House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s Texas-style humor was less than fluid and bombed at the Washington Press Club Foundation dinner the other evening. “The Hammer” spent too much time joking about his bad hair days, and continued his obsessive “performance” offstage, telling “LA Law” star Harry Hamlin, “You need a haircut.” But when I asked Hamlin to critique DeLay’s performance, he quipped: “I got a phone call and had to go out.”
Hamlin did agree with the consensus that Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin “landed some good zingers.” Consider the Illinois senator’s finale: “I used to think that dinners like these were absolute torture, but Alberto Gonzales told me that technically they aren’t.”
It gets hairier. . .
Apparently, politics isn’t the only subject on which many of the city’s female pressies disagree with DeLay. The sexy and very married (to soap star Lisa Rinna) Hamlin, 53, seemed to attract them, tresses and all. “They get more aggressive after midnight when they’ve had three or four drinks,” he told me as the hour approached 1 a.m. at a late-night party at the Reagan Building, and some of the female guests threw aside any PC behavior. One even asked him why celebrities such as himself lose weight as they age. “Liposuction,” Hamlin deadpanned.
Hamlin told me he’s been waiting 20-some years to find his “Dancing With Wolves.” “I finally found it,” he said. He’s directing his first feature film, “Country,” an allegorical story about the classic notion of the American dream, scheduled to be shot in Tennessee next summer. He described his passion for directing: “You might want to dance, but only when you hear certain music. I want to bring this piece to life, to give it flesh and bones.”
In Hollywood, it would be de riguer, but Washington simply isn’t used to celeb prima donnas. Congressional Quarterly pressies, – at the bash they co-sponsored with the Creative Coalition – were surprised when “Nanny” Fran Drescher insisted on Fiji water (direct from the South Pacific islands) in her limo. Now, the Buzz wouldn’t recommend the not-so-pure D.C. H2O – apologies to those aging lead pipes – but Evian or Voss would do, or even the CQ private-label “Pure” water from a California Spring found in the take-home gift bags.
Band-Aid for bad behavior
Mayor-turned-Councilman Marion Barry got a surprise Valentine’s Day gift from casinofortune.com, the oldest online casino. They showered Barry and other celebs who blamed their bad behavior on sex addiction – including Bill Cosby, Michael Douglas, Gene Simmons and Snoop Dogg – with a condom in a shiny black casino case. Was the Internet gambling site betting Barry et al might forget that the romantic day also kicks off National Condom Week? No comment from the former mayor. Dennis Rose, president of casinofortune.com, is thinking outside the box: “Sex and gambling are both taboo topics, so there’s a tie-in.” Out of respect for your situation, Rose warned the almost-mayor-for-life, “accept this gift and play it safe.”