning in my mind for years now.
Party Boy: In your racy "Work It" song, you say, "Is it worth it? Let me work it. I put my thang down, flip it and reverse it." What "thang" do you mean, exactly?
Missy: [Laughs] I'm just talkin' about my rap skills. It ain't nothin' nasty!
Party Boy: Oh! How disappointing.
Other divas in attendance included America's Next Top Model winner Yoanna House, who swears she actually is getting modeling work. Yoanna will also appear in Top Model's third season. She wouldn't say what she'll be doing, except that she will not be judging the reality contest.
"I don't think I'd ever want to be a judge, to be honest," she insisted. "I'm just a model starting out. I haven't been doing my thing too long, so I don't have much room to criticize. I don't want to get any 'Who does she think she is?' comments."
Elsewhere, Star Trek: Enterprise captain Scott Bakula had "no idea" whether Trek icon William Shatner will really appear on the show, but said "it would be fantastic. Unbelievable!" Because Enterprise is technically a prequel to the original Trek, it seems unlikely Shatner could play Captain Kirk. Or is it? "I don't know," Bakula shrugged. "They could work out something with Kirk's genealogy or maybe time travel. I think Shatner will be connected to his Kirk character somehow, though."
Party Boy also met One on One's friendly Flex Washington, who was busy plugging his upcoming VH1 biopic on Michael Jackson to anyone who'd listen. Which he can hardly be blamed for, since TCA is one big, happy publicity orgy! While the ladies liked Flex, though, they lusted for Taye Diggs. In fact, most of UPN's female guests clearly wished for the kind of attention he gave Angela Bassett in How Stella Got Her Groove Back. "If you see Taye," one of my gal pals panted, "please tell him I love him and want to have his baby."
Actually, I was more interested in grilling Diggs on why Mel Gibson no longer wishes to be credited as a producer on his fall UPN drama, Kevin Hill. (Gibson's production company made the pilot.) Rumors are swirling that the show was originally conceived for a white male lead, and Diggs wasn't quite what Mel had in mind. I've also heard that UPN entertainment president Dawn Ostroff is understandably eager to put the kibosh on that sort of talk. By the time I talked to Diggs, it was clear he'd already been Stepford-ized about The Mel Question.
"I have no idea what went on there, honest to God," Diggs swore to Party Boy. "I don't know. I'm not worried. I don't have to ask." Just then, his publicist apologetically interrupted, saying Diggs had to leave. So why did Party Boy see him still there, mingling and schmoozing, 30 minutes after we talked? Hmm...
It's not right, but it's okay. Party Boy met Missy anyway!